The crisis that is ISIS or the preferred name of ISIL may have been prevented if President Obama had listened to his national security team in the early days of the Syrian Civil War. President Obama’s security team recommended that the moderate forces fighting to end Assad’s regime be given arms and assistance. The President decided against getting involved in Syria’s Civil War and we failed to give the moderates the help they needed. Now we rue the day that we did not help. I believe that the failure to assist the moderates when we had the chance and the failure to diminish the military capacity of Assad have resulted in giving the world ISIL. This is the President’s biggest mistake.

The military assistance that might have turned the tide would have been to disable the Syrian Air Force and to take out most of Assad’s heavy weaponry.

Move forward a few years and we see Assad winning, we see the moderate forces in retreat and we see the result of allowing the extremist’s, ISIL group, fill the power vacuum among the opposition to Assad. Now we have to deal with a much stronger ISIL. They have become a danger to the region and to the world. The change in President’s policy might be too little and too late, if they expect to resurrect the moderates in Syria. The world will now have to address ISIL with a military response from ourselves and our allies.

No President is perfect and every President’s has made mistakes during their administrations. During the Franklin Roosevelt administration, the internment camps were a huge mistake as was his attempt to pack the court. President Eisenhower could have taken stronger action during the McCarthy era, President Kennedy had the Bay of Pigs, Lyndon Johnson had Vietnam and President Nixon had his Watergate.

For our current president, avoiding the dangers of getting involved in a civil war makes sense, until you look at what were the probable consequences of inaction. The magic question is whether or not the current strategy will be successful. My sincere worry is that the United States will need to put boots on the ground to ensure the demise of ISIL.

Today, our ally, Jordan is inundated with Syrian refugees. Jordan is lucky to have King Abdullah. He has taken responsibility to take care of the refugee problem even though, it creates a huge drain on their resources. Jordan a country without oil money coming in, is doing its utmost to take care of the homeless who have sought refuge in their country. They have reached the limit of their ability to take care of the problem but the King is nevertheless doing the right thing.

Civilians are always the innocent victims of war. We always seem to forget the pain and suffering of the tens of thousands of displaced persons that war renders homeless.

The easiest thing to do is to do nothing and just claim that it is not our problem. But when we attacked Iraq and attempted regime change, we broke the pottery and created chaos and instability. I suppose it would be popular to just let the opposing sides kill each other. The problem is that rampant aggression must be met with a united world community that is determined to make conquest and genocide outdated. For the world to accomplish this noble ideal, we all must be resolute in our determination to not let aggression go unheeded and rewarded by failing to learn the lessons of history. We must be united in our efforts to meet that challenge that is ISIL.



  1. The mistake was to arm the rebels and promote anarchy. We should instead have used diplomatic strategies to control Assad. Syria is now and for the foreseeable future in a state of anarchy.

    • Hi Pat! From what I’ve read and the latest 60 Minutes show, the problem was we stayed out of the Syrian Civil War and did not arm or choose sides. Normally that might be the right choice to make, but if our intelligence service indicates that one side, such as ISIL, is so extreme, that fact may have indeed indicated a need to do something about what has become a human disaster in Syria.

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