Mark’s Musings – June 18, 2014

| June 17, 2014
Mark Fortune

Mark Fortune

What are your thoughts on Iraq? The situation is certainly deteriorating and is not how we left things. Many websites are reporting that 800 insurgents pushed 30,000 Iraqi soldiers out of a major city north of Baghdad, with the Iraqi soldiers “simply dropping their weapons and fleeing”. The ISIS captured heavy weapons and nearly half a million dollars from a bank in the city. This is a rapidly changing climate with no positive outcomes. American lives were lost in a quest to return Iraq to a democracy. But the centuries old struggle between the Sunnis and the Shiites continued even while America was rebuilding the country. And it continues today.

With billions – some report trillions – of dollars invested – and the blood, sweat and tears of our fighting men and women left in the soil of Iraq and Afghanistan – this is not an easy one for the Obama administration. Do nothing and the world – and the insurgents – will see us as weak. But do we once again intervene with “boots on the ground” as the pundits call it? The President has taken a first step – with the aircraft carrier U.S.S. George H.W. Bush now in the Persian Gulf. Air and cruise missile strikes are a definite possibility for the conflict. But air strikes may not be the ultimate answer.

The ISIS (Islamic State of Iraq and Syria) is an extremist group that wants to bring back a harsh form of Islamic law. It would bode well to keep your attention on this part of the world while not forgetting the situation in the Ukraine. The national media has a good way of focusing on the most recent whilst neglecting other regions around the world that also have an impact on Americans and the global economy.

As difficult as it is to switch the focus of this week’s column to a happier note, we will do so. It is estimated that over 2,000 bicyclists will be riding into Coshocton on Monday – headed for Lake Park and a one day rest stop. This is an opportunity for our community to put our best spoke forward, so to speak. The Lake Park facility is a wonderful jewel in the crown of Coshocton County and this week is an example of what a few acres of shade, recreation and a welcoming community can mean to weary riders.

This weekend brings the Indian Mud Run to our community – and another opportunity for our community to shine forth. Something tells me that we will do so.

There are, of course, many other activities happening throughout Coshocton County – Vacation Bible School at many area churches this month, Ice Cream Socials are cranking up (never saw a bowl of chicken ‘n noodles that I didn’t like!), the community band concerts, 4-H camp is coming up, Clover Bud camp is this Saturday, a Cruz-In on Main Street is this Saturday evening, and many others that I am sure we missed.

Regardless of your flavor, there is plenty to see and do in Coshocton County this summer. Enjoy where you live.

Category: Mark's Musings

About the Author ()

I live with my beautiful wife Nancy on a small farm just outside Coshocton. We have been married for thirty two years and have two grown children, Jessica and Jacob. Jessica is married to Aaron Mencer and they are employed with Coshocton City Schools. Jacob is a sophomore at Kent State University. I graduated from River View High School, have a Bachelor’s Degree from North Carolina Wesleyan University and am actively involved with the Roscoe United Methodist Church, serve on several local committees and am a member of the Coshocton Kiwanis Club, having served as Past-President. I love reading, especially military thrillers, the Civil War and history in general. My goal is to write a novel. My wife and I are also AdvoCare distributors and encourage anyone wanting to lose weight, gain energy and better health to explore AdvoCare at our website; I love the media field, innovative technology and have worked in newspapers for over 30 years – in fact, my first job was delivering newspapers. The Beacon is a dream made possible by the support of this community and a great team. I hope to continue serving Coshocton County for many years.

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