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ISIS: Don't Believe the Hype
Don't Believe the Hype
So I was trying to listen to television news the other night—something I don’t do often—but the problem was that I could not hear it over this banging sound. I tried to figure out where the banging sound was coming from, until I realized it was in fact coming from the television. It was the sound of all the anchors banging the war drums for an attack on ISIS.
Coming out of the most recent Iraq war, and the laughable reasons we got involved in that, I could conceive of no way that the military-industrial complex could get us to go back in. I didn’t think it was impossible, but I just couldn’t conceive of a way. Then I heard it. Obama very recently announced, “We underestimated ISIS.” It was then that all the pieces were in place, although the story goes back further. Probably all the way back to the beginning of history, but I’ll start with the Gipper.
I won’t recapitulate the entire Sandinista Contra conflict, but that’s not the important part. It was in 1986 that Ronald Raegan said, “Nicaragua is only a 2-day drive from the Texas border,” the clear implication being that the Sandinistas could drive here and commit some sort of terrorism. Maybe the Sandinistas took a wrong turn somewhere in Mexico, because they’re still not here. Fast-forward to 1990, when a woman named Nayirah gave testimony about Iraqi soldiers taking babies out of incubators and throwing them on the ground. Her testimony was proven to be entirely false two years later, but it didn’t matter, because we’d already engaged in armed conflict by then. Fast-forward into the 21st century and Saddam along with his non-existent weapons of mass destruction took the top spot. Before we even get to ISIS, let’s discuss what each of these had in common: they were all lies that led the U.S. into armed conflict.
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Society of the Machine
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Now, there’s ISIS. Unless, of course, you believe in Khorasan. If you haven’t heard of Khorasan, good. They were a made up group. However, here’s what the associated press had to say about them at the time: “While [ISIS] is getting the most attention now, another band of extremists in Syria … poses a more direct and imminent threat.” They went on to say that Khorasan only needed two days to drive to the Texas border—well, you see the point. Explaining the whole Khorasan story could be an entire article unto itself, but suffice it to say that one U.S. official later said, “there did not yet seem to be a concrete plan [for attack] in the works.” Furthermore, no group even calls itself Khorasan, and it’s just a term used “inside the government,” according to former U.S. ambassador Robert Ford (Not to be mistaken with the mayor of Toronto). But, it doesn’t matter, because we already launched an attack on who-knows-who in Syria.
Back to ISIS. What makes them so bad? Most people will point the three beheading videos. However, Saudi Arabia has beheaded at least 19 people since August, and they remain our allies. (This is to say nothing of why we haven’t gone after the other countless terrorist groups around the world, like al Shabaab.) What could be the reason for that? Could it be that the U.S. uses its alliance to get favorable oil contracts from Saudi Arabia, and that ISIS is just a boogeyman used to fear monger in the build-up for yet another fraudulent war? Don’t forget that it wasn’t too long ago that the U.S. was discussing going to war in Syria because of their use of chemical weapons on their own citizens. Now, you strangely don’t hear anything about chemical weapons, but ISIS is conveniently in Syria.
Should U.S. intervene in Iraq/Syria?
Facts that Didn't Make the Article
1) Al Qaeda was created by the CIA
2) This ISIS situation could have been prevented if someone would have given help to the region when they experienced devastating droughts last year
3) We're now on the same side as Al Qaeda
The good news is that congressional Republicans, as usual, are concerned about the deficit and don’t want to spend the money on this war. Wait, that’s not right, almost no one has said anything about the deficit when it comes to this war. Strange.
Without getting into every nuance of this story, the point is, don’t believe the hype. It’s clear to anyone paying attention that our government is trying to pull the country into an unnecessary war. The answer is not war. The answer—part of it, anyway—it to get rid of the arbitrary borders in the Middle East. Iraq is trying to divide itself into three parts. Let it. Keeping it together unnaturally will only lead to continued conflict. After that, use the money spent on bombs and planes to provide aid to the country. Happy people tend not to fight. War is seldom the answer, and don’t let the government and the media convince you otherwise.
Which brings us back to the beginning. Just a few days ago, I couldn’t conceive the logical layout that would lead to war in Iraq or Syria, because as it stood, we were only going to be doing airstrikes on ISIS, which seemed a reasonable compromise, since ISIS truly is killing innocent people in the region. But then, Obama said “We underestimated them.” If airstrikes mean we underestimated them, the next escalation must be boots on the ground, and that’s how we’ll have ended up back in Iraq. I hope time proves me wrong, but I fear it won’t.
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I am a writer. I have substantial experience in journalism, and my passion is for creative writing. When it comes to writing, I've dabbled in everything.
I am a reader, a hockey player, a part-time musician, and an English major at Canisius College.