By no means is the barbarity or evil of ISIS to be taken lightly. They are a serious threat to the lives of ordinary people everywhere as well as a scourge to all of civilized society. They handily dominate enough territory that in all honesty we should be redrawing the map of the middle east. They use insidious means to cause havoc and misery. But over the long term, will they stand as a major factor in security threats from the middle east, or will they prove to be a distraction from a more dangerous concern? Namely, Iran.
In many ways ISIS is a culmination of what Al-Qaeda strived for in the shadows for decades. Before nations supported terrorist groups either clandestinely or candidly. But now terrorism effectively has a nation of its own. An opportunistic move in the endless, tangled web that is the middle east. We fought Al-Qaeda in Iraq, then aided the same ground fighters with airstrikes in Libya. Many people who make up ISIS today were very nearly the beneficiaries of U.S. aid and arms in Syria just a few short years ago. We form a tentative alliance with Iran against ISIS even as we’re opposing their objective in Yemen. No one person has enough years on this Earth to figure it all out.
The fledgling despotic state has shown remarkable resiliency given its comparative exposure to the light of day, in part to its savvy use of social media for recruitment. They’ve even done headhunting outreach to disgruntled youth in situations like Ferguson. But is it possible that in the end they’ll ultimately prove to be a flash in the pan, relatively speaking?
Their penchant for grotesque displays of brutality do grab headlines. However, it’s possible that by doing these things they’re also showing their hand in the process. The Nazis and the Soviets were both reprehensible regimes and there wasn’t a “good” option when it came to allying with one to destroy the other. Ultimately the choice was made by Hitler choosing a course that made his regime more immediately intolerable.
Will that type of scenario repeat itself? Will we form a coalition to rid the world of these cretins and in doing so play into the hands of worse ones? Could we ultimately make a hasty decision of alliance that would pave the way to Iran becoming a nuclear power?
Do you find this to be a valid concern? Or not? Be sure to comment below and share this far and wide. The bigger the discussion gets, the better.