Almost everyone is now familiar with the calamities ISIS is causing in the Middle East: the brutal campaign to conquer vast areas of Iraq and Syria and exterminate Christians, Yezidis, and other religious minorities. A lesser known reality is that Lincoln has the largest Yezidi refugee population in America.
At my last town hall meeting in Bellevue, we had a robust discussion about the challenges facing America. A big surprise came afterward. A constituent told me he had received the invitation to the meeting that same day. Although the invitation had been sent in a timely manner, most people in the community saw it when they returned home from work—after the event.
I recently traveled to China with a congressional delegation. As I boarded the Air China plane, the flight attendants were welcoming, accommodating, and professional. They seemed to take great pride in their work. One stood up before the passengers to give the usual spiel about how to buckle your seatbelt and negotiate other safety measures—a talk few people pay attention to.
I want to take a moment this week to highlight the understated challenge of nuclear security in the world today. You might have heard news about last week's Nuclear Security Summit in Washington. With risks of terror growing amid rapid globalization, the world must prioritize developing the right nuclear security strategies.
Not long ago the great cities of Europe were secure places of cultural strength. Today they are targets for ISIS and other terrorist organizations. Standing in solidarity with the citizens of Belgium, we mourn the indiscriminate slaughter of civilians in Brussels.
A few weeks ago, I wrote to you about the facts of the genocide happening in the Middle East. This week, the United States House of Representatives unanimously passed my resolution condemning this genocide against Christians, Yezidis, and other ethnic and religious minorities.
A young man recently called out from behind me. When I turned, he said, “I want to thank you again for nominating me to the Academy.” I didn’t recognize him, so I asked him to remind me of his name again. The young high school senior I had nominated years ago had become a tall, confident, poised young man readying for graduation from West Point.
I happened to be in the room on an extraordinary occasion when Pope Francis was given a small cross, a Christian crucifix. The crucifix belonged to a young Syrian man. He had been captured by jihadists and then given a choice: convert or die. He chose his ancient faith tradition. He chose Christ. And he was beheaded.
This week for the Fort Report I invite you to review a number of media appearances from the last several days, including my comments on CNN, Fox News, a local radio station, and a video of an exchange with Secretary of State John Kerry. The topics range from reflections on the death of Justice Scalia, border issues and immigration, Guantanamo Bay, and genocide in the Middle East.