The ISIS threat: A call to intervene

Dallas Knapp writes a Democrat-leaning column for The Lorian
Dallas Knapp writes a Democrat-leaning column for The Lorian

DUBUQUE — It seems that there is always a problem internationally. Russia and their invasion of, and consistent meddling in, Crimea took place earlier this year, a flare-up between Israel and Palestine took place over the summer and now ISIS/ISIL are the new international instigators. For months, this collection of extremists now numbering in the tens of thousands has been making war in the Middle East.

The conflict started in Syria and has now spread to Iraq and is even starting to inch its way towards Turkey. In response to the growing violence, the United States and a coalition of other countries have come together in a bombing campaign as well as providing training to Syrian and Sunni groups.

It is my opinion that it is time for the American government and the population as a whole has to open their eyes and see the writing on the wall; a bombing campaign is not enough.

I understand the hesitation of the general public in getting in yet another conflict in the Middle East. It was not too long ago that we finally pulled our forces from Iraq, and I know no one is eager to jump into yet another conflict. But more needs to be done.

The bombing campaigns have not done as much as many had hoped, and ISIS has even gained ground since the bombings began. Just recently, a town called Hit located in the Anbar province of Iraq has fallen to ISIS as government troops retreat and regroup.

On the Turkish border, a town called Kobane is still under siege by ISIS fighters after more than twenty days of fighting. ISIS’ power is growing and it will continue to grow. Each report of fighting always ends with a plea to do more, to put boots on the ground. I think it is time that the U.S. wakes up and puts its foot down. ISIS’ reign needs to end before the destabilization spreads throughout the Middle East.

Already, Turkey, the most stable ally we have in the Middle East, is starting to feel the pressure caused by the fighting. Syrian and Iraqi refugees have crossed the border in droves, seeking to escape the violence. Turkey not only faces the burden of taking care of refugees but also a disruption in peace negotiations with the PKK, a Kurdish militant group. Kurdish youth have been leaving Turkey in order to support their brethren in Kobane, often stating that the coalition is ignoring the Kurds and not doing enough, resulting in feelings of disenfranchisement in the Kurdish community.

If ISIS continues, it means more stress on the Turkish government as well as more stress on the relations between Kurdish and Turkish leader leading to further destabilization. Continued fighting means Iraq remains a shattered country and the people living in war zone. Continued fighting means uncertainty for the future.

If we intervene now and put an end to the fighting, we determine the outcome. We can lend Kurds the aid they need to make sure peace talks continue. We can put an end to a bloody three-year civil war that has caused hundreds of thousands of deaths.

We can put an end to an extreme and tyrannical group. But before we are able to end so much, America and its allies need to realize what that takes and to put boots on the ground.

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