Time for an ideological battle with the Islamic State

We must fight for freedom.


WASHINGTON, February 18, 2015 — President Barack Obama recently showed his distaste for ISIS when he said, “its barbaric murders of so many people, including American hostages, are a desperate and revolting attempt to strike fear in the hearts of people it can never possibly win over by its ideas or ideology because it offers nothing but misery and death and destruction.”

The fight between ISIS and the West is a battle of ideas and ideology.

It is also now a military battle. ISIS was winning militarily before the US-led bombings began, taking territory with little resistance. If not for the bombings, ISIS would be ruling from Baghdad right now.

Fighters from all over the world swell the ranks of ISIS because its ideology appeals to outcasts. There need to be counter-ideological strategies and purity of purpose in pursuing them. If the conflict involves only military prowess, then even if ISIS loses, it will be replaced by another organization with the same ideology but a different catchy name.

If the idea is simply to destroy ISIS, then it would be better to heed the advise of U.S. Rep Mo Brooks, R- Ala. “I want to know that our president is committed to the task and has a strategy that can win, and if he’s not committed or does not have a strategy, then we should not engage.”

What is the point of throwing billions away when the problem will just return?

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There is only one ideology that is superior to all forms of tyranny and that is liberty. Liberty gives power to the individual, gives them free speech, a right to criticize the government, a right to contribute to society. Liberty ensures that the law treats all equally and that people have hope that their time on earth is not robbed by others in the name of this or that.

To the keen observer, Islam has long instigated a global strategy to Islamify as much of the world as possible. Whilst the whole world is saying believe in what you want, pick any god and leave others alone, Islam demands that others treat them as if their god is more special than other gods, regardless of our own beliefs. This is the mind of ISIS, stuck in a previous century that refuses to mature and accept humanity.

Since the end of World War II, the U.S. has been involved in wars and conflicts around the world in the name of freedom and liberty. Yet besides fall of Berlin Wall, nobody can name one country where the U.S. delivered this freedom and liberty. Instead, where communism was checked, the world witnessed the installation of brutal dictatorships and fascism. The United States installed countless dictators because they were “friendly” to the United States while hateful to their own people.

US-installed governments curbed free speech and eliminated the free press. None gave citizens the right to bear arms. US-backed dictators like Pinochet, Suharto and Mobutu could murder as they wish. They avoided the concept of equality, instead giving cronies lucrative government contracts.

If U.S. foreign policy has been to spread freedom, it has been a complete failure, but at ensuring U.S. corporate interests it has been a great success.

Perhaps Iraq can be that one true success.

The age of oil is coming to an end, one would not be wrong to say the US has a moral duty to make sure that Iraq in particular has the right socio economic framework to enter this coming age. The chaos in Iraq is directly correlated to the removal of Saddam Hussein by US-backed forces, no matter the good intentions.

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Only the most ignorant will call Arabs “savages” and will not understand or appreciate the concept of liberty. Humans have been around for over 200,000 years. There would be no Western civilization today if there were not ancient societies in the Arab world, like Mesopotamia. Yes, human evolution is tied to the past.

We are all humans. Only our minds are holding us back. Liberty frees our minds. One who claims to believe in liberty while labeling others as inferior is a liar. Anybody who believes in liberty truly wants others to be free so that humanity progresses. They truly understand the benefits of a free world, and that a free world is united and wealthier than a world in chains.

If the Iraqi government refuses to implement freedom, the U.S. government should leave and allow ISIS to win. This is neither cruel nor naive, but practical. It saves resources for other fights.

As Mo Brooks tweetted, “in today’s @HouseForeign hearing panelist agreed we must defeat the ideology of #ISIS to combat violent extremism.” It is time to strategize on how to deliver the ideology of freedom to all corners of the world. All should have right to participate in the economy. All should be free.

Freedom should be America’s primary foreign policy goal. We should settle for no less.

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