ISIS Declares War, Stirs the Lone Wolf Pot

ISIS has just declared the equivalent of World War III. The announcement comes in the form of a long-awaited statement by ISIS official spokesman Shaykh Abū Muhammad al-‘Adnānī ash-Shāmī.

Adnani calls on Muslims everywhere to attack Americans and Europeans wherever they find them. You can find the English version of the ten page statement here. But be forewarned, it's not a pleasant read. [More...]

First: ISIS makes it clear that the U.S. airstrikes and re-entry into Iraq are the reason for its call to kill Americans:

O Muslims, America claimed when it first began this crusade, that it was defending its interests in Erbil and Baghdad and defending its citizens. Thereafter its blunder became clear, and the falsehood of its claims became obvious. It claimed that through its airstrikes it would save those expelled and left homeless in Iraq, and defend the civilians.

... Dear Muslims, America hasn’t come with its crusade in order to save the Muslims, nor does it spend its wealth in spite of the collapse of its economy and burden itself in order to arm and train the sahwah councils in Shām and Iraq out of compassion and fear for the mujahidin from the “cruelty of the khawārij,” and out of support for them as they allege....America has not come for any reason other than to wage war against Islam and the Muslims. It has not gathered its allies and spent its wealth for any reason other than to break the strength of the mujahidin. So you have the statement of Allah on one hand, and the claim of the crusaders on the other. Who are you going to believe, O Muslims?

It insists the U.S. initiated the conflict:

O Americans, and O Europeans, the Islamic State did not initiate a war against you, as your governments and media try to make you believe. It is you who started the transgression against us, and thus you deserve blame and you will pay a great price.

The price it wants to extract:

You will pay the price when your sons are sent to wage war against us and they return to you as disabled amputees, or inside coffins, or mentally ill. You will pay the price as you are afraid of travelling to any land. Rather you will pay the price as you walk on your streets, turning right and left, fearing the Muslims. You will not feel secure even in your bedrooms. You will pay the price when this crusade of yours collapses, and thereafter we will strike you in your homeland, and you will never be able to harm anyone afterwards. You will pay the price, and we have prepared for you what will pain you.

As to its call for lone wolf attacks on Americans and Europeans:

[Do] not let this battle pass you by wherever you may be. You must strike the soldiers, patrons, and troops of the tawāghīt. Strike their police, security, and intelligence members, as well as their treacherous agents. Destroy their beds. Embitter their lives for them and busy them with themselves.

If you can kill a disbelieving American or European – especially the spiteful and filthy French – or an Australian, or a Canadian, or any other disbeliever from the disbelievers waging war, including the citizens of the countries that entered into a coalition against the Islamic State, then rely upon Allah, and kill him in any manner or way however it may be. Do not ask for anyone’s advice and do not seek anyone’s verdict. Kill the disbeliever whether he is civilian or military, for they have the same ruling. Both of them are disbelievers. Both of them are considered to be waging war [the civilian by belonging to a state waging war against the Muslims]. Both of their blood and wealth is legal for you to destroy...

ISIS's suggestions for lone wolves:

The best thing you can do is to strive to your best and kill any disbeliever, whether he be French, American, or from any of their allies....If you are not able to find an IED or a bullet, then single out the disbelieving American, Frenchman, or any of their allies. Smash his head with a rock, or slaughter him with a knife, or run him over with your car, or throw him down from a high place, or choke him, or poison him.

...If you are unable to do so, then burn his home, car, or business. Or destroy his crops. If you are unable to do so, then spit in his face.

Those who think ISIS is afraid of the U.S. airstrikes or that it fears the U.S. sending troops to Iraq, need to realign their thinking. That has always been an ignorant assumption. ISIS makes it perfectly clear today -- it intends to drag the U.S. back to Iraq, now that we've stuck our toe in. (It actually believes we never left, using proxies in our stead.)

O crusaders. Mobilize your forces, roar with thunder, threaten whom you want, plot, arm your troops, prepare yourselves, strike, kill, and destroy us. This will not avail you. You will be defeated. ... Send arms and equipment to your agents and dogs. Prepare them with the most modern equipment. Send them very much, for it will end up as war booty in our hands by Allah’s permission. ... Look at your armored vehicles, machinery, weaponry, and equipment. It is in our hands. Allah granted it to us. We fight you with it. So die in your rage.

... [Obmama] you claimed today that America would not be drawn to a war on the ground. No, it will be drawn and dragged. It will come down to the ground and it will be led to its death, grave, and destruction. O Obama, you claimed that the hand of America was long and could reach wherever it willed. Then know that our knife is sharp and hard. It cuts off the hands and strikes the necks.

... [Obama] Is this all you were capable of doing in this campaign of yours? Is this how far America has reached of incapacity and weakness? Are America and all its allies from amongst the crusaders and atheists unable to come down to the ground? Have you not realized – O crusaders – that proxy wars have not availed you nor will they ever avail you? Have you not realized...that the battle cannot be decided from the air at all?

The outcome, according to ISIS:

And so we promise you by Allah’s permission that this campaign will be your final campaign. ... We will conquer your Rome, break your crosses, and enslave your women, by the permission of Allah, the Exalted. This is His promise to us; He is glorified and He does not fail in His promise. If we do not reach that time, then our children and grandchildren will reach it, and they will sell your sons as slaves at the slave market.

The only thing ISIS doesn't seem to be threatening is to send its trained fighters in Iraq and Syria to the U.S. or Europe. Instead, it is asking those who are already in these countries, or who can get there from other places, to be its proxy and conduct isolated strikes. It's not even offering to help plan the attacks -- it specifically asks no one tell them what they are planning. That's pretty telling that ISIS still has no intention of engaging the U.S. in a military war here. It wants the battles to be on its home turf.

Finally, ISIS is capitalizing on the fear caused by the beheadings, which it justifies. It thinks it is ridiculous, if not hilarious, that its beheading a few hundred apostates, traitors, spies and soldiers has caused mass hysteria in the U.S. and Europe, while Bashad's use of chemical weapons and tyrannic rule over Muslims has not prompted intervention. It blasts Obama as "vile" and other things, and repeatedly calls Kerry a "uncircumcised old geezer."


I have maintained since the U.S. began airstrikes against ISIS that military intervention was a mistake that would only result in ISIS targeting America. Before the strikes, ISIS had never expressed an intent to attack the U.S. It was focused on tearing down borders in the Middle East to create a unified Caliphate state in which Sharia law would be imposed. It had nothing to do with us. It asked for recruits to join them in the middle east, not take action elsewhere.

When the mission creep began, and the U.S. expanded the airstrikes beyond its initial promise to limit them to humanitarian efforts and protecting American facilities and personnel, it became almost a foregone conclusion that we were headed back to yet another unnecessary, ill-advised war we probably won't win, that will come with a huge price tag both in dollars and lost human lives.

The decision to continue the air strikes may go down as the worst decision in Obama's presidency. And for all the wrong reasons, it will likely cost the Democrats the White House and Congress in the next election. The war mongers who stupidly think he should have acted with more military power sooner will rule the day.

One last note: ISIS welcomes death. I wonder if its recruits feel the same way about decades in prison. Maybe the State Department, instead of sending out pithy tweets mocking ISIS, should start tweeting the details of life at Supermax, 140 characters at a time, with pictures. That undoubtedly will be the fate of any lone wolf who gets arrested in the U.S. who doesn't succeed in killing himself along with his target.

So what now? I think both ISIS and the U.S. need to chill. As the saying goes, revenge is a dish better served cold. ISIS should go back to establishing its Caliphate and fighting the Iraqi forces, rebel groups and al Qaida factions in the Middle East who have refused to give it their allegiance. The U.S. should go back to its position that Iraq and ISIS are not our problem, the problems cannot be solved militarily, and it is the responsibility of the other governments in that part of the world, not the U.S., to respond to ISIS. Our assistance should be limited to providing intelligence to the other countries (something at which we unfortunately excel.)

If the other countries aren't up to the task, or are unwilling, and our choice is accepting a unified Caliphate state with Sharia law in the Middle East, or decades of war and destruction, along with heightened surveillance in the U.S. to prevent domestic terror threats, I (regrettably, but firmly) vote for the Caliphate state. It's time for the U.S. to stop the pretense we are the world's global police force and drop the notion that the entire world must live in a democracy, whether they want to or not.

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    Jeralyn's right - we need to butt out, (5.00 / 3) (#11)
    by desertswine on Sun Sep 21, 2014 at 11:48:55 PM EST
    in a meaningful way.

    Reasons for war (5.00 / 2) (#13)
    by Juanita Moreno on Mon Sep 22, 2014 at 12:44:16 AM EST
    America has not come for any reason other than to wage war against Islam and the Muslims.

    Well, that's certainly not true. The real reasons for the Bush era Iraq war:

    1. Feed the Military Industrial Congressional Complex

    2. Enable OPEC to use price manipulation to increase the cost of oil. The price of oil was a third of its previous value just before 9-11. Hence the initial military action of the US Air Force was the destruction of Iraq's oil pipelines. Then we killed Saddam Hussein, the man who had historically undermined OPEC price manipulation by increasing production every time they agreed to reduce oil production. Then we rebuilt the Iraq oil infrastructure, selected a Texas oil billionaire to "manage" Iraq's oil production levels (ie: keep them in alignment with OPEC's "managed" production levels), and viola! Oil prices are right back up where they should be.

    The real reason for Obama's Iraq war:

    1. Feed the Military Industrial Congressional Complex

    2. Ensure he doesn't look weak during his last two lame duck years.

    First rule of conflict - don't do what the (5.00 / 1) (#29)
    by ruffian on Mon Sep 22, 2014 at 10:41:46 AM EST
    other guy wants you to do. They were obviously trying to provoke a response for just this reason - to have some pretext to declare a wider war. Their propaganda machine needs a pretext, for some reason I have not figured out. I guess raw hatred and psychopathy don't sell well.

    It appears to me that (5.00 / 2) (#38)
    by fishcamp on Mon Sep 22, 2014 at 11:15:13 AM EST
    both the Republicans and the Democrats in the house and senate are so scared of each other and losing their jobs that they are no longer making much sense.  And here they go off on vacation for the month of October when quite possibly they could be needed to act more than ever before.  I'm sure some of you saw John Kerry on Morning Joe this morning.  The words that flew out of his mouth were amazingly vague and meant nothing to me.  It's a shame since I met him at Hunter Thompson's memorial event and he seemed clear and concise.  I rather doubt we will ever wipe out any of the ME groups be they authentic or spurious.  It's already been mentioned here that we obviously have not learned our lesson about arming rebel groups over there or anywhere.  It's truly  pathetic.

    This scenario so reminds (5.00 / 2) (#43)
    by jondee on Mon Sep 22, 2014 at 11:29:52 AM EST
    me of the Dems and Repubs flogging each other over who was "soft on communism" in the fifties and sixties..

    Now none of them dare risk stepping out of line and risk being publicly accused of being "soft on terror" by some grandstanding John McCain-type nitwit.


    They Teach the 'Art of War'... (5.00 / 3) (#42)
    by ScottW714 on Mon Sep 22, 2014 at 11:29:30 AM EST
    ...at West Point, yet it seems that we never take any of those lessons to heart and always just assume the world's largest military can crush anyone.

    IMO, war is the complete opposite of art, and rather than teaching future military leaders how to destroy, the should teach politicians the art of peace, or the art of understanding unintended consequences, so that nut jobs aren't specifically targeting a country half way around the world.


    Well (5.00 / 2) (#45)
    by jondee on Mon Sep 22, 2014 at 11:38:21 AM EST
    unbrideled predatory capitalism is close to resmbling scorched earth war by other means..

    And as materialistic as anything promulgated by Lenin, Trotsky,and Stalin.

    The hysterically militant religious movements in places like the ME are, imo, at least in part a reaction to the cultural byproducts of economic colonialism.


    Who Controls the Wealth in the ME? (none / 0) (#50)
    by squeaky on Mon Sep 22, 2014 at 01:35:07 PM EST
    Certainly not the colonialists.. and I do not think that the Saudi's or other oil rich consider themselves capitalists..

    The british are not in control any more.. nor is the US..

    AM I missing something here? I am not a historian.


    Have You Read It? (5.00 / 1) (#49)
    by squeaky on Mon Sep 22, 2014 at 01:30:57 PM EST
    You may want to have a look, because the art of peace is embedded in the art of war.
    2. Hence to fight and conquer in all your battles is not supreme excellence; supreme excellence consists in breaking the enemy's resistance without fighting....

    6. Therefore the skillful leader subdues the enemy's troops without any fighting; he captures their cities without laying siege to them; he overthrows their kingdom without lengthy operations in the field.

    the art of war

    Sun Tzu considered war as a necessary evil that must be avoided whenever possible.



    Have Not... (5.00 / 1) (#56)
    by ScottW714 on Mon Sep 22, 2014 at 03:33:36 PM EST
    ...but I watched a documentary on it and how it was applied at the time in China with all the various fighting fiefdoms trying to unite through... war.

    Worth a Read (5.00 / 1) (#63)
    by squeaky on Mon Sep 22, 2014 at 09:52:00 PM EST
    Not long at all, and you may learn something.

    Worth a re-read (5.00 / 1) (#65)
    by dk on Tue Sep 23, 2014 at 06:10:03 AM EST
    You might learn something too the second time around.

    Are There Any Credible Estimates (5.00 / 1) (#33)
    by RickyJim on Mon Sep 22, 2014 at 10:57:42 AM EST
    of just how many people in the US they can command to do their bidding?  Are they more of a threat than video game crazed white, anglo-saxon, protestant high school kids?

    stay on topic (none / 0) (#46)
    by Jeralyn on Mon Sep 22, 2014 at 12:35:28 PM EST
    it's not video games or guns. It is ISIS. And please don't veer off into total speculation.

    ISIS may have distorted (5.00 / 5) (#54)
    by KeysDan on Mon Sep 22, 2014 at 02:36:13 PM EST
    the picture of threats swirling in the chaotic vortex of the Syrian civil war and the sectarian hatreds and power struggles, aided and abetted by Maliki, in Iraq.  ISIS appeared more focused on consolidating its territorial gains made at a vulnerable point in Iraqi governance than upon attacking the West.  At least, until the airstrikes.

    According to James Clapper, director of national intelligence, (if we can believe him) there are more direct threats  beyond ISIS.  Another shadowy group, Khorasan, has emerged spearheaded by a figure from Osama's inner circle. This group claims to have its sights focused on terror in the US and Europe.

    In any event, this shows to me that there is competition not only for the soul of Islam, but also, for the corollary of power and control in the region.  Shadowy (Khorasan) is being left behind by Showy (ISIS).  The horror of losing the heads of a few have caused many to lose their minds.  The proportionality of casualties in a war zone, albeit barbaric, needs to  place responses into a geopolitical context.

    The initial response of President Obama of prudence and caution seemed to me to be the best of the bad options. Essentially, a process of containment and attrition oriented around the circumstances in Iraq in which we try, once again, to bolster those Kurds and Iraqi army units that did not collapse and are able to fight with the support of US intelligence and Special Forces.  And, to give some time to see if the new Iraqi government can attract Sunnis by including Sunni leadership--the remaining and prized  posts of defense and interior going to Sunnis (or at least one of them).  

    Containment, as we know from our struggle with the Soviets, is not a quick fix. But, it can be an effective one.  Enough time will surely permit ISIs to self-degrade.  Almost any signs of Iraq power sharing will set itself against its core,  tarnishing to its temporary strengths and succumbing to its  permanent weaknesses.  

    Moving into Syria is particularly worrisome. The warring landscape puts Assad, ISIS, Khorasan, for example, against a few Saudi trained Syrian  "moderates", US troops (on the ground and in the air, in all liklihood), and strange bedfellows such as Hezbollah.

    With Hezbollah we may be working separately together, as we give arms to the Lebanese army who coordinates with Hezbollah to fight on the Syria border against ISIS.   Or, of course, we could team up with Assad, while denying we are doing so, and reduce our Syrian opponents by one.  No good options in Syria, either.  Other than to revert to the best organizing principle: don't do stupid stuff.  And, number one in the stupid stuff department is to yield to  Miss Lindsey's fear and hysteria of "they will kill all of us" (Note: ISIS, if all else fails, calls for it followers to spit in our faces--take that McCain.)

    Airstrikes inside Syria (5.00 / 1) (#62)
    by Politalkix on Mon Sep 22, 2014 at 09:32:33 PM EST
    have begun. USA with Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Qatar, Bahrain and UAE are hitting ISIL targets inside Syria...link

    They'd eat their own children (none / 0) (#1)
    by Dadler on Sun Sep 21, 2014 at 08:49:23 PM EST
    And that is precisely what they should be left to do. They have neither the support nor the brain cells to succeed in anything but butchery. Left without foreign occupiers to rail against, they will be eaten alive by those they have terrorized. But we have Superman Complex, with a thick dose of stupid layered on top. So we'll phuck it up and get more of our own people killed, lather, bleed, repeat.

    Any guess what the lead story (none / 0) (#2)
    by CaptHowdy on Sun Sep 21, 2014 at 08:55:22 PM EST
    will be on cable news tomorrow?

    But not the NYT. No way. (5.00 / 2) (#6)
    by oculus on Sun Sep 21, 2014 at 10:45:55 PM EST
    Incredibly (none / 0) (#37)
    by CaptHowdy on Mon Sep 22, 2014 at 11:14:00 AM EST
    i am not seeing this breathlessly repeated on cable news.

    Our soldiers will return mentally ill (none / 0) (#3)
    by Dadler on Sun Sep 21, 2014 at 08:59:36 PM EST
    Better than starting out that way, I guess. Gallows humor, you know. But seriously, the only thing funnier than the grandiose absuridty of the threats is the utter lack of self-awareness. "We are religious fanatics, we believe fairy stories literally, we actively retard our own intellects every minute of every day...but we'll really make YOU mentally ill."

    Nothing more ridiculous than someone talking about how everyone else's sh*t stinks while doing so with a steaming turd on top of their own head. I mean, granted, we do it all the time, too, but still...

    What a world we live in.

    Contemporary warfare does generate (none / 0) (#9)
    by Peter G on Sun Sep 21, 2014 at 11:01:44 PM EST
    a lot of mental illness in our soldiers and veterans. Even more than the conditions of war did in WWI and WWII (then referred to as "shell shock"), which is really saying something. It is nothing to joke about.

    Just curious where you got your (1.00 / 1) (#64)
    by Wile ECoyote on Tue Sep 23, 2014 at 05:22:56 AM EST

    I have no idea why you would care (5.00 / 2) (#67)
    by Peter G on Tue Sep 23, 2014 at 04:57:50 PM EST
    about that.  Why do you have any interest in what sources I may choose to rely on?  If you are legitimately curious about the assertions I made, on the other hand, and doubt that any one or more of them are true, then feel free to do whatever research you like on your own.  Let us know what you find.

    ISIS was going to start acting like this (none / 0) (#5)
    by Green26 on Sun Sep 21, 2014 at 09:38:18 PM EST
    sooner or later, no matter what the US and the West did. The US and West can't tiptoe around zealots and terrorists. Zealots/terrorists need to be met head on. The US/West/Middle East are fairly united in not liking ISIS and wanting to address and dismantle them.

    We'll see how much ISIS enjoys the bombing and other support provided by the West and other countries.

    ISIS may end up doing what seemed impossible, and that is getting various groups within Iraq to start cooperating and welcoming support from the US/West.

    Nothing is easy in the Middle East, but taking care of ISIS is doable. Obama needs to step up, listen to advisors including generals, and come up with a strategy more likely to be successful, in my view.

    This noise from ISIS will help Obama in getting the necessary political support.

    "Taking Care of Them? (5.00 / 5) (#12)
    by Jeralyn on Sun Sep 21, 2014 at 11:59:26 PM EST
    What does that mean? Even the military doesn't use the word "destroy" them any more. It's settling for "degrade." It is not possible to eliminate them. Containment is unlikely. And going after ISIS does nothing to stop al Qaida or the other dozen or so groups with a similar mindset. The only difference is that ISIS' goal is territorial and the other groups just hate us and want us out of the picture.

    It's a fantasy to think our military can wipe out ISIS. They welcome death and martyrdom. If you keep viewing them through the lens of a militaristic response, you will neither "take care" of them, contain them or stop their flow of  recruits. Training foreign troops, rebels and tribes will never be enough. Fighting on their turf will mean all those captured will be brought here and Guantanamo will never be closed.

    The last few pages of the message were a shoutout of encouragement to extremists in Egypt, Libya, Tunisia, Yemen, Gaza, Somalia, Khorasan (Pakistan and Afghanistan), the Caucasus, and Iran.  Continued military intervention will just cause all of them to ignore their differences and band together against the greater evil -- the U.S.

    They even had a special shoutout to Kurds, telling those who are Muslim they are safe. Their war is a religious war with disbelievers. "As for the Muslim Kurds, then they are our people and brothers wherever they may be. We spill our blood to save their blood. The Muslim Kurds in the ranks of the Islamic State are many. They are the toughest of fighters against the disbelievers amongst their people."

    As for them not enjoying the air strikes, they disagree. They welcome them.

    So know that - by Allah - we fear not the swarms of planes, nor ballistic missiles, nor drones, nor satellites, nor battleships, nor weapons of mass destruction....

    ...O America, O allies of America, and O crusaders, know that the matter is more dangerous than you have imagined and greater than you have envisioned....Being killed ...is a victory. This is where the secret lies. You fight a people who can never be defeated. They either gain victory or are killed. And O crusaders, you are losers in both outcomes, because you are ignorant of the reality that none of us is killed but to resurrect the dead amongst us.

    So mobilize your forces, O crusaders. Mobilize your forces, roar with thunder, threaten whom you want, plot, arm your troops, prepare yourselves, strike, kill, and destroy us. This will not avail you. You will be defeated.

    Back on 2003 (5.00 / 1) (#17)
    by CaptHowdy on Mon Sep 22, 2014 at 09:28:16 AM EST
    i remember the glazed programmed response I learned to hate most was that we needed to "take care" of Saddam.

    We needed to "do something about" him.

    I practically lost my voice from screaming at people



    Obama said in his big speech that the US (none / 0) (#23)
    by Green26 on Mon Sep 22, 2014 at 10:14:22 AM EST
    would "degrade and ultimately destroy" ISIS. I agree that completely getting rid of the types who compose groups like ISIS is not possible, but the answer is not to sit by idly, hope other Middle East countries or groups fight them, and allow ISIS and its brethren to gain strength, increase their financial resources, take territory, seize weapons, cause instability in the Middle East, create large humanitarian problems, and create a nice base for planning and funding terrorism in the West and against Western interests.

    The West allowed Bin Laden to operate and train with the Taliban in Afghanistan. 9/11 gave terrorist groups alot of momentum and confidence and showed what they could do.

    In my view, the US' complete departure from Iraq allowed ISIS to develop, train and get going. The departure also allowed Maliki to immediately turn on the Sunnis. Many or most of the US gains in Iraq were lost. Then, the US didn't step up in Syria, and was asleep while ISIS developed and gained strength. Now there's a bigger mess to clean up.

    Yes, I understand that the original Iraq invasion contributed to some/many current problems in Iraq. Nevertheless, each president has to play the cards dealt to them, and figure out what to do in the here and now.


    Substitute Saudia Arabia (5.00 / 1) (#26)
    by squeaky on Mon Sep 22, 2014 at 10:28:46 AM EST
    but the answer is not to sit by idly, hope other Middle East countries or groups fight them, and allow [Saudi Arabia] and its brethren to gain strength, increase their financial resources, take territory, seize weapons, cause instability in the Middle East, create large humanitarian problems, and create a nice base for planning and funding terrorism in the West and against Western interests.

    Why not go after the source?

    hahahaha....  oh it is because you want to be able to drive your Hummer around without having to get a third job to pay for gas.


    The Saudi clerics have (none / 0) (#31)
    by Militarytracy on Mon Sep 22, 2014 at 10:51:07 AM EST
    Condemned ISIL publicly now.

    And The Royals? (none / 0) (#34)
    by squeaky on Mon Sep 22, 2014 at 11:10:59 AM EST
    Are they sending planes and boots on the ground to stop ISIS in their tracks..  Is Prince Bandar being re-called to be given a time out?

    Here is an op-ed by Saudi's at Harvard think tank:

    Saudi Arabia is the only authority in the region with the power and legitimacy to bring ISIS down. Having effectively eradicated Al Qaeda in the kingdom, the Saudi government, with its experience fighting terrorism, is uniquely positioned to deal with ISIS, which is, after all, an Al Qaeda-aligned organization. The kingdom has built up an impressive counterterrorism program and its counterterrorism strategies are considered some of the most sophisticated and effective in the world.

    More importantly, the Saudi leadership has a unique form of religious credibility and legitimacy, which will make it far more effective than other governments at delegitimizing ISIS' monstrous terrorist ideology. The message sent to the Muslim and Arab worlds as Saudi Arabia takes on ISIS is radically different from -- and much preferable to -- the message sent if the United States does so, especially given America's recent disastrous record in the Middle East.


    Were's the beef?


    Why do you assume they are contributing nothing? (none / 0) (#58)
    by Militarytracy on Mon Sep 22, 2014 at 07:32:50 PM EST
    I know why they would choose to not be flagrant about it.  And the truth is nobody involved in bringing ISIL down is being blatant in voice.

    Also squeaky, they may have firepower we (none / 0) (#59)
    by Militarytracy on Mon Sep 22, 2014 at 07:43:34 PM EST
    Have sold them but I have reason to doubt their overall capabilities.  For instance, who gets to fly an Apache helicopter is not based on abilities.  All the individuals who are sent to Fort Rucker for flight school get there via their bloodline.  They are all related to the Royal family.  They acquire their position in the military based on blood, not skill or competency.

    Honestly I think (none / 0) (#36)
    by CaptHowdy on Mon Sep 22, 2014 at 11:13:07 AM EST
    "publicly" is the operative word there.  

    How? (none / 0) (#7)
    by oculus on Sun Sep 21, 2014 at 10:48:34 PM EST
    Nothing is easy in the Middle East, but taking care of ISIS is doable. Obama needs to step up, listen to advisors including generals, and come up with a strategy more likely to be successful, in my view.

    By being very mean to them. (none / 0) (#8)
    by Green26 on Sun Sep 21, 2014 at 10:58:33 PM EST
    And sending special ops, wearing special slippers. And listening to the military. And not being hesitant, timid, tiptoeing and slow to react.

    Pretty vague. (5.00 / 1) (#10)
    by oculus on Sun Sep 21, 2014 at 11:10:53 PM EST
    Green26... (5.00 / 1) (#18)
    by lentinel on Mon Sep 22, 2014 at 09:28:32 AM EST
    I cannot help but wonder why you were drawn to this website when the thoughts you are relating are being so often repeated by innumerable rightist news organizations,media outlets and talking heads.

    Are you interested in an opposing view, or do just enjoy repeating rightwing spin?

    It doesn't seem to me that you have taken anything in from the incredibly detailed postings by Jeralyn.

    Why are you here?


    I came to this website initially to follow (none / 0) (#25)
    by Green26 on Mon Sep 22, 2014 at 10:28:44 AM EST
    the Duke lacrosse rape matter. My first interest in the site is the criminal law discussions. I do not read conservative publications or sites, or watch Fox News, etc., except to the extent I happen to see particular columns or links in the NY Times, Wash Post, LA Times, and this site. My views are my own. Maybe you haven't noticed, but many of the things i've said on this subject have also been said by Obama and other non-generals in the administration, and certainly by many former and current generals. I don't know enough about conservative views, to know where my views fall on this subject. I am fairly liberal on most issues, but not on terrorism or economic matters.

    I read everything that Jerlalyn writes, and appreciate what she writes and brings to the forum. Jeralyn is obviously the strength of the fourm. I learn alot from the site and some posts and posters.

    This is the only political site I look at. If Jeralyn asked me to go, I would be gone in a heartbeat. However, I'm not sure that sites like this are better off having only people who preach to the choir, but maybe they are. I'm the type of person who has generally wanted his views challenged from time to time, because the challenges either cause my views to be changed or sharpen and strengthen them.


    I would (5.00 / 1) (#28)
    by lentinel on Mon Sep 22, 2014 at 10:40:25 AM EST
    never ask you to go. I do not have that right, and I would not have that inclination even if I did have that right.

    I am interested in opposing views as much as anyone.

    There are plenty of them hear.

    It is just that sometimes you express yourself in a manner that is seemingly so authoritative when you are repeating the position of rightwing media.

    I haven't seen you respond to any challenges to the presentations you make.

    But I certainly meant no offense in my initial comment.
    I was sincerely interested in what brought you here.


    You are being Disingenuous, IMO (3.50 / 2) (#32)
    by squeaky on Mon Sep 22, 2014 at 10:54:40 AM EST
    Every day you go on and on about Obama giving us war, and Obama lying to us and bla bla bla...  one note song.

    Yet you call out Green26 for repeating the same things over and over, and have the nerve to accuse him or her of repeating right wing talking points?

    Two side of the same coin, imo.

    You yourself have pointed out that Hillary and many Democrats have urged Obama to go to war with ISIS.

    Is your point, if not just muddled thinking, that the Democrats that Green26 is siding with, are not democrats?


    Thanks, squeaky. (none / 0) (#39)
    by Green26 on Mon Sep 22, 2014 at 11:16:22 AM EST
    Green = male. As I've said before, out of all the current possible presidential candidates, HIllary is my choice. Doubt that many of the true conservatives are supporting her. I would take Bill Clinton back as president in a heartbeat.

    Ok but lets stay on topic (5.00 / 1) (#61)
    by Jeralyn on Mon Sep 22, 2014 at 08:03:28 PM EST
    of ISIS. Green26, your participation here is welcomed. We may not agree, but your comments have substance. And I like that you don't respond to those who criticize your views with insults.

    Obama (none / 0) (#15)
    by lentinel on Mon Sep 22, 2014 at 04:24:24 AM EST
    has said, elitist that he is, that he doesn't need "political support".
    He has said that he can do what he wants to do with or without the support of our representatives in Congress. Indeed, he initiated his military assaults, and notified congress afterwards.

    And referring to what ISIS or some other group would do "sooner of later" is just another way of justifying a Bush-like "pre-emptive war".

    This is "dumb".

    Our government is putting us in grave danger - and you're all for it.


    i am always impressed by people who can (none / 0) (#19)
    by cpinva on Mon Sep 22, 2014 at 09:45:06 AM EST
    read other people's minds. now, if only you could tell us what the winning lottery number will be tomorrow.

    if you have even the slightest knowledge of the history of islam, and the history of those who use it as justification for doing the evil things they'd do anyway (much like Christianity), you would recognize the inherent danger in the desire to establish a new "Caliphate", complete with their warped version of "Sharia Law".

    historically, the caliphate is always an expansion project, wherever opportunity arises and resources allow. any assumption that, left alone, ISIS/ISIL would happily stay in the middle-east, is based more on wishful thinking than the historical record. hopefully, if nipped in the bud, we won't need another Charles Martel to stop them at another Battle of Tours.


    The 8th Century (5.00 / 1) (#20)
    by squeaky on Mon Sep 22, 2014 at 10:00:07 AM EST
    Even though ISIS is trying to set the time machine back to he 8th Century the comparison is not a good one, imo. Things between muslims and christians are quite different now than they were in the 8th century.

    I think it is more likely that ISIS left alone will form a state that will self destruct.

    Presenting a radical alternative blueprint for how to deal with the extremist group, Manning argues that the best way to degrade Isis is to allow it to set up a failed "state" within a clearly demarcated territory. There, Isis would gradually become unpopular and unable to govern, she predicts, and the ideology of its leadership would be discredited in the region, potentially forever.

    "Eventually, if they are properly contained, I believe that Isis will not be able to sustain itself on rapid growth alone, and will begin to fracture internally. The organization will begin to disintegrate into several smaller, uncoordinated entities - ultimately failing in their objective of creating a strong state."

    Chelsea Manning


    squeaky, could you tell is what (1.00 / 1) (#48)
    by jimakaPPJ on Mon Sep 22, 2014 at 01:29:47 PM EST
    special talent or experience that Manning has that makes s/he an expert??

    And don't play the "analyst" card. Analysts know very little beyond their narrow view.

    History shows us that such groups as ISIS continue to grow until stopped.

    And someone should tell Manning that eventually we will all be dead.

    Timing is everything.


    Hilarious (5.00 / 2) (#51)
    by squeaky on Mon Sep 22, 2014 at 01:37:45 PM EST
    squeaky, could you tell is what special talent or experience that Manning has that makes s/he an expert??

    And don't play the "analyst" card. Analysts know very little beyond their narrow view.

    And what is the special talent of a plumber, but don't play the tradesman card, because tradesmen know little beyond their own narrow view.

    And since we are on the topic, what special talent brings your innumerable comments to TL.


    There are a lot of things that history (5.00 / 2) (#53)
    by Anne on Mon Sep 22, 2014 at 02:21:51 PM EST
    teaches us, but some of us don't learn the same things others do.

    Manning is not as much of an expert as some, but certainly more of an expert than most, and that includes you.

    We got into one war because those making the decisions said that was the only way to stop things from getting worse and keep us safe.  If you've already chosen to forget the history of the last 13 years, and the lessons it should have taught you, the only conclusion I can reach is that for you, war is the answer - it's always the answer.

    But maybe that's all you can "see" when your eyes are as closed as your mind.  Oh, well, at least you have a matched set!


    Jim, stop trying to change the subject (5.00 / 1) (#60)
    by Jeralyn on Mon Sep 22, 2014 at 07:59:05 PM EST
    Manning is not the topic, ISIS is.

    Do you (none / 0) (#21)
    by lentinel on Mon Sep 22, 2014 at 10:05:25 AM EST
    think you could concentrate on current reality?

    ISIS was not interested in targeting us.
    Now they are.


    I think what Juan Cole (none / 0) (#22)
    by Mordiggian 88 on Mon Sep 22, 2014 at 10:11:33 AM EST
    has written and spoken about this subject is the right take on the possibility of a new Caliphate:

    NPR Interview

    MONTAGNE: So, in a sense, for a Sunni group to declare its lands that it's grabbed, a caliphate, that is saying something to the Shias.

    COLE: Well, it is, in a way, in the sense that the Shia reject the Sunni idea of the caliphate, but it's mainly an attempt to rally the Sunnis. And it is also a response to European colonialism because the narrative of these people is that the European colonialists divided up the Muslim world, which had been united - or at least more united - under the Ottoman rulers some of whom claimed to be caliphs. And so by having a center of religious authority that would unite the 1.5 billion Muslims, they could more easily stand up to the West.

    MONTAGNE: Now, you know, the caliphate was something - a caliphate - was something Osama bin Laden was trying to create. It's worth remembering, obviously, he failed to do that. Is there any reason to think that this small group will succeed where he failed?

    COLE: Oh, no, as I said, it's in the urban centers of the Muslim world in Cairo and Jakarta - the vast majority of people would be offended. This is not something that's likely to have much success. And remember, as you say, Mullah Omar of Uruzgan in Afghanistan made similar claims and I think that almost nobody accepts those.

    This is (none / 0) (#14)
    by lentinel on Mon Sep 22, 2014 at 04:16:09 AM EST
    the parting gift that Obama has given to us.

    When (none / 0) (#16)
    by lentinel on Mon Sep 22, 2014 at 09:18:31 AM EST
    it comes to concern for innocent civilians, we have become the poster country for not giving a brass farthing.

    The Arab States, presumably the ones most immediately impacted by their actions, have shown a relative indifference to combatting ISIS militarily.

    So, Obama has put us all in grave danger.
    And for what?
    On whose behalf?

    Is there anyone in Congress or elsewhere expressing anger or dismay over what Obama is doing during the waning days of his dreadful tenure?

    have to disagree that this (5.00 / 4) (#24)
    by Jeralyn on Mon Sep 22, 2014 at 10:15:19 AM EST
    is just on Obama. Congress has been egging him to do more. If a Republican were in office, things would be even worse. Obama is not a war monger. I disapprove of his decisions on ISIS, but I put most of the blame on Republican congresspersons who sense a chance to get a leg up on their re-election and domination of Congress, and Democrats who are afraid Republican noise will resonate with voters. It's politics.

    The reason (none / 0) (#30)
    by lentinel on Mon Sep 22, 2014 at 10:48:41 AM EST
    I have to put this on Obama is that he is the President.

    Sure, the rightwing has been egging him on, but didn't he know that would be the case when he opted to run?

    Doesn't he have a choice?

    Can't he publicly confront the noise coming from the right?

    I don't characterize Obama as a war monger - but in obliging those who are, I sincerely believe he has put us in danger.

    If this is politics, it is politics at its most dangerous.
    Going along with a terrible idea in order to bolster the fortunes of fearful democrats?

    I can't know his deepest inclinations.

    But his actions leave me cold.


    Imagine how hysterical things (none / 0) (#47)
    by jondee on Mon Sep 22, 2014 at 01:05:18 PM EST
    would get in this country if one ISIS-like attack or bombing ever occurs here.

    All the endless political-pressuring, finger-pointing, and Benghazi!-ing would be absolutley mind-numbing.

    And of course, whoever's in office would be pressured by the usual suspects into overreacting militarily and probably destabilizing things further in that part of the world.


    The Debacle of the Caliphates (none / 0) (#52)
    by Mordiggian 88 on Mon Sep 22, 2014 at 02:03:31 PM EST
    Some history on why a Caliphate isn't in the cards:

    Small groups of cult-like fundamentalists ever after hoped for a restored caliphate, but it isn't something on the minds of 99% of the world's 1.5 billion Muslims. Sunni Islam has come sociologically to resemble Protestant Christianity, lacking a formal center and largely organized on the basis of the nation-state. Thus each Muslim-majority country has a mufti, who is the highest legal authority, giving rulings on practice for the state. Ask the muftis, who have real authority backed by Muslim states, what they think of the serial murderer, al-Baghdadi.

    I remember in 2004 Usama Bin Laden issued a speech in which he complained about the calamities rained down on the Muslim world by the European Christians `for the past 80 years.' He was referring to the abolition of the caliphate by Ataturk in 1924. His theory was that without a caliph Muslims were easily divided and ruled by the great powers. The flaw in that theory is that the Ottomans claimed to be caliphs toward the end of the empire but the Great Powers still divided and ruled them. It is hard to argue with military power, and fancy religious titles won't win such power struggles. Even the original Abbasid caliphate was ended by pagan Mongol steppe warriors who had lacquered, reticulated short bows that they could fire from horseback and which could penetrate armor. (Mongols had very sophisticated fletchers).