The ISIS Crisis
Views 121 | Time to read: 6 minutes | Uploaded: 9 - 16 - 2014 | By: Branton Nestor
In 2007, President Bush warned that the prema- ture withdrawal of U.S. troops
from Iraq––premature meaning before the establishment of a secure, stable, and democratic Iraqi government ready to stand on its own feet––would risk cre- ating a situation in which we would “have to return . . . to con- front an enemy that is even more dangerous.”
We would be leaving a power vacuum, a safe haven, that mur- derous, Islamo-fascist terror- ists––like ISIS––could possibly fill.
The withdrawal from Iraq––a cornerstone of Obama’s foreign policy––has resulted in exactly the type of situation we were warned about.
Currently, a large section of Iraq (and Syria) is under the control of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, a radical Isla- mo-fascist group committed to subduing the world under the control of Islam through the establishment of a worldwide caliphate, a particularly radical interpretation of sharia law, and the annihilation and subjugation of non-Muslims to Islamic rule.
To this end, ISIS has system- atically humiliated, subjugated, and butchered religious minori- ties and resisters within their state.
They have also threatened to bring the jihad to America, be- heading at least two American civilians(journalistsJamesFoley and Steven Scotloff) and issuing terror threats against domestic US targets.
The Islamic State warns us, “We are in your state, cities.” That they “will raise the flag of Allah in the White House.” ISIS
is unquestionably and unrepen- tantly hostile and threatening to America.
In a post-9/11 world, in a world after the terrorist attacks in New York and Boston and Fort Hood, we should not take terrorist threats lightly.
Particularly when these threats are issued from groups as ideologically motivated, orga- nized, and powerful as ISIS.
Yet, rather than acting to pro- tect the American people, the president’s foreign policies have only made Americans more vul- nerable.
At the heart of the matter, Obama’s premature withdraw- al of US forces from Iraq before the Iraqi government could take care of threats like ISIS on its own created the power vacuum that allowed ISIS to come into existence and become what it is today.
Obama created the situation that allowed ISIS to come into existence.
Furthermore, his refusal to take ISIS seriously for the threat it is––referring to it as the “JV team” and reminding us that it is not motivated by Islamic ex- tremism––has further allowed ISIS to grow when he should have quashed it.
Under his watch, ISIS has ar- rived to the position of relative power that occupies today: pow- er over a fair amount of territo- ry, close to $2 billion in resourc- es, heavy military arms, and a steady supply of ideologically motivated recruits (some from our own country).
Obama had the opportuni- ty to both prevent ISIS’s rise and take it out when it was still weak, but he opted to do neither.
Further compounding the problem, Obama has done little
to make Americans more secure at home.
Most frighteningly, Obama has made our border perpetu- ally porous and praised non-en- forcement of border security as a moral good.
Consequently, millions of potential threats have seeped through the unguarded border while Obama’s only action in this regard has been to invite more to come.
He has also ensured that terrorism is not taken serious- ly by refusing to recognize acts of terror as anything more than “workplace violence” (Fort Hood) or “tragedy” (Boston Bombing)––never the Islam- ic-motivated acts of terrorism they truly are.
TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 16, 2014
The ISIS Crisis
A prelue to another Middle Eastern war
￼Graphic by Kailie Barnes
Also, he has failed to take ac- tion against the threat of domes- tic-grown terrorists.
While over 100 Americans spout ISIS ideology and join the fight for ISIS, Obama allows them to retain their passports and travel rights.
It is only recently that Obama has recognized the threat that ISIS poses to America (and to the world) and has begun to offer a plan for dealing with the threat he allowed to come into exis- tence.
He plans to increase air strikes, arm, fund, and train rival Syrian rebels, as well as Kurdish and Iraqi militants; target ISIS’s elusive sources of income (oil and extortion, primarily), con- tinue humanitarian aid to people suffering under ISIS rule (most notably the Christian and Yazidi communities) and, most impor- tantly, form a “broad coalition” to “degrade and ultimately de- stroy ISIS” through combined air strikes and infantry (at this point, the US will not supply boots on the ground).
This “broad coalition” will probably be composed of sev- eral Western countries (US, UK, France) and several Arab states
(primarily from the Gulf).
Still, Obama’s plan has two major problems. First, he ne- glects to secure the homefront. He continues to deny Islamic terrorism for what it is, tolerates home-grown terrorists (and their travel rights), and (most import- ant of all) continues to leave the border wide-open and unse-
Second, Obama’s offensive
plan for ISIS rests on the effica- cy of his plan to back different militant groups, employ coordi- nated air strikes, convince coali- tion partners to actually commit troops (a remarkable feat) and count on these coalition part- ners’ troops actually defeating ISIS (military efficacy and coor- dination are not something the Arab states are known for).
If these strategies fail (which looks like a real possibility), Obama may end up committing US soldiers to fix a problem that his premature withdrawal of these same forces created.
Obama may lead us to fight another Middle Eastern war–– but one that very well could have been avoided.
Rep. Gene Ward | Branton makes some very good points in this rather heavy article. Not points in the 'blame game' he plays with the president, but the points he makes about how this could be a world game-changer if allowed to get out of hand. (If a bit less emotive it could likely get republished in the NY Times or Wall Street Journal.) America needs to look at the big picture and take a long range view of its role in the world, and Branton's article has brought us a little bit closer to viewing the future as he sees it, and for some good reasons. Well done. Rep. Gene Ward ~ over 4 years ago.