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February 17, 2015
Pine Island Eagle

Count us among those weary of war, tired of conflict, torn by an American military death count that has hit 6,839 in the War on Terror, mostly young service personnel 18 to 24.

Battlefield leaders have said it better than we ever could: War is hell.

And for today's American families, there is no worse purgatory than to have a loved one deployed to the hell-hole pocked Middle East.

But sometimes what we want - indeed, what we fervently hope for - is not to be, at least not for now.

One of those things is peace, or even stability, in the insurgent-controlled portions of the Middle East where rebels have seized and hold an estimated 13,000 square miles in Syria and Iraq.

The so-called Islamic State vows to establish a religious dictatorship, or caliphate, encompassing much of both countries.

Funded by black-market revenues from the oil and gas fields it has confiscated, along with millions upon millions stolen from banks in overrun cities, it has the financial wherewithal to make the effort.

What France calls the "Daesh cutthroats" also have the crimes-against-humanity ruthlessness that leaves no doubt they will try until stopped.

Crucifixions, mass executions and beheadings, crowned now with the recent burning alive of a caged prisoner, serve to define an enemy that makes no secret of its mission to march forward over the bodies of any opposition.

The monthly kill rate of civilians in this quest hit nearly 2,000 in June of last year alone, a "record" month on an increasingly bloody calendar.

This is why, with heavy heart and great sadness, we support President Obama's request for war power authority, urge Congress to carefully assess and vet the proposal, and then grant the authority to formally authorize the use of appropriate military force against an entity that respects nothing less.

Additional conflict is not what we, as a country, want.

But a fight is what we - and our allies - still face.

May we be up to the task.

-Eagle editorial



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