Uncle Sam’s Middle Eastern Folly

Image: A general view shows damaged buildings on a deserted street in Homs

Lately, given the current (political) environment, many articles have come out in the media asking questions like, “what do we do about ISIS,” or “how do we stop ISIS.” This group, ISIS, is the most evil and barbaric I’ve known in my life, and currently, is committing genocide across Iraq and Syria. Our government’s official position asserts that they are a “terrorist organization,” which they certainly are. However they are doing more then just murdering and destroying for chaos’ sake (which is what we often think about when we hear the word “terror”) – they have a deeper objective – and one that everyone should be well aware of if we are to combat them properly. Further, I am convinced, that our Nation fails to sufficiently consider the religious ideology that fuels their atrocities and ambitions, given the US Government’s secular nature.

ISIS, The Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, at their core, are jihadist Sunni muslims seeking to create an Islamic State, with Sharia Law, throughout the two States that constitute their name. Sunni Islam, is committed to Islam at its most pure, seeking to remain untainted by secular influences, which is an accusation they regularly place on their Shiite brothers and sisters. Sharia Law, the most oppressive and barbaric law the World knows, is the natural cultural ambition that springs from this Islamic worldview. If you carry the Sunni worldview to the level of government and leadership, up from personal piety, this is its fruit. Personally, I refer to Sunni Islam as “Orthodox Islam,” not because it resembles Orthodox Christianity in any way, but because it is the truth about what Islam is.

In order for us to determine “what we are to do about them” or “how are we to stop them,” I think we should first consider how this group came into existence, in the first place. ISIS did not exist two years ago. They formed as a result of the Syrian Civil War, from among the opposition forces fighting the Syrian Government. Immediately after The Revolution which led to this War, Islamic factions began fighting the Syrian Government (the Muslim Brotherhood among the most prominent) who were largely disjointed. Their unity was found in their common objective – to topple and seize the government. At the outset of the War, Saudi Arabia and Qatar, Syria’s arch enemies, chose to flood Syria with Sunni fighters. Among them, reports claim, death row inmates released for the purpose of fighting alongside the opposition. From this opposition, who our government has been funding and who our media has termed “rebels,” jihadists have organized themselves and emerged with a common vision, by way of their brutality, calling themselves ISIS.

The United States’ current plan is to arm and train “rebels” in Saudi Arabia, who are expected to then fight ISIS in Iraq in Syria. We are equipping and training rebels to fight… rebels. Saudi Arabia is a Sunni State with Sharia Law (exemplifying everything we should be working to prevent in the Middle East), who remains Syria’s enemy precisely because it is not these. So, America is planning (and has just approved) to train “rebels” in Saudi Arabia, to then fight ISIS (within their enemy’s boarders), who are an organized group of Sunni Muslims, with the stated goal of a Sunni State with Sharia Law – exactly as Saudi Arabia looks today! Yet they are supposed to fight one another. Each of these, Saudi Arabia and ISIS, have unified visions on two fronts: to topple the Syrian Government, and replace it with harsh Islamic Fundamentalism. The folly of this plan!

The United States claims there is a moderate element that remains in Syria and Iraq among the “rebels,” and that we will be arming and training these. The absurdity of this is beyond measure. Common sense aside, we’ve tried this already and it has yielded horrific results. Rather than the safety of everyone in these areas and the stability of the region as a whole, I can’t help but think, America’s primary goal is to topple the Syrian Government and destabilize the region for the sake of our own power and prominence.

Sadly, those who pay the price for all this will be the Christians and minorities. Through our policies, we are directly contributing to their genocide. America should work with the Syrian Government to fight Islamic extremism, who has been doing this since their Revolution, protecting Christians and minorities all along the way, rather than partnering with terror and madness, as we are currently. America’s foreign policy causes me tremendous sadness at this time in our history.

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