By Al Emid
Author: What You Need to Know About ISIS: Terror, Religion War and the Caliphate

Each and every individual, whether a professional journalist, analyst or interested observer certainly has the right to interpret the insanity of the ISIS crisis and commentaries about it through his or her own prism and I would never deny anyone the right to do so.

But sometimes you have to wonder.

The Toronto Star recently ran an editorial about the Syria situation. Referring to the upcoming federal election in Canada, the editorial writer (or writers) stated:

Whoever takes the reins of Canada’s foreign policy after Oct. 19 should step up the effort and use what moral leverage we have to urge other more powerful, more affluent actors – the United States, the European Union, and major Asian and Latin American counties leap to mind – to push for a political settlement to Syria’s destabilizing civil war, heed the United Nation’s call for more financial resources, and open the gates to more refugees.

At least two publications decided that that meant that The Toronto Star had proposed that Canada recognize ISIS and the Islamic State as a legitimate government.

Speaking as someone who has researched the ISIS crisis for over a year, as a journalist and as someone who has read The Toronto Star for his entire life I found the idea that The Star would advocate formal recognition for the Islamic State incredible. On obtaining a copy of the editorial I found that the reviewer of The Star editorial had made an Olympic-sized leap in logic. The editorial advocated strong decisive action and a united front. It did not advocate surrender to a bunch of murderers.

Let’s step back and think about it. First, the fact that Syria had become embroiled in a civil war and weakened as a result, made ISIS’s sweep into the country easier because that is a hallmark of ISIS strategy – move into areas where the government is either weak or failing as we have seen in Libya and Yemen.

Moreover, no one familiar with The Toronto Star would believe that it would advocate formal recognition for a government founded on murders, rapes, crucifixions, mass executions, decapitations and other crimes.

And I doubt that anyone who has done any reading on ISIS would agree with extending formal recognition to a ‘state’ that kills fellow Muslims as well as anyone else who gets in the way.

The best case scenario in the short and medium term would be proactive containment. Longer term some serious re-drawing of maps in the region will likely become necessary. Syria may end up in two or three pieces. Iraq may end up in at least three pieces, one of them occupied by the Kurds who will understandably believe that they have given mightily in the fight against ISIS – and could hardly be expected to countenance formal recognition for the Islamic State.

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