Dose of reality amidst media fearmongering

With Canada now committed to participating in an international effort to bomb ISIS into submission, it seems that the mainstream media fearmongerers are even more intent on creating mass hysteria. Like the boogeyman, ISIS decapitators are suddenly turning up on every newscast.

Last week, U.S. Congressman Duncan Hunter claimed on Fox News that Homeland Security officials had apprehended 10 ISIS fighters as they tried to cross into America from Mexico. When asked by Fox News as to the source of that information, Hunter evasively stated that he had been in direct contact with the border guards involved in the apprehension.

That was good enough for Fox News to crank up the scare tactics. If 10 members were caught, then who knows how many more slipped through what Fox pundits decried to be the “porous” Mexican border.

Even after the Department of Homeland Security issued a categorical disclaimer stating that no ISIS fighters had been detained at the border, the speculation continued. After all, with such a porous border, how can Americans ever be sure that a legion of ISIS beheaders hasn’t already entered the country?

Then it was Senator John McCain who pointed northwards to the Canada-U.S. border and noted that it was here that the U.S. is truly vulnerable to the ISIS attackers. To make matters worse, some linguistic experts opined that the dreaded ISIS executioner has some link to Canada. Apparently, it is the way in which he pronounces the word ‘out’ as ‘oot’ that led two language professors to conclude he learned his English in Canada at an early age.

A further link to Canada came in the form of an NBC news report, citing Canadian security officials, that an ISIS terror plot had been successfully thwarted. The target of the attack was to have been an unnamed shopping mall in an undisclosed city and the intent was to shoot and behead random shoppers. Included in the scant details available was the fact that the attackers were to continue their killing spree until security forces arrived to martyr them.

According to NBC, the plotters were still in what they described as the “aspirational” stage of their planning, but they had apparently conducted a reconnaissance of the target mall to identify the emergency exits. This in itself appears to contradict the proclaimed intention to achieve martyrdom. But what the heck? The idea of an ISIS lunatic cutting off your head at the local mall is enough to put anyone off shopping. Just to keep everyone on their toes, NBC claimed that the planned attack could have been conducted in Canada or the U.S.

Along with the terrifying notion of ISIS decapitators running amok in our midst, the media also became fixated on the state of the town of Kobani. Until last week, few if any Westerners had even heard of this Syrian city, which happens to sit along the Turkish border. The population there is predominantly Kurdish and in recent days, Kobani has become a strategic objective of ISIS forces fighting in Syria. Despite U.S. and allied air strikes in support of the Kurds, ISIS has continued to steadily tighten their siege of the city.

Turkish military forces have massed along the border where they can observe the fighting between the Kurds and ISIS. International observers have repeatedly chastised Turkey for not simply rolling across the border to crush ISIS.

This clamour for Turkish boots on the ground only further illustrates the extent to which the fear of ISIS is blinding Western strategists and pundits. The current struggle in Kobani is between Syrian separatist Kurds and ISIS fighters, whose genesis lies in the Syrian rebellion to topple President Bashar al-Assad. The West – including Canada – supported these Syrian rebels until they showed their true colours as Islamic extremists.

The Kurds in Kobani have also made it clear that they do not want Turkish soldiers to enter their city. They only want the Turks to provide a corridor through which they can receive weapons and munitions. Turkey is, of course, reluctant to do that because they know that eventually, Kurdish separatists in Turkey will in turn use the same arms.

Now that Canada is committing forces to this conflict, it is vital that we look logically at the equation, demystify the greatly enhanced ISIS threat and quit the media fearmongering.