Column: We need to send a message of intolerance to terrorists


Joshua Huff Columnist

How many more ISIS executions do we have to sit through before the world decides that enough is enough?

Apparently a few more.

The video release of the execution of a Jordanian pilot on Tuesday exemplifies the barbaric nature of this militant group of warped-minded thugs.

This comes after ISIS released a video over the weekend of the beheading of a Japanese hostage.

President Barack Obama has since declared that the U.S. will redouble its efforts to degrade and defeat the group.

What he doesn’t understand is that you don’t defeat a terrorist group like ISIS. The only way to win is to destroy them.

With that, I have an issue with Obama’s statement about the coalition redoubling its efforts. Did he not know years ago how dangerous this group was? So why is it taking this long for our government to decide to take ISIS seriously?

It follows a pattern that the U.S. has followed since after World War II. We thrust ourselves in pointless wars but ignore the important problems.

Take Afghanistan and Iraq for example. No matter how you spin it, those wars will always be viewed as a waste of lives, time and money.

However, we unfortunately live in a time when we don’t fight conventional wars, we fight political wars.

Politicians are clueless when it comes to war. Most politicians’ knowledge of war only goes as far as a Ken Burns documentary or a game of Risk.

Yet we rely on them to make our decisions.

It doesn’t help that the dissemination of information is filtered to the point that military leaders are relayed information that has risen through the chain of command with the negative information cut out.

They, in turn, relay that watered-down information to politicians who then decide what to do.

I’ve been on the ground in Afghanistan. I spent 12 months patrolling with the Afghan National Army and know exactly how they operate.

They are poorly managed and are prone to quitting a mission in the middle of a patrol because they’d rather go back to the FOB (Forward Observation Base).

In laymen’s terms, they are beyond help, and I have no idea where Washington is getting this information that everything is going well in Afghanistan.

Yet, we choose to leave a residual force in Afghanistan to train them. Didn’t we train the same Iraqi soldiers who threw down their weapons and abandoned their posts when ISIS blew through? Is our memory that short?

As Obama declares an end to the war in Afghanistan, he has decided that the growing ISIS problem is like chicken pox. It’s there, it’s noticeable, but god forbid you touch it.

I have a hard time grasping the concept of leaving around 11,000 troops to train a dysfunctional and poorly funded army instead of attacking a growing problem.

The U.S. remains the only super power in the world, a title that holds weight in a world that looks up to power. Our priorities are skewed, however.

We throw a blanket over crises like the continuous massacres by Boko Haram, push away Syrians who are being slaughtered by their government and offer only air support and advisers to fight ISIS.

But we’ll happily jump into wars against Afghanistan and Iraq.

The only way to destroy ISIS before executions become a weekly primetime special is by fighting their war.

One thing the U.S. should know by now is that there is no such thing as a fair fight. You won’t defeat terrorists with diplomacy or cutting their funding.

People need to shove aside their aspirations of peace and harmony and realize that the world is not fair.

You don’t effect change and defeat evil with the whisper of sweet nothings or by turning a blind eye. If the world is too scared to fight then something needs to be done to wrap minds around the danger that is growing, and the U.S. needs to lead that charge.

I’m not saying we should hastily deploy troops because more young men shouldn’t be subjected to battle.

But if we must send troops, then we need to prioritize where we send them, because ISIS and Boko Haram are greater threats than the Taliban in Afghanistan.

It’s time to take off the gloves and send a statement to those who feel they can use the world as a playground for death and destruction.

Much like a forest after a wildfire, the trees and flowers rise from the ruins and embrace a new life, a life with promise.

Terrorism will never end, but sending a message of intolerance is a statement that will put thoughts of doubt into those who mean harm.

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