There is a job to be done and the time for hesitation has ended. The muscle and might of our beautiful country must bring to bear the the full weight of our just cause upon the scourge, the disease, that is ISIS.
Indiscriminate violence is upon us. There are approximately 10,000 to 20,000 ISIS soldiers that will not be deterred or talked out of seeking to kill as many people as possible, in their pursuit of starting a world war. Their hearts are bent on blackening the earth and they will use whatever means possible to achieve this goal, (including chemical, biological, or nuclear weapons if they could). There is a powder keg forming in Europe. More violence is coming and I guarantee that if it isn't the US and its professional military that steps up to the plate to confront this problem, it will be a much more savage group that does.
ISIS is a criminal organization and should be treated as such. Islamic dogma is no more than a means to "legitimize" its actions to its followers. This is pure evil. It is important to remove religion from the equation in that arguing on that level only plays into the hands of the extremists. It becomes us vs. them; but criminality is a universally understood concept. The evidence proves that this is more about drugs, money, power, and sex slavery than an attempt to create a legitimate caliphate. The international criminal courts established after World War II, are experienced and entirely capable of rendering judgment upon this vile organization.
Post 9/11, the war in Afghanistan was largely considered as a legitimate effort by the US to protect the safety of its citizens. President Bush's words that "we will make no distinction between the terrorists and the nations that harbor them" resonated with the world. It was our immediate shift from Afghanistan towards the invasion of Iraq that called our motives into question. The "case" that was built as cause for removing Saddam Hussein was later revealed to be inaccurate and the entire mission became understood as our desire to expand the US capitalist empire; if nothing else, it was an absolute disregard for the sovereignty of the nation and the people of Iraq.
And yet this is not the Iraq with its "weapons of mass destruction" and vague attempts at controlling the flow of oil. This is about humanity, justice, and the freedom of all of Europe and the Middle East. When it has gotten to the point where an entire population is abandoning it's homeland, the situation is ripe for the re-installation of law and order. The people want it and the world wants it. When deciding to intervene we must ask ourselves whether or not the vast majority of the people most affected would see our actions as legitimate. This depends on our ability to communicate our short term and long term goals to those people affected by a full scale military intervention. Our efforts are not about giving the competing Islamic sects the freedom to exterminate one another, or about imposing our system of government on a population that has already totally rejected it, but rather our desire to return stability to the Middle East.
The point is that Syria and ISIS-controlled Iraq are entirely different from post 9/11 Iraq.
As mentioned above, violence is upon us. We cannot pursue any social action without stability. It is time for the US to step up and claim it's responsibility in the problem and the solution. We cannot rely on a drone war that creates as many problems as it cures. Military intervention is only as successful as the clarity of its mission. Our mission is to find these criminals, capture them and bring them to justice and return the refugees to their home. If ISIS wishes to fight to the death then so be it.
Our purpose is not to invade and occupy land. On this point it will be very important that our president communicate directly with the people whose land we are seeking to liberate.
Killing civilians creates orphans that are prime ISIS recruits. It is because of our unwillingness to put our troops in harms way that we are resorting to 'hands off' bombing that does far more harm than good. We need professional troops there that can deal with this situation first hand. There is no substitute for direct action, violent or otherwise. The solution is not to arm groups that will pursue our interests in one place, only to use our weapons against our allies in another, (or worse allow those weapons to fall into enemy hands and used against us in the future).
The people of Europe are prisoners to the refugee crisis, and they will not stay silent long. In many small towns across Europe, locals are "prisoners in their own homes." They no longer go out at night and are scared for their children on the street. There are many other parts of Germany where the press is kept on a short leash about the troubles caused by the refugees. Here is a particularly bad example of refugee behavior from Hungary. https://youtu.be/NY9HYV3ZNgA
. This circulates in all the wrong circles. It is why I am scared of the consequences of our inaction. All it will take is one catalytic event and all the resentment will explode in a wave of retaliation; if not a single event than the broader economic implications of the refugee crisis. For this reason direct action by force would have broad support among our allies as well.
Killing people does not kill an ideology. In order to discuss the long term solution we must admit that our efforts to impose our style of government on this entire region has been a total failure. Our culture is too different and our hands are too bloody to be able to impose a lasting peaceful settlement.
After the removal of ISIS, religion must be brought back into the conversation. After stability has been restored, the negotiation of a peaceful solution between the sects should absolutely respect religious differences. We should create and protect the space and system for open forums. National discussion groups built on the work of local discussion groups will create the political system of their future. We will not dictate to these sovereign people the manner in which they should govern themselves. We can aid, we can mentor, but we cannot force. I believe enough blood had been spilled that Sunni and Shia have seen the result of exclusionism. Perhaps they will pass these lessons down to their children; messages of tolerance and cooperation. But this is not for us to decide. Ours is to lead the way, to fight the good fight.
Additionally we must recognize that there are other nations that understand these people better than the West does. We must consult these governments and draw them into this process. This must be done in the name of building trust and true peace.
What are we telling the world? That when our intentions are vague and our goals are unclear we will surely go to war, but in the hour of need when the cause is just and the enemy is evil we will stand by paralyzed in debate. We went to war over oil but we cannot go over the senseless mutilation of civilization. What about the economic, social, and safety costs of inaction? It is time to restore our reputation. We must, as a wave, wash away the filth that is Daesh and in so doing turn the refugee tide back in the direction of its homeland.