Wars are fought to win. And yet, it’ s not rare that winning has led to disastrous results for the winners. It was winning the Iraq war that led to the creation of ISIS. It was the distraction of Gaddafi’s dictatorship that turned Libya into a terrorist state. It will be fall of Mosul that will export waves of terrorism to the rest of the world.
In recent years ISIS has recruited westerners, trained them as warriors, and sent them to perform atrocities and fight wars.
When ISIS started losing grounds, the trend reversed. Many of the Europeans returned home, and many of the local ISIS warriors, finding themselves on the losing side, mingled with refugees and moved with them to Europe.
That gave bad name to the true refugees, devastated and innocent, those who had fled one of the worst atrocities in decades, whose only sin was their place of origin. But among them, evil is hiding. Fighters for the losing side, who, having nourished on the taste of torture, mutilation, killing and rape, cannot be civilized again. Fighters who were waiting for an opportunity to return to their days of fighting glory.
With the fall of Mosul, their dream will be shuttered, but not the belief in their mission, not the taste of blood. These are fighters who will seek revenge of those who led to their destruction. Fighters who will keep fighting to the death, because their own death is what they fight for.
If we thought that we have already seen terrorism, this was mostly by the uninitiated, copycats, who wanted part of the glory of those fighting the holy war. The next wave will be of the professional men of war.
With the fall of Mosul, refugees will return to Syria to resume their life. The fighters will remain with us, hoping to take revenge, hoping to practice what they have been trained for, lusting after the pillage of war.
This is what we will be left with after the fall of Mosul. And this is what we will need to learn to live with for years to come.