Native, Pilgrim, Slave, Immigrant, Refugee

Wild Turkey

Wild Turkey by John James Audubon

Native, Pilgrim, Slave, Immigrant, Refugee felt the grass beneath their feet and their shoes touched our shore

Crossing land bridge and arriving from sea to new land which to explore

Blood, sweat, and tears spilled upon the earth

A new Nation and ideals given birth


Oh the misery and wretchedness of life

How the wounds of losing loved ones cut like a knife

Everywhere heartache and strife

Is it any wonder the focus for many was the afterlife


How cruel were the hearts of many men

Yet before their God did they say Amen

The thing all humankind share is pain

It is and always has been humanity’s great stain


Though even in the most difficult of times

They told stories, sang, and came up with rhymes

In the darkest of times and coldest of weather

Love and necessity kept them together


In spite of famine, disease, hardship, and war

One another did they care for

Crops and provisions did they store

For crises and mouths to feed there would always be more


They knew how to gather, hunt, fish, and farm

They did it to survive not for charm

Many could not read or write

But they had great foresight


We’d be wrong to see them as fools

They may have never seen a school but they knew how to use tools

They knew how to plow a field with a mule

More important many knew the golden rule


Simple and plain they may have been

Yet they could survive through thick and thin

Some today may see them as ignorant folk

Thinking themselves so wise because they can type keystroke


Yet those would be the same the first to die

Because all they know how to do is buy

The first sign of poverty they’d sigh, cry, and ask why

For in the end fools do they personify


They prepare not for the morrow

Consider not if the future brings sorrow

How to survive they know not

For they were never taught


Most of the knowledge of modern age

Might pay a wage

Though it does not make a sage

For wisdom it’s a poor gauge


From our ancestors we can learn much from

In hard times to have a better outcome

Let us learn from the wisdom of the ages

Written in millions of books in countless pages


We need not repeat the mistakes of the past

Nor bad ideas recast

Though some ideas the author they long outlast

To those ideas let us hold steadfast


Science and technology have advanced

Though looking back our knowledge can still be enhanced

America’s history is rich as so many people have called it home

We are left with a treasure trove of manuscript, book, and tome


Imagine if for a moment we could go back

Long before Poor Richard’s Almanac

To the time when the first people arrived here

Long before Europeans the land did they commandeer


For to them we owe much

They were here long before the land European’s feet did touch

Rather than conquer and tame it they lived with the land

For the value of mother earth did they understand


They were environmentalist long before the term did exist

With nature did they coexist

That is an example of the wisdom of which I speak

The kind of wisdom from history we need to seek


Let us remember those who were not freed

Long before emancipation was decreed

How they survived and thrived in such oppression

How they pushed America towards progression


Think back to the pioneers

Very far back through the years

They cried much tears

Yet they knew how to persevere


Let us be thankful the paths and settlements they did leave

For if we don’t realize how much we owe to them we are naive

Let us be thankful for all the wisdom from them we did achieve

For without them the America we know, we could not conceive


Let us learn from those who came before

To others who are in need let us open our door

We know not what lies in store

Though we will survive rather good times or bad; peace or war


Alan Curtis Montgomery

Rescuing Children From ISIS

Afghan boys become ISIS Cubs and learn to fight Jihad 01

“He alone, who owns the youth, gains the future.”

Adolf Hitler

ISIS isn’t focusing only on recruiting young men and women these days; they are also increasingly recruiting children. ISIS in all their warped and deranged ingenuity has set up a system of ISIS training camps for kids. From what I have determined so far they are setting up these camps mostly in Syria and Iraq where ISIS has strongholds but are increasingly branching out to places such as Afghanistan.

ISIS In Afghanistan

The video above made me both angry and sorrowful. One depressing scene shows young children taking turns shooting a gun; after being told earlier a gun should be aimed at the heads of the infidels (non-believers). That was simply disheartening to watch.

The scene showing a man in Afghanistan with his children and other children who he helped escape ISIS was a powerful contrast; of compassion vs ISIS cruelty. It was heartening to see in such a disheartening documentary.

The scene of an older boy and his friend telling how they were going to become martyrs also made quite an impact. I felt empathy for them even though what they were saying and wanting to do was terrible. I thought of those younger kids in the first scene; that was them at one time.

The younger boy appeared very nervous and unsure. The older one doing the talking seemed nervous but more committed. Though when asked if he ever had been to school he replied no; the look in his eyes looking downward and tone of his voice said everything. Like he realized he missed out on so much and was deeply dispirited how his life turned out. I got the feeling that deep down neither really wanted to be there, nor become martyrs. That they rather be elsewhere living their life.

It made me think; perhaps even with them there is hope. Though the men they travel with I am afraid it is probably too late. I doubt any of them will ever leave radical jihad.

The segment showing the children watching jihadist killing people on a cell phone and learning they are shown these videos daily just made me angry. I have seen some of those videos in my on-line activism and some are so brutal I can’t even stand to watch them. To think young children are being forced to watch them regularly I can’t imagine what that does to their minds.

The part in the documentary above showing a ISIS training camp video with men hitting and kicking young children really angered me. Seeing that kids were engaging in combat exercises with automatic weapons has me worried more than anything; the U.S. and Europe may soon be fighting child soldiers on the battlefield in Iraq and Syria. ISIS has proven so harsh it is not beyond them to sink to such depths.

Afghan boys become ISIS Cubs and learn to fight Jihad 02 Afghan boys become ISIS Cubs and learn to fight Jihad 03 Afghan boys become ISIS Cubs and learn to fight Jihad 04 Afghan boys become ISIS Cubs and learn to fight Jihad 05

Future Martyrs Of Radical Jihad

If we do not help children escape from ISIS they will be forever lost. If we abandon these children to the clutches of ISIS’s fangs ISIS will devour them. Their minds wiped clean of secularism and written anew in radical jihad. Compassion taken from their hearts and replaced with cruel indifference. Their gentle natures replaced with fierceness. If we are okay with that than let us do nothing, but when our armed forces meet these children on the battlefield don’t tell me I didn’t warn you.

What I am speaking about above is a real and increasing problem. If this is allowed to continue it will have terrible consequences for children in Iraq, Syria, and elsewhere in the region. We rescue these children from ISIS or we fight them later, the choice is up to us.

Afghan boys become ISIS Cubs and learn to fight Jihad

Accepting Young Refugees Critical In Battle Against ISIS

Syrian Boy With Papers

We make a priority of taking in children, young adults, and young families or ISIS has more recruits. I heard several people complain there is so many young men coming from Syria into Europe they’re afraid several could be terrorist. Yet young men and young women are exactly the population we have the most to gain from allowing them entry. We take them into the West and integrate them into Western society or allow ISIS more recruits. Besides Assad can not continue to fight his war without enough young people being available to fight it.

The attempt to limit the younger demographic out of fear of terrorism is shortsighted and will backfire in the worst way. They will otherwise be stuck in Syria and Iraq and elsewhere in the region without hope or opportunity and with ISIS and other jihadist constantly trying to get them to join in the fight. The less younger people in the region the less potential recruits ISIS has.

The majority of younger adults and children tend to be significantly more secular than the older population. They will be able to adjust and integrate better to life in the West. They tend to be healthier than even most young people in the West. Most of the younger adults are able and willing to work including jobs involving physical labor. They will not require much in the way of government benefits outside of education and help to find housing. Several of them speak English as they learned that in their home countries. The ones that don’t will have a much easier time than older adults learning how to communicate with people of their new Nation.

We need to give preference as well to persecuted groups within Iraq and Syria (ethnic, social, and sexual minorities) who face a high risk of persecution, harm, and even death in their home Countries.

I believe to give one religious sect over another preference would play into ISIS and Assad’s hands of stirring up sectarian tensions; religious affiliation should not be considered. The wars within Iraq and Syria have primarily been divided among religious lines. We need no part in getting involved in that fight. With exception to giving preference to particular people within particular religious sects who have been specifically targeted for persecution, harm, and killings and those with extremist religious beliefs being denied consideration; religion should never be used in the decision-making process.

We must give special consideration to the elderly, frail, and the disabled as they are especially vulnerable in such situations and are often not able to have their needs met in their home Countries. They will require more in the way of government benefits and public assistance but as compassionate people we can not ignore this population. To not give special consideration to these populations would be cruel.

None of this is to say we should deny entry to the average 35-65 year old Syrian I just think the groups mentioned above should be our priority. Due to the special risk they face and benefit to having them living in the West would provide. We should I believe give preference to the young, the old, the persecuted, and those with special needs in our refugee programs.

Unfortunately the children ISIS is recruiting and kidnapping and the refugees don’t have time for us to play politics in the West. They require action now for their very lives hang in the balance. This attempt to make a 2 year-long arduous vetting process take even longer is pure insanity. It instead should be streamlined and greatly sped up. Many of these people don’t have 2 years, some will quite literally die waiting. If more security checks requirements aren’t met with efficiencies, major improvement, and increased funding in the refugee program it will only further lengthen their wait. These kids don’t have time on their side.

Alan Curtis Montgomery

ISIS: Barbarity And Brainwashing


A Syrian ISIS fighter tweeted images of this boy, who is his son

The Children of Jihad

Out of all the savagery and ruthlessness present in ISIS, the barbarity and brainwashing against children is the greatest of all their evils. For not only do they do evil against these children and harm them in the present. They destroy their young minds and futures by filling them with hatred, violence, and death. Though the greatest evil of all is they cause these young ones to do evil to their fellow man, woman, and child.

They turn tender hearts into stones. Fragile minds into dark places that desire to do evil. They take a lamb and raise it up as a ferocious beast. If that does not go against the teachings of the Prophet Muhammad I know not what does.

If these men known as ISIS truly believed in the Qur’an and Allah they would wish for even the mountains to fall on themselves to hide their shame and for fear of Allah’s wrath. How these men continually ignore the verses speaking of mercy in the Qur’an but would be the first to recite them when faced with judgment.

I will not attempt to speak for Islam as a non-believer but I know more than enough to know ISIS does not represent the Islam the majority of Muslims in the world worship. They are in opposition to all the great faiths and traditions in the world. They are at war with our humanity itself.

Just recently as an example of ISIS’s cruelty ISIS executed 12 children. While I am critical of the source Christian Post because of its conservative evangelical slant. Along with its history of skewing facts such as an author falsely attempting to link the Free Syrian Army with ISIS. I believe this story of the training camps and the boys execution to be accurate. Other sources have confirmed the existence of these camps and spoke of similar incidents of ISIS executing minors.

ISIS Young Recruits

Young boys being brainwashed and taught to hate and kill in ISIS training camps

The Cubs of ISIS

It was reported that twelve boys between the ages of 12 and 16 were recently executed by ISIS; most of them being of Arab descent from Mosul, Iraq. None of the sources I found confirmed how the boys were killed, but similar events suggest they were likely killed by firing squad. Their crime having a conscience and being afraid.

They were among several children kidnapped and recruited into joining ISIS. These particular boys had been selected to carry out suicide bombing missions. They refused and tried to run but were captured by ISIS and executed.

There are several of these camps throughout Syria and Iraq and now are even showing up elsewhere in the Middle East like Afghanistan. The boys range in age from about 6 to 16. ISIS refers to these young recruits into IS as “cubs”.

In these camps the Islamic State trains the children in the ways of radical Jihad. They are taught killing non-believers is among the most honorable of acts. That becoming a martyr for the Islamic State and the Caliphate will mean paradise and happiness without end. As hard as many of these boy’s lives are that is a strong selling point.

At these camps they learn how to use weapons, make explosives, how to fight. They are made to recite extreme passages and interpretations of the Quran, Hadith, and fatwas. Indoctrinated in extreme hatred for infidels, Jews, and the West. Taught cruelty and hatred is a virtue and mercy and love vice.

They are given various training exercises many which are very difficult and inhumane. The boys are made to suffer humiliation, abuse, and torture as ISIS thinks that makes them more tough and fiercer fighters.  Some of the boys are trained as suicide bombers, some as fighters, some in explosives, ammunition, and weapons.

The ones that don’t seem to be of any use to ISIS are used as human shields in firefights against ISIS. ISIS is beginning to recruit girls as well into the fight and taking others as brides treated little better than slaves. This is the evil that is ISIS.

Apparently ISIS is unaware of this Hadith:

(Al-Adab) Bukhari :: Book 8 :: Volume 73 :: Hadith 8

Allah’s Apostle mentioned the greatest sins or he was asked about the greatest sins. He said, “To join partners in worship with Allah; to kill a soul which Allah has forbidden to kill; and to be undutiful or unkind to one’s parents.” The Prophet added, “Shall I inform you of the biggest of the great sins? That is the forged statement or the false witness.

Apparently it is ISIS who most needs to fear the wrath of Allah according to the teachings of the Prophet Muhammad. Hypocrites and devils this death cult known as ISIS. May these children in these camps be rescued from these vipers. Again I do not claim to speak for Islam being a non-believer but verse after verse in the Quran and Hadith condemn the actions of ISIS.


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I wish ISIS was nothing more than Western propaganda and lies meant to drum up support for war as some conspiracy theorist suggest. Though ISIS is all too real and is metastasizing in various places throughout the Middle East and Africa. Places where there is failed states, war, and chaos. They also have been reported in Southeast Asia. There is likely cells within Europe, The United States, Canada, Australia, and elsewhere. We saw in France and with several past failed operations ISIS is indeed already on our home soils.

We fear war abroad but that war is being fought in the streets of Paris and elsewhere in Europe now that investigations have identified ISIS suspects. That war is likely coming to America and other than being aware there is not much we can do to prevent it. Those who are determined to do evil against their fellow man, woman, and child will often find a way. “Fighting them over there so we don’t have to fight them here” is a dead argument as we already are fighting them here.

For going on its 15th year since 9/11/01 the war on terror has been fought, but terror has proven it is here to stay. As long as evil continues to exist in men’s hearts terror will always be with us. We are perhaps focusing too much on the wrong fight; fighting men rather than fighting to win the hearts and minds. I am not suggesting I don’t approve of fighting to defend human life but this open-ended war on terror is doomed for failure.

We are fighting against the actions of terror rather than against the ideas that cause people to take those actions. We must defend ourselves and others from terror and try to prevent it; but we will never defeat terror through military might alone. I do fear though our leaders will not be so farsighted and a bloody and brutal war awaits us.

ISIS will get the Jihad they always wanted. Though when the fury and dust settles and the rains wash away the blood of both martyrs and tyrants we will have accomplished nothing in the grand scheme of things. Just another chapter of human history of misery and woe of human kind destroying one another. May God or Fate Have Mercy On Our Souls.

Alan Curtis Montgomery

Abandoning Refugees Cowardice and Cruel

Syrian Son Comforts Mother

“Cowards are cruel, but the brave love mercy and delight to save.”

– John Gay (Early 18th Century English poet and dramatist)

Where Is Our Humanity?

Those who would have us throw the refugees to the wolves out of fear a couple might be terrorist are cowards. They who would turn away men, women, and children escaping the cruelty and depravity of the Assad regime and ISIS are cruel. They who would allow men, women, and children die of exposure, hunger, and disease to save a little in tax should dare not call themselves Christian. I’m sorry for being so harsh in my criticism but this is not right denying these good people refuge. They don’t have months and years to wait, this is an international crises and requires an immediate response.

I want politicians and policy makers everywhere to realize refusing to take in refugees will mean many more of them will die. If you are okay with ISIS and Assad’s regime killing, torturing, and assaulting them. If you are okay with children starving to the point of eating every small crumb of bread found on the ground they can find. Of children chewing on grass so their stomach doesn’t hurt due to going so long without food. If you are okay with young children doing hard labor to the point of blisters and callouses on their hands. If you are okay with women and children being hurt by Assad’s forces and sold into slavery to ISIL militants. If you are okay with men being tortured and killed in the most vicious and savage of ways. If you are okay with refugees going without even the most basic of daily necessities to survive. Then by all means continue to refuse to take in Syrian refugees.

If however that bothers you as a compassionate and caring human being and you want to do something to help; then please look within your heart and support the refugees. These people have been through so much how dare we turn them away. They are not looking to make their fortune, seeking generous government benefits, or to convert Americans to their beliefs and traditions; they are simply looking for a safe place to stay. They are seeking a little human kindness. They are asking for a little compassion. They would like nothing more than to be told everything is going to be okay, your safe here, welcome to America. Can we at least provide them that as decent human beings.

Whatever happened to an America that took Emma Lazarus’ sonnet, New Colossus to heart?:

Not like the brazen giant of Greek fame,
With conquering limbs astride from land to land;
Here at our sea-washed, sunset gates shall stand
A mighty woman with a torch, whose flame
Is the imprisoned lightning, and her name
Mother of Exiles. From her beacon-hand
Glows world-wide welcome; her mild eyes command
The air-bridged harbor that twin cities frame.
“Keep, ancient lands, your storied pomp!” cries she
With silent lips. “Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”

Emma Lazarus

The Governors Revolt Against Refugees

Just very recently governors in several states made statements they did not want refugees coming into their states. I am both outraged at the governors statements and saddened, as any person who cares about humanity should be. Sadly right here in Arizona my Governor was among them. I find it surprising Governor Ducey would endorse such a policy; his recent campaign has been all about improving Arizona’s image as a welcoming place. If this doesn’t undermine that I don’t know what does. It appears Ducey is looking to score cheap political points with the hard-right, reactionary, anti-immigration base of his party which have been disappointed that he has not been far-right enough.

We truly have some of the most extreme and bigoted right-wingers in all of America. Though ironically Arizona has a very diverse population and has a large migrant population from various places around the world not just Mexico and Central America. You see in spite of State and County government policies and the right-wing in this State there is another side of Arizona that is welcoming, accepting, and has a live and let live attitude. The climate and job opportunities alone do not fully explain why people from various spots across the globe have chosen and continue to choose to call Arizona home. Sadly though voter participation in this State is low as is voter registration among eligible voters, especially among minority populations. Between that and the GOP’s stranglehold on power that other side of Arizona does not have near the degree of influence it could and should have.

I apologize to all refugees already here in Arizona of which there are many. Many of us in Arizona do not feel the same way as the Governor. Last I heard Arizona has taken in over 3,600 refugees in total and over 100 of them from Syria. Up to 400 more refugees from Syria will be relocated to Arizona within the coming months rather some conservatives in this State including the Governor are happy about it or not. I and other activist involved in the Syrian refugee crises will not give up fighting for this to happen.

We have been speaking out against the brutality of Assad and the mercilessness of extremist for years now, do these Governors think we fear a political fight with them? I and others I know have had fierce opposition on-line we have had to fight off since we began our activism for the freedom of the Syrian people. No we don’t fear a political fight from these Governors and legislators.

In my opinion all 10,000 Syrian refugees the federal government plans to allow into the United States are welcome here in Arizona. The GOP thinks the Obama administration has been routinely unfairly picking on Arizona, well why doesn’t Obama give them really something to complain about. An executive order mandating all 10,000 Syrian refugees be given asylum in Arizona. I can see their fit and fury now, the bigots would absolutely come unglued.

I have had it with the hate and bigotry in the GOP, in the Arizona GOP in particular. I am serious though President Obama double or triple whatever number you planned to allow in the States where the Governor’s protested. Lets send a message to these bigoted anti-immigrant, xenophobic, Islamophobic conservatives they will not soon forget!

I am very upset about this development. Upset is too weak a word, furious is more like it. All this anti-refugee rhetoric I am hearing out there today in America is really bothering me. The fact these supposed brave freedom loving patriots will cower to ISIS and abandon American values of tolerance, diversity, and being welcoming of migrants shows them for their true selves. It is pathetic really.

I will not allow ISIS to cause me to abandon the cause of helping the Syrian refugees. I will not allow ISIS to damage my humanity and compassion. I will not allow ISIS to make me afraid to do what I know to be right. Why should we let those cruel and merciless bastards win? They would like nothing more than to force all Muslims to live in their sick and twisted version of the caliphate.

They want to be Kings and they need subjects. Well Fuck you ISIS these people want no part of what you have to offer nor no part of the Assad regime. That is why they are coming to Europe and America to get as far away from you as they can. I do not blame them a bit. I and every rational American and European would do the same.

The risk of ISIS coming here through the refugee program is way overblown. It is just an excuse to limit migrants coming to America as the GOP is no matter what they claim vehemently anti-immigration today. Sure it could happen but why ISIS is already in America and Europe and has been for sometime. They don’t need to bring ISIS here just convince a few troubled young Americans to take up arms and join in their Jihad. There is plenty of gun-nuts domestic extremist out there who worry me far more than the threat of an ISIS inspired attack. Those who are determined to attack us will find a way, why punish the innocent to keep out a few guilty?

Below is my response to the Governor:

Dear Governor Ducey,

You do not speak for me and many other Arizonans with your official statement of halting refugees from coming to Arizona. I find the policy you are endorsing goes against what this Country stands for and the diverse and welcoming State that Arizona should be. These refugees are escaping from an even worse threat than what recently transpired in Paris? Such attacks happen in Syria and Iraq on a routine basis. As terrible as the terror that happened in Paris was it is significantly less than the terror ISIS and Assad’s regime has been inflicting on the Syrian people for almost the last 5 years.

The people the United States federal government is allowing to come to America from Syria and elsewhere effected by war and persecution have had background checks, have no known affiliations with terrorist groups, and are not known to be extremist in their views. Those who do not pass background checks, have connections with terrorist groups, or who hold extreme views are not even given consideration for asylum in the United States. While obviously no absolute guarantee can ever be made that a few bad actors wont slip through such security checks, there is no Country more able to screen refugees and migrants than the United States.

While prudent security checks are valid and necessary halting the refugee program and migration into the United States goes against our deepest held principles in the United States and ultimately will result in hundreds if not thousands of deaths due to asylum seekers not being given safety and refuge in the United States. The regional Countries surrounding Syria have taken in hundreds of thousands, Europe is taking in thousands more, the United States must play it’s part in the refugee crises as well. We have a long history of leading the world in such matters, we should continue in this tradition. I urge you to meet with refugee families and get to know them, I think you will find you will have a change of heart.


Alan Curtis Montgomery

A Jihad Against Terror

Young Muslim praying

Vaut mieux prévenir que guérir

It is better to prevent than to heal

ISIS can never be defeated on the battlefield as long as the ideology of ISIS lives on within the hearts and minds of its followers. Simply put we will not ultimately defeat ISIS by the sword, but by the pen. By our voice. By moderation. By mercy and a rejection of cruelty. For when ISIS stops being able to recruit people into its ranks as people reject what it stands for it will die a natural death.

World powers are fighting jihadist fighters of the Islamic State but the real jihad Muslims must fight is against the ideology which IS endorses. That is the true meaning of jihad: to strive, to apply oneself, to struggle, to persevere; a fight for the universal principles within Islam such as justice, mercy, charity, defense of the innocent, and devotion. Not the slaughter and harm of innocents as IS carries out.

The Qur’an says Allah is merciful and expects mercy for his creation. Yet IS twist the words of the Prophet Muhammad and the nature of Allah as presented in the Qur’an to fit their own evil thinking. There is passage after passage of the mercy of Allah and the high value he places on his creation. The Prophet Muhammad going as far as saying the murder of one innocent is as if you murdered all of humanity. Yet ISIS does not have mercy nor respects humanity. The crimes of ISIS are among the worst sins the Qur’an condemns. IS is a false prophet of Islam. Even I as a non-believer with only a modest degree of understanding of Islam know that much.

Yet many non-believers who have no understanding or respect for Islam use ISIS and those inspired by them to criticize all of Islam and all Muslims. There is much heated rhetoric in political circles critical of Islam. There is an increasing amount of groups and individuals devoted to “exposing Islam” which only exposes those individuals ignorance, lies, half-truths, stereotypes, and cherry picking skills of finding every negative thing they can dig up about things involving some Arabs and Muslims. There are lots of popular views about Arabs, Muslims, and Islam that are intolerant and ignorant. This leads some Muslims to feel isolated and as if they are under attack.

The small percentage of young people who are deeply troubled are especially susceptible to being led in bad directions by others. They often don’t have a strong sense of self and often have deeply held extreme beliefs. They may feel persecuted and rejected by society so they tend to view society harshly and are very distrusting of others motives. It is easier to hate people who hate you or who you perceive that they hate you. It is easier to be cruel to people who you feel treated you and others cruelly. They may have had a difficult upbringing. This could have profoundly effected their emotional development at a critical stage of their lives which carries over into their adolescence and adulthood. They also may have factors in their current life which are causing them a lot of distress and effecting their mental health.

Some turn to violence as a way of dealing with these uncomfortable emotions and a way to get revenge. If they are affiliated with extremist groups especially if they engaged in combat with them that really warps their views of right and wrong. This desensitizes them to the horror of violence. Combine that desensitization to violence with a violent ideology and you really get a volatile mixture. Especially if they also suffer with untreated serious mental illness, have difficulties in the present, and have things and people reinforcing their harmful views.

Imagine being a troubled younger person and having people through social media, on-line videos, extreme writings, or people you communicate with in the real world constantly reinforcing your negative thinking and negative behavior. It is like constant propaganda being spoken and shown to you. You see, hear, and experience something enough; even terrible things can be made to seem okay or even a positive thing.

The young extremist is desensitized to the horrors of violence and learns to devalue human life. He is taught certain people are not fit to live and that killing unbelievers is the ultimate display of devotion to his God and faith. He gives up everything for an extreme interpretation of jihad and a promise of paradise. He is taught the West is at war with Islam and the infidels are enemies of Islam. That their Arab and Muslim brothers and sisters are killed in the Middle East so to retaliate people in Nations engaged in fights against them must be killed. To us it sounds insane but to his disturbed mind it makes perfect sense.

We make a mistake by seeing terrorism from our perspective. Instead we must see terrorism how terrorist see it in order to defeat it. We must understand the motivations of terror and why some younger people in particular become enamored by it. Just as we make a mistake as seeing terrorist as moral monsters and psychopaths. In doing so we miss actual terrorist in our midst. People have a stereotype of a terrorist that often bears little reality to how terrorist look and behave. Finally we make a mistake to think we can defeat terror by terrorizing those who support and engage in it. That merely further motivates them.

Instead we must try to reach and get through to would be terrorist before they decide to join ISIS and engage in terror. We must provide them an alternative narrative to support and another path to travel. We must challenge extremist propaganda and expose the lies and deceit groups like ISIS spreads. We must expose ISIS for the hypocrites and evil men the leadership is. We must win the hearts and minds before ISIS does.

We need to do a better job of reaching out to younger Muslims and making them feel welcome and part of a larger community. We should do much more to battle Islamophobia and Arabophobia present in our Western societies by speaking out against it and advocating for acceptance, understanding, and pluralism. We must provide more opportunities and hope to younger members in struggling minority and impoverished communities. We could do more to speak out against violence and speak for peace. We must become better with community mental health awareness and treatment. We must find a way to redirect misdirected anger and negative thinking in troubled young people.

We must do more in the way of attacking the underground illegal arms market, making it more difficult to purchase and obtain supplies used in bomb making, and keep weapons out of the hands of those with violent criminal records and those who express violent behavior or thoughts. We need to become better at identifying troubled individuals and through community programs, public service campaigns, and public mental health services make it easier for people to seek help and prevent young people from adopting an extremist ideology. These are a few ideas we should consider in the battle against terrorism and extremism.

We need to do some societal soul-searching and ask why there is so many violent young men out there? This phenomenon is nothing new, but what is new is how many are disturbed and the degree of disturbance seems greater. They do not exist in isolation but are impacted by the culture and society around them. What within our culture and society is encouraging violence, hatred, and abusive behavior? This is not an attempt to take responsibility off of those who engage in violence and criminal behavior but to understand better root causes. I believe society has increasingly neglected young men and the effects of that are beginning to express themselves.

There are likely several things that contribute to terrorism. I don’t pretend to have the solutions to preventing it; however this article might be a good place to start. Without getting to the root causes we will never win the battle against terror and extremism.

What happened in France was truly terrible and my heart bleeds for the people of France killed and wounded by the attacks and their loved ones. ISIS can kill individuals but they can not kill the human spirit. They can cause terror in the hearts of people but they can not destroy the love that is in their hearts, the wisdom of their mind, and the goodness within their souls. The flame of liberty will not go out. The call for freedom continue to sound. The defense of the rights of humanity will be unceasing. For the good in the world is far greater than the bad.

My way of fighting extremism, hatred, and terror is through my words. Through my voice I battle such enemies. With the power of the pen I wage war. A war not of death and destruction but a war to win the hearts and minds. That is a war I may not win but I will not surrender. Even if terror itself strikes me my words will outlive me. For as an old Irish proverb is written:

“A scholar’s ink lasts longer than a martyr’s blood”

Alan Curtis Montgomery

Trump and The Heartless Bastards

GOP debate

You heartless bastards

Lies and deceit you have mastered

You claim you pray

Yet even Jesus you would betray


The poor and downtrodden do you mock

Deficit hawk, war hawk, chicken hawk

A migrant’s pain you know not

For your hearts and souls rot


Even children do you turn away

Their care and welfare you wish not to pay

The unborn do you defend

The living though your compassion does not extend


You hypocrites, you vipers, you devils

In your greed do you revel

Your hearts are cold as ice

Everything and everyone to you has a price


Like Sheriff Nottingham do you take from the poor

The elites always want more

People come for help and are shown the door

For the meek do you abhor


You know only hate

A stingy heavy-handed state

War without end

Creating wounds that will never mend


Fear the people come election time

You will not serve the people on the tax payers dime

Your policies are a crime

I’d say more but I ran out of rhyme

Alan Curtis Montgomery

The Millions of Vets Few Knew

Grandfather and Grandsons

My brother, grandfather, and me (from left to right)

There is a photo of my grandfather as a young man in his WWII army uniform, though I did not post it. For my grandfather Frank Calvin Montgomery in life never wore his service as a badge of honor nor his patriotism on his sleeve. Though he served honorably his Nation and loved his Country as much as other patriots who fought and died for America.

He did not look down on those who displayed their patriotism and service openly, unless it was for political and personal gain. It was not however within his character, personality, and views. He saw service for one’s Country as something that was necessary at times, but not something to celebrate.

War was the worst experience of his life he told me. That he wished it on no one. Those experiences in France fighting the Germans as he referred to them stayed with him until the day he died. He fought at a time the allies were making big advances against the Germans and Hitler was desperate. Even resorting to putting the Hitler Youth on the front lines.

That is what haunted him the most, seeing young men being killed in battle and having to take lives. He said he never could forget the fear in their eyes, their faces, and the despair he felt knowing they would never return home to their families. He spoke of how the Germans looked so much like them. They were just young men like they were he said. Most of them didn’t want to be on that battlefield anymore than they did he explained.

He spoke how some of the Germans appeared not more than 16 or so. He recalled one young German soldier in particular who was shot dead and upon them moving closer many of them became visibly shaken when they saw how young the soldier was. He had fired on them so they didn’t have much choice as it was kill or be killed. Still it really effected them as if they shot their kid brother.

The war took a toll on them that only those who served in combat can fully understand. Many people don’t fully comprehend how terrible the latter part of the war was in France, the time in which my grandfather served there. They saw some of the fiercest fighting on the ground, troubling circumstances, and terrible sights of the entire war. None returned home unscarred.

He carried that pain with him until a few months before his death. He cried at times and his lips quivered as he told of his experiences in the war as if he was reliving the horrors again in his mind. “I hope God forgives me,” he said. “I hope God forgives us”. This from a man who was not religious. “I hope you never have to kill anyone. You don’t know what it’s like. To have to live with that is an awful thing. I hope neither of you boys ever have to fight in a war. There is not one thing good in war.” Those statements he made towards the end of telling his story to me summed up his feelings of the war.

He did not feel like celebrating his service. He felt they did only what they had to do for the sake of the Country. He had few fond memories of his time in the service but several he wish he could have forgotten.

He was a purple heart recipient, a member of the VFW and DAV though he never went to the meetings, got much of his medical care through the VA, went to Veterans Day parades, wore a DAV hat occasionally, paid to have the boy scouts of which me and my brother were a part to put a flag in his yard during certain federal holidays, and often paid to have a wreath laid on his brother’s grave who died on D Day during the Christmas holiday; but he rarely spoke of his service. He didn’t want a military funeral and when he passed away the family honored those wishes. He was born in humble beginnings and died a humble man. Yet he taught me so much.

I hesitated rather I should share this story being how personal it was between my grandfather and I. However I realized there is so many veterans out there like my grandfather; quiet, humble, and unassuming that most do not realize their service to their Country. They do not march in parades, participate in Veteran events, wear their uniform and medals on holiday’s celebrating their service, they are not active in politics surrounding veteran issues, they choose not to have a military funeral yet they are American patriots just the same in the truest sense of the term. They served their Country.

There are many veterans who carry wounds most are not even aware. Not just for a few months or a few years after their service, but wounds that are present for life. They keep the pain locked away in their minds rarely speaking of it.

I never realized how much the war had effected my grandfather until he brought it up one day and we had a discussion about it. I am glad he did as it made me aware of the true nature of war; not the war, movies and video games portrayed. It helped shape my views about war and peace unlike few other things. Nothing is more powerful save it for experiencing it yourself than hearing a first hand account of someone who was there. Someone who tasted the bitterness of battle, the heartache of crushing loss, and the hell of war. I wish we lived in a world where war only existed in the history books, but the reality is it is still very much with us.

I feel guilty in a sense that I have been so hard in my criticisms against America recently. That I have become so cynical of patriotism being how too many have abused patriotism for their own ends. That I have given into despair and forgot the America my grandfather and several great uncles fought for. It is that America which I still think is worth fighting for. That American vision that FDR stood for. Not the vision of George W. Bush’s America.

I am still greatly concerned with the nationalism and reactionary politics on the right. I still deeply care about the world around me. However I have decided I can’t write-off America. I can’t deny my citizenship even though I am disappointed with many citizens who support policies that I see as antithetical to human beings. For if I do I cheapen the sacrifice my grandfather, great uncles, and so many others made. If I do I have helped kill the American dream that so many people have fought so long for even though they never achieved it.

I may never see the American dream, but why should I damage the hopes of others. America has been both good to me and cruel to me, but I would like to hope when it is all said and done that the good will far outweigh the negative. I would like to hope we can reverse course of the current trends that started after 9/11/01. That the reactionary politics and oppression is but a passing fad in the long scheme of things.

That progress towards a brighter day will continue in spite of those seeking to turn us back towards dark times. I have to hope, I must hope, for hope is the only thing that keeps me writing. Without hope there is no future. With hope there is a future and no matter how sad the journey it has a happy ending.

Alan Curtis Montgomery