Syria crisis demands action

Jamie CoulsonBy Jamie Coulson |

A few months ago, headlines screamed out about Syria. America was furious that the Syrian president was wrongfully mistreating his own citizens and the U.S. was ready to step in. Suddenly, the news died down and switched focus to Russia invading the Ukraine. The news no longer provided adequate coverage and Americans were left in the dark.

The Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, also known as ISIS, was growing, becoming more intense and brutal, while we worried about Russia. Although the crisis in the Ukraine warranted attention, American media loves to pick and choose what they feel is important to air. For months, the growing problem in Syria was left unattended and in the shadows.

Months later, the U.S. is on the brink of war with ISIS. Last week, President Obama confirmed that America would continue to bomb ISIS in order to protect not only American assets overseas, but to ensure ISIS does not grow in numbers.

The U.S. has been doing this exact thing for the last few months and all it has done is push ISIS from country to country, letting them terrorize the people who live there. The media is outraged about journalists being murdered on camera, but not the blatant disrespect and disgust ISIS shows to individuals regardless of where they live, how they talk or what they look like.

If war were to escalate, it would be like nothing this generation has ever seen. It would be a holy war. The problems begin with the fact that the U.S. isn’t fighting a specific country; it is fighting against a group of people with an extreme ideology.

Is it possible to fight crazy? Or vanquish extreme? Simply put, if you don’t believe in what ISIS does, you will be killed. No mercy, no second chance, as demonstrated by the violent deaths of journalists James Foley and Steven Sotloff.

The U.S. cannot, at any point, aid Syrian government because president Bashar Assad gassed his own people by unleashing chlorine gas into the civilian population. Instead, the U.S. has armed Syrian militants, which, as a country, probably was not our best decision. The plan backfired when militants went to Iraq with U.S. weapons even if our intentions were to arm them to defeat Syrian regimes.

As Americans, we don’t know if it was a good idea or a bad idea that we didn’t officially declare war on ISIS. It’s impossible to predict such a delicate situation. There truly is no right answer or a clear end to the problem.

The U.S. has always been the leading fighting force, and some people think we stick our noses where they don’t belong. We might, but that’s what keeps us safe at night.

I don’t know if we should go to war. No one really does. But at this point, it looks as though we will eventually – and sooner rather than later – have to fight harder.

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