King Abdullah of Jordan responded swiftly and forcefully to the actions of ISIL against one of his subjects and airmen, the hostage Moaz Al-Kasasbeh. He authorized an airstrike against ISIL. (No, FOX News and FOX News fans, he did not participate in the sortie himself, nor was he an actual crewman of the Federation ship Voyager.) It was one of many air missions flown against ISIL--in addition to a US-led coalition.
The US is actually doing something against ISIL. Has been. Like, it's been a problem we are dealing with--although even I use the shorthand of "getting into it" to mean "ground troops" when shooting up folks from air certainly counts for something (Kosovo, for example, was an air war). King Abdullah is our ally. And this is obviously just background for the point I want to get into--so why don't I just?
When I wrote about the offense taken by certain parties about the historical reality of President Obama's comments at the National Prayer Breakfast, I was largely addressing what I perceived as a deficit in understanding that ISIL was not some unique threat doing things we'd never seen before historically, and that it was absurd to think that the religion of Islam was the sole reason for their emergence. And yet, I have read instances online and even from liberals indicating their belief that this constitutes a tu quoque argument against doing anything against ISIL because westerners, Americans, or Christians are "just as bad."
Straw man, much? Because President Obama could not possibly be suggesting doing "nothing" if in actuality his policy is already enacting "something". We're killing ISIL guys--hooray! (for some value of "hooray" to people who think this is the thing we need to do, obviously). But what was Obama obviously getting at that even liberals seem to be missing the point of?
Oh, yeah--our allies are Muslims. His argument was against the foolish claim that we are in a war against Islam itself. You know, the thing where Obama is supposed to say "Islamic extremism" over and over again, to do what--I really don't know. But being in a war with Islam itself would be really, really weird if the US was allied with the current Iraq government, or whatever acceptable freedom-fighters exist in Syria, or the Hashemite King of Jordan, Abdullah II, a direct descendent of Muhammad (PBUH). Because those people are of the Islamic faith, and we are not at war with them.
We shouldn't be against Islam, because people that do evil things exist in all societies. We are against those that do evil as a matter of course, because they make having civil societies impossible, whether Islamic, Christian, or interfaith--including all people. The inability to coexist and the willingness to destroy whatever good that does exist, are marks that make any person or group incompatible with civilization. A religion, an ethnicity? For what it's worth--singling out whole peoples is genocide. People pissed off about getting told Islamic people aren't the worst of the worst need to search themselves for why they are so cozy with that assumption. But they shouldn't flaunt fancy ideas like tu quoque when they actually don't understand what in the hell is being argued in the first place. (And why yes, I guess you could characterize being told you're a little bit genocidalist as an ad hominem while you're at it if you're making a tu quoque argument about this case--and I will congratulate you for learning a couple words of foreign languages, whether you understand them or not..)