The current situation in the middle east is a troubling one. The facts are often misconstrued for political gain and the general public’s understanding of those facts is even more misconstrued if they even care.  Our current political leaders on all sides are more capable of pointing out the other side’s thoughts than they are figure out the important question: What are we to do? It’s the age old question which as run the gambit from isolationist views to the United States becoming the world police. As many folks are beginning to realize, the true answer is somewhere in the middle.  What many people will not admit, is the fight we are engaged in will not end. We will see no peace, we are fighting an ideology we cannot understand.

            As I type this I have friends stuck in Iraq unsure if they’ll make it home in one piece or not, or at all for that matter. They aren’t sure if their facilities will be over run, or if they’ll come home early due to the climate in the country.  It’s an odd place to be, on the forward edge of the empire, while not working directly for a government agency. While our politicians are busy pointing fingers to stick the blame on somebody else, these men are simply wondering “how will I get out alive if this goes to shit?”

            What should have been done is the hard question.  Right now ISIS is fighting a hellacious fight for control over Iraq.  They have taken more than one strong hold, and have seized key Iraqi assets.  The intent of this article is not to simply point a finger on who and where to blame for the current debacle, but to highlight our enemy and explain the complexities in the situation at hand.  ISIS is fighting for a strictly Islamic state in Iraq; meaning intolerance of any brand of religion other than their own. Even fellow Muslims will not be allowed unless they practice a very strict sect of their religion. The views and values pushed by ISIS can easily be found on the internet, but they are fueled by extremist hatred.

            ISIS has ties to, and has been fighting in Syria. They have been supporting the rebels fighting against the government. Those same rebel forces have been priveledged to be given gear, money, and training by the US based on the grounds that the Syrian government used gas against its own people.  While the United States is adamantly against this, and looked “weak” by drawing a red line in the sand which Syria allegedly broke, the situation was far more complex than most people could understand given the rebels ties to Islamic extremists.

            Today in Iraq these same extremists are attempting to take over.  They have taken multiple strongholds and are making moves to secure the entire country.  After taking Iraq they will aim at control of other countries to establish a caliphate. Nobody in their right mind wants to see this happen; even the Iranians are worried about this possibility.  Right now we are worried about putting boots on the ground in Iraq. What we fail to realize is the fight is not against any country or single group of people, but against multiple complex, distributed groups of individuals banning together to enforce their own life beliefs upon entire nations, and in their minds, the world.  If we are ever to put up a real fight in this battle for the globe we need to officially recognize our enemy is this extremist view, and take action on a global scale, wherever they show their face and a nation asks for our help. Right now Iraq is asking for our assistance, and we need to give it to them, at least to help out our men and women there doing their part. 


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