the United States and "several Arab Allies" are now making multiple strikes against ISIL targets in Syria in and around Raqqa.
I don't know that I'm especially surprised. The likelihood of US strikes in Syria was expressed by the President not that long ago. Sooner is better than later, in some respects. I'm not so sure how well the cognitive dissonance will sit with the "Obama appeases terrorists" crowd, but who really cares what flaming assholes think?
I am not a pacifist, and I don't like stupid wars, pretty much in the exact sense that Obama articulated before even becoming president. ISIL has persuaded me that they need taking care of by the kinds of messages they are putting out. (Yes, I know, the Daily Mail...but the right wing here in the US ran with it almost approvingly. Seriously--agreeing with ISIL because you all hate Obama and Kerry so much? Useful idiots! Thanks for playing!) But I do like the idea of ISIL getting their ears pinned back.
There are real issues in the Middle East with respects to countries not wanting to be governed by de facto dictators or strongmen and a desire to get responsive government that is capable of carrying out meaningful long-term policies that the region desperately needs. Egypt and Libya don't have by any means perfect solutions just yet following their uprisings--but democracy is messy, and the desire to just get order imposed is strong. But I really don't see any need in the region for an ersatz caliphate clown college that leads with horror and causes massive regional disruption. (Could you imagine this number streaming across a US border in as many days, and how we would react? Also--can anyone imagine a way ISIL is less dictatorish?)
I don't like some of the potential outcomes. I think of it as the "Mesopotamian Tiger Pit"--the idea that we wade into a broader conflict with everyone on our side--up until they are exactly against us and try to engage us in some whole other conflict.
I think we might be able to avoid that and hope we do. But in the meantime, for the beheading, comfort-women using, propaganda-shedding assholes of the hour--I can't make myself unhappy about their being under attack. I am somber-ish and not elated. But I kind of do want them struck.