February 5, 2015
The image speaks for itself. ISIS is a brutal terror organization. The decision to include the gruesome image in this article is a difficult one. Some mainstream media including CNN decided not to show the video and images of the burning of Moath Kasasbeh, the Jordanian Pilot murdered by ISIS. However, those media outlets allowed their staffs a backroom view of the video and images but denied the public access under pretext it might be disturbing.
Not allowing the public access makes no sense when what they’re trying to prevent is already in the public domain. The burning of Kasasbeh is a wake up call and why ISIS must be exposed for what it is. ISIS has made it clear that burning a captured soldier is the new method of execution and instead of calling it what it is and help galvanize support against ISIS, Mainstream media engaged in a cover-up.
For the first time, Arabs in the region are beginning to realize that terror is not only a Western or U.S. problem but also a global one with no borders. The latest support against ISIS coming from Jordan wouldn’t be possible had Jordanians not seen Kasasbeh burned alive.
The media could have done a better job by allowing the public access to the brutality of ISIS than hide behind the pretext that showing such images would be a recruiting tool for terror. The fact is ISIS is recruiting with or without those images and preventing public access to information will do damage than help end the scourge of terror.
ISIS is taunting the world with its campaign of terror and it is unwilling to succumb. By burning Kasasbeh alive, the group is sending a message about the brutality that awaits other captives. So far, ISIS has beheaded two Americans including three Brits. There is now a 26-year-old American woman held by ISIS and no one knows what fate awaits her so, what can the world do to relegate ISIS to nothingness?
The bombardment and airstrikes by the coalition must continue. ISIS must be denied space to operate and though, airstrikes alone will not solve the problems, it is having effect and helping to shrink ISIS territories held in Iraq and Syria.
Despite coalition bombings, ISIS brutality continues to metastasize and so far, the group is able to gain ground in other parts of Iraq. To maximize the effects of bombing, the coalition must include ground troops but those troops must come from the Arab nations.
American or Western troops are unnecessary in Iraq. Their presence could be translated as another invasion tactics and after ten years occupation of Iraq a return could only mean more body bags coming home. Arab troops understand the people and the terrain they will not be seen as invaders and therefore, will have the legitimacy Western troops don’t have.
U.S. and Western intelligence is failing in Iraq and Syria. It is inconceivable that the CIA and M15 are unable to penetrate ISIS, while ISIS was able to penetrate Iraqi security and recruit from its ranks.
Despite his killings and brutality, “Jihadi John” the knife-wielding terrorist remains a veiled man. The United States and Britain claim to know his identity but choose not to unveil him and yet, he continues to slaughter with impunity.
To degrade ISIS, the CIA must find a way inside the organization and begin to capture its core operatives. Jihadi John must be unveiled with a bounty placed on his head. Most criminals are captured only when people know who they are.
Philippines security forces recently killed one of the FBI most wanted terrorists, notorious Malaysian bomb maker Zulkifli bin Hir, also known as Marwan, through a link with a known relative. Had his identity been kept secret by the government, he would’ve remained at large. The same must be the fate of Jihadi John. It is time people know the terrorist behind the black veil.
End ISIS stockpile of captives
To degrade ISIS the United States and its allies must work to stop replenishing ISIS stockpiles of captives. There are many aid organizations with no business in the war zone. Some created bogus humanitarian offices with no experience and security to protect their staffs from capture by terrorist groups like Al Qaeda and ISIS.
When captured by these groups, they not only put their lives at risk, their families become worried and their capture is used as tool of propaganda and extortion from the country of origin. ISIS recently demanded $200 million for the release of two Japanese captives Haruna Yukawa and Kenji Goto, before their beheadings.
Few Western hostages have fallen victims to same demand, while their country had no choice but to pay ransom for their release. The United States does not negotiate or pay ransom to terrorists so, it is unclear, what would become of the American woman held hostage by ISIS. She worked for an aid organization before her capture, a situation that could be avoided had proper security protocol been followed by her employer.
The job of providing humanitarian aid in war zones belongs to the United Nations and its affiliated agencies. It is the only organization properly equipped with adequate security to give aid in conflict regions. Private organizations or people wishing to set up aid programs must be properly vetted and applications without guarantee of security must be rejected. Doing so will make aid workers less vulnerable to capture and help diminish ISIS stockpile of captives.
Block ISIS Recruits
Too many Americans and European youths are brainwashed and recruited by ISIS. Recent events in France, Belgium and arrests in Spain, shows that the terror group is expanding and able to convince followers to take up arms and attack their homeland. The United States and its Western allies must share intelligence on ISIS recruitment efforts and block the flow of recruits to Iraq and Syria.
The murder of Kasasbeh is a turning point in the war on ISIS. This is the opportunity to galvanize support against the terror group. For the first time, Arabs that once sympathize with ISIS and support its cause are moving away from its ideology by declaring its activities as contrary to the tenets of Islam. The U.S. and its allies must seize the opportunity by engaging the greatest effort to end the brutality of this vicious terror organization.