The ISIS epidemic
One group, many problems for the world
Author: Justin Hur
Throughout the last couple weeks, we’ve all been overwhelmedwith the latest ISIS development within the Middle East. From Obama’s televised speech to the nation, to constant media reports detailing execution of Iraqi civilians and western journalists, ISIS, the global enemy number one with their reports of floggings, mutilations, beheadings, and crucifixions, is making headlines all over the world.
Looking at this at the short term, the good news is that ISIS is losing ground within Iraq. A coalition that includes the United States and various Shiites, including Iraq, Iran and the Kurds, are defeating ISIS troops. ISIS forces were pushed out of oil-rich fields of Amreli and the coalition retook Iraq’s largest dam, which provides millions of people with drinking water. But, I believe that the dangers of ISIS and its effects within the Middle East must carefully be examined with long-term consequences in mind.
First off, the coalition, formed in the mutual interest in defeating ISIS, provides grave concerns to the Middle East. Forces within the coalition have been enemies in the past, such as Iraqi Islamic politician Muqtada al-Sadr’s army and the official Iraqi Army; this may lead to potential conflict between coalition forces. Also, one must ask what will happen to the Iraq after ISIS has been defeated. The Kurds have been valiant in their efforts to defeat ISIS and feel extremely reprehensive against the Iraqi state for letting ISIS run wild. They consequently will seek more sovereignty in its region and will lose any sense of loyalty towards the Iraqi government in Baghdad. Finally, just as fast as the Sunnis committed atrocious crimes against humanity to Shiites, the potential revengeful wave of human rights violations that will incur against the innocent Sunnis if ISIS is defeated brings massive concerns to humanity.
The long-term effects of ISIS don’t end within the Middle East. Despite efforts by western governments such as Germany, who have made it illegal to join ISIS, it is estimated by the CIA that the number of western ISIS fighters have grown to 2000. For instance, British women who have joined ISIS are running brothels within Iraq for ISIS fighters to rape captured women and children. There are western men that are carrying out suicide bombing missions all over Iraq. ISIS leaders are relentlessly recruiting westerners and encouraging them to return home to carry out terrorist attacks. In Canada, the “2014 Public Report on the Terrorist Threat to Canada” by Public Safety Canada states that the government is aware of about 80 people who have returned to Canada after travelling abroad for suspected terrorism-related purposes.
The issue with ISIS is a lot more complex than simply ‘defeating ISIS’. The turmoil that has risen from ISIS within the Middle East may potentially bring an array of human rights violations and more conflict. In the home front, western governments and their intelligence agencies must keep to their attention the danger its country faces against western ISIS fighters, who are planning to carry out their next deadly terrorist attack.