When the US was attacked on Sept. 11, 2001, it was a horrendous act of terror. The world mourned with the US. There was a window of opportunity to unite the global community to utilize the UN forces to track down terrorists. Instead, the US declared a won on terror that has morphed into a war of terror that has been applied in the US and around the world. Declaring this a war allowed the suspension of due process, freedom of speech and several other key rights that were amended to the US Constitution.
The multiple attacks of terrorists in Paris on Nov. 13, 2015 were also horrendous acts of terror. The Islamic State claimed that they were the perpetrators. Muslims from around the world condemned the Paris attacks as not following the Koran in the fundamental proscription that war can only be justified if the individuals or a group of Muslim people are in danger of being killed. Nash Jenkins of Time, Inc. published an article on Nov. 14, 2015 titled “Muslims Around the World Speak Out Against Terrorist Acts in Paris.”
France’s President Francois Hollande declared war against the ISIS group, and launched multiple attacks by French fighters and bombers on Nov. 15, 2015. The focus of the attack was the city of Raqqa, Syria. US forces have also been bombing Raqqa in an attempt to quell the activities of ISIS forces. The Chicago Tribune published an article by David Nakamura and Karen DeYoung on Nov. 15, 2015 titled “France launches ‘massive’ airstrikes on Islamic State in Syria.” The Chicago Tribune article provided a statement made by a spokesman in Raqqa regarding the damage done in the French attacks.
Opposition activists reached in Raqqa said they counted at least 30 bombs, which they said hit, among other things, a local football stadium, a museum and medical facilities. They said the strikes had knocked out electricity in the city of about 200,000 people.
The US supplied the French with the selected targets in Raqqa. The US has recently attacked Doctors Without Borders sites in Afghanistan and Yemen. Like the French bombing in Raqqa, the hospital bombings by the US had more civilians killed and injured than terrorists. These attacks are gaining recognition for the US’ war on terror as being terribly misguided. The Hindu paper published an article on Nov. 15, 2015 by Tammam Aloudat that simply said “Stop Bombing Hospitals”.
Combating ISIS requires the cooperation of multiple countries, and the condemnation of the terrorists by moderate Muslims around the world. The war on terror that is being coordinated by the US faces several dilemmas, including the fact that the war conducted by ISIS is inherently a religious battle between Shia and Sunni Muslims. The documented atrocities against civilians are considered as collateral damage by Russian and the West when bombing Middle Eastern cities in pursuit of terrorists. The US involvement in Iraq and Syria was essentially interference in local politics to break up support for leaders that the US had deemed as states supporting terrorism. The ISIS forces have built hatred against itself by their actions around the globe.
The genie of terrorism will never be put back in the bottle that held an illusion of peacefulness in the US while Europe, Russia and the Middle East battled various brands of terrorism. Unless the underlying issues found in religious conflict among the Sunni, Shia, and Kurds are resolved, terrorism will flourish. The recent hatred fostered by ISIS between the Palestinians and Israelis demonstrates their political sophistication that extends beyond finding martyrs to execute terrorist plots.
We are on the precipice of world conflict because world leaders are more willing to blast the terrorists to hell than solve the economic and health problems of the common people in these countries. The war on terror is not precise, and more innocent people have been killed in the wars in Iraq, Afghanistan and Syria than terrorists. Each attack on hospitals, wedding parties, and schools creates another cadre of people that hate the US as an axis of evil executing a global war of terror. We have historically been better than that, and we need to restore our approach to defending ourselves against aggressors and terrorists instead of being the aggressor in these actions.