How should we refer to the radical, barbaric terrorist group sweeping through Iraq and Syria? Some call them ISIS (Islamic State of Iraq and Syria). Our government refers to them as ISIL (The Islamic State of Iraq and Levant), the Levant referring to a wider geographic area including Jordan, Lebanon, Israel, and the Palestinian territories.
In June, this emerging terrorist force declared a caliphate and began referring to itself as IS (The Islamic State), which more accurately signals its global ambitions to establish a universal world-wide caliphate, imposing by brute force its extremely harsh understanding of sharia law on the entire world.
This is what makes IS such a grave threat to the civilized world. The closest analogy to IS in modern history is the U.S.S.R. (The Union of Soviet Socialist Republics), which was dedicated to imposing communism worldwide, heedless of national boundaries. It was an existential threat to all nations and peoples who wanted to decide for themselves how they would be governed, rather than have a particular ideology imposed on them by brute force. And make no mistake, neither Soviet Communism nor IS had, or has, a remote interest in democracy or elections.
In communism you had adherents from all over the world willing to subvert their own national governments in support of the worldwide cause. So we should not be surprised when people from across the globe flock to join IS (The Islamic State) as it seeks to impose its vision of Islam over the entire world, including planting its black flag over the White House.
All freedom loving people have a stake in this struggle as all did in the struggle against Soviet Communism. Whether the totalitarian dictatorship is imposed by atheistic communists or radical jihadists, the result is the same – loss of freedom imposed with savage barbarity.
This is why IS is a far more grave civilizational threat than either Vladimir Putin's Russia or the totalitarian rulers of China. Putin's ambitions pre-date the Bolshevik Revolution. He is a Russian imperialist seeking to channel the spirit of Peter the Great, attempting to establish a regional Russian hegemon over what he perceives to be "greater Russia" and the "near-abroad." He does not harbor dreams, or articulate a universal ideology, which would lead to world conquest. Likewise, China dreams of being the world's number one economic power with a regional hegemon over all of Asia, not world conquest.
We are witnessing the birth pangs of a worldwide revolution, and IS's similarities to Lenin, Stalin, and the Bolsheviks are both instructive and alarming.
The free world desperately needs a new President Truman and Secretary Marshall to emerge among Western leaders, to lead a worldwide diplomatic, cultural, economic, and military alliance to defeat this lethal threat. And the time is now.
The civilized world must confront and defeat this barbaric cancer before it metastasizes like Soviet communism, bringing with it horrific human suffering on a heart-breaking and breath-taking scale.