Jim Clark: Does Trump have the best answer to eliminate ISIS? (opinion)
The slaughter in Brussels reminds us that unquestionably the most important issue facing the five remaining presidential candidates, and those of us who vote for them, is national security and the threat of ISIS. There’s no point in worrying about trade, taxes, government spending, etc., if we’re dead.
So what would those who seek to be our leader do if elected? Clinton’s plan is to “crush ISIS with Sunnis and Kurds combined with US air power.” Sanders would “destroy the Islamic State with a new NATO-like organization which would include Russia and the Arab states.”
Cruz would “destroy, not just degrade, ISIS by carpet bombing.” Trump proposes to “ban Muslim immigrants, tighten US borders and bomb ISIS oil production facilities.” Kasich would “wipe ISIS off the face of the map with a coalition of mid-eastern and European nations who would put ‘boots on the ground.’”
The solution is evasive. San Bernardino taught us that you can’t judge a Muslim book by its cover … that terrorists can be anywhere. There are more Muslims in the United States than Episcopalians yet relatively little violence. There is a Free Muslim Coalition dedicated to elimination of terrorism. But how do you distinguish pacifists from killers?
There is a precedent from which we can learn. In 1969, Catholics living in Northern Ireland began a campaign to liberate Ulster from England and control by Protestants. Called “The Troubles,” it devolved into a war of terror resulting in over 3,500 deaths.
In 1998 a truce called the “Good Friday Agreement” was agreed to. Violence still breaks out but the worst is over. How could the British tell the “good” Catholics from the terrorists? They couldn’t unless they caught them in a terrorist act. So most of the British effort was spent on protecting their citizens.
What does ISIS want? They actually publish an online newsletter (in several languages) called “Dabiq.” It’s largely jihadist propaganda, but it does reveal a lot about radicalized Muslims that our politicians are apparently unaware of.
It publishes the angry speeches of American politicians in “Words of the Enemy,” so they’re well aware of us. Interestingly, ISIS is conducting its own war on drugs, probably more effectively than the US because their punishments are more draconian.
Even though they’re struggling for cash, ISIS promotes a stable economy including coinage based on the gold standard. “Dabiq” exposes their shortages, pleading for qualified specialists (such as doctors, mechanics, planners, etc.) to run their “state.”
Another interesting thing is that ISIS hates Iran. They consider Iranian Muslims heretics and even accuse former President Ahmadinejad of being a puppet of Israel. They also hate al-Qaida, which condemns ISIS as “too extreme.” General Petraeus actually suggested using al-Qaida fighters against ISIS, but none of our politicians picked up on that.
A majority of their weaponry came from the United States and Russia, abandoned by Iraqi soldiers fleeing oncoming ISIS soldiers at the outset of the struggle. You can Google “weapons of ISIS” to see an inventory.
Perhaps the most surprising thing is that their primary hatred is not aimed at the United States, France, Britain or Russia. They rant most strongly against “apostate Muslims,” those who do not see their faith the way ISIS does. In fact they have killed more Muslims than all others combined.
Taking a cue from “The Troubles,” it may be that Trump has the best answer. Harden US targets, limit access and add to ISIS’s financial miseries by destroying their revenue sources. Once the election year fever is over, perhaps the winner could quietly turn the CIA loose to organize Iranians, al-Qaida and other locals to dispose of these crazed killers.
Jim Clark is president of Republican Advocates. He has served on the Washoe County and Nevada GOP Central Committees. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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