ISIS, or Daesh, as France has begun calling them, has proven that they are more organized than we originally thought. In the past two weeks, they have attacked France with gunmen and bombs, set off two bombs killing dozens of people in Beirut, and downed a Russian commercial airplane full of over 200 civilians.
I’ll be focusing on the Paris attacks today. While every terrorist attack is tragic and deserves further insight, the world reaction to Paris is what gives us the insight that should be focused on.
While the world has agreed that the attacks committed in Paris by Daesh are horrific and senseless, there is not one thing unifying the world against Daesh. In order to confront the Daesh effectively, each country needs to essentially be on the same page. There are conflicting views because the United States and other nations do not want anymore boots on the ground. The Middle East has a lack of alliances between the countries that keep them from organizing a formidable coalition, Russia does not believe in Regime change, and other countries don’t want to be a part of the conflict at all. They are more than willing to handle terrorism in their own country and sympathize when other country’s are attacked, but are not able to send troops or resources to help.
The attacks in France were orchestrated by European nationals that are believed to be in Syria now, and were carried out by at least a few French nationals mixed with men from other nations, and possibly a Syrian refugee.
Right now, the world is still deciding on how to react to Daesh. In the meantime, France has sent an aircraft carrier to the Middle East. Russia and the US have pledged their support to France.
One director of a political science center in Russia was quoted saying,
“Yet, it is quite possible that the US-led NATO countries will devise an algorithm of coordination between the Western anti-terrorist coalition and Russia. A historical parallel is quite appropriate. During World War II the Soviet Union’s western allies in the anti-Hitler coalition — the United States and Britain — opened a second front. And they won together. These days the hope remains that politicians will pool efforts to provide a resolute response to the terrorist challenge to the security of humanity,” Markov told TASS.”
Are the days returning when the world will unite against an evil such as this? While it’s true there are historical parallels between now and WWII, this war is completely different. Daesh has fewer numbers than the Nazis and are using that to their advantage by slipping into large populations under the radar to inflict the most damage against the civilian population. The tactics are different because the world is different.
Waleed Aly, a muslim tv host from Australia, Stated this:
“They want you to fear them. They want you to get angry. They want all of us to become hostile and here is why: ISIL’s strategy is to split the world into two camps. It is that black and white. Again we know this because they told us.” Aly said ISIL wanted to create World War III, and for societies around the world to turn on each other, and for countries like Australia to vilify Muslims. He said this “evil organisation” believes if they can make Muslims the enemy of the West, then Muslims in France and England and America and here in Australia will have nowhere to turn but to ISIL.”
If his statement proves to be true, then Daesh might be getting what it wants. After these attacks, many nations have closed their borders. Multiple governor’s from the United States have refused to accept Syrian refugees, because they fear their states would be subject to further terrorist acts.
Bashar Al-Assad, the President of Syria, is at the center of conflict fighting Daesh and rebels. He had this to say about the attacks:
“Act in the interest of your people,“ Mr. Assad said, referring to the foreign policy of French President François Hollande. ”The first question asked by every French citizen today is, ‘Have the French policies over the past five years brought any good to the French people?’ The answer is no, so what I ask him to do is to act in the interest of the French people—which means changing his policies. We can’t speak about intelligence sharing to fight terrorism when French government policies all feed into supporting terrorism,”
Al-Assad may have a strong opinion but he’s not alone. There are certainly other nations, like Russia, that believe that the west created ISIS and is responsible for much of the turmoil in the region. The truth is that there are no clean hands in this conflict. Whatever happens now depends on the choices our world leaders make. ISIS is utilizing smart tactics, and they are not just savages fighting without a plan. It’s time for the world to have our own plan that counters this ideology.