Short-term gains and long-term losses

ISIS rising: a global problem

Rudy Rodriguez

Over the summer, Iraq has become a powderkeg of violence due to a growing terrorist organization called ISIS. With the recent mass killings and beheading of journalists, ISIS is now starting to gain attention.

Chris Blake, Union College English and Communications professor and sponsor of the Amnesty International Club on campus, sat down with me to break down the ISIS situation that started at the beginning of August.

The Iraqi military is well-armed and supplied by none other the United States. Despite having a revamped military after the recent reformation of the Iraqi government, the heavy U.S. involvement left Iraq’s new military leaders clueless on how to run a military or government after we vacated the country.

“The great irony is that one of the major things that ISIS is angry about the westernization of Iraq and the Middle East while they are using Twitter and other social media to show their crimes” Blake states. “We killed one Saddam and created a million of them. Such is the price you pay with violence. It’s all short-term gains and long-term losses.” Blake adds when speaking about what happened in the wake of the US invasion of Iraq.

When asked why Union College should care, Blake stated, “We are all human beings, we are a human family. It is our duty to care.”

Later that day, I asked Senior Theology major Chaz Spellman why Union College should care. Spellman stated “It’s a bigger picture than that. We should care more about the world in general. Americans are very closed off to what’s going on. They have no idea what its like to be occupied, or to be shot at.”

Ignorance is no excuse not to care, and we need to understand that at Union—and in America. Before we judge the Muslim people, we should understand that ISIS does not represent Islam in the same way the Branch Davidian cult did not represent the Adventist church.

We must take care to open our minds before our mouth. We must educate ourselves on what’s happening outside of our world, and what’s happening in theirs.

Rudy is a sophomore communication and social science education major.