The crisis with ISIS

Kyle Kopchak, Sports Editor

Sense September 11, 2001 America has been at war with any and all terrorist groups in the world. This war has been full of ups and downs, from the invasion of Iraq in 2003, the capture and execution of Saddam Hussein, the lack of evidence of WMDs in Iraq, and ultimately the execution of Osama bin Laden in 2011. After the death of Osama bin Laden many Americans claimed victory over terrorism, and American troops were pulled out of Iraq. We thought we won, but we were wrong.

Today a new terrorist group has come to power and is more aggressive than ever. This group is called the Islamic state in Iraq and Syria, or better known as ISIS. ISIS was born from the chaos of the Syrian civil war and the American departure of Iraq. ISIS is viewed as the new form of al-Qaede that came to power with the lack of American intelligence support in Iraq. ISIS has the goal of creating its own political state, a terrorist country. This political state would be carved out of parts of Iraq and Syria, and would be a major threat to not only American interests in the Middle East, but also the world’s interest in the Middle East. ISIS leader is Abu Bakr al Baghdadi. Baghdadi claims to be a direct decedent form the prophet Mohammad, however Baghdadi does have a Phd. in Islamic studies, was a former Al-Qaede member, and even a former US prisoner before being released in 2009. Baghdadi rules with deadly force, and is drawing many people to his cause.

The Middle East is a diverse is full of many different ethnic groups that have fought each other for control for centuries. The three major ethnic groups that make up the ISIS held territory are Sunni, Shiite, and Kurds. These groups make up the different branches of Islam similar to Catholics, Lutherans, etc. ISIS is a Sunni group that is gathering further support from exploited Iraqi Sunnis’, who have been oppressed by Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki who is a Shiite along with the major Iraqi party. After the American pullout from Iraq, the Iraqi government was not capable of controlling its own borders and fighting ISIS. Over the past few weeks ISIS has made major territory gains in Iraq and Syria.

Up into a few weeks ago the American people had probably never heard of ISIS, and probably weren’t concerned with the Syrian civil war. However, that all changed with the public execution of American journalists Steven Sotloff and James Foley. These two men were beheaded by ISI militants as a warning against American intervention in Iraq and Syria. When the American people saw this video sent to the public from ISI they were furious and American politicians screamed for American military action. However, like any other issue in the Middle East there is no easy answer.

America faces a very complex and violent issue in Iraq and Syria. Since 2011 Syria has been embellished in a horrific Civil War between Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and the Syrian people. Assad has been trying to violently put down the rebellion since 2011 and has committed horrific crimes against his own people. If the US was to begin to bomb ISI targets it would be supporting the Assad regime, which is considered unacceptable. In fact Assad is reaching out for American support against ISI. Also, if America wants to completely eradicate ISI it may consider American troops on the ground, which would be a complete contradiction to Obamas promise to return the troops home. Finally, with every bomb dropped on foreign soil there is potential for civilian casualties which only creates more potential hate and terrorists aimed to destroy America.

As of September 10, 2014, almost thirteen years to the day of September eleventh, president Obama announced his plan against ISIS. Obama plans to send an additional 475 troops to train Iraqi security forces and Syrian rebels, increased bombing in Iraq and Syria, and to “Degrade and Destroy ISIS.” However Obama promises that this conflict will not turn into another Iraq war. Obama stated that the United State will lead a coalition of European, Middle Eastern, and American forces against ISIS. Times like this the American people need to be strong and new fear the terrorist organization. Fear can only feed the enemy and we have nothing to fear. President Obama said it best in his speech against ISIS¸ “If you threaten America you will find no save haven.”