Back a couple of weeks, Boko Haram terrorists shot and burned to death at least 91 civilians in a new front within Cameroon. Ever since announcing their allegiance with ISIS, Boko Haram has expanded their campaign of horror making their initial incursions into Chad and renewed their targeting of Cameroon as well as their never ending horrors in Nigeria. Their horrors have terrified civilians with even the mention of their strikes coming ever closer to new towns, especially those with western styled schools which Boko Haram, true to their name which translates to Western Education is Haram, unholy and forbidden, as they have burned numerous schools after shooting students and teachers alike, kidnapping young girls and then securing the remaining captives within a small building and setting it aflame burning the final victims in as horrific a manner as they are able. This has emboldened other terrorist entities which have expressed their support of ISIS and their adoption of allying with ISIS and recognizing them as the rightful representatives of the coming Caliphate and their subservience to Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi as the new Caliph and the chosen one to lead all of Sunni Islam in their renewed and final quest to place the entirety of the world under Islamic rule with the application of Sharia throughout the globe. There was the recent beheading of 21 Egyptian Coptic Christians in Libya by some group claiming allegiance with ISIS. This was just the latest group that announced their allegiance to ISIS by conducting some barbaric slaughter of innocents.
The central core group of ISIS in Iraq yesterday murdered 45 Iraqis by burning them alive in the town of Al-Baghdadi, Iraq. Col. Qasim al-Obeidi of the Iraqi military told the media that the identities of the victims have yet to be ascertained. As of the latest reports yesterday, the compound housing the families of security personnel as well as local officials is now under siege by ISIS forces. The town of Al-Baghdadi has been under siege itself for months before finally falling last Thursday and is a mere eight kilometers from Ain al-Asad airbase, where 320 US Marines are training the Iraqi army’s 7th Division and had come under assault by ISIS over the weekend but were fortunately able to repel the assault forcing the ISIS forces to retreat back to the area around the town of Al-Baghdadi. The murder by ISIS of the 45 Iraqis was a serious and horrific event made all the worse in that they were incinerated by the ISIS barbarous terrorists, an event at least as barbarous as the incineration of the Jordanian pilot Moaz al-Kasasbeh who they had captured after his F-16 fighter jet was shot down, the first such shoot down since the coalition air campaign began. This has become the signature method being used from all of the terror outfits claiming allegiance to ISIS because, apparently, merely beheading their victims apparently is not horrific enough and does not sufficiently infuriate and strike fear to the rest of the world. The ISIS affiliated monsters are aiming for the most horrific and dehumanizing methods used purely to be the revolting and appalling while producing the greatest amount of fear in their target regions, both the western society and the areas directly at threat from their forces. The burning of the Jordanian pilot Moaz al-Kasasbeh and the beheading of the 21 Egyptian Coptic Christians in Libya has succeeded in producing a reaction, a reaction which should be produced the world over, but thus far only generated a reaction from the King Abdullah II ibn al-Hussein of Jordan and his subjects as well as President Sisi of Egypt; each leader promising to make the ISIS aligned terrorists pay for their inhumanity in slaughtering their countrymen in horrific and dehumanizing fashion which was revolting and abhorrent to them and the nations populations.
The question that the Jordanian President, the Egyptian President, the peoples of Jordan, Egypt, Syria, Iraq and countless others are asking themselves is what exactly it will take to arouse the wills of the people around the world and especially with the nations with the military might to defeat the ever growing terrorist forces allying with ISIS, a change in attitude which has yet to even show the slightest indication it is a force of will that is even sparked, let alone spreading a demand like wildfire. The longer that the world waits before addressing this noxious pestilence the more difficult the warfare and the greater the cost in treasure and lives any conflict to destroy the numerous and growing scourge will take. Meanwhile, the United States Congress has been requested to grant President Obama a limited and peculiar use of American military might which the President calls Authorization for Use of Military Force (AUMF and decided to be pronounced Oomph by people in Washington D.C. or New York or wherever trends are given their accepted pronunciations). The AUMF legislation requests that the authorization to use force against terrorists which was granted to President George W. Bush after the attack on the twin towers of the World Trade Center, the Pentagon and another Washington D.C. target by Flight 93 which the passengers fought back causing the terrorists to crash the plane in a field in southwestern Pennsylvania and replace it with a new authorization. This new AUMF has some peculiarities which have many in the Congress spooked and confused which will probably have Congress questioning the parameters seeking clarifications on the particulars in the legislation before them. The AUMF seeks to allow for continued United States participation in efforts to degrade ISIS capabilities through airstrikes, training forces in Iraq and Syria with all actions limited to three years and with no restriction as to locations where such authorization for use of military force might be restricted calling for targeting any “associated persons or forces.” It has been reported that the Republicans are planning to seek stronger and more expansive powers and removal of any time limitations concerning the use of force to defeat and destroy ISIS forces wherever they may be found while the Democrats seek to add additional limitations to assure that there can never be ground forces utilized against ISIS, probably to include special forces, the only boots on the ground the White House had mentioned they might consider deploying. Whatever the end results, the clarifications and alterations to the President’s request promises to take months before everybody will be able to agree and pass appropriate legislation which will provide the limitations the President desires and the allowance for use of additional levels of force even to include the possibility for boots on the ground as well as the removal of the three years limitation after which new legislation would be required even to continue the air campaign or training of Iraqi, Syrian or other troops or forces. This diddling around and parsing of time tables, language and extents for use of force will only serve to strengthen ISIS with the addition of who knows how many additional terrorist entities as well as the swelling of their core forces in Syria and Iraq which have been detected to be receiving thousands if not tens of thousands of new recruits almost every week. The one limitation of ISIS which gives them a weakness which can be exploited has been their lack of air power. This is simply due to not having sufficient pilots as they have captured two airbases and has gained a number of aircraft but simply ISIS had nobody who can fly them with any degree of competence. That begs the question of how long before we see pilots landing at the airbases under ISIS control and offering their special abilities granting ISIS with the airpower they lack. Such an addition would make ISIS a far more deadly force to be reckoned with and far more devastating with capabilities to soften targets before assaulting with ground forces.
There has been an additional potential of a growing threat by ISIS to work to replace Hamas and Fatah and replacing the Palestinian Authority with their claiming that the current forces under the Palestinian Authority, according to a pamphlet distributed in Gaza, Judea and Samaria last month, was made up of “the rule of tyranny and heresy.” They also called for a holy war, a jihad to depose those impure forces and their leadership such that ISIS could take their place and provide a superior and more Islamic rule fighting against the real enemy, Israel and the Jews and Christians, the infidel. This threat of ISIS comes as Fatah and Hamas have been slowly but surely escalating their levels of internecine violence. The escalating violence has seen numerous cars set on fire with a select number being exploded along with attempted assassinations by both sides but thus far the fighting has remained limited compared to some former disagreements which have caused violence in the past. Where this comes to a head is that there is a distinct possibility that ISIS may be fanning the flames to cause additional violence and escalating the conflict in the hope to have Hamas and Fatah cause each other sufficient damage making it that much easier for ISIS to replace both entities. Israel has already arrested and broken up one ISIS cell which was operating in Judea and Samaria and was preparing to make a strike on Israel which they planned to arrange for Fatah and the Palestinian Authority to take the blame. Should ISIS become the ruling entity in Gaza, Judea and Samaria, then Israel would have little if any choice but to take full control of the entirety of Gaza, Judea and Samaria in order to cleanse it of every last shred of ISIS influence. Israel could not permit nor allow a single day of ISIS rule being declared as the new Palestinian Authority engaging in jihad against Israel. Still, the safe bet is the world would then condemn Israel for fighting to rid the lands bordering Israel from the threats of ISIS. The claim would be that the ISIS forces which were facing off with Israel were the new and improved representatives of the Palestinian lands and Israel should immediately start to approach them in order to open a dialogue through which the establishment of an ISIS state bordering Israel with eastern Jerusalem as their capital city and the Green Line as their border. There would be protestations across all of Western society claiming that the ISIS residing in Gaza, Judea and Samaria was a totally different form of ISIS and has no connections with the real ISIS that the rest of the world is presumably battling. It is a very peculiar thing to watch the world change gears immediately whenever some terror group deploys forces to fight Israel, no matter what else or who else such a group has attacked or is currently fighting, any forces they utilize to fight against Israel become a separate entity which no matter what other problematic offences the parent group or even the actual terrorists fighting against Israel have committed, now that they are engaging Israel all former crimes against humanity are expunged and they are lionized and become the true face of the beleaguered Palestinian peoples. ISIS could easily force Hamas from Gaza and very probably expel Fatah from Judea and Samaria thus taking hold of both sides and claiming the title of savior of the Palestinian people and become the new chosen with whom Israel must engage in the next round of peace talks.
With a world that is unable to look an evil straight on and call it what it is, evil, there is little hope that ISIS will be dealt with in any timely manner, and that makes them potentially far more dangerous. What the world needs to face is that right now ISIS has a potential to become a formidable force which will have all the resources for warfare necessary to actually face a modern army but has yet to realize such power. As noted above, the main particular which ISIS is missing is an air force which it may eventually gain. They do not as of yet require any naval forces as they currently are situated at one of the central points in the world where Asia, Europe and Africa all merge. There is an awful lot of land to be brought under the rule of Islam before ISIS would need a naval force. There are some forces which can currently destroy ISIS at its core if they had the will. Turkey could reduce ISIS to dust if they chose to intervene but if ISIS is permitted further growth, then it is going to require far more force to eradicate. Another potential faction of ISIS which remains unknown is how many people could ISIS call to battle who still live within any potential nation or they have assigned to form militias that sit silently just waiting for the order to strike soft targets in any nation possibly causing many leaders to pause and consider if they really want to push fate tempting these hidden jihadists to run amuck within their borders. Such a threat could easily be a real force to have to face, especially when some of these cells consist of youths who had become disaffected with their lives and were secretly brought under control and left in their homeland to strike from within their own communities. Such cells could easily exceed the limits of power held by the police departments in their location. Some cells might even have infiltrated the police so as to weaken their abilities to counter any terrorist threats, especially if the police in the field are given bad information setting up a location for the terrorists’ next strike. ISIS is metastasizing and spreading like a disease throughout the body. ISIS currently has mostly infected parts of the Middle East and is spreading across northern Africa. As long as ISIS is kept from reaching the Saudi Arabian oil fields the Western nations will still have a period of grace before facing real difficulties and thus still be capable of intervening and ending the ISIS threat and follow that up by ending the threats of the many terror cells within their own borders before they grow to become a real threat and menace to their society.
The biggest threat would be terror cells that may have infiltrated the police or those who have infiltrated the military. Such cells pose a danger which would be a force multiplier if utilized to their full potential. One only need look at history to realize how a small band which is well organized can become a force which the world might not succeed in defeating such a force. All the dithering and posturizing now will only serve to strengthen ISIS as they grow stronger given more time. Theirs is a long war attitude where they can simply continue to apply force until they finally break their opposition’s ranks of troops granting them a victory and even more important it can provide them with the necessary tools to continue to threaten all of Western civilization. One needs to remember that the Ottoman Empire started with a small core group from northeastern Turkey and spread across most of the Muslim lands and remained a threat until World War I. Their Caliphate lasted through the nineteenth century and could marshal a large force of manpower and was only finally defeated by the combined forces of the allies in World War I. Does the world really desire to allow ISIS to grow to be that powerful? The threat of ISIS needs to be eradicated now while they are still growing and spreading the seeds of Islam, a true and pure Islam which will subjugate their populations constantly growing in strength as those who have fallen to ISIS realize how much they had relied upon their government for the daily necessities such as trash removal, water and electrical service and a myriad of other services and conveniences. The longer the world waits before removing the ISIS threat, the more damage that will be done and at some point ISIS will cross a threshold as they gather strength and become a much greater threat. Nobody knows what that threshold will be, so ISIS will continue to grow and gain more and more followers as they succeed and the world appears to be frightened and loathed to stand against them. This perception is what feeds ISIS and is the visual they are showing the world, a picture which shows the world trembling before the threats of ISIS, it is no wonder that ISIS is gaining recruits in such numbers and gaining the allegiance of so many youths seeking to leave their mark on the world. Stop waiting and extinguish this threat while it is still in its infancy because if it ever reaches full growth it may not be defeated as easily. There is precious little time left and already ISIS has grown to the point they can confront and defeat many of the armies of nations they are currently threatening such as Niger, Cameroon, Chad and many other North African nations. ISIS does pose a real and tangible threat already and is not that far from becoming a formidable threat with the capabilities beyond the power of many of the smaller nations lying before them. The western world with its advanced weapons had best consider how they would desire to face ISIS, do they prefer to keep them at a distance and defeat them or would they prefer ISIS on their border threatening their wives and children? The time to destroy ISIS is now, before they threaten our loved ones.
Beyond the Cusp