Watching the NBC Evening News recently and General Barry McCaffery, one of their military consultants, made the statement that those who face the most immediate threat of ISIS are the Arab nations lying in near to Iraq and Syria.
The coalition that is forming to take on the Islāmic State is currently composed of mainly the United States and its traditional Western and Christian allies. McCaffery’s question was, where are the Arabs? Why aren’t those most immediately threatened leading the way in forming military opposition to ISIS?
That’s the same question I asked when president Bush began talking about the threat of Saddam Hussein following 9/11. If Hussein’s Iraq was such a threat why didn’t its Arab neighbors assume the task of taking him down?
Obviously, Hussein wasn’t the threat the Bush administration claimed him to be and just as obviously America’s removing Saddam from power created an instability that may take decades of suffering to right itself. I’m not suggesting Saddam wasn’t a nasty dude but, the death and destruction following his death on the gallows has been far greater than what happened under his rule.
There is little doubt that the Middle East is one of the most dangerous areas on earth. There is also little doubt that so much of what’s wrong is, in many ways, a result of American led Western intervention.
I have no doubt that radical groups like Al Qaeda and ISIS mean to hurt America any way they can. But I do have doubts about America and its allies rushing to lead the effort to suppress radical groups through military intervention. The nations of the Middle East possess strong militaries and are perfectly capable of taking on ISIS. It should be those Arab states that lead the charge to return stability to their homelands, not the descendants of the Crusaders.
America and the West needs to closely monitor the ISIS situation and take appropriate steps against any and all direct threats. We have, however, no business sending our forces, air or ground, back into the fray until Turkey, Lebanon, Syria, Iraq, Iran, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, and other Arab nations have exhausted their own blood and treasures. It may even be a great opportunity for the Jews and Arabs to join forces against a common threat.