Trump World Grab-Bag--A Collection

Monday, September 22, 2014

US is now making airstrikes in Syria

Or to be more specific, 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.


mikey said...

No - if if the organizing principle of your foreign policy is 'Don't do stupid stuff', getting involved in the Syrian Civil war is a violation of that principle. We find ourselves actually working in support of al-Assad's Baath regime, with much more blood on their hands than ISIS at this point. In exchange for some limited tactical damage to ISIS troops and equipment, we give them the most powerful recruiting tool imaginable. Nobody seems to be able to articulate what American interests are threatened that requires us to intervene in a regional sectarian and tribal struggle. And if American policy is to go to war with every particularly nasty group of terrorists and insurgents, then I need to hear our plans for Boko Haram, al Shabbab, the Houthis, Séléka and AQAP, to start.

If Iraq, Syria, Jordan, Saudi, Iran, Turkey and Egypt have interests in play, they've also got lots of troops and tanks and jet fighters - in many cases we sold them to them. So the Saudi willingness to fight ISIS to the last American is insulting and unacceptable.

Seriously, we've been bombing and invading the place for the better part of a quarter century. Maybe at this point we could draw a conclusion about the value of bombing and invading the place some more....

ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®© said...

I agree with mikey, except for 'twenty five years'.


mikey said...

Here's the test. It's a mental exercise.

In one universe, the US bombs the crap out of IS.

In an alternate universe, the US sits on its hands and tells the Arabs and Persians "your problem, figure it out".

In which case is the situation better for:

1.) The US
2.) The region
3.) Syrian civilians
4.) IS

I don't know about you, but I sure don't see #1 as a viable answer...