We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
Our Recent Essays Behind the Front Page
Sunday, September 21. 2014
I am convinced there is nothing they would enjoy more than to be targets of America. It elevates them. It's a booby trap, and beheadings are the bait. You can find as many justifications for attacking Iran, Nigeria, North Korea, or Saudi Arabia for that matter. The Jihad of the True Believers will never end, at least in our lifetimes. They are convinced they are doing God's work and do not mind dying for that. It's been going on for 1500 years.
As for borders in the ME, they are all bogus anyway. The concept of the nation-state is not really in their lexicon. Caliphate is - Kingdom of Allah on earth, won by arms if not by faith. It's a culture.
Related, the concept of the nation-state is relatively recent, and possibly obsolete: Did Industry Cause Nations?
Did Industry Cause Nations?
Display comments as (Linear | Threaded)
I agree with the third statement; victory needs to be defined before going to war, and the administration needs to understand that taking military action, unless with very specific short term goals and objectives (a raid) is going to war.
I am unsold on any intervention, aside from cutting off the money. I don’t have confidence in the powers that be to thread the needle and avoid the traps, or accomplish much of anything.... I also find the effort by ISIS to provoke us and draw in the USA, highly suspect. Cui bono? What do they get out of it?... Supplies? A Scapegoat (a symbol to unify Muslims against a common external enemy)? Publicity?
"I am convinced there is nothing they would enjoy more than to be targets of America. " I agree, it feeds into their self promotion and self glorification.
That said, it is hard for me to ignore genocide, and I don’t discount, at all, how lethal dopey histrionic ”youts” can be.
In the USA, there are 300+ million soft targets, 10s upon 10s of thousands of public and infrastructure targets, thousands of entry points, and multiple means of attack (dirty bombs, biological threats, poison gas, planes, IEDs) to bring death and destruction OR economic disruption. Besides the human cost, think what 9/11 cost the American economy; then consider child hostages on school buses, bringing in Ebola, contaminating a reservoir, attacking a nuclear power plant, major bridges or terminals, containers or LNG tankers .
Again, if they threaten the West's oil supplies, fight them. If not, let them be.
I don't know about the Saudis, could be, like American corporations, they cover themselves by funding both sides.
I claim no special knowledge, I am reliant on the media reports that ISIS resources are based on theft and oil revenues.
It is the oil I am interested in; shouldn’t that be the first line of attack? They cannot conjure oil across borders, ergo they must be reliant on vulnerable infrastructure: refineries, pipelines, terminals, or trucking. Let’s hope that there has at least been an effort to disrupt that, and before now.
Non-bogus borders are still being eradicated and replaced with bogus ones.
The one thing we should have been doing is making sure this didn't happen.
terrible, but is it America's problem?
Last I heard, America was not the UN Army.
To kill a Mocking Kurd?
I saw a report on the public mocking and sneering at an ISIS posting of masked wannabe “warriors”. The public was ridiculing them, calling them cowards and pu$$!e$ for covering their faces, and how about the snicker worthy jokes that went around following another news story: ISIS is covering the genitals of goats.
There is more push back, like this, than we realize but I don't know if it goes anywhere beyond the Anglo-sphere. I don't know, if becoming a laughing stock, damages their recruitment efforts, or not.
• UK jihadi uploaded photo to Twitter saying: 'A few of the British brothers'
• Image was taken from a nine minute video encouraging Brits to join ISIS
• But others on social media ridiculed photo, suggesting group were cowards
#ReturnOfTheJihadi? How social media users are lampooning ISIS with tongue-in-cheek virals
• Campaigns poking fun at Islamic State have appeared on social media
• Tongue-in-cheek hashtag #AskIslamicState trended on Twitter last week
• Earlier this month, users also tweeted spoof film titles under #ISISmovies
• Some say it is a way of dealing with offensive being carried out by terrorists
• Jihadist group has widely used social media to spread its propaganda
There are videos floating around so how many of you who think it is much ado about nothing have watched the videos of beheadings and Christian girls having their breasts cut off and left to die in the streets? I think it is a huge mistake to not show these videos on the nightly news. Perhaps Americans are to weak and lilly livered to see violence but it is a serious mistake to hide this and bury our heads in the sand. So seek out a dozen or so of these videos and watch them from beginning to end and then I will believe that you have put a lot of thought into your opinion.
If the money dries up how much "stress" would it put on the “true believers”? ISIS would be rare and unique if it was monolithic. In any group, there are always factions and back stabbing, jockeying for power, and turf wars; these schisms could be exacerbated and should be exploited.
Admittedly, ISIS may have had some success in attracting selfless chumps, but, given the perverseness of their recruitment videos, I don’t see how they can also avoid the usual suspects, those who gravitate to money and power: the cynics, grifters, sadists, predators, leeches, sycophants ……
I'd like to see fewer interventions, especially on behalf of people who are not friends, but I'm not an isolationist. Supplying the Kurds with better arms would have been a good idea, although the situation is a little more complicated with the "Turkey" Kurds than with the "Iraq" Kurds.
"1. ISIS isn’t that powerful."
Wrong. ISIS is simultaneously fighting Assad/Hezbollah, Iraqi Army/Siite Militias/Iran, Iraqi Kurds, Syrian/Turkish Kurds, other Syrian rebel groups, and local tribes. ISIS is winning these fights. Gillespie citing the relatively low troop numbers for ISIS only proves how effective they are, and with every success, they are increasing their numbers and equipment.
Thinking that we shouldn't intervene is a legitimate stance, but this notion that ISIS isn't powerful is pure wishcast.
First I assume that this will be a 30-50 year war and as such anything we do today is just a battle, not the winning of the war. Islam can be accommodated as other religions are tolerated, but intolerance can not be tolerated. Islam as a judicial and governmental system can not be tolerated here with our constitutional system. These things should be the goal when discussing "winning" the war. We don't want to be an Islamic nation.
So is it "America's problem"? Only in as much as ISIL will be / is a combatant in this war and therefore will be a target now or in the future. We should choose our battles wisely but acknowledge they are coming as long as there is some faction of Islam willing to commit to them. So fight them now (or in my view, later) is a strategic decision not a philosophical one. Either way makes no difference to me. But the argument to get them in the beginning when they are small has some attraction.
Isis isn't that powerful, yet- so do we wait until they become a real threat, or deal with them now while they are weak?
It's a regional conflict, for now- do we want to wait until it escalates into a world wide one?
The third reason is very valid, I think it is premature to try to plan an exit strategy at the outset, but this countries primary foreign policy problem right now is we have no clear definition of what our goals are and what constitutes victory. I can't condone committing troops to battle with this level of national dysfunction even if I do think it is warranted.
Are these articles that mock and undermine ISIS for real, fabricated, or/or plants from security agencies?
• Ex-member says fighters told it is their 'right to rape non-Muslim prisoners'
• Whistleblower 'Sherko Omer' says fighters are 'brainwashed'
• Claims some fighters put into suicide squads because they are 'useless'
• Says non-Muslim women are fair game for exploitation because 'God wills it'
So a gang of radical goons in a 4-way power-struggle on the other side of the planet is a present danger to the U.S?
A little realpolitik / diplomatic skill on our part - arming the Kurds, getting the Turks to see reality, etc... could make sure ISIS never emerges from this civil war.
That sounds suspiciously like the way things seem to be going. Nightly news has been inching closer and closer showing us a beheading. So far, they've stopped with only showing John the Beheader about to start his grisly business.
This is a pre-conditioning of the American public.
There is no reason that I should be bombarded with war porn so that I will back some new agenda to bring justice to the evil-doing ISIS. In a more perfect world, America would have a president who could, and would, explain to us all why it is in our national interest to spend our treasure and our childrens' blood. Oddly. that ain't happened yet. So, I say stay home until we're ready to go all in.
You are begging the question. I would actually be in agreement with a decision by our government and a consensus of the people to not go to war with ISIS. What I am not in agreement with is making the decision without at least viewing the evidence. It should be required viewing at high schools and colleges, after all if they are old enough to abort babies they should certainly be old enough to see what ISIS does to innocent civilians. It should be shown on the 6:00 news at least as many times as the Rodney King beating aired. It should be shown at the half time of the sporting events. It should be shown after the previews at movie theaters. It wouldn't take too long to show half a dozen beheadings and other body mutilizations. What would the harm be in actualy knowing what we are talking about vs stuffing our head in the sand? The truth will set you free.
from another blog:
"If ISIL is like the Viet Cong, we can simply ignore them and move on to something else. The VC were never a threat to anybody outside the government of South Vietnam and Vietnam hasn't bothered anybody, other than the Khmer Rouge, for the last 40 years. Unfortunately, ISIL isn't anything like the Viet Cong, and present a serious potential for terrorists attacks beyond their area of control."
So that is the crux of the dilemma.
Ar-Raqqah Syria is the nearest city to the locale chosen by this scum for their beheading videos. About 250,000 Syrians live there. Annihilate it. And then tell the "Moderate" Muslims-- you let your radical brothers eff up again and another city of our choosing disappears. You'll know which one afterwards by the smoking crater. Mecca looks particularly interesting.
"It elevates them. "
From those Youtube Apache videos, I'd say by about fifty to a hundred feet on average.