Terrorism: The Four-Part Series

Most Americans consider acts of radical Islamic terrorism a relatively recent problem. They aren’t. In fact, America has been dealing with radical Islamists for over 200 years.

In this four-part series, we’ll cover the beginnings of America’s troubles with Islamic terrorism, specific terror groups like Boko Haram and ISIS, and why terrorism increases when nations fail to recognize its threat.

The four-part series is compiled below for your convenience.

Terrorism Part I: Foundations of Islamic Terrorism

Americans first suffered at the hands of Islamists in 1785. They were kidnapped and ransomed or sold into slavery. Goods were stolen from merchant ships and the ships confiscated repeatedly.

Prior to gaining its independence, America was under the protection of the British Navy in the region and didn’t have to deal with the attacks. But in 1785, Britain let it be known that the Americans were no longer their concern.

The problem became so severe that Thomas Jefferson sailed for London to meet with the ambassador from Tripoli. There he learned the pirates belief that their actions were founded on the laws of their prophet and written in their Koran. These Islamic laws stated that all nations not acknowledging their authority were sinners, and it was their right and duty to make war upon them, making slaves of all they could. And every Muslim slain in battle was sure to go to paradise.

Sound familiar?

So American administrations lapsed into a policy of appeasement, bribing the pirates and paying an annual tribute amounting to 20 percent of the nation’s GDP — the equivalent of $760 billion today.

In 1801, President Thomas Jefferson had had enough and stopped paying the tribute, and the Pasha of Tripoli declared war on the United States. America entered her first foreign war. By 1805, the U.S. Navy had won the war and subdued the pirates into signing a treaty to end all tributes and violence against U.S. ships sailing the Mediterranean.

However, peace only lasted two years, with radical Islamists attacking American ships, signing treaties and violating those treaties, only to be stopped again by American force. This cycle went on through the presidency of James Madison, ending only with the French Invasion of Algiers in 1830.

Even America’s Founders — Washington, Jefferson and Madison — had to deal with Islamic extremists. Even they had a hard time understanding what they were up against and how to deal with it. Our Founders also learned that when the interests of nations, in their case Britain and France, don’t align with their own, terrorist activity is not only not dealt with, it’s actually encouraged.

Terrorism Part II: Boko Haram

When Americans think of terrorists, they nearly always think of al-Qaeda or ISIS. But there is a group of bloodthirsty terrorists headquartered in Nigeria that have killed far more than either of those organizations: Boko Haram, which means “western education is forbidden.”

Boko Haram was founded in 2000 to overthrow the Nigerian government and usher in an Islamic state. The group frequently uses bombings, assassinations and kidnappings, with female victims being sold into sex slavery.

In 2009, Boko Haram carried out a series of attacks on police stations and other government buildings. This led to shoot-outs in the streets where hundreds of Boko Haram supporters were killed, and thousands of residents fled the city. Nigeria’s security forces eventually seized the group’s headquarters, capturing its fighters and killing their leader Mohammed Yusuf. His body was shown on state television, and the security forces declared Boko Haram finished.

However, Boko Haram simply regrouped under a new leader, Abubakar Shekau, and stepped up their insurgency. In tactics and results, the menace from Boko Haram has actually worsened. They have used children as suicide bombers, often drugging them against their will to act as explosives. One in five suicide attacks are done by children. According to UNICEF, 1.3 million children have been forced from their homes across four separate countries: Cameroon, Chad, Niger, and Nigeria.

In 2014, Boko terrorists raided a school in the town of Chibok, kidnapping more than 200 girls from their school dormitory in the middle of the night. Boko Haram believed that the girls had offended Allah by being Christian and by having the nerve to go to school. Therefore, they reasoned, Allah would want them to be enslaved. The girls, many of whom are still unaccounted for, were sold as sex slaves, forced to convert and marry Boko Haram fighters or killed.

In January 2015, Boko Haram burned 16 villages to the ground, leaving piles of bodies so deep that survivors couldn’t count them all. That same month, Boko Haram attacked the Nigerian town of Baga, killing an estimated 2,000 civilians, making it one of the largest terrorist atrocities in world history, perhaps second only to 9/11 in the United States.

Terrorism Part III: Al-Shabaab

Al-Shabaab is a Somalian-based, radical terrorist cell with ties to al-Qaeda in the Middle East and possibly Boko Haram in Nigeria. They believe in violent Islamic militancy and boast a troop strength of between 7,000 to 9,000 militants.

In 2006, Al-Shabaab gained control over Somalia’s capital city Mogadishu, raising the fear in Ethiopia that the group’s violence would spill over into their country. So, in December 2006, the Ethiopian military launched an offensive into Mogadishu and successfully drove Al-Shabaab out of the city. Ethiopia’s action inflamed the group, and Al-Shabaab attacked Ethiopia’s forces in central and southern Somalia, taking control of those areas. Al-Shabaab’s goal was to topple the Somalian government and replace it with Islamic rule and Sharia law.

One of Shabaab’s most infamous attacks took place in 2013 in Nairobi Kenya’s most upscale mall, which was owned at the time by Israelis. A group of Al-Shabaab terrorists stormed the mall, shooting patrons on a Saturday afternoon. At times, they asked their victims if they were Muslim. If the response was no, they were shot. In all, 67 innocent people died and 175 were wounded.

Strangely, Al-Shabaab’s radical brand of Islamic extremism has proven appealing to certain Americans. Al-Shabaab recently used a spokesman for one of their propaganda videos who sounded suspiciously American. At the end of his rhetoric, to accentuate his point, he used a clip of Donald Trump.

Another radicalized American from the deep south — Daphne, Alabama — was Omar Hammami. He was raised southern Baptist by an Irish-American Baptist mother and a Syrian Muslim father. He was not a loner. He was elected president of his sophomore class in high school. He was bright and considered a leader among his classmates. He even dated one of the more popular girls in school.

However, after his father rediscovered his Islamic roots, Omar converted to Islam as a teenager. By his early 20s, he had become radicalized and later moved to Somalia to join Al-Shabaab. There he rose quickly through the ranks to the inner leadership circle.

Hammami eventually fell out of favor with Shabaab’s leadership, who were offended by his attempts to gain fame through his music, which was forbidden by their brand of Islam. Finally, after several false alarms, Hammami, who now went by the name Abu Mansoor Al-Amriki — “the American” — was ambushed and killed by Al-Shabaab fighters.

Many other Americans still remain with the group in Somalia and Kenya, waging jihad, to this day.

Terrorism Part IV: ISIS Success & Expansion

There are many vicious, bloodthirsty terrorist organizations operating today in the Middle East and Africa. But now, a decade and a half into the 21st century, even the dreaded al-Qaeda, which killed 3,000 Americans on 9/11, has been somewhat supplanted in the minds of those in the West by a group called ISIS.

ISIS stands for the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria or ISIL, which stands for the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant. To them, the Levant also includes Israel, a very important distinction. They are by far the most well-funded terror group in the history of mankind, with an annual revenue between $2-$3 billion. That would put ISIS ahead of the GDP of 31 nations on earth.

No one had ever heard the name ISIS or ISIL before 2011. ISIS began its rise in 2011, as American troops were leaving Iraq. For U.S. soldiers, the war in Iraq had come to an end. For Iraqis, the country was still extremely volatile. Yet, President Barack Obama celebrated the withdrawal and touted the now “self-governing” Iraqi government.

The very day of the announcement, the leader of Iraq — Prime Minister al-Maliki — received a message that some of his vice president’s Sunni bodyguards might be planning an uprising. He arrested the six vice presidential bodyguards the next day. The attacks on Sunnis only escalated from that time on.

Massive Sunni protests began to spring up. Although al-Qaeda had indeed been crushed by the U.S. military, the few surviving radicals banded together with the surviving members of Saddam Hussein’s Baath Party, attacking Shia Muslims and Christians by the score.

The new leader of this emerging Islamic State — Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi — sent some of these hardened terrorists to Syria to recruit and fire up the Sunni population. It worked.

Al-Baghdadi vision was much larger than simply attacking targets and killing people. He declared a caliphate, attacking and holding territory without recognizing borders. As far as he was concerned, all territory in the Middle East was now a part of this new Islamic State.

With no one to stop them, ISIL ushered in a reign of terror in northern Iraq, overrunning towns and villages and offering Christians three choices: convert to Islam, pay a tax amounting to all of their yearly income — or die. ISIL found vicious new ways to execute those who opposed them. Technologically savvy, they also distributed high production videos of their heinous crimes.

ISIL now controls an area larger than Great Britain. The vast majority of their revenue comes from oil wells seized in Iraq and Syria. Former CIA director Michael Morel once explained that the U.S. didn’t destroy ISIL’s main source of revenue because they “didn’t want to do environmental damage and . . . destroy that infrastructure.”

Men and women are being burned alive, drowned, executed and crucified in the name of radical Islam. Yet for the Obama administration, protecting the environment took precedence.

Today is the 75th anniversary of D-Day, the largest amphibious invasion in history.

The Allied invasion force included 5,000 ships and landing craft, 11,000 planes, and almost three million allied soldiers, airmen and sailors. Despite such numbers, the location and timing of the invasion was still an enormous gamble. The Nazis fully expected such an invasion, they just didn't know precisely when or where it would be.

Despite the enormous logistics involved, the gamble worked and by the end of June 6, 1944, 156,000 Allied troops were ashore in Normandy. The human cost was also enormous – over 4,900 American troops died on D-Day. That number doubled over the next month as they fought to establish a foothold in northern France.

There were five beach landing zones on the coast of northwestern France, divided among the Allies. They gave each landing zone a name. Canada was responsible for "Juno." Britain was responsible for "Gold" and "Sword." And the U.S. had "Utah" and "Omaha."

The Nazis were dug in with bunkers, machine guns, artillery, mines, barbed wire, and other obstacles to tangle any attempt to come ashore. Of the five beaches, Omaha was by far the most heavily defended. Over 2,500 U.S. soldiers were killed at Omaha – the beach so famously depicted in the opening battle sequence of the 1998 movie, Saving Private Ryan. The real-life assault on Omaha Beach included 34 men in that first wave of attack who came from the same small town of Bedford, Virginia. The first Americans to die on Omaha Beach were the men from Bedford.

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America has a national D-Day Memorial, but many people don't know about it.

America has a national D-Day Memorial, but many people don't know about it. Maybe that's because it wasn't a government project and it's not in Washington DC. It was initiated and financed by veterans and private citizens. It's tucked away in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains, in the small town of Bedford, Virginia. Why is the memorial for one of the most famous days in modern world history in such a tiny town? Because, as a proportion of its population of just 3,200 at the time, no community in the U.S. sacrificed more men on D-Day than Bedford.

There were 34 men in Company A from Bedford. Of those thirty-four, 23 died in the first wave of attacks. Six weeks after D-Day, the town's young telegraph operator was overwhelmed when news of many of the first deaths clattered across the Western Union line on the same day. Name after name of men and families that she knew well. There were so many at once that she had to enlist the help of customers in the pharmacy's soda shop to help deliver them all.

Among those killed in action were brothers Bedford and Raymond Hoback. Bedford was the rambunctious older brother with a fiancée back home that he couldn't wait to return to. Raymond was the quieter, more disciplined younger brother who could often be found reading his Bible. He fell in love with a British woman during his two years in England training for D-Day. Like in that opening sequence of Saving Private Ryan, Bedford and Raymond barely made it down the ramp of their Higgins Boat in the swarm of bullets and hot steel before they were cut down in the wet sand.

Bedford and Raymond Hoback's mother, Macie, learned of both their deaths from two separate telegrams, the first on a Sunday morning, the second the following day. Their younger sister, Lucille, remembered her mother's devastation, and her father walking out to the barn to cry.

The day after D-Day, the killing field of Omaha Beach was already transforming into the massive supply port that would help fuel the American drive all the way to Berlin over the next year. A soldier from West Virginia was walking along the beach when he saw something jutting out of the sand. He reached down and pulled it out. He was surprised to find it was a Bible. The inside cover was inscribed with: "Raymond S. Hoback, from mother, Christmas, 1938." The soldier wrote a letter and mailed it with the Bible to Raymond's mother. That Bible, which likely tumbled from Raymond's pack when he fell on D-Day, became Macie Hoback's most cherished possession – the only personal belonging of her son that was ever returned.

Of the 23 Bedford men who died on Omaha Beach, eleven were laid to rest in the American cemetery in Normandy.

These men, many of them barely out of their teens, didn't sign up to march to the slaughter of course. They had hopes and dreams just like you and I. Many of them signed up for adventure, or because of peer pressure, and yes, a sense of honor and duty. Many of the Bedford Boys first signed up for the National Guard just to make a few extra bucks per month, get to hang out with their buddies, and enjoy target practice. But someone had to be first at Omaha Beach and that responsibility fell to the men from Bedford.

Over the last several years, the D-Day anniversary gets increasingly sad. Because each year, there are fewer and fewer men alive who were actually in Normandy on June 6, 1944. The last of the surviving Bedford Boys died in 2009. Most of the remaining D-Day veterans who are still with us are too frail to make the pilgrimage to France for the anniversary ceremonies like they used to.

It's difficult to think about losing these World War II veterans, because once they're all gone, we'll lose that tether to a time when the nation figured out how to be a better version of itself.

Not that they were saints and did everything right. They were as human as we are, with all the fallibility that entails. But in some respects, they were better. Because they went, and they toughed it out, and they accomplished an incredibly daunting mission, with sickening hardship, heartbreak, and terror along the way.

So, what does the anniversary of D-Day mean in 2019?

In one sense, this anniversary is a reprimand that we've failed to tell our own story well enough.

In one sense, this anniversary is a reprimand that we've failed to tell our own story well enough. You can't learn about the logistics of the operation and above all, the human cost, and not be humbled. But as a society, we have not emphasized well enough the story of D-Day and all that it represents. How can I say that? Because of an example just last weekend, when common sense got booed by Democratic Socialists at the California Democrats' State Convention. When Democratic presidential candidate John Hickenlooper said during his speech that "socialism is not the answer," the crowd booed loudly. When did telling the truth about socialism become controversial?

Sure, socialists, and communists and other anti-American factions have always been around. America certainly had socialists in 1944. But the current socialists trying to take over the Democratic Party like a virus don't believe in the D-Day sacrifices to preserve America, because they don't believe America is worth preserving. They are agitating to reform America using the authoritarian playbook that has only ended in death and destruction everywhere it is followed.

Ask a Venezuelan citizen, or an Iraqi Christian, or a North Korean peasant why D-Day still matters in 2019.

The further we move away from caring about pivotal events like June 6, 1944, the less chance of survival we have as a nation.

At the same time, the D-Day anniversary is a reminder that we're not done yet. It's an opportunity for us to remember and let that inform how we live.

Near the end of Saving Private Ryan, the fictional Captain Miller lays dying, and he gives one last instruction to Private Ryan, the young man that he and his unit have sacrificed their lives to rescue in Normandy. He says, "Earn it."

In other words, don't waste the sacrifices that were made so that your life could be saved. Live it well. The message to "earn it" extends to the viewer and the nation as well – can we say we're earning the sacrifices that were made by Americans on D-Day? I cringe to think how our few remaining World War II veterans might answer that.

Honor. Duty. Sacrifice. Gratitude. Personal responsibility. These used to mean a lot more.

Honor. Duty. Sacrifice. Gratitude. Personal responsibility. These used to mean a lot more. I don't want to believe it's too late for us to rediscover those traits as a nation. I want to believe we can still earn it.

The challenge to "earn it" is a lot of pressure. Frankly, it's impossible. We can't fully earn the liberty that we inherited. But we can certainly try to earn it. Not trying is arrogant and immoral. And to tout socialism as the catch-all solution is naïve, and insulting to the men like those from Bedford who volunteered to go defend freedom. In truly striving to earn it, we help keep the flame of liberty aglow for future generations. It is necessary, honorable work if freedom is to survive.

The end of Lincoln's Gettysburg Address is remarkably relevant for every anniversary of June 6, 1944. This is what D-Day still means in 2019:

"It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us – that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion – that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain – that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom – and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth."

Letter from Corporal H.W. Crayton to Mr. and Mrs. Hoback – parents of Bedford and Raymond Hoback who were both killed in action on June 6, 1944

Álvaro Serrano/Unsplash

July 9, 1944 Somewhere in France

Dear Mr. & Mrs. Hoback:

I really don't know how to start this letter to you folks, but will attempt to do something in words of writing. I will try to explain in the letter what this is all about.

While walking along the Beach D-day Plus One, I came upon this Bible and as most any person would do I picked it up from the sand to keep it from being destroyed. I knew that most all Bibles have names & addresses within the cover so I made it my business to thumb through the pages until I came upon the name above. Knowing that you no doubt would want the Book returned I am sending it knowing that most Bibles are a book to be cherished. I would have sent it sooner but have been quite busy and thought it best if a short period of time elapsed before returning it.

You have by now received a letter from your son saying he is well. I sincerely hope so.

I imagine what has happened is that your son dropped the Book without any notice. Most everybody who landed on the Beach D-Day lost something. I for one as others did lost most of my personal belongings, so you see how easy it was to have dropped the book and not know about it.

Everything was in such a turmoil that we didn't have a chance until a day or so later to try and locate our belongings.

Since I have arrived here in France I have had occasion to see a little of the country and find it quite like parts of the U.S.A. It is a very beautiful country, more so in peace time. War does change everything as it has this country. One would hardly think there was a war going on today. Everything is peaceful & quiet. The birds have begun their daily practice, all the flowers and trees are in bloom, especially the poppies & tulips which are very beautiful at this time of the year.

Time goes by so quickly as it has today. I must close hoping to hear that you receive the Bible in good shape.

Yours very truly,

Cpl. H.W. Crayton

It's not as easy as it used to be for billion-dollar entertainment empires like The Walt Disney Company. It would be more streamlined for Disney to produce its major motion pictures in its own backyard. After all, abortion in California is readily available, as well as a protected, cherished right. And since abortion access is critical for movie production, right up there with lighting equipment and craft services, you would think California would be the common-sense choice for location shooting. Alas, even billion-dollar studios must pinch pennies these days. So, in recent years, Disney, among other major Hollywood studios, has been farming out production to backwater Southern lands like Georgia, and even Louisiana. Those states offer more generous tax breaks than Disney's native California. As a result, Georgia for example, played host to much of the shooting for the recent worldwide box office smash Avengers: Endgame.

But now it looks like it's Georgia's endgame. The state recently passed what is known as a "heartbeat" bill – a vicious, anti-woman law that would try to make pregnant women allow their babies to be born and actually live. It's a bridge too far for a major studio like Disney, which was largely built on creating family entertainment. How can Disney possibly go about making quality movies, often aimed at children, without access to unfettered abortion? It's unconscionable. Lack of abortion access makes it nearly impossible to shoot movies. So, what's a major studio to do? Disney might have considered migrating its business to Louisiana, but that state too has now signed a heartbeat bill into law. It's utter madness.

These monstrous anti-abortion bills, coupled with having to live under President Trump, has led Disney to seek a new home for its legendary movie magic. Last week, Disney's CEO, Bob Iger, announced that all future Disney movies will now be filmed on location in the Sub-Saharan African nation of Wakanda.

"Disney and Wakanda are a match made in heaven," Iger told reporters. "Wakanda was, until recently, a secret kingdom, much like our own Magic Kingdom. With this new partnership, we'll not only get to continue our legacy of making movies that parents and children everywhere enjoy together, but we'll get to do so in a safe space that reveres abortion as much as we do."

Wakanda is one of only four African countries (out of 55) that allow unrestricted abortion.

As home to the most advanced technology in the world – and with the planet's highest per-capita concentration of wokeness – Wakanda offers women painless, hassle-free abortion on demand. As the Wakandan health ministry website explains, the complete absence of any white-patriarchal-Judeo-Christian influence allows women in Wakanda to have complete control of their own bodies (with the exception of females who are still fetuses). As winner of the U.N.'s 2018 Golden Forceps award (the U.N.'s highest abortion honor) Wakanda continues its glowing record on abortion. That makes it an ideal location for Disney's next round of live-action remakes of its own animated movies in which the company plans to remove all male characters.

Iger says he hopes to convince Wakandan leadership to share their top-secret vibranium-based abortion procedure technology so that American women can enjoy the same convenient, spa-like abortion treatment that Wakandan women have enjoyed for years.

Wakanda is one of only four African countries (out of 55) that allow unrestricted abortion. Disney plans to boycott and/or retaliate against the other 51 African nations, as well as any U.S. states, that restrict abortion. Specific plans are being kept under wraps, but sources say Disney's potential retaliation may include beaming Beverly Hills Chihuahua into the offending territories on a continuous, indefinite loop.

When asked how Wakanda's futuristic capital city and distinctly African landscape would be able to double for American movie locations, Iger said, "I guess America will just have to look more like Wakanda from now on."

One potential wrinkle for the Left-leaning studio is the fact that Wakanda has an impenetrable border wall-shield-thing designed to keep out foreign invaders as well as illegal immigrants. Iger said he understands Wakanda's policy of exclusivity, adding, "After all, not everyone gets into Disneyland. You have to have a ticket to get in. Anyone is welcome, but you have to go through the process of getting a ticket." When one reporter pointed out that Iger's answer sounded like the conservative argument for legal immigration under the rule of law, Iger insisted that the reporter was "a moronic fascist."

What if the unthinkable happens and Florida also enacts its own "heartbeat" law? That would be problematic since Walt Disney World is located in Florida. Iger responded that Disney would "cross that bridge if we get to it" but that the most likely scenario would entail "dismantling Disney World piece-by-piece and relocating it to the actual happiest place on earth – Wakanda." As for whether Disney would ever open character-themed abortion clinics inside its theme parks, Iger remained coy, but said, "Well, it is the place where dreams come true."

With the Wakanda solution, Disney may have found a place where Minnie Mouse can finally follow her heart and have true freedom of choice.

When pressed about the cost of ramping up production in a secretive African kingdom that has no existing moviemaking infrastructure (which could easily end up being much more expensive than simply shooting in California) Iger said, "You can't put a price tag on abortion freedom. Wakanda Forever and Abortion Forever!"

With the Wakanda solution, Disney may have found a place where Minnie Mouse can finally follow her heart and have true freedom of choice. And that will be welcome relief to traditional families all over the world who keep the Walt Disney Company in business.

*Disclaimer: The preceding story is a parody. Bob Iger did not actually say any of the quotes in the story. Neither is Wakanda an actual nation on planet Earth.

"Journeys of Faith with Paula Faris," is a podcast featuring conversations about how faith has guided newsmakers and celebrities through their best and worst times. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints is a much maligned religion so Glenn joined the podcast and took the time to explain what it means to him and how it changed his life.

From his suicidal days and his battle with drugs and alcohol, it was his wife Tania and his faith that saved him. All his ups and downs have given him the gift of empathy and he says he now understands the "cry for mercy" — something he wishes he'd given out more of over the years.

You can catch the whole podcast on any of the platforms listed below.

- Apple Podcasts
- Google Podcasts
- TuneIn
- Spotify
- Stitcher
- ABC News app

One of these times I'm going to go on vacation, and I'm just not going to come back. I learn so much on a farm.

You want to know how things work, go spend a summer on a farm. You're having problems with your son or daughter, go spend a summer on a farm.

My son changed. Over two weeks.

Getting him out of bed, getting him to do anything, is like insane. He's a 15-year-old kid. Going all through the normal 15-year-old boy stuff. Getting him on the farm, where he was getting up and actually accomplishing stuff, having to build or mend fences, was amazing. And it changed him.

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Our society does not allow our kids to grow up, ever. I am convinced that our 15-year-olds could be fixing all kinds of stuff. Could be actually really making an impact in a positive way in our society. And what's wrong with our society is, we have gotten away from how things actually work. We're living in this theoretical world. When you're out on a farm, there's no theory here. If it rains, the crops will grow. If it rains too much, the crops won't grow.

If there's no sun, they won't grow. If there's too much sun, they'll shrivel up and die. There's no theory. We were out mending fences. Now, when I say the phrase to you, mending fences, what does that mean? When you think of mending fences, you think of, what?

Coming together. Bringing people together. Repairing arguments.

I've never mended a fence before until I started stringing a fence and I was like, "I ain't doing this anymore! Where is it broken? Can't we just tie a piece of barbed wire together?"

Let's stop talking about building a wall. Because that has all kinds of negative imagery. Mending fences is what we need to do.

That's called mending fences.

And why do you mend fences? So your animals don't get out and start to graze on somebody else's land. When your fence goes down, your cow is now on somebody else's land. And your cow is now eating their food.

We look at the phrase, mending fences as saying, hey. You know, we were both wrong. Mending fences has nothing to do with that.

Mending fences means build a wall. My neighbors and I, we're going to get along fine, as long as my cows don't go and steal their food, or their cows don't come over and steal my cow's food.

We're perfectly neighborly with each other, until one of us needs to mend a fence, because, dude, you got to mend that, because your cows keep coming over and eating my food.

You know what we need to do with Mexico? Mend fences.

Now, that's a phrase. You hear build a wall. That's horrible.

No, no, no. We need to mend fences.

In a farming community, that means putting up an electric fence. That means putting up barbed wire.

So the cows — because the cows will — they'll stick their head through barbed wire. And they'll eat the grass close to the road. Or eat the grass close to the other side of the fence. And they'll get their heads in between those fences. And they can't get out sometimes. Because the grass is always greener on the other side. You look at these damn cows and say turn around, cow — there's plenty of stuff over here.

No. They want the grass on the other side of the fence.

So you mend it.

And if it's really bad, you do what we do. We had to put an electric fence up. Now, imagine putting an electric fence up. That seems pretty radical and expensive.

Does it really work? Does it shock them? What does that feel like to a cow?

The cows hit it once, and then they don't hit it again. They can actually hear the buzz of the electric fence. There's a warning. Don't do it. Don't do it. They hear the current and they hit it once and they're like, "I'm not going to do that again."

So you mend fences, which means, keep your stuff on your side. I like you. We're good neighbors. You keep your stuff on your side and I'll keep my stuff on my side and we'll get together at the town hall and we'll see each other at the grocery store. Because we're good neighbors. But what stops us from fighting is knowing that there is a fence there.

This is my stuff. That's your stuff. But we can still trade and we'll help each other. But let's stop talking about building a wall. Because that has all kinds of negative imagery. Mending fences is what we need to do.

You can have a tough fence. It could be a giant wall. It could be an electric fence. But you need one. And that's how you come together.

The side that's having the problem, mends the fence.