By Sal Bommarito
While President Obama jabbered about a myriad of progressive and unattainable entitlements during his State of the Union address, ISIS and affiliated radical Islamist groups were creating havoc. World leaders should set aside petty and/or longer-term issues and double down on efforts to fight global terrorism.
The horrible tragedy at Charlie Hebdo in Paris has increased awareness, not that any world leader needs to be prodded about the potential of ISIS and Al Qaeda. But all the solidarity, arm clasping and marching is not going to solve the problems created by radical religious groups.
For months, this blog called for increased military action against ISIS forces. For months, the U.S. has bombed ISIS targets with very little success. We can be confident that this is the case because Obama would be on television praising his military achievements if he had anything positive to report.
When will the president realize that ISIS is a threat that could become as lethal as any other in history? The demographics and attitudes of Islamists tell the whole story. About 1.5 billion people practice the religion. Most are poor, unhappy and very bitter towards more affluent nations. The Arab Spring added to confusion as many were given false hope that they could be free and able to increase their socioeconomic status.
Ironically, the despots that the Arab Spring deposed were the ones who kept peace and shielded their countries from religious fanatics. Rebels proceeded to dismantle governments throughout the region and the result has been anarchy, fertile ground for radical ideology.
The situation was destined to spin out of control regardless of the response to ISIS aggression. But enabling ISIS to achieve military success fighting against world powerhouses like the U.S. and other western countries created new hope for the downtrodden and unhappy people in the region and all over the world.
ISIS is able to boast on social media outlets that it is successfully fighting the U.S. The result has been more recruits who want to be a part of this new sensation.
Westerners know that ISIS is no match for American firepower, but our president unilaterally decided to be overly cautious about deploying ground troops, a necessary tactic to fight this type of war. He believes bombing and training a dilapidated and uninspired army in Iraq and rag-tag anti-Assad rebels in Syria will lead to victory over ISIS. He was and continues to be dead wrong. This strategy might prove to be one of the greatest U.S. military blinders in history. By refusing to use appropriate force to defeat jihadists, Obama enabled ISIS to become formidable, and worse, it is now the prototype for terrorists in other places.
In spite of all that has transpired, President Obama still does not recognize Islamic terrorism and would rather debate with Congress about global warming and new entitlements. Time is wasting, and ISIS is a growing. It needs to be squashed immediately with overpowering military action.
Compounding the reticence of the U.S. are the actions of other nations in the region. Iran’s main objective is to dominate the Middle East and spread its Shiite form of Islam by provoking violence against Sunnis. To expedite this process, it expects to negotiate a favorable nuclear arrangement with a weak American president. The only thing more frightening in the Middle East would be a nuclear Iran. Yet, this seems to be the course of the Obama administration based upon comments made during his speech this week.
The Turks are distracted by the nine lives of Bashar al-Assad of Syria. They want him out, but Russia and Iran support him. The Turks are also worried about the growing presence of the Kurds who want an independent state. The last thing concerning Turkey is the imminent threat of ISIS, which is currently on its border.
The other nations in the region have been less than helpful in the fight with ISIS. The leaders are principally focused on retaining power. The result is that ISIS continues to prosper and fortify its positions.
The global community had better stop and take note of the potential danger of radical Islamists. Throughout the world, jihad has become a great fad. Disenfranchised people are joining the cause, which will result in more innocent deaths and further destabilization of the Middle East.
For the U.S., it can either act now while ISIS is relatively localized or wait for it to achieve epic proportions.