By Roger Caldwell (NNPA News Wire Guest Columnist)
President Obama underestimated the threat of ISIS, by calling the organization a “JV team” during his 2012 election campaign. This was a miscalculation in terms of his thinking and strategy. In 2016, many countries around the globe are trying to destroy this violent extremist organization as each terrorist attack attributed to the group is more brutal and violent than the previous one.
Jim Geraghty, a reporter from the “National Review” says that ISIS “controls a volume of resources and territory unmatched in the history of extremist organizations, makes $3 million per day selling oil on the black market, are battling for control of Iraq’s largest dam and power supply for the city of Mosul, are spreading into Lebanon, are threatening to starve or slaughter ‘at least 40,000 members of the Yazidi sect,’ is organizing protest in the Netherlands, and is stepping up its recruitment of Westerners.”
With the savage massacre in Orlando at the Pulse Nightclub, Americans understand that terrorism is local, and it can be down the street or around the corner. Many Americans thought that terrorism was global, and the majority of these extremist organizations operated internationally. But, now everyone knows that terrorism can happen anywhere at any time.
Terrorism raises the risk and cost of doing business, whether that business is diplomacy, manufacturing or sales. Insurance companies are forced to pay billions of dollars for claims by their customers, and the cost to insurers will be passed on to clients. These costs impact every kind of business, and no one has any idea when terrorism will end.
Cutting-off these organizations at their funding sources is a start in the right direction, but when an organization makes $3 million per day, it is hard to figure out where the money starts and ends. The U.N. Security Council, passed a resolution to choke-off the funding sources for this extremist organizations, and have frozen millions of dollars in banks of countries that have been charged with supporting terrorist organizations.
There is a list of countries that sponsor terrorist organizations around the world, but different countries have different lists. Under President Obama, the State Sponsors of Terrorism List consist of only three countries, Syria, Sudan, and Iran. The list was created in 1979, and there has been as many as six nations on the list, but in 2015, President Obama removed Cuba from the list, and it keeps getting smaller.
Just as there are no strict criteria or guidelines for a State Sponsors of Terrorism list, there are no rules for what constitutes a terrorist organization. By definition terrorism is inflicting violence or murder with horrific atrocities to people in a location, region or nation. In some circles around the world, many small countries are charging America with terrorism, with its killing and murder of civilians by President Obama’s drone campaign.
In 2013, Obama said, “Strikes would be conducted, only if there were a continuing and imminent threat to the American people and only if there were near certainty that there would be no civilian causalities.”
But documents show that the Pentagon and CIA have a 60-day window to act, when the president approves an attack. The media is questioning whether the 60-day window is too long, because things change rapidly in a war zone, and they claim there have been hundreds of civilian deaths with Obama’s drone campaign.
Last week, Obama’s administration said the United States has inadvertently killed between 64 and 116 noncombatant civilians in drone and other lethal attacks against terrorism suspects in places not considered active war zones. This is hard to believe when in Orlando, with one shooting there were 50 deaths. There have been over 400 drone attacks since President Obama has been in office.
Terrorism in 2016 and beyond, will be the most urgent and pressing problem in the world. When groups, organizations, and individuals prefer death over life, terrorism becomes a new paradigm that disrupts socio-economic and cultural constructs with no simple solutions.
Roger Caldwell is the president and CEO of On Point Media Group, a marketing and public relations firm located in Orlando, Florida. He is a graduate of Howard University in political science. As a stroke survivor, author, and community journalist, his passion is national and statewide politics. Follow him at rogerpoliticalblogs.wordpress.com or e-mail comments to firstname.lastname@example.org.