ISIS-inspired attacks appear to be continuing unabated. How long will the world wait until there’s a serious effort to wipe out ISIS altogether?
So Monday, May 22 at the end of an Ariana Grande concert, a young man inspired by the Islamic State for Iraq and Syria set off a nail bomb as patrons were coming out of the Manchester Arena. It was an attacked designed not just for maximum death and mayhem, but aimed at young children and young men and women that often frequent Ms. Grande’s concerts.
The world is shocked and saddened as before, but this concert has struck a particular chord. Rarely do you hear Russian President Vladimir Putin express condolences. Pop stars, prime ministers from all over the world and President Donald Trump all expressed their sorrow.
So we are here again with the biggest terror attack on British soil since the infamous 7/7 London bombings of 2005. After Bataclan (France) and Brussels (Belgium), I ask again how long should we wait? How long should we wait for Bashar al-Assad’s army, supported by Mr. Putin and Iran, to strike out at ISIS at its nerve center in Raqqa, Syria? How long should we wait for Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s Turkey, an allegedly strong ally, to act against ISIS?
There are defenders who’ve excused the behavior of these leaders in large part because they are allies in the War on Terror. Some allies, Assad, Putin, and Erdogan, have not lifted 1 digit to degrade or destroy ISIS. In fact in the case of Turkey, it’s been the biggest market for the oil that ISIS have been selling to finance their activities. The fanfare that came with the Putin/Assad offensive against ISIS faded away; and once it did, that offensive came to nothing. Late last year Palmyra in Syria was retaken by ISIS.
How many people will die in terrorist attacks at the hands of radical jihadists aligned or inspired by ISIS, while we wait for these allies to get around to attacking and destroying this terror group?
If Trump will not put American boots on the ground to wipe out ISIS, then it’s long past time to arm the one group of people that has fought them; the one group of people in Iraq that the USA could count on as friends. It’s time to arm the Kurdish people. It’s time to give them the weapons and the incentive (a new Kurdish state carved out of land in Northern Iraq and Eastern Syria taken from ISIS) to take down this organization, and if possible, eliminate it completely. And at the very least, if America won’t use troops, then use bombs. Drop the leaflets on Raqqa warning the people to get out, and them drop the bombs on the nerve center of ISIS.
Yes the Turks will not like it, but given Erdogan’s remaking of Turkey from a secular state to a fundamentalist one, their lack of action on ISIS, and the disgraceful actions of President Erdogan’s security detail on American soil last week, that is a relationship that needs to be fundamentally re-examined.
The world has fooled around long enough. We’ve exercised, to quote U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, enough strategic patience (a diplomatic way of saying we’ve had our collective thumbs up our collective posteriors). Now is the time for aggressive, coordinated, and yes, violent action to defeat ISIS.
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