Less than a month ago, two American journalists were assassinated in Iraq by the Islamist extremist group IS, or the Islamic State, and since then, the ring of the American battle drums have again been beating to the sound of another military intervention in the Middle East.
IS’s assassinations and numerous deplorable actions have created a firestorm of emotions, evoking impassioned responses. Vice-president Biden, in a speech to a New Hampshire audience, proclaimed, “We will follow them to the gates of hell until they are brought to justice.” Others, like Duck Dynasty’s Phil Robertson, argue that we ought to “convert ’em or kill ‘em.”
The drum ring has been growing louder and louder, and on the eve of the commemoration of 9/11, it all stopped for fifteen minutes while President Obama addressed the nation.
In an unforgettable speech given by the United States’ President Obama, he addressed the swelling demand for an American response to the IS threat and outlined a national response.
The president began the speech by highlight how America is safer now than it was years ago because of his foreign policy initiatives but soon acknowledged IS as a new threat, quickly asserting that he intends to “degrade and ultimately destroy the terrorist group known as ISIL” (the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant). He sternly asserted, “ISIL is not Islamic… not a state… [but is] a terrorist organization pure and simple and its vision is to slaughter all who stand in their way.”
Before outlining his response to the IS threat, the president clarified that the actions require a multilateral approach and that the Iraqis and Syrians need to take responsibility for their own situations. That said, Obama highlighted his four pronged responses; a systematic campaign of airstrikes; to bolster the Iraqi and Syrian forces already fighting IS; to draw on America’s counter-terrorist capabilities to prevent further attacks; and to continue providing humanitarian solutions to those affected by the group.
The president further clarified that he will continue trying to enlist regional Arab states to join the coalition and will not send American troops into combat scenarios on foreign soil, using only air forces for direct attacks.
Significant Christian populations have been affected by IS, many killed and others displaced. The Vatican has appealed to the United Nations for a response to the situation, inviting humanitarian solutions while also reminding them that force may permissible as a last resort. Other Christians echo the call of Phil Robertson, and still others, like the blogger Carl Medearis, look for alternatives to violence. Medearis, an expert on Middle Eastern culture asks, “What if we spent a billion dollars on creative ways of shaming ISIS – what might we come up with?”
Sources: Youtube.com, Carlmedearis.com