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The trumpets for war are once again becoming deafening, the cries of why isn't the President doing something; louder. Why isn't the President bombing ISIS in Syria?

Well for a start Syria is a sovereign nation, civil war notwithstanding.

I believe the same people who are calling for a war on ISIS were the same ones calling to arm the Syrian revolutionaries against Assad. As we all know when we arm revolutionaries we only arm the good revolutionaries. There is a joke in there somewhere, but it is a sick one.

Now apparently we live in a democracy and with the current political situation everything that President Obama does is overreach of executive power if the Republicans don't like it.

So where is congress on this?

On vacation.

This is not new. Congress has been on vacation for years with Republicans more interested in doing nothing or just blatantly obstructing.

Another thing forgotten is this is why there is even an ISIS?

Like most vicious blindly ideological groups their rise is dependent upon some basic conditions. Chaos and a political vacuum usually found following wars, civil or otherwise.

Now bearing this in mind, what is the strategy apart from more killing?

How do you come up with a sensible strategy when our own government cannot get its act together? You let the president deal with it, then criticize everything he does whilst on vacation. I suppose if you don't like what he does you can always complain as if you had no actual role in a democracy.

We complained and acted about communists in Vietnam, we fought a long and bloody war against them. Now during the chaos and slaughter there, the Khmer Rouge arose in Cambodia when the violence spilled over.

We were not happy with the Russians controlling Afghanistan, so we helped finance and arm the revolutionaries there, this resulted in the Taliban and the sheltering of Al Qaeda. We all know what followed, and we are still at war in Afghanistan.

There are many similar events from the cold war era in Africa, Central and South America. Some are still continuing. War on drugs anyone?

So when many run around with their hair on fire screaming we must do something, perhaps it is time to do something different? I suppose we could always do what we have been doing recently, invade and kill. Then support the perceived strongman/group, then expect a different outcome until something worse than ISIS arises. This is the same problem Israel has faced, first against the PLO, then Hezbollah, now Hamas, what next.

Some say when St Ronnie had a wall taken down that the cold war was over. Tell that to those in Ukraine, Georgia, Chechnya and those in Eastern Europe. We have never believed in supporting democracy, we have supported what was convenient to us at the time.

We know the root causes, perhaps we need to treat them first?

Just a thought. Before we decide to wage yet another war.

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Comment Preferences

  •  It's the GOP's and the corporate "New Dems"... (18+ / 0-) jobs program and economic stimulus package, all rolled into one! See here: "Oil Co's Were Negotiating w/UK, US Gov't's Over Iraqi Oil One Year BEFORE 2003 Invasion."

    What could possible go wrong?

    "I always thought if you worked hard enough and tried hard enough, things would work out. I was wrong." --Katharine Graham

    by bobswern on Sat Aug 23, 2014 at 01:23:54 AM PDT

  •  I disagree with this statement: (7+ / 0-)
    Like most vicious blindly ideological groups their rise is dependent upon some basic conditions. Chaos and a political vacuum usually found following wars, civil or otherwise.
    To put it bluntly, the basis of ISIS is the belief that all who do not share your view of the world are worthless and subject to death, enslavement, or other persecution.  I will not let religious or other fanatics off the hook.  If one person thinks that what goes on in their head entitles them to treat another person badly I see that as a crime.

    We need to change the conversation.  Any conversation that contains justified violence against innocent populations needs to be excluded as 'extremist'.

    And I mean all.

    The business of Nations is never morality. Moral stories live only through people.

    by tecampbell on Sat Aug 23, 2014 at 01:25:38 AM PDT

  •  So do you have an idea? (5+ / 0-)

    Doesn't seem like a lot of good options out there.

    Cynicism is what passes for insight among the mediocre.

    by Sky Net on Sat Aug 23, 2014 at 01:26:02 AM PDT

  •  I was against all our aggressions in the Middle (4+ / 0-)

    East. I was against the invasion and occupation of Afghanistan (a precision special forces operation against OBL would have been far wiser), I was against the unnecessary invasion of Iraq on the basis of confabulations, I was against our bombing of Libya, and I was against interfering in Syria against Assad (either by bombing or by supporting "vetted moderate rebels").

    But I'm in favor of intervening militarily against Isis, even if requires cooperating with Syria or Iran as well as Iraq.

    Inconsistent? I don't think so.

    Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya and Syria were sovereign countries, with internationally recognized governments (no matter how truly evil and shitty the Taliban, Hussein, Gaddafi, Assad were), and were no threat to us whatsoever. Our military interventions there were acts of aggression.

    Isis is not a sovereign country, nor is it an internationally recognized government. Isis is a basically a criminal organization. It was hatched (possibly with our approval and connivance) by Saudi and Qatar who hijacked a popular protest against Assad by hiring and sending to Syria large numbers of Islamist extremist mercenaries to destabilize Syria by fomenting a vicious civil war for the ulterior motive of impeding the projected Iran-Iraq-Syria pipeline.

    When these mercenaries failed to dislodge Assad they morphed into Isis and turned toward the softer target of Iraq, and have constantly been massacring minorities.

    For once a military intervention of ours in the Middle East - fighting and hopefully destroying Isis - could be qualified as a genuine case of responding to R2P and be a just war. As such it might even make up a little for the irresponsible, destructive shit we have caused there over the last decade.

    We're shocked by a naked nipple, but not by naked aggression.

    by Lepanto on Sat Aug 23, 2014 at 02:14:03 AM PDT

    •  About R2P, you state that ISIS may have (8+ / 0-)

      developed 'possibly with our approval and connivance' and then you cite R2P to justify intervention.

      This is one of the main reasons R2P is controversial.

      One country can create a crisis in another and then use that crisis to justify 'R2P' intevention.

      The world is bad enough as it is, you have no right to make it any worse.
      Lamb chop, we can quibble what to call it, but I think we can both agree it's creepy.

      by InAntalya on Sat Aug 23, 2014 at 02:34:34 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  The problem is that we have been meddling there (4+ / 0-)

      for so long, and this problem and the roots of it is part of our making.

      "This time we're going to do it for the right reason," isn't a terribly compelling argument.

      We need to play a role here. Play our part. This is not our show, and if we make an appearance it should be as a bit player, and preferably we play a doctor or water bearer, and not a warrior.

      Democracy - 1 person 1 vote. Free Markets - More dollars more power.

      by k9disc on Sat Aug 23, 2014 at 06:07:44 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Ah, Yes - (0+ / 0-)

        Then who, may I ask, will act?
        France, Britain, Iran, Israel??

        I believe such logic prevailed at the Evian Conference.


        Yes, the United States and other powers have intervened militarily throughout the world for their own interests, but just because the U.S. has acted poorly in numerous occasions does that preclude an armed response when faced with genocidal acts?

    •  Yet somehow (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      If the group committing atrocities claims to be a government, then R2P doesn't apply?  How about the fact that ISIS has declared themselves an independent state?  That makes them a sovereign state and beyond our reach right?

      R2P is dead

  •  I missed the part where you had ideas. (8+ / 0-)

    It's clear what killing ISIS murderers does towards the goal of eliminating ISIS, but it's not clear when unelaborated alternatives would do.  

    It's not the side effects of the cocaine/I'm thinking that it must be love

    by Rich in PA on Sat Aug 23, 2014 at 04:10:51 AM PDT

    •  Ships Sink, Not Every Problem Can Be Solved (5+ / 0-)

      on command, some cannot be solved.

      The USA would be an unimaginably better country for humanity and for its people if it merely stopped doing things that make situations worse.

      I don't know how to save this ship but I can sure as fuck help it slow down its sinking if I can stop the crew drilling holes to let the water run out the bottom.

      We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

      by Gooserock on Sat Aug 23, 2014 at 05:15:24 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  If I read rightly (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Rich in PA

        you are saying do nothing?  Right?

        "When you're wounded and left on Afghanistan's plains, And the women come out to cut up what remains, Jest roll to your rifle and blow out your brains An' go to your Gawd like a soldier." Rudyard Kipling

        by EdMass on Sat Aug 23, 2014 at 10:55:31 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  If Obama bombs w/o approval of Congress, GOP will (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Pinto Pony, thanatokephaloides

    be apoplectic and call him a dictator. If he does nothing they will call him ineffectual. It's classic heads I win, tails you lose.

  •  LaFem (0+ / 0-)

    Have you read Stalin Epigram? Utterly brilliant novel by a writer who knew Nadezhda. In her voice, Orsip's and that of a circus worker/wrestler/true believer.

  •  No, LaF, You Are Wrong - (0+ / 0-)
    We have never believed in supporting democracy, we have supported what was convenient to us at the time.
    A totalizing statement such as this is almost always inadequate.

    The tragedy of Wilsonian diplomacy was it naivete combined with the ease with which arms merchants and European expansionists used it as a smokescreen.

    Similarly, while the CIA was planning Ngo Dinh Diem's assassination, thousands of young Americans were signing up for the Peace Corps.

    And although the conflicts in Chechnya and Ukraine have been savage and brutal, there is pluralism and personal freedom in places like Poland and the Czech Republic which was unimaginable only 30 years ago.


    I am reminded of a political cartoon I saw years ago - of two Bosnians running for cover under a hail of shells. One says to the other, "What do we need to do to get the West to help us?" The other says, "Find oil."

    It would help if American and E.U. foreign policy were not so often based on power and profit; yet, at the same time, I believe we have a moral responsibility to assist those living under existential threat.

  •  If they're committing genocide aren't we obligated (5+ / 0-)

    to help put a stop to it?

    IS has made very clear that they think it's ok to exterminate other religious groups. They're like Nazis, except they speak Arabic instead of German.

  •  I have been thinking about this (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    There is an article in the WSJ (the news side, not the crazy opinion side) indicating that Assad deliberately let ISIS spread within Syria because they were targeting the more moderate FSA, and once the FSA was weakened, no external forces would want to support ISIS and Assad could take them on with impunity. It may not work out like that: in fact it looks like the kind of failed strategy we have followed, for example arming Afghan militants while they were fighting the Soviets. And we are not warming up Assad (yet) because he is fighting ISIS. Still, interesting read.

    I kind of doubt ISIS will be able to hold and govern the territory they are overrunning. As you say, they aren't really a government. But their potential to cause havoc, destruction and fear is considerable. I am afraid we are going to be so driven by outrage about what they are doing that we are going to do something stupid like head back into Iraq with troops (air strikes have historically very seldom won any war). Or back a less-bad party in the complex civil conflicts, which sounds good on paper but in the short run at least fuels more civil war.

    Best case I think Iran, the Kurds and the militias in Iraq can beat back ISIS (not the Iraqi army, which is manifestly not up to the job). Syria: I don't know. It is a messy and fluid situation. We do not look like geniuses now for advocating trying to topple Assad.

  •  Bomb until nothing is left & the rubble bounces! (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    protectspice, thanatokephaloides

    Bomb, Bomb, Bomb
    Bomb, Bomb Iraq!

    Everybody sing along!

    Not just for John McCain anymore.

    I've never left a blank space on a ballot... but I will not vote for someone [who vows] to spy on me. I will not do it. - dclawyer06

    Trust, but verify. - Reagan
    Vote, but Occupy. - commonmass

    by Words In Action on Sat Aug 23, 2014 at 06:47:49 AM PDT

  •  Maybe the Warriors should consider allowing, (r... (0+ / 0-)

    Maybe the Warriors should consider allowing, (read "allow" as we appear to play dumb), isis to claim enough real estate to constitute a resemblance to a country, thus having an identifiable object to attack/invade. And while we are at it, possibly increasing that so-called "coalition of the willing" to include more than just the USA, and if I recall correctly, the Solomon Islands..

    And to use an old sport's analogy, an inept team playing against a talented and well disciplined team, more times than not, makes the talented and we'll disciplined team look bad.

  •  What Is Iraq? (0+ / 0-)

    After 25 year history of killing Iraqis, apparently Americans have learned nothing.  Perhaps I should blame the various medias or perhaps Americans have little interest in understanding places that have different cultures.  

    The first rule of holes: When you're in one stop digging. ― Molly Ivins
    I know that most Americans believe they are exceptional and everything Americans do is exceptional but let's try to be honest for once.  The first thing Americans must be honest about, has all the bombing, the sanctions, the invasion, the occupation and the killing done anything to improve Iraq?  By every measurement Iraq is a much worst place to live than 30 years ago.  Of course, 30 years ago, Iraq was not a garden of Eden.

    If you agree with me that all the efforts of the U.S. government to improve Iraq have failed then the next step is understand why all those terrible things the U.S. did to Iraq did not have a positive results?

    Thanks to the U.S., the Iraqi government has been removed and remade several times and now it looks like it is unable to defend it territory.  It looks like what Americans used to call a "failed state".

    But what if Iraqis do not want to be like Americans?  What if they have many different ideas of where they want to go?  Most Americans have not the slightest idea of the culture of the people of Iraq.  Perhaps if we understood something of their life and traditions then we might understand their problems and even possibly the solutions?

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