The evolution of Islamic Extremism, in the current era, can be viewed in photos taken from any area of the war-torn Middle-East. From Afghanistan to N. Africa and the Gulf of Aden to the Turkish Boarder abandoned U.S. Military gear transports insurgents brandishing Russian Weapons; tragic irony. Emerging from centuries of meddling by outside interests carving-out resources and redrawing lines in the regions shifting sands is a brand of Islam not seen in nearly 1500 years and much of the world, ignorant of its history, are not prepared to deal with it.
In simplest of terms terrorist organizations such as Al-Qaeda, Al-Nusra, Boko-Haram, Al-Shabaab, Ansar al-Sharia, Hezbollah, Hamas and Iran’s Theocratic Regime were largely dedicated to excising western interests in the region; not so with the current iteration of ISIS and more specifically, its current leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi. As the 7th Century version of shock and awe was key to the rapid expansion of Islam, Baghdadi is reacquainting the world with this vile form of butchery whose standard board of fare includes beheadings, stoning, crucifixions, slavery and various other forms of denudation.
ISIS may have originally formed, thru the backing of Saudi Arabia eager to create an offensive force aimed at challenging Iran’s move across Iraq and into Syria. As a fill for the vacuum created by Obama’s withdrawal of forces from Iraq however, the morphing of ISIS, now in critical-mass form, has moved well beyond insurgent-status. Baghdadi, having been named the caliph of ISIS, has pronounced a worldwide caliphate and though many Muslim theologians challenge his standing few question his apocalyptic ambitions as his actions mirror the path toward the Islamic version of the End of Times.
The West, particularly the U.S., is in a very difficult spot and though hawks such as Sen. John McCain would love to see a massive ground campaign the fact is that open engagement, by the U.S. would merely serve to invite a further swelling of ISIS’s ranks. While U.S. resources would be better suited in a command/resource type role the ground-game should not bear a western face.
There is, of course, a much larger question in search of an equally worthy appeal; are Muslims prepared to force the challenge and are Muslims prepared to enforce a reformation and excise the extremes from its ranks? The odds are rather steep.
The following are a select group of responses to questions/comments received after the original article was published. We believe you will find them of interest.
#1: BTW: For the politically aligned I think it important to note that the rise of ISIS (or a similar form) was/is inevitable and as such Obama is not directly to blame, his inaction merely serves to have accelerated the process. There’s immense power and BILLIONS of dollars at stake in this game, such as in the case with the Iran’s and Saudi Arabia’s leadership. It’s unlikely that either of these regimes – including the West – will be willing to set it all aside in favor of a lasting resolution.
Curtis C. Greco, Founder