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Thursday, February 12, 2015

The Answer is Blowing in the Wind

The president asked Congress for authorization to go to war with ISIS. Or ISIL. Depends on who is saying it. "Boots on the ground" is the term you'll hear. Apparently he's asking for a three-year war. And he intends to cross national boundaries to do it.

What, I wonder, is the target? I mean, you're going to hand weapons to soldiers and tell them to shoot ... what? The experts are saying that ISIS is everywhere. We even have them in the United States. So, who are they shooting? It's interesting that it's a war with a schedule. "Yeah, three years ought to do it." The target must be pretty clearly defined for that kind of timetable accuracy.

I'm being somewhat flippant, I know, but I'm not sure what we're doing. I haven't been for some time. Sending troops to fight ISIS is like putting a ring around the BP oil spill. Sure, you may contain the oil, but you haven't touched the source. And if you don't shut off the source of the spill, containment is pointless and will fail. Like a band aid on a flesh-eating virus.

The problem is not armament and ammunition. The problem is ideology. But the president hasn't seemed to notice. It is "terrorists" without apparent ideology. Like incoherent criminals, killing people without purpose. So if they're not "Islamic terrorists"--just "terrorists"--then there is no ideology behind it and guns ought to solve that problem. Anyone can tell you this isn't the case ... except maybe the president.

Do I think we need troops in the Middle East to combat the ISIS threat? Can't really say. Maybe we have an ideology spill that needs to be contained. But how do we stop the ideology leak? It appears to be pouring out of the Middle East (despite the president's claim that only 0.1% buy that kind of thinking). And if it's everywhere, exactly how does sending troops to the Middle East contain everywhere?

We've waged a "war on drugs" that aimed to catch drug dealers. It hasn't particularly worked because the dealers are supplying customers. As long as there are customers, there will be dealers. We've waged a "war on terror", as if that makes any sense at all. I mean, I have trouble identifying just what a "terrorist" is when I hear the terrifying things they tell me on the evening news. Aren't they terrorists, too? And the goal is to ... what ... shoot the terrorists? So we've contained drugs to some small degree and we've contained terrorists to some small degree, but these are wars without termination because they aren't fighting the problem. So is the solution to the ISIS problem to send troops to shoot people who think like that? Seems like an odd and useless (at best) approach. But, hey, I'm not in the government making these calls. Maybe they know something about thought control and "boots on the ground" that I don't. So if you don't mind, I think I'll put my trust Somewhere Else.

The president has announced that he does not intend to put "boots on the ground". This doesn't change my point. It does bring into question exactly how the president plans to contain the ideology spill without any real containment methods, but apparently he is not planning to do it with troops.


Glenn E. Chatfield said...

We need to get rid of ISIS just as we got rid of the NAZIs. But we need the rest of the western world to join us -- we can't do it alone.

And as long as this country -- and the rest of western civilization -- refuse to see this as a war with Islam, then that ideology will continue to prevail.

Stan said...

I don't know, Glenn. Nazi Germany was easy (so to speak). It was a nation with a location, a source of arms, etc. Disable the nation and its sources and you disable its war-making capabilities. (No one managed to disable its ideology, as evidenced by neo-Nazis today.) ISIS is not the same. Like cockroaches, they're everywhere. Stomp on some here and they'll scurry away and show up over there.

Are we at war with Islam? The president refuses to call it that. Even George W refused to call it that. A war with elements that perpetrate terror and destruction in the name of Islam? Maybe that's more like it. Except the president seems to be planning a "war" without troops, so I do not have a clue what we are at (war or maybe not?) or with whom ("terrorism" or "Islamic terrorists" or ?).

But in the end, I cannot imagine the idea that if we bring enough force to bear we can stop people from thinking the ways ISIS is thinking. So I'm skeptical of any real longterm value here.

Glenn E. Chatfield said...

Well, it is a war against Islam, whether or not people want to accept that. Islam has been at war with the rest of the world since its inception, but now they have the weaponry to really pursue it. It's not just a faction, it's many factions, which is how we got into the mess to begin with.

I think if we could take out the most radical countries, and the ones who are the major financiers of groups like ISIS, Al Queda, HAMAS, et al, we'd have a better chance of stopping them. But what we really need to do is stop allowing immigration of Muslims. As proven in Europe, they win by assimilation; the more they have immigrate, the more power they have. Which is why there are Sharia law zones in England and other European nations, and why so many are trying it here in the U.S. (e.g. "Dearbornistan")

We may not be able to stop them from thinking the way we do, but we can sure stop the majority of their acting on their ideology -- ONLY if the rest of the world would help. The U.S. can't do it alone, and our troops will be nothing but cannon fodder, especially with this administration which punished troops for doing their jobs.

Even cockroaches can be conquered; we bought a house which we learned was infested. It took a few months, but we finally won.

Stan said...

Interesting. Then you would be willing to order the deaths of all Muslims? (You know, like getting rid of cockroaches.)

David said...

Wow Glenn, harsh. I'm not one of those, "do NO violence types, but killing all Islamic terrorists and all those that support them is a bit blood thirsty, even for me, and I grew up in the 80s/90s on action movie and video games. I don't think much can take be done. Your roaches were limited to the local of your home, so you definitely haven't done away with the roach problem, only in as much as it pertains to you. And locking out a religious group or ethnicity would go against much of what America believes in. Plus, that would be rather impractical and nearly impossible to verify (the religion party anyway) Also, I'm not sure I agree that it was a violent religion from its inception. I seem to recall that before he gained his power Muhammed really did teach peace. He eventually changed his tune to keep his power, but I wouldn't say it was from inception a violent religion, just within the lifetime of its creator.

Glenn E. Chatfield said...

Only the ones who are doing the killing. To suggest I even hinted at anything else is a bit bizarre.

My point is to quit allowing them to immigrate, and those who do not hold citizenship should be evicted from every country they are in. We should also curtail all their special rights, such as allowing sharia law courts.

Stan said...

I just asked, Glenn. "It is a war against Islam" coupled with "Even cockroaches can be conquered" could be construed as "Kill 'em all and let God sort 'em out" and I was pretty sure that was not your aim, so I thought I'd put out the question for you to deny ... as you did. Thanks.

Stan said...

I don't know, David. Mohammed claimed to have received his visions from Gabriel around 610 AD and was at war by 623 AD. (Interestingly, some of that pre-war time was spent in the sanctuary of Christian communities.) According to their histories, he was in conflict from the start, and it just turned violent when he couldn't take it anymore. But the violence commanded in their Quran is unavoidable except to the most generous of liberal Muslims.

Glenn E. Chatfield said...


The analogy of the roaches in my home was to point out that they can be eradicated from a particular location.

Why is it harsh to kill those who are killing?!?! Isn't that what war is - to stop the other guy from killing everyone? Isn't that what self-defense is all about? What do you want to do with terrorists - put them in prison at taxpayer expense so some stupid president will turn them loose again to kill more people? Don't we execute murders in the USA (at least in states not taken over by liberals who think killing a murder is wrong)?

Muslims are more than a religious group - it is a religious/political ideology really more analogous to Nazism. Would we want Nazis in the US during WWII? Muslim ideology/theology says to lie about being your friend until they are in a position of power. Many, many muslims in the USA now have been very supportive -- even financially - of ISIS and other Islamic groups who are murdering people all over the world. Try reading history sometime and see what Islam is really about -- it is not just a religion. I have no problem at all with refusing entry into a country by people who are bent on destroying such country.

If you don't think Islam was violent from its inception, you really need to do some research. It has always been about exterminating those who refuse to convert. Mohammed preached peace ONLY if you joined him. That is not preaching peace.