It is hard to assimilate and to understand the toxic mix which has come upon the world right now. There is no perceivable end game to the attack on ISIS. Yes, the brutality of ISIS’s leaders is horrific, but they are taunting us to come into their turf which like scrambled eggs has these religious monsters fully mixed in with a highly fragile, largely innocent civilian population.
The beheadings of American journalists and now a British aid worker has finally incurred the fury of the powerful USA, which is now apparently hell bent to “destroy” ISIS, a task which even the super hawks agree will not be easy. In fact, the US CIA and many other observers are highly skeptical.
ISIS is now embedded in a huge region of Northern Iraq and attacks there have to be done, all experts agree, carefully, yes, surgically, by ground forces, so as not to kill innocent civilians. This mandates ground troops, not just air strikes.
Now we hear that the main help we may get from the Sunni Saudis and other Middle Eastern Arab nations will be air attacks. As yet there seem to be no offers for Arab troops on the ground from any of the broad Coalition Secretary of State Kerry is frenetically attempting to assemble. Naturally, while the ISIS are Jihadist Sunnis, the prospect of attacking them for the Saudis is very unwelcome. It is alleged that some Saudis sources and others (Qatar?) have been funneling aid to ISIS.
The US was saying “no US boots on the ground” but as reported on page one of the 9/17 Wall Street Journal, General Dempsey “America’s top military officer raised the prospect that limited U.S. ground forces would be needed to battle Islamic State militants if fighting in Iraq grows more difficult”. It’s a no brainer to predict it will!
Of course we have 1500 US troops there now to perform “non combatant” roles in a zone which will continue to be very dangerous. Would you want your son or daughter there for this mission?
The major mistake in our Middle Eastern involvement of course was made by George W. Bush with his reaction to 911, but he further compounded his mistake when he switched messages to say we were going to bring “democracy” to a region which never practiced it or even wanted it. The “in and out” policy of his father after Kuwait’s invasion by Saddam was truly the only right course. The empowerment of Iran through the US’s weakening of Iraq will go down in history as one of the classic strategic blunders of all time.
Is it too late to reconsider a massive new offensive which will further inflame and create more terrorists likely to come to the US and other places, particularly in Europe?
Probably. However, just as we were able to stop going into Syria when the chemical weapons crisis surfaced, it seems to me that if that coalition does not include Arab boots on the ground, the USA should let that area handle its own tar baby.
Like a cancer, once ISIS takes over the areas it ravages, those unfortunate people it subsumes die like a cancer victim. Does this mean ISIS has a natural limit to its expansion capabilities? Not as long as it can get outside help and money from its captured oil properties which it is reported as selling at deep discounts.
However, more US killing of Arabs there only increases the already significant chances for a terrorist attack on our homeland.
We here at home have now gotten so scared that there is a huge erosion of civil liberties in progress. The US government under the rubric of national security has demanded and gotten private customer information from Yahoo for example and that is just one minor example of things to come. George Orwell has already written the script for the end game if that continues.
Am I being too paranoid? Try the latest (17th) book, “World Order” by 91 year old Henry Kissinger, about which the NY Times says in its Sunday 9/14/14 review, “It comes with faults: It is contorted by the author’s concerns about his legacy and by a needless craving not to upset the Lilliputian leaders he still seeks to influence. It also goes over some of the same ground as previous works. But it is a book that every member of Congress should be locked in a room with — and forced to read before taking the oath of office”. We desperately need a dose of real politick realism which Kissinger so often was able to bring to our dealings with China, the then USSR and other potential places where American lives would have been needlessly sacrificed. Vietnam? He didn’t start that one.
Let’s put this in proper perspective. Our secular state is being asked to dive further into what is a religious maelstrom which will only further allow these clever ISIS extremist leaders to recruit more potential terrorists to their ranks, some Americans among them with US passports being trained to bring home their new terrorist skills to our country.
Bottom line: Until there is solid commitment from these rich, religious oil barons for ground troops to do the job, not only using the Iraq troops who are not good enough or eager enough to put down ISIS in their own country, we should certainly not commit our young men to another disastrous ground war.
But of course we haven’t stopped, with air strikes already fully underway, attacks which will kill civilians and further pull us into this mess. The CIA is very leery of our arming the so called moderate Syrian rebels and the capacity of ISIS to retreat into Syria is unopposed. Read the CIA’s point of view:
Will we ever learn that we can’t wean or whip these religious fanatics?? Only their ethnic kinsmen can rein them in, a lesson which we have failed to learn since 9/11. Another disaster gets piled onto our years of Middle East follies.
From the Dissident Left: A Collection of Essays 2004-2013
By Donald A. Collins
Publisher: Church and State Press (July 30, 2014)
The Islamic State (Full Length)
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