This week, President Trump produced a map to show how well he has done fighting against ISIS. He claimed that the one little dot representing ISIS territory would be wiped out within 24 hours. This caused me to ask the question. Is ISIS really defeated?
I ask this because every couple of weeks the President declares victory over ISIS. However, a couple weeks later he will be back out claiming this time they are completely defeated. The first time he stated it I checked it out. This was within the first year of his Presidency. The second time I checked again. ISIS was still there. In fairness to the President, they got smaller every time I checked. However they were still there. I quickly wrote this off as another instance of the President lying. Soon, I quit checking altogether when he made his grandiose pronouncements.
The last time ISIS was defeated.
The last time ISIS was declared dead, I didn’t bother to check. Perhaps naively, I assumed it was true that time. Shortly thereafter, the whole ISIS wife issue popped up. Thus, it made sense. ISIS is gone. The extremists are straggling back to their native countries. However, it wasn’t apparently so. President Trump is once again declaring them dead.
It’s easy to get distracted with all the ups and downs. They’re dead, they’re alive. The Caliphate is gone, now it’s back. One thing is clear. ISIS is much worse off than they were when President Trump took over. For that, he deserves credit. Are they dead? I don’t know. I’ve checked out of fact checking on this claim. Do we want them gone? The easy answer is “yes”. Is that the right one?
Back in the 1980’s and 90’s, terrorist groups would pop up here and there. They would hijack a plane, there would be a standoff, then it would get resolved. Eventually we would bomb a building in some third world country and they would be gone. Sure, there were a few that stuck around. However, they were groups who were more active behind the scenes than participating in overt attacks. Then came Al Qaeda.
Are we better off when we’re asking “is ISIS really defeated?
President Bush promised to obliterate Al Qaeda. Moreover, he did a pretty good job of it. President Obama finished it off when we dumped the cold, dead body of Osama Bin Laden into the ocean. Mission accomplished. Them along came ISIS. Obama famously called them the “JV team”. They weren’t. It was the same players, different uniforms. Literally.
I guess maybe the ISIS brides made me rethink this whole thing. Instead of asking if they should legally be allowed to return home, perhaps we should think about why they are coming back. It’s the calm between the storms.
This isn’t the Super Bowl, It’s March Madness. I’m not sure that President Trump is lying about winning. Maybe the better way to look at it is whack a mole. Perhaps we have put them down 5 or 6 times now. However, they keep coming back. Eventually, they will stay down. Not defeated. Regrouping. Maybe we’re better off letting them keep a city or two. This way we know who and where they are.
Think about it. Obama killed Bin Laden. Yet he was criticized for his efforts against terror because of ISIS. President Trump could take out ISIS, but that won’t be the end of the game either. They’ll come back under another name. Same terrorists, different uniform. Perhaps the only question left to be answered is will they take their brides back?