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article imageOp-Ed: We must stop ISIS genocide, even if it means boots on the ground

By Calvin Wolf     Aug 8, 2014 in Politics
The U.S. has begun launching airstrikes against ISIS insurgents in Iraq who have isolated thousands Yazidis, a non-Muslim minority, on high ground after overrunning the town of Sinjar. But will limited airstrikes be enough to stop ISIS' brutal genocide?
ISIS insurgents in Iraq have made terrifying gains since June, overrunning many cities in towns while U.S.-equipped Iraqi government forces offered little or no resistance. These Islamic extremists, brutally murdering all who do not convert to their brand of Islam, control much of northern Iraq and have just captured Mosul Dam, Iraq's largest hydroelectric dam. In addition to the tragedy befalling countless civilians, America's multi-billion dollar investment in the fledgling Iraqi military has been shown to have little return.
Fortunately, the Obama administration has finally gotten real by launching airstrikes against ISIS forces, reports CNN. Western allies like Britain and France have vocally supported action against ISIS. The world has condemned the violent insurgents in the strongest terms. But are words and limited U.S. airstrikes enough to roll back the insanity of ISIS?
The U.S. has a duty to make things right in Iraq by defeating ISIS, even if it means putting "boots on the ground," something the Obama administration, and even many Republicans, are loathe to do.
ISIS is committing genocide, something the world pledged to stop after the Holocaust. Nobody stopped Pol Pot in the 1970s. Nobody stopped the genocide in Rwanda in the 1990s. Nobody has stopped the brutality of the North Korean regime and its concentration camps. Though no nation wants to sacrifice its own blood and treasure, do we really expect these situations to resolve themselves? Eventually, bloodshed was the only thing to stop the post-Holocaust genocides...after the innocents had already suffered terribly.
Nobody acted when Saddam Hussein gassed the Kurds in 1991 after the Gulf War. Nobody acted when the Iranians took U.S. hostages in 1979. Nobody acted to stop Kim Jong Il in the 1990s, when horrible famine starved millions while the dictator pursued his nuclear weapons. How did all those situations turn out? Saddam was eventually deposed after a U.S.-led invasion twelve years later, Iran is on the cusp of developing nuclear weapons, and North Korea has developed nuclear weapons.
Given this track record, do we think treating ISIS with kid gloves will end up well?
We pledged to stop genocide but turned a blind eye in the past. Now is the time to set a positive example to the world and make other rogue organizations and states think twice about engaging in mass brutality.
This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of
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