Americans Need To Know Where The U.S. Stands In The War On Terrorism

Americans Need To Know Where The U.S. Stands In The War On Terrorism

The War on Terrorism had defined the 21st century. The U.S. and its allies have been a part of this struggle ever since 9/11. As the year comes to a close, perhaps we can turn to a new chapter of this conflict.

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The United States has been consumed with the War on Terror ever since 9/11. And in the most recent presidential election, it was one of the most prominent issues during debates, speeches, and newsrooms. President Trump promised to eliminate ISIS (along with other terrorist groups) and that's partly why he won the White House 2 years ago. Now, the question is where do we stand in the fight against extremism?

The decline of ISIS in Iraq and Syria shows the U.S. is trending towards progress in the region. At the start of 2018, the Islamic State faced a 93 percent reduction in its territory. By the time 2019 rolls in, it's possible we could see more reduction in its territory. Military forces in the Middle East have all but diminished ISIS from the region. The collapse of ISIS under the Trump administration upholds a promise made by the Commander in Chief.

Along with the decline of the Islamic State, terrorist attacks are also down. News stories and headlines were dominated by attacks around the globe by extremist organizations. Every time a news anchor got on the air and broke down a terrorist attack, there was a strong sense of deja vu. Today, things seem a bit more hushed. The top story of the evening news is no longer about the most recent terrorist attack. It's a comforting change of pace. Those kinds of news stories and coverage were becoming too routine. It was harmful to terrorist attacks to become normalized to us.

That was where we stood 2-3 years ago. Now, global attacks are falling. 2017 saw a big drop, as global attacks decreased 20%. 2018 could also see a similar trend. The majority of attacks occur in the Middle East and North Africa. These trends can show where we stand in this 21st-century struggle. Are we closer to the end than we think? As they say, it's always the darkest before the dawn. 2019 will be a big year for the goals of the current administration in terms of foreign policy.

After World War II, the focus of foreign relations for the rest of the 20th century was on the conflict against communism and Soviet Russia. Foreign relations has changed a great deal at the beginning of this century. We are fighting an enemy that at times seems unstoppable. The consensus is that you cannot defeat an ideology. Changing people's minds is just as hard as moving mountains. During his first term, however, President Trump appears to have cracked the code. ISIS is diminishing and so is their influence.

Other terrorist organizations still hate America and our western allies and attempt to topple the powers in their regions. During the Cold War, there were times the citizens of this country thought we were on the brink of World War III. Then the influence and power of communism faded. Islamic extremism may fade the same way communism did. But it will take a lot more than rhetoric to overcome this struggle. Perhaps there is light at the end of this long, dark, tunnel.

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15 John Mulaney Quotes And Jokes To Get You Through The Day

"I went to the Delta help desk, which is an oxymoron..."
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This is going to sound bad, but it takes a lot for me to laugh out loud. Sure, I will chuckle at jokes and find things funny, but to make me belly laugh is a whole different story. I have never found comedians to be that funny and never thought I would. But then John Mulaney was introduced to me, and let me tell you, he is hilarious. Everything that comes out of his mouth is quotable and I use his jokes to respond to people every day without fail. Here are only some of his hilarious quotes and jokes.

1. “You have the moral backbone of a chocolate éclair.”

His Bill Clinton bit is one of the highlights of his show, “The Comeback Kid,” and I would highly recommend watching it. All in all, John as a kid comes home and he tells his father, “I’m gonna be a Democrat and I’m voting for Bill Clinton.” His dad responds with, “You have the moral backbone of a chocolate éclair.”

2. “Anyone who’s seen my d*** and met my parents needs to die; I can’t have them roaming around.”

After talking about how he got cheated on, Mulaney goes on to explain how it’s creepy to have an ex out there who knows so much information about you after things have ended. I died laughing when he said the above quote.

3. This:

4. His "Back to the Future" bit.

I can’t even choose one quote from this sketch because the entire bit is hilarious. Mulaney goes on to talk about how the plot of "Back to the Future" must have originally been pitched and in reality how weird the plot is when you actually explain it. It’s legendary.

5. On the phone with Blockbuster.

6. “Because Bill Clinton never forgets a b****.”

This is the punchline of the Bill Clinton sketch, essentially, so just watch it — I promise you it is well worth it.

7. Midgets.

8. “We started chanting, McDonald's, McDonald's, McDonald's! And my dad pulled into the drive thru, and we started cheering and then he ordered one black coffee for himself and kept driving.”

As a kid, anytime you saw a McDonald's your parents had to stop. But instead, John Mulaney’s father wasn’t having it and decided to do one of the coolest and funniest things.

9. "In terms of like, instant relief, canceling plans is like heroin."

10. “One black coffee, same motherf***er."

Yes, Bill Clinton sketch again. But, what’s great is how Mulaney ties previous jokes into other sketches. So when Mulaney’s mom got an invitation to a fundraiser where you could meet Bill Clinton, and having told a story about how his mother knew Bill Clinton in college, she said, “We have to go see Bill!” Mulaney’s father then replied with, “Why? It’s not like he’s gonna remember you.” And after a half gasp, half laugh from the audience, Mulaney goes, “One black coffee… same motherf***er.” Hilarious.

11. Opinions in school.

12. “I’m standing in the basement and I’m holding a red cup, you’ve seen movies. And I’m standing there holding a red cup and I’m starting to black out and I guess someone said like something something police. And in a brilliant moment of word association I yelled “F*** da police!” And everyone else joined in. A hundred drunk white children yelling f*** da police.”

Enough said.

13. Presidential Family Feud

14. This:

15. “Because it’s the one thing you can’t replace.”

Now, his last one may not seem funny at all as a quote, but the story Mulaney tells to set up this punchline is the greatest. If you already read the joke above, you know that Mulaney was talking about a party he went to in high school. The ending of the story was that the kid hosting the party said that someone at his party stole old antique photos of his grandmother. Two years later Mulaney’s friend shows him a closet in his house filled wall to wall with old antique photos. So Mulaney goes, “Why?...Why do you do this…?” and his friend responds with, “Because it’s the one thing you can’t replace.” And that, my friends, is quite a great story. Mulaney never fails to make me die on the floor laughing.
Cover Image Credit: laughspin.com

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Irish-American History Is Just As Important As Any Other Culture, You Can't Prove Me Wrong

I cherish being Irish and I will not let anyone let me feel bad for that.

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Depending on when you're reading this, Saint Patrick's day has either just passed or is around the corner. For me, Saint Patrick's day is tomorrow. I've been debating this article for some time now because I didn't know how it would be perceived. At this point, though, I feel it's important for me to get out. No, Irish people were never kept as slaves in America, and I will never be one to try and say they were. However, Irish people were treated tremendously awful in America. A lot of people tend to forget, or just try to erase entirely, the history of the Irish in America. So much so that I felt shameful for wanting to celebrate my heritage. Therefore, I want to bring to light the history that everyone brushes under the rug.

In 1845, a potato famine broke out across Ireland. This was a big deal because the Irish lived off, mainly, potatoes. They were cheap, easy to grow, and had tons of nutrients. So when the famine struck, many people either died of starvation or fled to America in seek of refuge. When the Irish arrived in America they were seen as a threat to the decency of America. People viewed them as drunk beasts, sinful savages, barbaric, violent, belligerent, stupid, and white apes. When the Irish would go to look for jobs, many times they found signs that read "Irish Need Not Apply," even when the job was hiring. Therefore, the Irish did the jobs no one wanted, and even jobs African slaves wouldn't do. The biggest example of this is when Irishmen built canals and drained swamps. They were sent to do these things because of the enormous amount of mosquitoes; in the swamp, they would get bit and ultimately die of malaria.

Also, during this time, Irish people were poor and therefore lived in the same neighborhoods as the free African Americans. A lot of the Irish people were friendly with their neighbors of color and even got into interracial relationships. Because the Irish lived in these neighborhoods they were seen as dirty and even a lot of people at this time put African Americans higher on the totem pole than Irish. One person during the time even said, "At least the black families keep their homes clean."

The main reason American's outlook on Irish people changed was that most Irishmen took up fighting for the Union in the Civil War. I make this argument, not because I think the Irish suffered more than African slaves. I don't say this in means of trying to erase the struggles of the African slaves. I do not think that any of our ancestors should have been treated the way they were. I mean to say that the Irish did in fact suffer. Irish people were treated wrongly on the basis of...nothing. Simply because my ancestors hailed from the shores of Eire, they were treated with malice. And I write this simply because I want people to remember. I want people to understand what happened.

On Saint Patrick's Day this year, next year, and for the many years to come, I want people to embrace the Irish culture. I want the folks of Irish heritage to not be ashamed of where they come from; to not be ashamed to share their culture the way I have for many years. I want everyone to have a beer, wear some green, eat a potato or two, and dance the Irish step; to celebrate the history of Irish people with a bit more understanding than before.

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