LETTER TO THE EDITOR: The biggest reason why ISIS exists

Mr. Daniels’ Jan. 26 letter in the State News titled “Of misleading numbers and the minimum wage” was a response to my Jan. 12 letter titled “Justice is not on the bargaining table,” which was my response to his Jan. 2 letter titled “The election, the future of our nation and Delaware.”

Googling “10 Socialist Policies in the United States” gave this reader a better understanding of good and bad social policies for our country. After three decades of failed trickle-down supply-side economic policy, we now have wealthy billionaires controlling 90 percent of the world’s resources. On the other side of the coin, we have too much government control of resources instead of relying on free-market principles. On both sides of the coin, collective bargaining naturally evolved through unionization in order to level the playing field. Now on to the topic of why ISIS exists.

In addressing Col. Daniels’ grievances, he mentioned that groups such as the Syrian refugees may not primarily be interested in providing a better life for their families. George Bush Jr. was quoted as saying, “We are not at war with Islam.” However, some conservatives seem to distrust all Muslims.

Mr. Daniels blames the Obama administration for the formation and expansion of ISIS. He disagrees with our “leading from behind” military strategy in the Middle East. What group of rebels are we to engage in combat with in the quagmire over there? Our Special Forces advisers have continued to identify many alleged oppositional Syrian rebel groups as actually being the bad guys. Arming them would oftentimes be equivalent to arming ISIS. Understanding why ISIS exists can be easily understood in the following article: http://www.truth-out.org/news/item/29867-why-isis-exists; or google “Why ISIS Exist.”

Former [U.K.] Prime Minister Tony Blair went on record as saying his country and the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq in 2003 was partly responsible for the emergence of the Islamic State militant group.

The Sunni government and Baathist Army military expulsions from Iraq contributed to the rise of the radical extremist group ISIS. Coupled with predictable Arab Spring anti-oppressive-dictatorship revolutions in 2010, ISIS quickly gained recruits and expanded into many different countries.

The intelligence communities misjudged the Islamic State’s clever worldwide recruiting skills. In contrast to Mr. Daniels’ belief, [Nouri al-] Maliki, the Iraqi Prime Minister, was not able to convince his legislative body to agree to keep a residual American force there after the Status of Forces Agreement expired in 2011. Bush Jr. had agreed to have all our troops out of Iraq on that expiration date.

Mr. Daniels was also concerned about increased poverty and our alleged lack of economic growth. The poverty rate has been averaging about 14 percent under every president since Lyndon Johnson’s 1964 “War on Poverty program.” The poverty rate could be lowered by investing in preschool programs; providing equal school resource funding to lower-income school districts; incrementally increasing the minimum wage; continuing to provide work income tax benefits, Medicaid and Medicare; affordable health care programs and Social Security and more job training programs.

Instead, we often squander the federal budget with corporate welfare giveaways and military expansion programs.

In response to Mr. Daniels’ allegations of the Obama administrations lack of economic growth and poor participation rate, the economy has actually grown at an average decent rate of 2.1 percent since the world financial collapse under Bush Jr. Source: U.S. economic Washington Post report on 01/27/17 by Ana Swanson.

We are now in the neighborhood of full employment. Proof: Wages and the GDP have increased almost 3 percent for U.S. workers in the last year because a shrinking labor surplus of eligible employees forces employers to raise their hiring wages to attract workers. The present labor force participation rate has been 60 to 63 percent for the last three decades. It consists of retired senior citizens, increases in college students, and citizens who gave up looking due to insufficient hiring skills. Par for the course!

Last, but not least, Americans, especially those with distrustful mindsets, should not put up “fences” in their psyches. Doing so stifles intellectual development. Trust is always the first step in the process of human development. Allowing equal opportunity and a roof over everyone’s head, including Syrian refugees, is a stepping stone for all of us to actualize our God given potential. Not doing so is the biggest reason why ISIS exists!

Bill Clemens
Smyrna

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