Let’s stop ISIS’s attempt at genocide

Let’s stop ISIS’s attempt at genocide

We all remember Alan Jackson’s famous line from 2001 about not knowing the difference between Iraq and Iran. Well, 14 years later we have it figured out – and it’s a lot more than a consonant.

One of those countries, Iraq, is currently the scene of some horrendous happenings, along with its neighbors Syria, Libya and Egypt. Too many people are being dismissive of these atrocities.

I am talking of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), and their crimes against humanity. They are a rebel extremist group of Islam. Islam is one of the world’s leading religions; the followers are known as Muslims. This extremist group is not indicative of Muslims. ISIS followers are barbaric. They are attacking and stealing life from people in horrendous ways.

Religion, in almost any form, encourages good behavior, caring acts and forgiveness of some kind. This group does none of those things. They are practicing genocide. They are attempting to eliminate groups of people with extreme bias and prejudice.

A common thought surrounding the United States’s involvement in WWII – you know, when the Nazis were performing genocide of Jews and others – was “if we had known.” If we had known, the U.S. would have stepped in to help stop the concentration camps and barbaric killings sooner.

We know right now about ISIS doing the same thing. Photographic evidence provided by a Syrian photographer was presented by the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum last fall that shows ISIS is systematically killing and categorizing groups of people.

Why pay attention to something across the world when we have our own domestic problems? There will always be people that don’t like you, or me, or Americans, why bother?

Simply put, because ISIS is wrong. If their treatment to their neighbors is not enough to convince you, think about this; they have not limited their activities to the Middle East. They are actively threatening and murdering our citizens. They are encouraging attacks on our own soil.

We are leaders of the free world. We need to help the oppressed, the poor, the people who have been singled out and murdered, raped, mutilated and have had their homes and towns destroyed simply because they are not ISIS.

Our service members will be following in the esteemed tradition of doing what is right for humankind. We need to understand why we are asking them to sacrifice so greatly. We must support our neighbors, sons, daughters and friends, as they deploy on missions to do what is right. There are 3,100 troops in Iraq right now.

ISIS members are terrorists of the worst kind; they are not willing to negotiate or be coddled with anything but the deaths of humans. Reports, just this week, are that over 220 Christians were abducted. Dozens of humans from many countries have been beheaded by the group since last summer. The group murders doctors who refuse to harvest organs to sell on the black market.

If our heritage — our veterans’ memorials, statues, churches, historic places — were purposefully ruined by a group, with the specific purpose of erasing our contribution to society, what would you do? That is what happened this week in Mosul, Iraq, to Assyrians. ISIS used sledgehammers to ruin their museums’ cultural displays. Would we be brave, like the people of Syria who are entering Iraq to help their Christian neighbors? Would we protest with banners that read “We will not surrender, we will not be broken?” You betcha. This group is so bad that historic Iraqi enemies, the Sunnis and the Shiites, are joining forces to rid Baghdad of ISIS.

President Obama submitted a new request of Authorization for Use of Military Force to Congress last week. In it, he states the group has “Committed despicable acts of violence and mass executions against Muslims, regardless of sect, who do not subscribe to ISIL’s [ISIS’s] depraved, violent and oppressive ideology.” In it he holds the group responsible for the deaths of four Americans — James Foley, Steven Sotloff, Abdul-Rahman Peter Kassig and Kayla Mueller. He requests congressional support to target ISIS with military force for up to three years. The request does not allow for “enduring offensive ground combat operations.”

Currently, the U.S. is offering support under a broader AUMF from 2001. Do you use Twitter? It is not unreasonable for you to see yourself working for a company like Twitter, right? Well, this week, ISIS has called for the murder of Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey as well as Twitter employees. Twitter is the social media site that ISIS prefers to use to recruit, mobilize and inform its members, and they are not happy with their service.

We must have conviction as a country, a free and powerful country, and stand up to stop ISIS’s evilness to humankind.

By Kathleen Clark