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History has Taught us There is Only One Way to Deal with the Ideology of Hate

Updated on March 25, 2016

I have watched our country fight the war on terror for 15 years. I am the mother of a daughter who served our country during Operation Iraqi Freedom. It is obvious that our government has no clear strategy to defeat ISIS. This is an insult to her and all the others who have fought and died in this war on terror. I believe we have to declare war on ISIS. History has taught us time and time again there is only one way to deal with the ideology of hate.

Operation Iraqi Freedom and my Daughter

When my 19 year old daughter walked into my living room in 2000 and told me she had joined the army I started laughing. I thought she was joking. She is such a girly girl, tall and beautiful with blonde hair and green eyes. After she graduated high school in 1999 I thought she would head off to college using a Pell Grant since we were too poor to pay her college tuition. We live in rural Southern Indiana, the opportunities for kids around here is not the greatest. I thought my daughter joined the Army because the recruiter was cute but in truth she always wanted something more than our small town could offer.

She went to Louisville Kentucky to take the test and signed on the dotted line. A few weeks later she went to South Carolina for Basic Training. I told my other half I don’t think she will make it through basic training. He said she will because she is the type once she sets her mind to something failure is not an option. He was right and I was wrong. She made it through Basic with honors. We went to the ceremony and we were very proud of her. After spending some time in Virginia for training she was stationed at Fort Bragg, North Carolina with the 82nd Airborne.

The last week of August 2001 she called me and told me they were sending her to Fort Benning Ga. to jump out of planes. Needless to say as her mother I was worried. I remember her calling the first week to tell me about her first jump. I think this was a little harder than she had expected since she had never even been on a plane before let alone jump out of one.

On the morning of September 11, 2001 my phone was ringing off the wall. It was a phone call from my Aunt telling me to turn on the TV. Like every other American I spent the rest of the day glued to the TV in shock. At some point I started to worry about my daughter and what this would mean for her. I had no way to get in touch with her since the base was on lockdown. My other half spent the next few days keeping me calm by continually reminding me an army base was a very safe place to be.

Finally on Saturday night I got a phone call from my daughter who told me the Army let them off base. Of course she was a little freaked out. In the middle of her second week at Fort Benning for Airborne trainining the world was turned upside down. She had received her jump patch the Friday before. She was now was an official member of the 82nd Airborne.

I knew in my heart since women had fought so hard for equal opportunity in the military she was probably going to be in danger at some point. We bombed Afghanistan and then the government decided to invade Iraq. Sometime in January 2003 I got the phone call that every parent dreads, my daughter telling me she was being deployed to Kuwait. After she was deployed she called me from one of those military phones and told me they dumped them out in the middle of the desert in a foreign country. This was before they had built any bases so it was tent cities. This was right at the beginning of Operation Iraqi Freedom.

The idea that Saddam might use poison gas or chemical weapons against US troops did not seem ridiculous to us at the time. These soldiers had biochemical suits back then. They had learned how to get their gas masks on in eight seconds. I watched the news from morning to night and every time one of those scud missiles would head for Kuwait I would throw up. In March of 2003 US troops raced across the desert from Kuwait into Iraq. The goal was to bring down the brutal dictator Saddam Hussein. Thankfully with hardly any resistance the troops arrived in Bagdad and captured Saddam.

My daughter served 4 years and left the army a Sergeant. As the years passed I watched kids that grew up around my house sign up for the National Guard, the Marines and the Army. I worried when they were deployed, praying every night they would come home in one piece. During this time period unless folks had a family member deployed they just seemed to tune out the Iraq war years. Violence in Iraq was just the new normal. Since 2008 most Americans have not been interested in much of anything but the economy.

Obama Declares the Conflict in Iraq a Success

In October 2011 Obama announced all US troops will be out of Iraq by the end of the year. Then in December 2011 Obama declares the conflict in Iraq a success. Today the American people are tired of the conflict in Iraq and Afiganistan.Most folks feel like we did not accomplish anything by invading Iraq in 2003.

So What Exactly did we Accomplish in Iraq?

Does anyone remember how inhumane Saddam Hussein was? Getting rid of him was the right thing to do. We should not forget Saddam used chemical weapons against men, women and children in 1998. I know that things did not turn out well for the people of Iraq. Most experts agree they are in worse shape than before 2003. I firmly believe this was not our government’s intentions. The idea was to use the democratic model of government and give the Iraqi people a chance to govern themselves. This did not turn out so well. The fact remains whether or not we helped the Iraqi people or just made a bad situation worse is not the point. America did not accomplish what it set out to do. The Middle East was not stable before the US invaded in 2003 and it is not stable in 2016.

I am truly amazed when I read what people are saying. I do not agree with any of the following statements: Many argue we are freaking out about terrorism and if it does not stop we are going to end up in another military disaster in the Middle East. We are going to get more troops killed and make the situation worse. The evidence shows that ISIS does not pose a direct threat to America. ISIS is not interested or capable of attacking the US. The media is scaring Americans. Many argue that Al Qaeda remains a threat to American soil but ISIS is only dangerous to the stability of the Middle East and US interests overseas.

Who truly believes this? How old were these people when 9-11 happened? I think the folks who believe this B.S. need a history lesson.

A Lesson from History

Al Qaeda was a radical Islamic group with Osama Bin Laden as their leader. In 1996 Osama Bin Laden openly declared war on America. He called upon his followers to expel Americans and Jews from all Muslim lands. This bunch called it a holy war. The US was the key targets for Al Qaeda’s terrorist attacks. They planned and executed a deadly attack on our homeland on September 11, 2001.

ISIS has stated its main goal is the establishment of a single global state under its interpretation of Islamic rule under a radical ideology of hate. They think like the Nazis and Al Qaeda before them they have the right to decide who should live and who should die, how to live and what to believe. This is still radical Islam and even though Al Qaeda and ISIS differ in organization and method they share a common goal in regard to creating a global Islamic society, waging Jihad against western culture, and calling for the destruction of Israel.

When Obama pulled most of our troops out of Iraq this left the Iraqi people to deal with ISIS on their own. Now ISIS controls a large area and Iraq is in utter chaos. Can the American government just sit back and watch as ISIS reigns terror across the globe? What kind of world do you think we would have if we had let Hitler continue his reign of terror? No one likes war. The US military understands that costs must be suffered if we are going to win this War on Terror. Any parent whose child is serving our country does not want to see boots on the ground but ISIS is a threat and we are at risk! I believe after 15 long years it is time to finish the game!

Tara Summers


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