I was encouraged by a news report about three young Americans who have gone to Syria to fight. They did not go to join ISIS. They went to join the Kurds and fight ISIS.
Of course, if one of them was my son I would probably be hanging on to his ankles as he tried to get out the door. But I still admire these kids.
How do we relate to a world in which so much evil is rampant? Do we as individuals close our eyes and ears to the horrors being committed? Do we as a nation sit on the sidelines and insist it’s not our fight?
Or do we put our lives on the line for justice?
As I ponder this question, the words of the late German pastor, Martin Niemller, come to mind:
First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Socialist.
Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Trade Unionist.
Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Jew.
Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me.
He was talking about the Nazis, but his words could just as easily be applied to today’s agents of evil. The Islamic extremists, for example, are eerily evocative of the Nazi scourge. ISIS is coming for the Kurds today. Tomorrow ISIS will be coming for the rest of us – unless they are stopped.
Islamic extremism is not a regional problem; it is a global problem. It is an American problem. Americans would be ill advised to let ISIS slaughter the Kurds in Kobani as they are intent on doing. The barbarians must be beaten back in Syria today or they will attack America tomorrow.
While self interests is an obvious motive, there is an even more compelling argument for Western intervention in this uneven fight: It is the right thing to do.
The brave Kurds, including the women (photo above), are putting up an epic struggle but they are outmanned and outgunned. They cannot defeat ISIS without help. They deserve that help.