Third Party & Independents Archives

ISIS Is not Like Purse Snatchers in the Subway

Trust President Obama to think he has a policy fix for everything, as in the right policy mix brewed up by federal bureaucrats will fix most anything. For example, the wave of truly barbaric terror unleashed by ISIS upon Middle Easterners, Westerners, and anyone else unlucky enough to be caught in their frenzied claws, as Japan discovered. Why it’s just like lowering the crime rate in, say, New York. The right mix of growth and subsidies and policy incentives and you’ll have Syria and its neighbors as good as Israel. As long as the media behaves itself and doesn’t sensationalize things too much. The uncomfortable truth about Mayor Guilliani’s moral anger and dedication to changing New Yorkers acceptance of street crime, graffiti, and urban grit as natural - the broken windows theory that turned out to be right - was a sea change that policy wonks could never have achieved. Yes, the growth of the economy in the 90’s and New York’s unquestioned role as the world’s financial capital helped but it was the policing on the ground and the civic attitude supporting them that did the heavy lifting as well.

One has to wonder how Obama fails to understand the threat that ISIS and islamic terror continue to present to the world, and certainly to the USA. Like marauding bands of invaders from Central Asia at the doorstep of Europe, the advance has been swift and brutal. To suggest that the problem is one among many, and only equally deserving of media focus compared to vaccination programs success stories around the world, is to ignore the fact that in a town or region or valley dominated by ISIS, like the Taliban but far worse, none of the goals that Obama professes to care about are possible. Civilization is burnt and ground down to it's bare essentials and healthcare and diversity and wifi access for all become distant shadows. Obama should re-read, or read, Leviathan. Everyone knows the over quoted line about the life of man, but at the very least it is well worth remembering the bulk of the paragraph that precedes it in which Hobbes with horrifying clarity outlines all that is lost in a state of "warre" or violence if you like in which there is only anarchy and fear. He writes, "In such condition, there is no place for Industry, because the fruit thereof is uncertain; and consequently no Culture of the Earth; no Navigation, nor use of the commodities that may be imported by Sea; no commodious Building; no Instruments of moving, and removing such things as require much force; no knowledge of the face of the Earth; no account of Time; no Arts; no Letters; no Society; and which is worst of all, continual fear, and danger of violent death; And the life of man, solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, and short."

Perhaps Obama, and so many bright eager well-educated grads smirk at the notion of wading through Hobbes pretentious yet glorious attempt to rescue Western civilization. It makes for edifying reading however, even as one disagrees with its absolute monarchism, when trying to understand where ISIS would lead us and why it is vital and not tawdry to know of the unspeakable things they are doing at this very moment. And how from that horrifying knowledge we can find the will to confront and defeat islamic terror once and for all.

Posted by AllardK at February 9, 2015 7:51 PM
Comment #387977

AllardK, I would say most folks in the country feel pretty much as you do.

I believe, if conservatives win the next election, we will get back on a war footing pdq.

This admin, from the gitgo has pledged to try and extricate us from war and not jump into any new military actions to the extent possible.

While I’m not particularly fond of this admin I am willing to give their policies some time.

The Middle East has been in some state of war from the beginning of time as I can tell. The people have been denied access to western culture for hundreds of years. They are tribal and each tribe has their own idea of Islam. The extremists are thought of as heros saving the purity and sanctity of Islam.

Recall how recently it was that the Jim Crow folks were able, in their hearts and minds to relegate the black citizens to a lesser class and the extremists were front and center in carrying out racist actions.

I recall a time in Africa where I was trying to help a young man gain some skill on maintaining a couple of 10 hp fishing motors. “Now, don’t overtighten the spark plugs. Just snug them down so” Over the next week or so the fellow wrung the plug threads from both motors. He had no conception of what ‘overtighten’ or ‘snug’ meant.

After seeing what happened in Iraq and Afghan, ‘after’ the wars, I am not anxious to put more US troops in harms way. Mallaki (sic) cudn’t wait, felt like he couldn’t survive, if he didn’t resort to the old ways of tribalism/religious zealotry.

If one takes the emotion and media hype out of it, we can afford to take more time and see how the admins policies work out. If they do work out, fine. If they don’t it will just be good ammo for the conservatives to get on a war footing after the next election.

20k terrorists running around in thousands of sq mile deserts, mostly in pick-up trucks does not pose a great threat to humanity at the moment. Blowing up a bunch of sand won’t do much to chase the bad guys off the field.

It will take troops on the ground, going house to house, to rout them out. I believe we can wait for the locals to put up the main battle troops and then we could provide intel/logs support to ‘sharpen their spears’, and so on - - -

Recall that some Saudi’s were helping Osama way back when and, more recently something in the news about them helping fund 9/11. It’s going to take decades, maybe a few centuries, to integrate western and Middle Eastern cultures, IMO.

Posted by: roy ellis at February 10, 2015 10:20 PM
Comment #387981

ISIL is not unstoppable.

A relatively small group of Syrian Kurdish militia (YPG/YPJ) not only resisted a vastly superior ISIL force at Kobane but with US air support soundly defeated them. ISIL suffered huge loses of experienced fighters and equipment and is retreating from the region.

Their advance in Iraq has been halted and preparations are in progress to cutoff Mosul and eventually retake it.

The key element of the Obama policy is that we will not go it alone again in that region. Our assistance is also contingent upon political reform and elimination of the factors that resulted in the Sunni population’s support of ISIL.

Before we rush in, we need to find out who our allies are in this fight. Certainly the Kurds. The Iraq government remains a question mark. Saudi Arabia and the other Sunni nations have, thus far, been lukewarm allies. Perhaps, after the horrific execution of the Jordanian pilot, the Sunni states will step up their game.

Posted by: Rich at February 10, 2015 11:12 PM
Comment #387984

In Iraq, ISIS consists of the same Sunni generals and tribal leaders we trained when they used to be part of the Iraqi army. When 1500 poorly armed ISIS soldiers showed up outside Mosul, the well armed 17,500 man Iraqi army deserted- and most of them joined ISIS. So all that weaponry and $10 billion plus in training was turned against us. The Sunnis wanted no part of us, and they especially wanted no part of the corrupt Shia government that now controls ‘Iraq.’

There is a lot of fear being pushed, and outlets like FOX are acting as full time propagandists for ISIS. FOX was alone among the major news outlets in playing the video of the execution of the Jordanian pilot in its entirety, and they have been doing their absolute level best to terrify Americans by repeating terrorist propaganda.

I have no doubt the combination of American air power and support along with Kurdish, Jordanian, Iranian, and Shia Iraqi ground troops can degrade and destroy ISIS. We have already significantly damaged the organization. But the problem remains the same: once ISIS is gone…

What next?

Posted by: phx8 at February 10, 2015 11:46 PM
Comment #388010

In just a few months knowledge will be gained by many people. There are about 30 training sites from coast to coast that are training ISIS people. They are preparing for action in this country. While the admin sleeps the snoring will not even alarm most people. They will find that when their heads are cut off they will not be able to eat for a few weeks.

Thank you Jordan for your effort and doing it to the degree that should have been done by this admin.

Posted by: tom humes at February 11, 2015 4:52 AM
Comment #388033

Tom, I have been hearing this for over a year now but… nothing yet. I’m sorry but the invisible fear by the unknown assailant is not going to keep me awake at night. I learned to ignore the boogy man when I was young.

If we know there are 30 training sites across the country, why are they still open? Why are they not closed down? Seems a failing there if we know they exist and don’t take action on them. Either we are complicit in their existing or they don’t really exist and are just another scare tactic used to keep us all afraid.

And now, phx8, this isn’t all ‘fox news’. The left leaning news has been just as bad and spreading fear about ISIS for months now. From showing edited versions of obviously faked videos with little questioning of them to parroting the current administration’s hyping of the ‘threat’ that ISIS supposedly is, they are just as much to blame as the right is in this.

It’s possible I could die of a heart attack today. It’s possible that some idiot with a bomb strapped on has back might try to take out a few dozen or even hundred people at the place I happen to be at. I am NOT going to give in to fear for things I can’t control or don’t know. We are all going to die, it is how we live that matters, and I won’t live in fear, no matter how much someone thinks it would help their political goals if I do so.

Posted by: Rhinehold at February 11, 2015 7:46 AM
Comment #388046

Agreed, it is not just FOX pushing fear of ISIS, but they are the worst fearmongerer out there. CNN comes in second. Personally, I refuse to grant the terrorists what they want- attention, polarization, over-reaction, and pretending that they are “Islamic terrorists” instead of just plain terrorists and murderers.

Posted by: phx8 at February 11, 2015 9:23 AM
Comment #388202

I am not certain why the author of this post is allowed to post under the third party independent column. I understand why Roy and Rhinehold are posting here and a lot of what they say makes sense, sometimes. Now I am not criticizing the messenger but rather the intent of the blog owners/editors for allowing the author to post in this column. He has never supported any decision by President Obama and has only been critical of his actions, sometimes deservedly from his point of view but again that would be his point of view. I was just wondering what type of criteria is used to define a third party independent author? Come to think of it there hasn’t been any new authoring done by any liberal/progressive/democrat here in quite some time. There have been many new additions of authors made to the red column but very, very little to the blue column. We have Stephen(old) and TreyL(new).

ISIL is the latest boogey man from the Middle East. I don’t doubt that they will be handled in due time but I would rather see the participants in their demise be interested parties from countries that are in that region. USA can help but should not be seen as the only viable alternative to combating ISIL, it must be a coalition. But still even if that is the outcome, regional countries defeating and dismantling ISIL. phx8’s question is very relevant in that discussion. “What next”?, indeed what next?

Posted by: Speak4all at February 12, 2015 12:17 PM
Comment #388891

Don’t glorify these bastards. Their very inability to moderate themselves is the very thing that will unite Muslim Countries and Western Countries alike against them. Let’s not make the mistake in becoming extremists concerning Muslims. Let’s not make the mistake of thinking that somebody else’s religion justifies taking force against them.

If we do go and kick their asses, it’s not going to be because they pray to Allah, it’s going to be because they’re vicious bastards who defy any plain reading of any society’s (much less any religion’s) fundamental morality.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at February 17, 2015 11:51 AM
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