WASHINGTON – The barbaric, made for the internet, execution of James Foley, a US journalist held captive by ISIL, is a sad reminder of what this new “Caliphate”, now firmly established in parts of Syria and Iraq, is all about.
Arab World tragedy
It is indeed tragic that –in this century– some people within segments of the Arab World do indeed believe that the killing of innocents using savage and barbaric methods is the best way to prove one’s pure religious credentials.
An abomination that should be destroyed
That said, this IS, or Islamic State, is an abomination. Therefore, it should be the sacred duty of all civilized societies to join forces in order to eradicate it. Nothing but the complete and total destruction of this monstrosity will suffice.
“Containment” is not enough
President Obama properly characterized ISIL methods in recent public remarks as awful and barbaric. However, when it comes to military actions against it, Obama is only advocating “containing” ISIL.
Sorry, Mr. President; but this is not enough.
Containment might have been appropriate vis-a-vis the old Soviet Union, a major world power with thousands of nuclear warheads. Indeed, everybody knew at the time that going to war against the Soviets would have meant the destruction of the planet.
But ISIL is no Soviet Union; it is a relatively small military power. It is however a cancerous aberration, with a dangerous appeal to other Islamic fanatics. As such, it has to be totally and completely eradicated.
Create and lead a coalition
Even if Obama insists that there should be no US boots on the ground in Iraq or Syria, there is a lot that can be done. The combination of US sustained air strikes, appropriate supplies of weapons to the Kurdish Peshmerga forces, to the Iraqis, to pro-Western Syrian rebels and others would create an array of forces capable of attacking and destroying ISIL.
Defining US goals as merely “containing” ISIL assumes that this absurd “Caliphate” will be somehow allowed to live on, albeit in a more confined space.
I do not believe that we should allow this possibility. Containment will not do.
The total eradication of ISIL should be America’s clearly stated goal.