Terrorists are getting a second chance. Battle-hardened, war-hungry extremists are being pushed into a newly-designed rehabilitation center in Syria. ISIS is crumbling and the militants who’ve escaped with their lives need to be dealt with.
Thousands of angry young men are about to be set loose on society. Imprisoning every ISIS supporter would create more problems than it solved, even if Syria had the capabilities to do so. The only way to ensure that society is safe from their aggression is to strip away their ideology.
Can it be done?
“Everyone has a point of weakness and thinking, from which, we can get into his ideas from a particular side and then remove this extremist and terrorist thought from his brain,” Hussien Nasser, director of The Syrian Center for Anti-Extremist Ideology, told Fox News.
The center opened less than a month ago, and it’s already controversial. A lot of people believe that Islamic militants can’t be cured, and if they’re accepted back into society with no reservations they’ll end up attacking those around them.
According to Fox News: “Participants will take part in programs, lectures and seminars covering Islam, psychological and intellectual development, media and entertainment. With the assistance of specialists who chair each session, the center has tailor-made initiatives to figure out what technique works best at de-radicalizing each militant.”
ISIS has lost most of its power, but the dregs of its organization still exist. Their ideology has poisoned countless minds. Cleaning up the Middle East is going to be a long, grueling task.
“[ISIS] have shown themselves to be failures in their grand aspiration,” William F. Wechsler, senior fellow on national security and counterterrorism at the Middle East Institute, told Fox News.
“Everything they said has so far turned out to be not true. That’s the greatest contribution that the U.S. has made to this effort. You’re de-radicalized because your side has lost.”
A militant who loses faith in ISIS won’t necessarily adopt Western values. Syria’s fledgling rehab center has a lot to prove. Lone wolf attacks are one of the biggest threats facing Western soil. Some of the men enrolled at the center are foreign-born citizens with the legal right to return home.
“The biggest obstacle is the senior members of ISIS, who planted negative ideas about the concept of moderate Islam and made them criminals under the name of Islam,” Nasser explained.
While activists work on helping the fighters who’ve walked off the battlefield, the U.S. Army is focused on making sure that the infrastructure is destroyed.
“The enemy hasn’t declared that they’re done with the area yet, so we’ll keep fighting as long as they want to fight,” Defense Secretary Jim Mattis told reporters at the Pentagon.
“You keep broadening them. Try to (demilitarize) one area then (demilitarize) another and just keep it going, try to do the things that will allow people to return to their homes…”
Mattis has never shied away from denouncing terrorism. As far as he’s concerned, ISIS needs to be completely obliterated.
“That’s not our intent. We’re there to drive ISIS to its knees. And… there’s got to be a political solution to the larger issues there. It’s not going to be U.S. troops at the point of a gun making that happen,” Mattis said.
“This threat is a long-term threat. That’s why so many nations have signed up. You don’t — you don’t see a coalition this size if it’s some short-term threat or a small regional threat. This is a transnational, long-term threat.”
If Syria’s experiment is successful, it would help to ease tensions in the area and put less stress on the military.