Actions speak louder than words

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Actions speak louder than words

The heart-wrenching terror attacks in Paris are not simply an assault against France, but against humanity. They are a meticulously choreographed massacre of innocent citizens with at least 129 killed and more than 350 injured. Such indiscriminate attacks cannot be justified no matter what.

As French President Francois Hollande declared, the attacks are an act of war threatening the universal values of humankind. We must not sit on our hands in the face of the malicious behavior of the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS). Its sheer atrocity - clearly evidenced by merciless immolations of innocent captives and the slaughter of children - vindicates military retaliation, as it constitutes brutality on a par with Al Qaeda or the Nazis. If their barbarity can’t be stopped, the international community must unite and bring them to justice. To root out evil, actions speak louder than words.

U.S. President Barack Obama takes pride in keeping ISIS’s clandestine activities at bay. But the massacre in Paris shows he is wrong. The terrorist group has already crossed the line. The United States, the champion of freedom and democracy over the past two centuries, needs to counter them more proactively than ever before, including the idea of sending ground troops to the troubled area.

As confirmed in the Paris tragedy, terrorists armed with semi-automatic rifles and suicide bombs will rampage through streets around the globe in search of victims. Europe is particularly vulnerable to their potential attacks due to the nearly out-of-control influx of refugees from Syria - some of them extremist warriors - amid a rapid economic integration with wide-open borders. The terrorist group’ infiltration extends to Asia and elsewhere. U.S. and UK intelligence agencies believe the recent crash of a Russian airliner, which took the lives of 224 people, was masterminded by ISIS. Any place in the world could easily turn into their battle ground.

We must not lower our guard. ISIS has repeatedly threatened member countries of the U.S.-led allied forces in Iraq and Syria of terrorist attacks. Korea is one of the members.

The G-20 summit in Turkey is discussing effective ways to cope with the unfettered terror. When leaders hammer out a detailed action plan, Korea must join it as a mature member of the international society. Yet the crusade against ISIS should not be a war with the whole Islamic world, as it could lead to an irreversible battle between civilizations. War on terror must be waged resolutely yet prudently.

JoongAng Ilbo, Nov. 16, Page 34

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