Job in Syria far from finished

The Islamic State terrorist group is finished, at least in Syria, President Donald Trump and some in the U.S. military are proclaiming. Well, good riddance.

Unfortunately, however, the mission of civilized human beings the world over is far from accomplished.

Trump this week displayed a map showing territory in Syria and Iraq that was controlled by the IS in 2014-15, compared to the murderous organization’s status now. Clearly, the IS has been all but eradicated. On Saturday, U.S.-backed forces in Syria rousted IS troops from their last remaining stronghold in Syria.

No doubt the warnings of analysts that the IS could stage a comeback at some point will be ridiculed. But whether it does or not is immaterial.

A quick quiz for you: On Sept. 12, 2001, the day after the terrorist attacks on America, had you ever heard of the Islamic State? Probably not. You knew about Osama bin Laden and al-Qaida, but not about the dozens of other Islamic terrorist organizations throughout the world.

At that time, the IS was merely a tiny organization that supported the goals of al-Qaida. It grew.

Give the military and Trump credit — along with the Russians and the vicious Syrian regime — credit for decimating the IS. It was a job that had to be done. It was handled efficiently, in many respects.

But neither the IS nor al-Qaida are the real enemy. The threat to civilization — and that is no exaggeration — is the perversion of Islam into a philosophy of murder and conquest.

Until every pocket of Islamic terrorism, by whatever name, is eradicated, the task of ensuring decent people of all faiths can live in peace will remain uncompleted.


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