I remember being an idealistic young attorney only 2 years out of law school back in 1994 cringing every time I saw media coverage about the Rwanda Genocide. I kept asking: Where is the UN? Where is NATO? Where is my country? Where are the free nations of Europe? The world did nothing and about one million Rwandans were slaughtered – most by machetes. A majority of the Tutsi people were murdered. It all happened over about 100 days. It’s an issue I will always hold against President Clinton.
I’m reminded of that horrendous moment in history because I fear we may soon be dealing with another genocide in Syria and Iraq by the ISIS barbarians. And we may see such horrors very soon in Kobani, a Syrian city controlled by Kurds near the Turkish border. ISIS boasts about massacres when it takes control of the city. Is the world going to allow this Kurdish slaughter? How do free and democratic nations like the United States, France, Great Britain and Germany just watch and not take real action to stop ISIS? The solution is painfully obvious. If the world wants to stop and defeat ISIS, it must put troops on the ground to fight them. ISIS will not be defeated with only an air campaign – all credible military officials recognize this very clear fact.
For example, the former Marine Corps Commandant, General James Conway stated, “I don’t think the president’s plan has a snowball’s chance in hell of succeeding.” Retired Marine General James Mattis added: “Specifically, if this threat to our nation is determined to be as significant as I believe it is, we may not wish to reassure our enemies in advance that they will not see American ‘boots on the ground’ . . . If a brigade of our paratroopers or a battalion landing team of our Marines would strengthen our allies at a key juncture and create havoc/humiliation for our adversaries, then we should do what is necessary with our forces that exist for that very purpose.” (See: http://goo.gl/dPSmH9).
I recognize that President Obama made a campaign commitment to remove our troops from Iraq, but leadership and a commitment to human rights should cause him to revise his strategy, along with his duty to protect our national security. President Obama’s priority cannot be politics and sticking to prior positions – he must assert himself as the leader of the free world and take the necessary actions to stop ISIS before the atrocities and eventual genocide begin. As a former Marine Sergeant, I expect that a few battalions of Marines with supporting air power could finish off ISIS in a few weeks. If President Obama can find other nations to send troops, that would be just fine, but the one thing that can’t happen is for our President and the world to do nothing and allow ISIS to begin the next genocide.
ISIS will never stop its rampage across the Middle East to create a Muslim fundamentalist state supporting international terrorism. So I ask the same questions that I did in 1994 on Rwanda: “Where is the UN? Where is NATO? Where is my country” Where are the free nations of Europe? Either the world unites quickly to defeat ISIS, which will require well-trained and properly equipped troops on the ground, or the possibility of the next genocide becomes more serious each day.