A horrifying video surfaced this week of American journalist James Foley being beheaded by an ISIS militant. Thursday, the US Secretary of Defense, Chuck Hagel, declared ISIS more of a threat than al Qaeda. When asked if this means the US will take action against ISIS in Syria, Hagel replied, "We're looking at all options."
There are strong opinions across the political news spectrum about what's going on with ISIS and what the US should do about it.
Snippets from the Left
Ex-State Dept. expert to Salon: “I have not seen any evidence of successful U.S. intervention to stop such violence in our modern history”
"Consistency in our policy is a needed start to diminish the chances of future genocide. Remember a year ago, many of the same advocates in the U.S. of our reentry into the Iraqi civil war to fight ISIS were advocating the U.S. become involved militarily in Syria, which, in effect, would have put the U.S. in support of ISIS and its goals in Syria. So, consistency in policy, and some thinking...needs to be applied...
…I have not seen any evidence of successful U.S. intervention to stop such violence in our modern history. So, while I think it is a noble idea, I don’t think it is practically possible. Prevention of genocide by addressing conditions of political instability and lack of political order is what is needed and what is attainable."
Snippets from the Right
"The president is a quick study, but a slow learner. Everything we know about the mad dogs now was true a year ago when Mr. Obama was drawing his red lines... But he didn’t do anything about it when it would have been far easier than it is now to do something about it.
Mr. Obama still appears to be ignorant of who the enemy really is, thinking he can contain these mysterious folk who express their devotion to the religion of peace with a beheading knife. These are not the peaceful who obeyed the call to evening prayer in the Indonesia of his boyhood...These are the mad dogs who have distorted the faith, even as Muslims generally retreat from saying so."
Snippets from Center
"They are beyond just a terrorist group. They marry ideology, a sophistication of strategic and tactical military prowess," Hagel said. "This is beyond anything we have seen, and we must prepare for everything. And the only way you do that is that you take a cold, steely hard look at it and get ready."
Speaking at a town hall meeting in Arizona, Republican Sen. John McCain, who has advocated for strikes against ISIS in Syria, said the extremists were "an enemy that must be defeated. Not stopped, but defeated."
Discover more on this story here.
- John and the AllSides team