Today is September 11th, and although the “Never Forget” pride that flared on this day in the years following 2001 has subsided, the past is beginning to echo in the most negative way. ISIS has given America a new monster, and the warhawks are trying to perpetuate fear to rally support for yet another war. There is no simple, cut-and-dry solution to what’s happening.
Jason Linkins of The Huffington Post points out how American politicians are inciting American anxiety about ISIS. Linkins indicated that according to a recent CNN poll, a staggering 90 percent of Americans believe that ISIS is an immediate threat to the United States despite the FBI and Department of Homeland Security asserting that ISIS is not, in fact, a “specific or credible” threat to us.
Politicians, active and retired, conservative and liberal, are perpetuating the unfettering panic of the American people, beating the war drums, talking of action, admonishing ISIS, and stirring the pot of collective fear. These are the same tactics used by manipulative, power-hungry politicians to fool the American people into supporting a sloppy, mishandled war against a near-invisible enemy.
The Guardian’s Trevor Timm noted that a few politicians, mostly Republican with some Democrats, are beginning to push war with completely outlandish statements. Sen. James Inhofe (R-OK) said ISIS is “rapidly developing a method of blowing up a major US city.” Sen. Bill Nelson (D-FL) took ISIS seriously when they said they’ll “fly the black flag of ISIS over the White House.”
Sure, ISIS may be technologically advanced and vicious murderers, but to think of them as some kind of overpowered supercell is foolish and gives ISIS too much credit.
ISIS wants us to fear them and believe that they can actually invade America and cause significant damage. When people in Middle America go to sleep thinking about a slightly-organized band of foot soldiers, that band has already won on certain fronts.
We’ve all seen the pictures of ISIS’s violence, and yes, they are angering and the heigthened emotional response to a beheaded child is warranted and natural. It’s normal and understandable to want to go in with full regalia and lay waste to these monsters. But Americans see victory in the complete eradication of ISIS. But to ISIS, just getting into an armed conflict with us would is the victory. Their beliefs allow them to see death as the ultimate triumph, and death by our hands is all the more glorious to them.
America is in a tough position, and our administration is straddling between seeking justice for those that ISIS has murdered and possibly entering into another unending war with mounting pressure to act. However, everyone needs to realize that there are no easy answers here, but scaring people more than they already are is not one of them.