Islamic State: A Desire To Sever the Bonds of Hatred

The international community now stands at a great crossroads. Things will not truly be resolved if we cannot sever the bonds of hatred. Keeping this in mind, I would like to explore an appropriate solution.

Officials from about 30 different countries and international organizations, including the U.K., U.S., Russia, and Arab countries met in Paris to discuss measures against the extremist group, the Islamic State. They agreed to provide appropriate military support to the Iraqi government in the fight against the Islamic State group.

The cruelty of the Islamic State group, where nonresistant hostages are beheaded and slaughtered one after another, is definitely shocking. It is only natural that U.K. Prime Minister David Cameron would call it “an act of pure evil.” It goes without saying that this is a pressing issue.

However, will military action really lead to a true resolution of the issue? Non-military methods that use force as little as possible, such as diplomatic negotiations and economic sanctions, should be thoroughly explored.

The Islamic State group controls a large amount of land across Iraq and Syria, an amount comparable to that of the U.K. According to the CIA, there are approximately 20,000 to 31,500 insurgents. Minority groups like the Kurds are also being persecuted. NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen described it as “pretty close to genocide.” Also true is what France’s President Francois Hollande pointed out, “We have to come up with a global strategy to fight this group.”

As President Obama stated, however, “It will only provoke Islamic extremists if the U.S. armed forces conduct a ground war in the Middle East.”* We certainly also “must not repeat mistakes” in the Iraq War which resulted in a turmoil that destroyed public order and ended in the deaths of 120,000 people, all for the sake of non-existent weapons of mass destruction.*

The U.S. is thus now avoiding the deployment of ground troops and is organizing airstrikes instead. Although it is prepared to conduct airstrikes over Syria as well as Iraq, if this is the case, then is this not a repeat of the Iraq War? The airstrikes are meant to only hit the extremist group, but if we look at past wars, there is no doubt that many innocent townspeople will get caught in the fire.

It is natural, then, for the townspeople who lose children, parents or siblings to come to deeply resent the country that attacked. That hatred will end up becoming the breeding ground for the next extremist group. Something so foolish should not be repeated.

The international world should cooperate to thoroughly block the influx of goods and funds to the Islamic State group. Moreover, we should support public order officials in both Syria and Iraq and strongly press for the restoration of public order and eradication of the crime syndicate in the countries involved.

*Editor’s note: The original quotation, accurately translated, could not be verified.

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