BY ADEYEMI OSHUNRINADE
September 23, 2014
United States with coalition of interested nations has begun airstrikes in Syria. Unlike America’s previous war in Iraq, the coalition that attacked ISIS in Syria overnight “makes it clear to the world this is not America’s fight alone,” according to U.S President Barack Obama. 40 nations pledged support to help degrade ISIS, while five Arab nations: Bahrain, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Jordan and the United Arab Emirates, joined the U.S. in conducting airstrikes aimed at obliterating the terror group many now consider a global threat.
What makes current campaign against ISIS unlike any other is the resolve by not only the U.S. to remove ISIS threat, but also by Arab nations that for the first time realized the danger of ISIS and are helping to carry out strikes against a terror organization in an Arab nation. This is not the issue of the West versus Islam but instead, a unified effort targeted at preventing a looming danger posed by ISIS to global peace.
The bombing campaign went beyond ISIS as U.S. planes struck targets of another militant group, Khorasan, an Al Qaeda linked Jihadist movement, which U.S. officials say has been plotting attacks against airliners and Americans. The Syrian regime and those who question the legitimacy of attacking inside a sovereign nation have criticized the decision by the Obama administration not to coördinate attacks inside Syria with the Assad regime or seek consent of the Syrian government before conducting strikes inside Syria.
ISIS is a global threat and there is a compelling interest to stop it before it becomes unstoppable. The U.S. government has made it clear it does not want anything to do with Assad, after the Syrian leader was accused of killing his people and gassing some with chemical weapons. Though, the U.S. government informed the Syrian Ambassador at the UN of its intentions to carry out strikes inside Syria, coordinating attacks with the Assad government would contradict U.S. efforts to maintain its support for the Moderate Syrian opposition, in its attempts to remove a leader many agree has lost the authority to rule.
The beheading of James Foley, Steven Sotloff and David Haines, gives America the legitimacy and creates a compelling interest to take the war to ISIS and other Jihadist groups posing imminent danger to the homeland. ISIS is recruiting Westerners and among those fighting alongside the terror group are Americans, trained by ISIS to one day, carry out attacks in U.S. cities. There is a legitimate interest to protect the American homeland and the Obama administration charged with the duty to protect America, must act by pursuing ISIS to wherever it finds harbor even if doing so, might infringe on the sovereignty of a foreign nation.
Every nation on earth has the right to self-defense and security. While self-defense can be instantaneous to prevent immediate danger, it can also be a preëmptive act to avoid future danger, when evidence and facts indicate such danger is imminent. The world cannot wait for the Islāmic State to establish roots in Syria and Iraq, just as it waited for Al Qaeda to find home in Afghanistan the result of which was the attack of 9/11 and loss of 3,000 souls.
Immediately after the attacks of 9/11, the U.S. invaded Afghanistan not because the Afghan government was responsible for the attacks but because Al Qaeda the perpetrator, established its base in Afghanistan and was protected by the Taliban. Afghanistan’s sovereignty or right to stop U.S. invasion was never a question that gained mass support because unlike Iraq, many believed American invasion of Afghanistan was a legitimate war that the U.S. must wage to protect Americans and the homeland. The world saw a legitimate and compelling interest to act, just as it exists today against ISIS in Syria.
There is potential danger the world must recognize. Ongoing bombing campaign against ISIS in Syria must persist to put pressure on the group and deny it safe haven. A terror organization with power to recruit and social media influence to lure Western youths into promoting Jihad must not be allowed the opportunity to grow and share its radical ideology.
Arab nations and the United States must diligently seek and cut all funding available to ISIS. The group has access to oil in Raqqa, Syria and able to fund its operations through illegal oil deals and purchase of advanced ammunition never owned by a militant group.
The coalition must find and destroy all weapons owned and seized from Iraqi troops by ISIS, to prevent such weapons from being used against innocent civilians. Iraqi troops must be retrained to restore confidence that they’ll one day be capable of maintaining security within Iraq and its borders with Syria.
Arab nations must review and reform Madrasa education. Jihadists and radical Imams have turned Madrasas into recruitment grounds for terror purposes and to make the situation worse, funding for such schools come from the government and prominent groups that have no idea of the fundamentalist and radical principle being taught in the Islāmic schools they support and promote.
Western youths now training with ISIS and helping the terror group commit murder, must not be allowed to return. The United States and Britain should consider steps to cancel passports of U.S. and British citizens that are members of ISIS and other militant groups. They have no clean hands and possibility of rehabilitation is remote if they ever return to Western soil with their radical ideology.
Just like Al Qaeda and the Taliban, ISIS does not understand the language of diplomacy and any attempt to negotiate with the group will fail. Ongoing General Assembly session at the United Nation must be a medium for ISIS condemnation and Member State’ support for the coalition effort to remove the global threat, posed by its radical form of Islam and campaign of terror. There exists a compelling interest for the world to act in Syria now, failure to do so could lead to a catastrophe too big to bear.
Adeyemi Oshunrinade [E. JD] is the author of ‘Wills Law and Contests,’ ‘Constitutional Law-First Amendment,’ ‘Criminal Law-Homicide’ and ‘SAVING LOVE’ available at http://www.amazon.com/author/adeyemioshunrinade. Follow on Twitter @san0670.