Friday, April 8, 2016

ISIS Kidnaps Syrian Workers, Again

ISIS is pretty bad.  The conflicts in Syria between the Assad regime and ISIS have killed tens and thousands of civilians in recent years.  Today, April 7th, 2016, there were reportedly 300 hundred civilian workers that were kidnapped from a cement factory (seen below).
ISIS has been known to kidnap large numbers of workers and execute those who they believe are working with the Assad Regime.  Not only do they bring in hundreds to basically indiscriminately execute, but they also have been known to take women as sex slaves and kidnap for ransom.  

NPR says that the "extremists have faced setbacks as Assad's forces push the group further from the densely populated area around the capital," which could have caused them to seek actions like kidnapping.   "Syria's minister of industry says his office is working to free hundreds of workers."  The death toll in the year 2015 was mostly civilian and it should be cause for concern as the Islamic State is terrorizing innocent people.

After the Islamic State claimed responsibility for the attacks in Brussels, there haven't been many changes or new ways to combat these terrorists. There have been countless, covert U.S. airstrikes and a lot of controversy but not much direct and effective action.  I don't mean to post another "what do we do about ISIS" post, but what should we do about ISIS.  Do we interfere with activity in other countries in attempt to do the right thing?  Does our involvement in foreign affairs only get people and nations to hate us more (go out to find WMD's but kill thousands of civilians and turn out empty handed)?  Or is it a mistake to be stand by and watch a country to get it's stuff figured out over the course of nearly five bloody years?


Jeffrey Song said...
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Jeffrey Song said...

At this point, I think general public opinion on the global scale has been built up so strongly against ISIS that any action, direct or indirect, undertaken by the US against ISIS won't be viewed negatively when taken at face value. However, some of that same subset of people who support foreign intervention in the ISIS crisis may also be opposed to excessive military spending or a prolonged conflict in the Middle East(history has taught us that prolonged conflicts halfway across the world don't usually bode too well for the US); in that sense, there may be some public opposition, albeit indirectly.

Additionally, now that ISIS has finally been waning under the combined pressure of the world's major powers, it's an important question as to what should be done in the aftermath of the conflict. According to an article on VOX posted today, "as ISIS recedes, America's alliance with the Kurds becomes less necessary for either side. And it's coming as American and Kurdish interests increasingly diverge — and as the two allies push for visions of the Middle East that are more than a little different." This raises important questions that have remained to be answered: should the US take a strong role in rebuilding and strengthening the war-torn and divided region or allow the locals to rebuild themselves as they see fit - either way could lead to future crises, right? Something else to consider is that there was a reason, however incomprehensible that reason may be to us, that ISIS existed and attracted such a large number of people to its cause. With ISIS gone, will their ideals and beliefs die with it? Is the only way to truly 'defeat' ISIS to remove everyone involved? If so, the rest of the world may yet still have a monumental task ahead of it.


tonynater said...

It's probably beneficial for the U.S. to be involved in the ISIS conflict. U.S. led airstrikes do not take much effort on the U.S.'s part and just these efforts and other international ones have already significantly weakened ISIS (look up current territory and monetary losses). On the other hand, the U.S. stands to gain a lot from a stable Middle East, namely a stable global oil trade that keeps global markets stable.

While I do believe that ISIS will eventually be weakened to the level of Al-Qaeda, as Song said above unless drastic political and economic reforms are implemented, the underlying issues of poverty and religious persecution (by the other sect) will probably lead to ISIS 2.0.