ISIS: A threat that needs to be taken seriously

Will Tucker, Staff Writer

Over 6,000 miles away, the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) is nothing but a fleeting image on television for Americans to watch for a few minutes a day. However, the media does not do them justice; to those people first-hand experiencing these extremists—living under constant threat of decapitation, religious persecution (otherwise known as ethnic cleansing), abduction (and then being sold into slavery), witnessing the killing of children, and seeing the meaningless executions of innocents—ISIS is absolutely not a peculiarity. The hunger of ISIS cannot be stopped; once they have the small amount of territory around their front door, they will only want more.

The expansion of ISIS into their neighbors’ territory has been swift and brutal. Iraq, the borders of Turkey, and Syria have all fallen prey to the ISIS horde. Raping, pillaging, and causing general chaos wherever they go, ISIS is a force that must be stopped. Saudi Arabia (a country rampant with Wahhabi extremism) is terrified of ISIS—who is even more extremist than they. In fact, they are so scared that they are building a security fence along their northern border with Iraq to keep conflict in the north (namely, ISIS) as far away as possible. The fence will span over 900 miles, be five layers thick, and will have trenches and watchtowers to prevent any authorized entry. An ally of the U.S., Saudi Arabia, has urged us to pay close attention to the danger that ISIS poses not only to their local region, but to the world as a whole.

ISIS has shown their extremism through kidnappings, videos of brutal beheadings of free-world journalists and tourists, and now burning prisoners of war alive have since gone viral.

ISIS is even managing to capture the U.S. public’s mind in other ways. Since January 24, 20 different bomb threats have been issued via Twitter. These included content such as, “We are ISIS”, and “United Flight 223 has a bomb on it…”.

The fight is no longer only overseas, it is at our very doorstep. The cyber threats and fake bombs are only the beginning. Extremism in the Middle East is a natural enemy of the West, and those who believe in these extremist values hate nothing more than the United States. We are the biggest target out here, and we are hardly doing enough to stop the threat of ISIS.

The hands-off, non-aggressive strategy of the United States on this matter is the wrong way to go. The current administration is wary of another War on Terror farce, as the last time America went into the Middle East to fight terrorism, it didn’t end too well and the ratings of the administration plummeted.

Sitting on our hands while sending in a few drone strikes is hardly a good message. ISIS is in a region where they are at liberty to take recruits from villages they conquer; instead of gradually losing numbers, they can quickly gain back any losses that happen as a result of a drone.

The “boots on the ground” approach is the one and only way to deal with these barbarians. They understand nothing else than brute force, and if they want to pick a fight with one of the great military powers of the world, they have to be shown that we can and will destroy them.

America’s intimidation factor has decreased significantly in the past 10 years, and by sending troops in we can also send a message—we are not afraid of terrorists, enemy countries, or anybody. America can and will stand up to the problems in the world when the region itself cannot.

Plenty of the United States’ allies have stood up to ISIS. Britain, for example, has already sent a small group of special operations soldiers to disrupt ISIS operations. From Netherlands, some members of a biker gang have taken it upon themselves to take the fight to ISIS.

This isn’t just the United States’ problem, it isn’t just the UK’s problem, this isn’t just Saudi Arabia’s problem, and this certainly is not just the problem of the areas occupied by ISIS. It is everyone’s problem. The United States needs to stop viewing ISIS as some foreign issue, and treat it for what it really is—a threat to us all.