Weekly Musings: Where Does ISIS Get Its Funding?
Despite the boredom of having to sit through pundits, promises and data breach discussions during the Democratic debate on Saturday night, I was startled awake at one point to realize how stark the divide is between the Democratic and Republican visions for America.
On the Democratic stage I heard three intelligent people discussing solutions to bring our multi-cultured nation into the future of a world struggling not to annihilate itself over perceived differences. From the Las Vegas Republican stage, I heard nothing but fear and loathing for America’s melting pot identity and calls to “go get ’em” — those that are supposedly the cause of all our problems whether they be Muslims or Mexicans or blacks or atheists or women seeking abortions or gays seeking marriage. If you’re not with us, you’re against us, and we’re coming to get you and shut you down. We'll even bomb your land 'till it glows. Their rhetoric is not much different than other extremists we hear these days.
It’s shocking that we have front runner presidential candidates spouting such hateful, divisive and un-American propaganda into our lives and around the world, fanning the flames of extremism both here and abroad. Ironically, these same candidates tout their Christian credentials and Biblical imperatives to carry out their agendas, though they don’t sound like any Christians that I ever read about in the Bible.
Uniting and working with the billion Muslims around the world who are not extremists is the way we will defeat the Islamic extremist elements causing chaos and terror around the globe. Demonizing all Muslims will only compound the problem.
Violence cannot quell violence in a world primed to self-destruct at the push of a button. Strategists agree that the invasion of Iraq in 2003 ruptured the concentration of radical Islamic power and spread it like a cancer, creating the invisible ISIS front we are battling today. It’s everywhere and can’t be eradicated by bombing. The long term solution to shutting down ISIS must be financial and political. Only by cutting off ISIS’ funding and power can they be stopped.
A Business Insider story listed ISIS' six main funding sources as bank scams, selling looted artifacts, donations, ransoms, oil sales, and taxation from residents and businesses in its territory. Outside entities are doing business with ISIS in buying their oil and artifacts, providing them services and arming them. Individual people who make these decisions and the people who know about those people and profit from those deals politically and financially, keep the terror and chaos of ISIS in existence around the world. Different decisions can be made.
It will take great political will and courage for government officials and CEOs to change the course of business-as-usual that keeps ISIS in place. That goes for our bloated financial system and centuries-long practice of racism, as well. Leaders must be willing to say, “Enough,” and make a change. The change we need is nothing short of revolutionary.
This is why I support Bernie Sanders for president. If he wins, he will win only because the revolution of the people took hold, as he has stated many times. This huge change before us requires people power. He’s up to two million contributors, the most individual donors ever to a political campaign. If you feel the bern too, go for Bernie in 2016!
Carol Bedrosian is the publisher of Spirit of Change holistic magazine. Email email@example.com.