The goal of ISIL is far larger than capturing Baghdad and Iraq. Their sights are set on attacking America, which they consider the Great Satan.
We cannot rely on the Obama Doctrine, which says that if you leave jihadists alone, they'll leave you alone. Following that approach can get you beheaded. Or blown up by an airliner.
ISIL is the richest, best-equipped terrorist group on the planet. And the blood-thirstiest.
Secretary of State John Kerry told ABC News we're safe because ISIL does “not yet” have the ability to strike America, although he acknowledges it's their goal: “They have indicated a desire to do so. We have … to make sure that they never can.”
That's pre-9/11 thinking. Does Kerry think that oceans are protective barriers?
In a world of global travel, global trade and global communication, terrorists have many ways to recruit and reach us. Especially when "profiling" is considered such a bad word. Just ask the Fort Hood victims of Maj. Nidal Hasan, including the 13 killed. He was recruited via the Internet. And the World Trade Center and the Pentagon attacks were organized and launched remotely.
A new report to Congress makes clear that ISIL wants Iraq as a base for launching assaults on the United States. They already have recruits with American passports, such as in Minnesota, and British passports, and recruiting underway in Spain.
British Prime Minister David Cameron warns that the Iraq crisis cannot be dismissed as having “nothing to do with us” because Britain is also a target of these jihadists.
ISIL has far more resources and capabilities than al Qaeda did prior to 9/11 in 2001, and ISIL is not hiding in caves in Afghanistan. ISIL's recent capture of hundreds of millions of dollars adds to an estimated $2 billion cash stockpile from their Mafia-style efforts in Syria and their aid from rich fanatics. That's enough to buy nuclear weapons from a North Korea that is starved for cash. That's enough to bribe legions of officials. That's plenty to hire those who can infiltrate and take down sensitive computer networks.
Their financial base will expand even more with their capture of the Baiji refinery, Iraq's largest (a third of the country's output). Plus they are threatening oil fields.
They've captured the stockpile of Saddam Hussein's old chemical weapons. ISIL has seized armories with immense quantities of munitions. Reports describe their taking of American M-1 Abrams as well as Russian T-55 tanks, plus artillery, Humvees and troop transports. Whether they've also captured Blackhawk helicopters is debated. But it's undeniable that they are moving captured weapons around within their area of operations in Iraq and Syria, perhaps Jordan.
Already, they've captured much of the billions of dollars of weapons within Iraq.
Their direct capabilities far outweigh the AK-47s and RPGs of early al Qaeda. What about their stealth capabilities? They've not needed IEDs, but they've paraded masked suicide bombers who could be exported. And wealth buys stealth. It cost only an estimated half-million dollars to carry out the 9/11 attacks. That's peanuts for ISIL.
It's super short-range thinking for the secretary of state and the Obama White House to believe ISIL can “not yet” be a threat to America.
Former Vice President Dick Cheney predicts a major attack on the American homeland within the decade due to this resurgence of terrorism. Dick Cheney is an optimist.
We probably don't have that long.
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