In recorded history, there has always been a dominant force on the international stage. The Roman Empire, Persia, Great Britain, and now, us, the United States of America. Many say that the US is no different, but those people are wrong.
Unlike all previous great world powers, the United States was built upon a code of morality. Romans, Persians, and British all achieved their influence through brutality in the name of power and wealth. America’s influence was earned through respect and internal strength rather than imperialism and militaristic tendencies.
Since the end of World War II, the US has been that dominant world power. We are far from perfect, and as time has progressed we have become more lazy and content with our situation. We have lost our edge, the edge that got us to the top of the international political world in the first place.
Nowhere has this been more obvious than in our current handling of the ISIS situation. Not only has the Islamic State repeatedly declared war on the west, and the US in particular, but they have also declared war on human decency.
Beheadings, torture, burning a POW in a cage. These are just some of the outright barbaric atrocities committed by the self-proclaimed “saviors” of the Muslim world. And what is worse? All of these atrocities have been planned out, recorded, edited, and released as a sort of sick form of entertainment. They proclaim their barbary. They are proud of it.
To be clear, ISIS most definitely does not reflect the beliefs of Islam as a whole, and should not be treated as a Muslim group, but rather a separate entity entirely. As President Obama said, “We are not at war with Islam. We are at war with people who have perverted Islam.”
Yet, despite all of this, what have we done about it? The United States of America has done next to nothing.
Some argue that sending US bombers is enough, that those closer to the ISIS threat should take the lead on the ground. However, our military is better supplied financially than the next eight largest militaries combined. We have the means, but apparently not the will.
Perhaps the worst part of this whole ISIS fiasco is that we created the political vacuum that allowed for ISIS to rise to power. After the tragedy of 9-11, in a fit of reactionary and misguided anger, we marched into a nation that had little to no blame in the barbaric acts in which we were attempting to do justice for. We hastily depart a decade later, leaving behind a shanty of a government which would soon be non-existent.
Contributing heavily to the misinformation is the current state of the free press. Instead of supplying the general public with necessary information about world news and current events, we are consistently spoon-fed a diet of mindless blather. News is now a profit-concerned form of entertainment. We are given what we want, but not what we need.
We were founded on the principles of the universal rights of all mankind to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. All mankind includes those in the Middle East. Forget liberty and happiness, the innocents under the bloody reign of ISIS have been deprived of the most basic right, that of life.
We talk a big game. Defenders of Freedom, City on a Hill, One Nation Under God. But lately, we have not backed it up.
ISIS is the most obviously and inherently evil force since the Third Reich. Any person with common sense sees that we have the ability and therefore obligation to defend those whose human rights are being trampled on. If we can’t even all get behind that, what can we agree on?