By ZAC PALMER, Staff Writer
The Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) have one goal: build a new Islamic caliphate across the Middle East. By doing so, they would be uniting most of the world’s Muslim population under one Islamic state.
Recently, the ISIS, referred to as ISIL (Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant) by President Obama, has been making headlines across the world in response to the two gruesome videos they have posted to the Internet.
In these videos, American journalists, James Foley and Steven Sotloff, were beheaded by the ISIS. These executions come in response to the United States’ recent involvement in Iraq, to slow the advance of ISIS across the region. Both the journalists are videoed saying they are, “paying the price” for U.S. intervention in Iraq.
The execution of the first American journalist, Foley, caused an outcry of anger and contempt for this group. After Foley’s execution, President Obama continued to order more airstrikes penetrating ISIS bases against the will of the terrorist group.
Now that the second execution of American Sotloff has gone viral, United States political figures are taking a much harder stance in this fight.
President Obama is quoted as saying, “Those who make the mistake of harming Americans will learn that we will not forget, and that our reach is long and that justice will be served.”
Standing in unity with Obama, Joe Biden vowed, “We will follow them to the Gates of Hell!”
It’s not surprising that acts such as these evoke such strong feelings in our leaders. Terrible crimes against our country can damage the pride of America, but with strong resolve as a country, we can rise up against groups, such as ISIS.
The threat that ISIS poses to America is no small problem. They have swept across a large portion of Iraq without much resistance, and continue to be a powerful force across the Middle East. They are different than a group such as al-Qaeda, but stir up fear just the same.
According to America’s top counter-terrorist official, the ISIS, “lacks the capacity that al-Qaeda once had to carry out large scale attacks on U.S. soil”. While ISIS has the capability to cause problems for European countries and the U.S., they currently don’t have nearly enough power and support to pull-off an attack comparable to 9/11.
The speed at which ISIS has been able to conquer and defeat what America spent years fighting for is alarming at the very least. They’ve managed to strike fear into America from their chilling executions, and their influence doesn’t show any signs of lessening. ISIS is no small organization that we can overlook. It’s unfortunate that Iraq has turned into something we fought so vehemently against a few years ago, but the climate in the Middle East is ripe for revolution and the ISIS has taken full advantage of its weakened state.