The Fight Against ISIS: U.S. Should Not Be Taking the Lead

The war on terrorism has taken a tricky turn in the last few weeks.  The Islamic State in Iraq and Syria has upped the ante with televised acts of violence and intense land grabs with crucifixions and religious intimidation.  American journalists were beheaded and the Yasidis were forced to escape to a mountaintop and would have died without outside intervention.  Recently, a young serviceman was identified as the first casualty of the war against ISIS.  It is supposed to be a war fought by drone activity but ground troops seems to be inevitable.

It seems like there was an intense amount of pressure placed on President Obama to formulate an ISIS strategy.  I think he was quoted this year as saying that he did not have a strategy to fight ISIS.  After the U.S. failure to find weapons of mass destruction in Iraq and the tremendous loss of American and Iraqi lives during the wars that followed, I would think that we would be hesitant to try to find a solution to the chaos caused by religious domination.  ISIS wants to form a religious caliphate that hearkens back to the glory days of Islam in the 6th and 7th Century.  Americans will be hard pressed to find a cause that dates back almost fifteen hundred years to hang our hats on.  Our country was formed less than three hundred years ago.

I am wondering why the religious based horror initiated by Boko Haram in Nigeria didn't cause this same type of reaction from the U.S. or other countries.  The slogan 'Where are the Girls' resonated through protests at the Nigerian Embassy and exasperation from those concerned world citizens that understand what the over 200 kidnapped girls could now be going through.  The animosity between Christians and Muslims in Nigeria is something that Americans will never figure out.  It is best for us to remain on the sidelines while this conflict eases.

When I read on that Iraq was a country of almost 25 million people, I realized that we would not be able to impose Democracy on this country.  The history of Iraq goes back almost 10,000 years.  The present day location was known as Mesopotamia and some of its inhabitants were credited with inventing the wheel.  There was a legendary ruler, Khalid Ibn al Walid, who bought the region under Arab rule in 634 AD.  His conquest could be a basis for what is going on now in Iraq and parts of Syria.  Whatever the basis for the rise of ISIS, the United States will not be able to solve it long term by bombing the leaders of this movement.

The costs will be astronomical.  I read somewhere that it is costing us somewhere between $2 to $3 billion a week to provide the support for the drones and surveillance.  I wonder which of our allies are putting similar skin in the game.  I also wonder what the end game is in this encounter.  In the best case scenario, the U.S. and its allies break the back of the leaders of ISIS.  How long is it before another group arises with ideals that vary greatly from Western customs?  What will be the response then.  I feel the pain of the families of the individuals who have been beheaded by this group.  I would think twice about volunteering or working in Syria or one of these affected countries.  I just wonder why the U.S. has to initiate the supposed remediation efforts.

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