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Iran Fighting ISIS - Is it Really a Problem?

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of

As Iran continues to take an active role in helping Iraq fight the Islamic State group (ISIS), many neocons are upset that the U.S. military is not over there on the ground doing the fighting. They want Americans to believe that only another U.S. invasion of Iraq - and of Syria as well - can defeat ISIS. But what is wrong with the countries of the region getting together and deciding to cooperate on a common problem?


While the entry of Iranian-backed Shi'ite militias into ISIS-occupied areas may not be ideal - there is bound to be revenge killings and sectarian fighting - it is far more likely that the ISIS problem will be solved by the countries in the region than by U.S. bombs and ground troops. Our bombs will continue to make the problem worse because it was our bombs that helped create the problem in the first place. What the neocons who lied us into the Iraq war don't like to admit is that there was no ISIS problem and no al-Qaeda problem in Iraq and Syria before we invaded Iraq.

ISIS is an idea, not a country or an army, which is why the U.S. declaring war on ISIS makes no sense. It is clear that if we really want to defeat ISIS, the last thing we should be doing is bombing and sending troops back to Iraq and into Syria. Our bombs and involvement in the region only serve to recruit more fighters into ISIS. To make matters worse, many of these radicalized fighters come from Europe and even the U.S. What happens when they go home?

What if the U.S. had not gotten involved with Iraq in 1990 when Saddam Hussein went into Kuwait after getting what he thought was a green light from the first Bush Administration? The interventionists were saying that if we did not act, Saddam Hussein was going to take over the region and perhaps more! But what about the other countries in the region that may have felt threatened? Maybe Saudi Arabia would have made a move; maybe Israel would have taken care of the problem. Why does it always have to be the U.S.?


The dedicated neocons and other interventionists will not cheer Iran currently taking steps to defeat ISIS even though they claim that ISIS is at this time the number one threat to the U.S.. Why don't they like this good news? Because they desire the rest of the world to believe that the U.S. is the only indispensable nation. They want the rest of the world - and especially the American taxpayer - to believe that no problem anywhere can be solved without U.S. involvement.

It diminishes our prestige, they argue, for us not to take the lead in every conflict everywhere on the globe. Perhaps if people overseas begin to see that they can solve their own local and regional problems without the U.S. military involved, more Americans would come to see the neocons as the real threat to our national - and financial - security.

Instead of being angered at Iranian help to address the problem of ISIS, perhaps we should send them a "thank you" note.

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