SAVANAH HOWARD & LAUREN LIPPERT
Friday the 13th is considered an unlucky day in Western superstition. To solidify the superstitions, France underwent a series of attacks on Friday, Nov. 13. The Islamic State (ISIS) stepped forward claiming responsibility for all six of the attacks. These attacks have been described as the “deadliest” in France since World War II. Pope Francis has expressed that he believes this is a piece of the “piecemeal Third World War.”
Authorities say that terrorists targeted six different sites across France leaving 128 people dead thus far and 100 kept hostage while many more were injured. French military operations against ISIS in Syria and Iraq have been motives for previous threats on France by the militant group.
Although eight terrorists are dead, officials are still unsure if there were more involved in the attacks.
The following day Belgium police made three arrests in connection with the attacks.
French authorities have conducted counterterrorism raids in eight cities resulting in 23 arrests. 104 individuals are now put under house arrest as well.
Despite the bombardment of attacks, the French president François Hollande stated France remains “unbreakable.”
One thing some may not know is on Thursday, President Obama made a statement affirming ISIS was “contained.”
“I don’t think they’re gaining strength,” Obama said. “From the start, our goal has been first to contain and we have contained them.”
Big oops on Obama’s part. Hours after his interview aired the attacks began, but they are not believed to be linked to his interview.
In December of 2007 American troops began being pulled out of the Middle East under Obama’s orders. ISIS began to emerge when there was no military to stop them when the American military had been completely withdrawn in 2011. Perhaps ISIS wouldn’t have grown so large if we (the U.S.) would have left our military in the Middle East.
Although our troops managed to weaken al Qaeda during the Iraq war and assassinated the leader of the group Osama Bin Laden in 2011, the disruption in the country allowed for ISIS to gain its footing.
Many argue that pulling troops out of the Middle East was the best thing for our country and our troops, but fail to acknowledge that radical terrorist groups were lurking in the shadows waiting for exactly that.
Now that ISIS has targeted France leaving over 128 dead, mostly Americans and some British, Obama should be encouraging some kind of action to help our ally. Instead, Obama suggests that America won’t succeed in fighting ISIS.
“It is not enough for us to simply send in American troops to temporarily set back organizations like ISIS,” Obama said.
Taking troops out of the Middle East might not have spurred the beginning of ISIS, but putting them in certainly did. Sending our troops over in 2003 most likely is the reason for the serious unrest in the first place. In 2004 ISIS became a smaller militant group branched off from al Qaeda. The U.S. military stationed in the Middle East simply kept them from expanding world wide.
Sending our troops rushing into Islamist territory is not the answer to our problems, but neither is doing nothing. As part of the United Nations (UN) and an ally of France some kind of action should be taken to help the French get back on their feet after the horrific incidents that occurred, and to take steps toward NOT beginning a third world war.