Thoughts While Waiting to Hear the President’s Strategies in the ISIL Matter

Are the dangers of ISIL being exaggerated? These people
are hundreds of miles away and it looks as if they don’t have the fire power to
reach US soil. They might have secret cells of jihadists already in America
preparing the next 9/11-style attack, but they seem more interested in playing
that schoolyard bully game “no, you come over here.”
I may be minimizing the threat of ISIL with my
schoolyard bully analogy. These fighters are terrifying because they pretend to
be religious zealots and they are quite vicious and have no limits on their
brutal behavior. However, I reiterate, they are hundreds of miles away. They
don’t have nukes; they don’t have missiles. They are, like sirens, calling
converts to them. Those converts could be trained and sent back where they fit
in and would be able to plan mayhem without attracting undue notice. This fear may be a real
one, but many of these converts seem to be unstable and they can hardly leave
the lands in which they reside without using a passport and leaving a trail. On
the other hand we have a lot better luck seeing the antisocial tendencies of
these turncoats after they commit some destructive act than we do while they
are in the planning stages. Working to change this dynamic might be valuable.
It is much scarier to contemplate sending soldiers
over there. ISIL is trying to taunt us into showing up on their battlefield.
Two beheadings of innocent men who were journalists, noncombatants, who should
have had immunity from such violence, seem to have done the trick. Now America
is frightened to death, angry as hell and roaring for blood. Even once fairly
pacific seeming media people sound pretty hawkish this week, seeming to cry out
for military involvement. Boy, are we easy to call out. They want us there;
they know exactly how to get us there.
Then we have those Republicans along our Southern
border who have their own reasons for wanting America to build a manned and impenetrable
wall along that border and have come up with some nice expedient scare tactics
that suggest that Arab terrorists are entering America from Central and South
America. There is no proof at all that this is happening but Republicans have
learned lots of ways to scare Americans during the Bush Jr. administration and
can now jerk our chains any time they wish.
I assume that the President will not have us
hot-footing it over to meet ISIL in the desert to fight for who gets custody of
America. While we may know what form of the Muslim faith we would like to win
in this Muslim tug of war (a tolerant form) our input is not requested and it
makes the most sense that Muslims absorb the culture shock that has hit the
Muslim world and set their own course for that future. If that course includes
trampling over Western nations, then that would be the time to get seriously
involved in a war with radical Muslim jihadists.

We are certainly worried enough to be somewhat
proactive about doing all we can, short of all-our war to keep ISIL from
achieving its goals in the Middle East. Sitting at home and letting a huge,
angry jihadist force build in the Middle East is not a good plan. See how
difficult it is to take an exact stand on this matter? It will, as in all
conflicts, end up being a matter of move and countermove. Let’s still hope we
can keep the sand out of our boots.

By Nancy Brisson

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