Negotiation with Terrorists and Pirates?
Terrorists, Kidnappings, Beheadings: When if Ever Do We Negotiate?
Who is the ISIS?
The ISIS, which has changed its name numerous times began as a ragtag jihadi Iraqi Sunni militia consisting of former Al Qaida members in 2004. Members included Islamic State of Iraq jihadists and a multitude of other radical groups and stragglers who lost family in Iraq with nothing left to loose. Their main base of operations was Iraq, where its members mobilized hundreds then thousands to oppose the U.S. and allied invasion and Occupation. Its base of operations expanded to Syria as Syria disintegrated into civil war thanks to Saudi Arabia and the West Meddling such as training and supporting opponents of Assad in neighboring countries.
Its membership grew in bounds as it easily mobilized jihadists opposing Western intervention. Its arsenal began piling up when the members confiscated U.S. weapons in Iraq. The arsenal grew. The group has access to stashes of Stinger surface-to-air missiles Humvees, M198 howitzers, anti-tank weapons SA-7s, much of which were captured and others funded. IS captured UH-60 Blackhawk helicopters and cargo planes when it seized the Iraq airport.
So did it’s coffers stack up to the tune of billions gathered from local donations, extortions or bank robberies of Iraqi funds as well as from worldwide donations pouring in. Many suspect that it is the richest jihadi group in the world. Its propaganda machine is very sophisticated and its social media skills are impressive.
Its immediate goal was to blur all the borders between the Levant, which included Iraq, Lebanon, Syria, Palestine and parts of Turkey to establish a Muslim Caliphate.
Although the group claimed to target Shia Muslims, who were put in power after the Invasion of Iraq, its vengeance and murderous atrocities sees no bounds. Targets include those opposing the Caliphate and who appear as a threat to the Caliphates dominance over the Middle Eastern region that it has mapped out to become a hard core Shia based Islamic State.
Iraqi officials accuse Saudi Arabia, an official Sunni state of creating much of the mischief, supporting the Caliphate and helping strengthen and embolden it. Saudi Arabia denies the accusations. No one argues with the oily Kingdom and many oil dependent countries jump to its tune lest they loose their oil procuring status in the Kingdom.
The latest U.S. airstrikes’ targeted the ISIS (IS). Obama garbled the cookbook language or American interests and infrastructures. Rescuing the Christians as a motive was thrown out. Although loud proclamations were made about going in to protect the Christians, the West let out a big sigh of relief when one major goal of securing the vital and strategic Mosul Dam was accomplished, as well as securing oil rich Kurdish areas. The Christians, a significant minority in Iraq and Syria had been victims of the War of Iraq and Syria since 2001 with millions being displaced and slaughtered. Their plight was used to help mobilize good and noble Americans for the latest air strikes.
ISIS declared itself as a Caliphate this year and renamed itself the Islamic State (IS). Its Caliphate Abu Bakir Al Baghdadi declared that the Caliphate had power over Muslims world wide. The Caliphate has become so violent that even Al Qaida leadership has tried to distance itself.
Books and mounds or reports have been written about the IS, but this brief summary was a lead up to where this article is going.
No doubt the entire world is aware of the beheading of U.S. journalist James Wright Foley. The macabre ruthless group proudly released a video of his beheading. SOF chose not to show the video out of respect for Mr Foley and his family and friends. Before they executed the civilian journalist held hostage in cold blood they demanded a huge ransom. The United States, following its long term policy of refusing to negotiate with terrorist and pirates refused to cough up the ransom money.. Its a no brainer that a policy of capitulation could open floodgates of kidnappings and hostage takings and ransom demands. Reports confirm that the IS thugs have other U.S. U.K. Italian, Turkish, and hostages of other nationalities. They are demanding ransom or negotiations for hostage trade with their leaders held either in the U.S. or elsewhere. Obama swore to protect Americans everywhere. Never mind the hype.
We threaten to kill a few jihadists, but no one is fooled, no matter how many we kill, other more vicious Jihadists emerge from an inexhaustible supply of members of a group that cannot be motivated by fear.
SOF asks SOF readers: Should we negotiate with the terrorists or should we stand by and wait for the inevitable outcome? Grim alternatives, weigh in.
R.I.P. Mr. Foley.
Photo Courtesty of Mr Foley freejamesfoley.org. To be used for press purposes of articles referring to his kidnapping.