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By Attorney Jonathan Emord
Author of "The Rise of Tyranny" and
"Global Censorship of Health Information" and
"Restore The Republic"
October 12, 2015

What will it take to defeat ISIS? Why must the United States defeat ISIS? If we do nothing, or virtually nothing as is the preferred course of the current Administration, what will become of the United States?

The failure to obliterate ISIS carries with it mortal consequences for the American people, way of life, and economy. ISIS is dedicated to the creation of a global caliphate in which any dissent from the edicts of its leader, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, is greeted with torture and murder. ISIS is a backward thinking theocratic dictatorship, utterly intolerant of Western civilization which it seeks to destroy, and wedded to a mythical brand of radical Islam that would force all peoples to live in a form of feudal slavery and mortal peril for the slightest deviation from the dictates of Baghdadi. ISIS considers the United States an infidel nation that must be brought down as part of its quest for creation of a global caliphate. Through use of recruitment via the web and implanting dedicated terrorists within our country and near American forces, embassies, schools, and businesses worldwide, it seeks to initiate spontaneous acts of terror that will take the lives of Americans whenever and wherever possible and will disrupt American life and civilization.

If we do nothing to stop ISIS, we will see acts of terror occur with greater and greater frequency around the world and within the United States. To protect American lives, businesses, and property from harm, we cannot tolerate the existence of ISIS, yet destruction of that foe requires far more effort and power than has been expended to date.

Some argue that destroying ISIS ought not be an American fight. The argument proceeds from the mistaken notion that if other Arab nations take up the fight, a dedicated foe of the United States can be subdued without risking American lives in combat. That supposition is false for two important reasons. First, no Arab state has either the interest or ability to destroy ISIS and each realizes that to take on that task will ignite internal dissent that could topple overtly aggressive regimes. Second, the United States can only be assured of the complete annihilation of ISIS if it acts unilaterally to achieve that outcome.

In a recent conversation with a well-placed Air Force colonel who has served in the region, I was advised of an important set of facts we would all do well to contemplate. He described the present engagement of the American military against ISIS as essentially half-hearted, not because our men and women are not fighting with all their might but because this Administration prevents full engagement to eliminate ISIS, crippling military efforts from the outset. He also described the Administration’s approach as one that is magnifying, not lessening, the growth of ISIS. He said that the tribal culture of these warrior peoples causes them to have strong familial bonds, oftentimes causing each terrorist presently engaged to be supported by a large family unit that shares the same zealous commitment. When the American military relies on isolated aerial attacks alone to take out a part of ISIS, that incomplete engagement simply inspires sympathizers and supporters to become more involved, expands the propaganda pull of the organization, and leads relatives to enter the fray. In short, he said that unless we engage in total war against ISIS and its sympathizers around the world, we will not likely see an end to ISIS or its acts of terror but will, instead, see an expansion of those efforts.

In this colonel’s informed view, ISIS is like a multi-headed hydra. When we attack it and sever one head, it simply grows another and keeps expanding. The only way to defeat it, he says, is to infiltrate the organization, identify all who are supporters and are sympathizes with it, and then systematically eliminate not only its leaders and members but also those who provide it support, aid, and comfort. In short, absent total war, we are not likely to see an end to ISIS. Moreover, because the limited engagements to date have been akin to pouring gasoline on fire, we cannot now withdraw from the struggle. In his view, we are so hated by so many in the Arab world as a result of this limited engagement strategy, generations of terrorists have come into existence who will keep waging this fight for decades if not hundreds of years to come.

From a global war perspective, then, the notion that degrading ISIS is an effective strategy is mistaken because occasional interdiction of elements of this organization has the effect of emboldening its followers, improving the pull of its propaganda, and expanding its membership and influence. Only when we are able to cause every person in the world to appreciate beyond doubt that involvement in ISIS means assured destruction will we arrest ISIS and place it on a course of annihilation. Only if involvement in the organization is understood to be utterly futile will we achieve adequate protection for our nation and people.

To reach that objective means that we must expand intelligence gathering efforts overseas far beyond those currently employed, we must employ a clandestine army of tens of thousands of operatives who will identify ISIS members and sympathizers and eliminate them, and we must apply maximum force to obliterate every place of meeting, training, and refuge for the organization. It is not enough to bomb sites intermittently, we have to employ contemporaneous efforts to find all supporters and sympathizers and wage an effective guerilla war against them.

From my discussion with the colonel, I came away with the impression that he believed neither this Administration nor the American people appreciate what it will take to defeat ISIS. He said that we appear to lack the comprehension and commitment needed to ferret out and eliminate all those who sustain and promote ISIS, including the families of ISIS members. He said without that understanding and commitment, we cannot reasonably expect there to be any end to ISIS or to terrorist acts around the world. He indicated that we must therefore expect acts of terror to occur with greater frequency around the world and within the United States.

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It may be that we will not do what is required to eliminate ISIS until popular anger and will is stirred as a result of a particularly heinous terrorist event, such as the detonation of a nuclear or biological weapon on American soil. I would hope that we would come to our senses and take on the task of eliminating this foe before such a happenstance. That, however, will have to await the departure of the current administration, which favors appeasement, weakness, and immolation of the nation and its interests worldwide. Much depends on who occupies the White House next.

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© 2015 Jonathan W. Emord - All Rights Reserved

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Jonathan W. Emord is an attorney who practices constitutional and administrative law before the federal courts and agencies. Ron Paul calls Jonathan “a hero of the health freedom revolution” and says “all freedom-loving Americans are in [his] debt . . . for his courtroom [victories] on behalf of health freedom.” He has defeated the FDA in federal court a remarkable eight times, seven on First Amendment grounds, and is the author of the Amazon bestsellers The Rise of Tyranny, Global Censorship of Health Information, and Restore the Republic. He is the American Justice columnist for U.S.A. Today Magazine and joins Robert Scott Bell weekly for “Jonathan Emord’s Sacred Fire of Liberty,” an hour long radio program on government threats to individual liberty. For more info visit, join the Emord FDA/FTC Law Group on Linkedin, and follow Jonathan on twitter (@jonathanwemord).


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From my discussion with the colonel, I came away with the impression that he believed neither this Administration nor the American people appreciate what it will take to defeat ISIS.