Re-Assessing the Iraqi Situation – Obama Still Hasn’t a Clue

In our last episode yours truly explained a basic problem with the assessment put forth by others and asserted that the ISIS terrorists should not be judged by the same criteria as any similar group, declaring a “caliphate” 50 or 100+ years ago. The fact that this group has access to better financing, better technology and communications, and has sufficient weaponry available to cause considerable trouble all over the region and beyond makes them extremely different from, for example, the old Ottoman Empire, which ended during World War I. We, and they, are no longer bound by the limitations that existed a century ago. The question that this raises is whether we will be willing to use whatever means is necessary to defeat the threat? They certainly will use whatever they have to attempt to defeat us. This imbalance in approaches will be deadly to a party that refuses to win.

The issue of changed circumstances was highlighted this morning when a top story from WND provided serious evidence that ISIS in Iraq and Syria had effectively formed an alliance with the Nigerian islamist terror group Boko Haram. This alliance would have been unlikely years ago, but is not today, as these groups see more to be gained from working together, at least for now, than they did before. Competition is placed in the back seat while their fight against civilization gets first priority. Then, they can fight it out later, when they have no one else to fight except each other.

Meanwhile, the esteemed historian Victor Davis Hanson published a piece that puts things into more stark relief when he asked, “Where Have All the Allies Gone?” Hanson understands the situation a well as anyone. As he points out, other governments refuse to become entangled in the situation without a firm commitment from the US. But the last thing that they can count on is that commitment because the man in charge

1 – appears to favor the enemy:

2 – has broken his word too many times in the past; and

3 – seems out of touch with any reality other than the golf course.

He threw America’s best Arab ally, Mubarak under the proverbial bus in favor of the Muslim Brotherhood; threatened to attack Assad’s Syrian regime, then backed down; assisted in destroying what government existed in Libya in favor of an islamist chaos; and finally, deserted the new Iraqi government when it needed help most. He also refused to keep pressure on the Iranian theocracy to dissuade them from continuing with their nuclear arms program. The Persian Gulf states and the Saudis did not appreciate that move, as they are likely high priority targets if Iran becomes actively militant.

Certainly, Assad was not a friend of the US, but he was, for the most part, keeping things stable in Syria, despite his ties to Iran and his violent methods. If he was using chemical weapons to do so, that is one of the necessary evils that appears in that part of the world. Western Civilization and its ideals are not operative there and may never be unless radical change occurs. Khadafy in Libya had been pacified, and had actually been helping US intelligence until Obama decided to get rid of him in favor of anti-American militants. Anyone with half a brain could see that this was a bad idea, but Obama went ahead with it anyway. Mubarak, despite being a dictatorial strongman had kept the peace in his zone of control. He had honored the peace treaty (not just a cease fire) with Israel and set a precedent for doing so as a better course of action than touting a non-existent Israeli threat to maintain control. None of these actions create confidence in potential allies and have essentially doomed any possible coalition to a stillbirth.

The supposed broad coalition that was expected to fall into place on Obama’s say-so has not appeared. Even the expected Arabic members have declined to become involved with the present “weak horse” approach to confronting the enemy. They do not want to be led into a burning building after which Obama shuts the door and runs away. A strategy that seems likely in the wake of his past behavior. One can expect that he will suddenly announce that everyone else has the situation in hand and end US involvement, declaring a false victory in the process.

It appears that there are two likely motivations at work here. First, is Obama’s lack of concern with promoting US interests in the international arena. It is as if destroying US credibility and reliability with other nations is the goal, rather than international stability and relative freedom from threats and troublemakers. Having made a mess out of our economy, destabilized and polarized our population, and set the stage for authoritarian government was not enough. International relations must be ruined as well.

The second motivation appears to be more of the “elephant in the room” variety. It has been clear from early on that Obama seems to think that islam poses no threat to the rest of the world. Perhaps it is because he spent time as a youth in Indonesia and as a result believed it to be a harmless religion like any other. In this scenario he refuses to acknowledge that truth because he refuses to open his eyes and see it, right in front of his nose. ISIS style violence and absolutism is mainstream islam. This is true, whether he likes it or not. The radicals are those who refuse to engage in violence; radical reformers would be a more proper description. A second alternative is that he is closet islamist, himself, and would prefer to do nothing. But political requirements at home have dragged him kicking and screaming off of the golf course to do something, even if it is only the appearance of something.

The likely result of the present course of action is continued US drone and manned aerial strikes against the ISIS army, which will cause damage, but will not be sufficient to prevent them from continued conquests. The situation will worsen as other groups appear and take up the banner, flushed with the idea of certain victory. By the time anyone is actually available to do anything about it, perhaps due to a change of administration, it may be too late and what Hanson called a “huge Mogadishu-like tribal wasteland, from the Syrian Mediterranean to the Persian Gulf” will be sitting there as an expanding hotbed of trouble rather like The Blob or perhaps John Carpenter’s The Thing. Such a scenario does not bode well for the future, as the Blob seeks to expand and destroy everything it touches, and as it grows it will gain more converts to its cause, if for no other reason than a desire to survive by joining the “winning side.”

The present administration either does not understand the situation, or actively supports the enemy from behind the scenes. Either way, it will not take meaningful action, perhaps, even if there is an actual attack on US home soil. After all, to them, the real enemy consists of patriotic Americans. Its resources must be hoarded against the evils of the Tea Party and those who would work to restore traditional constitutional government. After all, America has been the greatest evil ever on the face of the earth. He heard it at Columbia and Harvard, so it must be true.

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