The world is fretting over the Islamic State’s (ISIS) destruction of artifacts from the past, but the future of a nuclear-armed Islamic State lurks on the distant horizon.
Indian Defense Minister Rao Inderjit Singh told Bloomberg:
With the rise of ISIS in West Asia, one is afraid to an extent that perhaps they might get access to a nuclear arsenal from states like Pakistan.
ISIS boasts that it has “billions of dollars in the bank” and that it called on its Pakistani-based official “to purchase a nuclear device through weapons dealers” have been discounted as unlikely, but Western and Arab leaders also did not foresee the rapid rise of the radical Islamist terrorist juggernaut.
While the West talks, the Islamic State stalks. It controls more than half of Syria, parts of Iraq, has made inroads in Libya and is linked with cells in the Sinai Peninsula, but much more worrisome is its cancerous spread to Southeast Asia.
Singapore’s Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said on Friday:
Southeast Asia is a key recruitment center for ISIS. [It] has so many Indonesian and Malaysia fighters that they form a unit by themselves — the Katibah Nusantara — Malay Archipelago Combat Unit.
Loong estimated that more than 500 Indonesians and dozens of Malaysians have joined ISIS.
This is why Singapore takes terrorism, and in particular ISIS, very seriously,” Lee said. “The threat is no longer over there, it is over here.
The “over there” attitude is what left the Obama administration in an illusion that “it can’t happen here” until it only lately has begun to wake up to the possibility that just because something is unimaginable doesn’t mean it can’t happen.
It sounds a bit like the head-in-the-sand attitude during the Holocaust.
The scenes of ISIS beheadings of American journalists horrified U.S. officials and the general public, which has voiced its fear in a Gallup poll earlier this year that revealed that 84 percent of Americans think the terrorist entity poses a critical threat to the United States.
President Barack Obama last year spoke in public more about separating the Islamic State from Islam than he did about fighting it, while it simply continues to gain ground.
It would seem insane that Pakistan would deliver nuclear weapons to the ISIS, but if that is the price it takes to buy off the ISIS not to take over the country, so be it.
It is too easy to be a scaremonger and warn that the ISIS is about to bomb Washington tomorrow, but believing it never will happen is even scarier.
Here is what Paul Waldman, a contributor to The Plum Line blog and a senior writer at The American Prospect, wrote n the Washington Post two months ago:
Now, let’s entertain a truly radical notion: Even if the Islamic State could launch a successful terrorist attack in the United States, that still wouldn’t make them much of a threat. How many Americans could they kill? A dozen? A hundred? That would be horrible. But car accidents kill almost a hundred Americans each and every day….
The Islamic State has done ghastly things.We should work to eliminate them in any way we can.
Even so, they are not actually much of a threat to the United States.
So what if a hundred Americans are killed? And that would be the first and last attack because the U.S. Army would immediately bomb Syria, Iraq, and southeast Asia and God know where else to smithereens?
The Islamic Sartre is succeeding because it has instilled a will, albeit a death wish, into its believers, while no one has the will to defeat them.
The Washington Post’s Jennifer Rubin wrote on Sunday:
Four defense officials told The Daily Beast that there’s still strong resistance within the Obama administration to making any serious changes to the current strategy for fighting ISIS—despite mounting skepticism from some in the Pentagon about the current U.S. approach to the war.
The newspaper wrote in an editorial last Friday:
The Obama administration has responded to the recent gains by the Islamic State in Iraq with several remedial measures…. but some senior administrative officials have adopted a defensive crouch, blaming the Iraqis for failing to defend the city of Ramadi and insisting that there is no alternative to current U.S. strategy….
The administration boasts of 3,000 strikes carried out by U.S. planes since last summer. But as The New York Times recently reported, the pace of air operations is far below that of the 2001 Afghan campaign, when there were nearly six times as many daily strikes on average ….
Obama should make his priority eliminating the Islamic State — as opposed to limiting U.S. engagement in Iraq.
The Islamic State has proven so far that once it establishes a presence in an area, it cannot be defeated.
That is what worries Singapore’s Prime Minister Loong, who said that an ISIS caliphate state in Southeast Asia seems like a “grandiose, pie-in-the sky dream” but is possible.
Bloomberg journalist Josh Rogin wrote last week:
Unless the anti-Islamic State coalition does more to cooperate with countries in Southeast Asia and elsewhere, the terror group will just expand its recruiting and attacks across the globe.
Anyone doubting the Islamic State’s desire to have a nuclear weapon should read what The JewishPress.com reported here earlier today.
So long as everyone thinks it is “far-fetched” that the Islamic State can lay its hands on a nuclear weapon — and it would be a lot easier for it obtain “dirty bombs” — and so long as Washington thinks “it can’t happen here,” the likelihood grows that it indeed will happen.
The United States stopped Hitler before he could conquer the word, but it waited until his regime slaughtered, gassed and touted 6,000,000 Jews.
History will record how many people, especially Christians, are beheaded before the Islamic State is stopped, assuming there will be someone around to write history.