By Sal Bommarito
It’s official. ISIS is a dangerous force in the Middle East that could transport terrorism to the American homeland.
Already ISIS has turned Syria and Iraq into a gigantic cross border battlefield. The radical Sunni-dominated group has dogged President Bashar Al-Assad of Syria and captured vast stretches of territory. It is entirely possible that Iran and the U.S. have the same objective- to eliminate ISIS. Imagine that, Iran and the U.S. fighting the same enemy.
In Iraq, the situation is equally threatening. ISIS has rekindled the nationalistic fervor of the Sunnis who were disenfranchised after the defeat of Saddam Hussein by the Shiite majority in Iraq. It should not be surprising to anyone who follows events in the region that Shiites sought revenge for years of oppression by Saddam and his Sunni supporters and instituted their own form of oppression directed at their former oppressors. The pendulum is now swinging back to the Sunnis, many of whom are backing ISIS’s incursion into the northern part of the country.
As Senator John McCain (R-AZ) and Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) eloquently indicated in their op-ed today in the New York Times, the U.S. must stop “dithering” and “confront ISIS.” President Obama’s announcement earlier in the week that he was not ready to take action against ISIS was very damaging for three reasons. First, the president told the enemy that he has yet to formulate a plan against it. Second, ISIS is becoming stronger and obtaining additional weapons and recruits. Third, the odds of ISIS staging an attack against the West with U.S. and British passport-carrying terrorists are growing every day.
The ambivalence of our Commander-In-Chief regarding ISIS has every American scratching their head. Why can’t our president conceive a strategy to respond to ISIS aggression? The president cannot use partisanship obstruction in this case as McCain and Graham have written that Obama would receive support for military action against ISIS if he presented a well thought out plan. So, it is possible for our president and Congress to get something done in partnership, and for Obama to create some sort of positive legacy for himself.