By L&T Publisher Earl Watt
Until a few weeks ago, I have never heard of ISIS, and it reminded me of the grisly lesson of adding al-Qaeda to the vocabulary 13 years ago.
There is a significant difference between the two groups even if their intentions are much the same.
Al-Qaeda was a terrorist network that tends to operate in the shadows.
ISIS is a fully functional military unit that is well-manned, well-funded, trained and organized.
ISIS isn’t looking to make a point with the occasional explosion. They are conquering cities and pieces of nations and taking them for their own.
How is it that an entire military can crop up without our knowledge or, seemingly, our ability to respond? Are we so withdrawn from the activities of the world that we are oblivious to foreign affairs altogether?
We have been to Iraq twice since 1990, and now it seems a third intervention is on the horizon.
The first time was to liberate Kuwait. The mission was a success because Kuwait is an autonomous state today.
We went back after 9/11 because of the threat of weapons of mass destruction and the resistance of Saddam Hussein to allow U.N. inspections.
We destabilized the government and social order, and while their attempts at democracy were just beginning, we abandoned them to satisfy a campaign promise.
Now, our troops are trickling back in slowly, which is the Lyndon Johnson way of fighting wars, with one arm tied behind America’s back.
The goal of ISIS is not to challenge the existing government through political means, but to use military force for a religious purpose — all those who do not convert to Islam must be killed.
ISIS has already taken 200 Yazidi women captive to be married to extremist soldiers or used for demeaning purposes that contradict the beliefs of Islam or any recognized religion. ISIS considers the Yazidis to be heretics.
Our foreign policy should be simple — military violence in the name of religion violates international law. Forcing religious beliefs as a condition to remain alive violates international law.
Air strikes might delay the advancement and the brutality of ISIS, but they will not prevent it.
This army formed out of the ashes of American neglect, and it needs to be destroyed with American might.
Innocent people are dying at the hands of a Muslim army that won’t be happy even if it established a purified Mid-East state.
They will seek to purify their neighbors, our allies, and then us.
Has history not taught us the painful penalties of withdrawing from the world stage?
This president may not believe there are foreign concerns, but that is a fallacy that will cost hundreds of thousands, and then millions, of lives.
We made the mess by leaving early, and now it’s time to clean up.