"What ISIS Really Wants" : A Compelling Read

Graeme Wood has a very long but compelling article in The Atlantic What ISIS Really Wants. It is about ISIS' ideology and methodology. It's too long to hit all the key points, so I will just mention a few.

Virtually every major decision and law promulgated by the Islamic State adheres to what it calls, in its press and pronouncements, and on its billboards, license plates, stationery, and coins, “the Prophetic methodology,” which means following the prophecy and example of Muhammad, in punctilious detail. Muslims can reject the Islamic State; nearly all do. But pretending that it isn’t actually a religious, millenarian group, with theology that must be understood to be combatted, has already led the United States to underestimate it and back foolish schemes to counter it. We’ll need to get acquainted with the Islamic State’s intellectual genealogy if we are to react in a way that will not strengthen it, but instead help it self-immolate in its own excessive zeal. [More....]

Not understanding ISIS' ideology is dangerous. Misunderstandings can lead to disastrous results. Time Magazine today reports Europe is next in ISIS' cross-hairs. The headline to today's article is ISIS Sets Sights on Europe in Latest Beheading Video." In the recent beheading video of the Egyptian Coptic Christians, the ISIS leader says "And we will conquer Rome by Allah's Permission."

Italy may be 400 miles from Tripoli, but "Rome" doesn't mean "Rome, Italy." It would be foolhardy for Italy to attack Libya fearing ISIS is about to invade Italy. The statement does not refer to Italy or signal an intent to invade Italy.

Here is a rough translation of what the ISIS beheader said about Rome, via one of its media foundations:

O' People, Recently you have seen us on the hills of Sham ( The Levant) and on Dabiq's plain,
chopping off the heads of those apostate ...

And today we are on south of Rome, on the land of Islam Libya, to send another Message,

O' Crusaders, Safety for you will be only wishes, especially when you are fighting us all together,

Therefore we will fight you all together, until the war lays down its burdens and Jesus peace be upon him will descend. Breaking the cross, killing the swine, and Abolishing Jizyah, and the sea you have hidden Sheikh Osama Bin Laden body in, we will swear to Allah that we will mix it with your blood.

And we will conquer Rome by Allah's Permission, The promise of Our Prophet may peace and blessing be upon him.

Apparently, ISIS believes it will meet the enemy armies of the Roman Christians in Dabiq in northern Syria because that's where the Prophet said the Apocalypse would start (before moving on to Turkey.) Wood explains:

The Islamic State has attached great importance to the Syrian city of Dabiq, near Aleppo. It named its propaganda magazine after the town, and celebrated madly when (at great cost) it conquered Dabiq’s strategically unimportant plains. It is here, the Prophet reportedly said, that the armies of Rome will set up their camp. The armies of Islam will meet them, and Dabiq will be Rome’s Waterloo or its Antietam.

ISIS is fond of quoting al-Zarqawi as saying,

“The spark has been lit here in Iraq, and its heat will continue to intensify … until it burns the crusader armies in Dabiq.

ISIS has a full description of the final battles in Issue #4 of Dabiq Magazine. It says:

Rome in the Arabic tongue of the Prophet refers to the Christians of Europe and their colonies in Shām prior to the conquering of Shām at the hands of the Sahābah.

Via Wood:

Now that it has taken Dabiq, the Islamic State awaits the arrival of an enemy army there, whose defeat will initiate the countdown to the apocalypse. Western media frequently miss references to Dabiq in the Islamic State’s videos, and focus instead on lurid scenes of beheading. “Here we are, burying the first American crusader in Dabiq, eagerly waiting for the remainder of your armies to arrive,” said a masked executioner in a November video, showing the severed head of Peter (Abdul Rahman) Kassig, the aid worker who’d been held captive for more than a year.

Rome seems to be a metaphor or shorthand for the enemy -- the armies of the Roman Christians. There will be big battles in Dabiq and Turkey. But it is not known if ISIS will be the one to fight them:

The Prophetic narration that foretells the Dabiq battle refers to the enemy as Rome. Who “Rome” is, now that the pope has no army, remains a matter of debate. But [Islamic State source] Cerantonio makes a case that Rome meant the Eastern Roman empire, which had its capital in what is now Istanbul. We should think of Rome as the Republic of Turkey — the same republic that ended the last self-identified caliphate, 90 years ago. Other Islamic State sources suggest that Rome might mean any infidel army, and the Americans will do nicely.

After its battle in Dabiq, Cerantonio said, the caliphate will expand and sack Istanbul. Some believe it will then cover the entire Earth, but Cerantonio suggested its tide may never reach beyond the Bosporus. An anti-Messiah, known in Muslim apocalyptic literature as Dajjal, will come from the Khorasan region of eastern Iran and kill a vast number of the caliphate’s fighters, until just 5,000 remain, cornered in Jerusalem. Just as Dajjal prepares to finish them off, Jesus — the second-most-revered prophet in Islam — will return to Earth, spear Dajjal, and lead the Muslims to victory.

“Only God knows” whether the Islamic State’s armies are the ones foretold, Cerantonio said. But he is hopeful.

Wood also points out the differences between al Qaida and ISIS, and says unlike AQ, ISIS is predictable.

The ideological purity of the Islamic State has one compensating virtue: it allows us to predict some of the group’s actions. Osama bin Laden was seldom predictable. He ended his first television interview cryptically. CNN’s Peter Arnett asked him, “What are your future plans?” Bin Laden replied, “You’ll see them and hear about them in the media, God willing.”

By contrast, the Islamic State boasts openly about its plans—not all of them, but enough so that by listening carefully, we can deduce how it intends to govern and expand.

As an example of the risks the U.S. takes in not fully appreciating their differences, Wood cites the FBI's facilitation of a planned rescue attempt of Peter Kassig by American lawyer Stanley Cohen and AQ spiritual advisor al Maqdisi. The plan involved a reconciliation between Maqdisi and his former pupil, now an ISIS spiritual adviser. (I wrote a long post about this at the time it was disclosed in the Guardian.) He writes:

[i]f the Islamic State obtained the allegiance of al‑Qaeda — increasing, in one swoop, the unity of its base — it could wax into a worse foe than we’ve yet seen.

Wood also discusses the pros and cons of various strategies to defeat ISIS. He concludes the airstrikes (rather than ground forces) are the best of the available bad options:

Given everything we know about the Islamic State, continuing to slowly bleed it appears the best of bad military options.

Properly contained, the Islamic State is likely to be its own undoing. No country is its ally, and its ideology ensures that this will remain the case. The land it controls, while expansive, is mostly uninhabited and poor. As it stagnates or slowly shrinks, its claim that it is the engine of God’s will and the agent of apocalypse will weaken, and fewer believers will arrive. And as more reports of misery within it leak out, radical Islamist movements elsewhere will be discredited...

...Without a catastrophe such as this [an AQ-IS reconciliation], however, or perhaps the threat of the Islamic State’s storming Erbil, a vast ground invasion would certainly make the situation worse.

I didn't understand Wood's discussion of another Salafist Muslim qroup known as "the Quietists" as a possible solution to ISIS. That aside, I highly recommend the article.

ISIS is fascist at its core, and there is a method or purpose behind every atrocity. It has great appeal to marginalized and disaffected youth. If there is any chance of defeating ISIS, without just having one of its rivals take its place, it won't be achieved by a military invasion seeking to annihilate it. The governments opposing ISIS have to combat its ideology, and to do that, it first must understand it.

Update: CNN analyst Peter Bergen agrees with Wood in this new article.

ISIS wants a Western ground force to invade Syria, as that will confirm the prophecy about Dabiq....For many of us the idea that the end of times will come with a battle between "Rome" and Islam at the obscure Syrian town of Dabiq is as absurd as the belief that the Mayans had that their human sacrifices could influence future events.

But for ISIS, the Dabiq prophecy is deadly serious. Members of ISIS believe that they are the vanguard fighting a religious war, which Allah has determined will be won by the forces of true Islam. ...ISIS members devoutly believe that they are fighting in a cosmic war in which they are on the side of good, which allows them to kill anyone they perceive to be standing in their way with no compunction. This is, of course, a serious delusion, but serious it is.

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    No, they're weren't (5.00 / 2) (#3)
    by Yman on Mon Feb 16, 2015 at 08:49:44 PM EST
    This sgain?  Everyone knew about the aging, 1980s chemical weapons from Saddam's abandoned chemical program, and these were not the WMDs/active weapons program that Bush sold as an imminent threat.  If they were, the Bush administration would have been blasting the news of these shells/rockets when they  got them in 2004.  But they didn't, 'cause they weren't.  They even admitted these were not the WMDs they were talking about:

    Pentagon officials told NBC News that the munitions are the same kind of ordnance the U.S. military has been gathering in Iraq for the past several years, and "not the WMD we were looking for when we went in this time.

    Washington Post Fact Checker:

    Anyone who claims that the New York Times story vindicates George W. Bush-era claims of Iraq WMD automatically earns Four Pinocchios.

    the comment you are replying to was (none / 0) (#17)
    by Jeralyn on Tue Feb 17, 2015 at 01:17:08 AM EST
    deleted for an overly long url. They skew the site. Commenters should use their preview button to make sure their urls are in correct html format.

    And please stay on topic of ISIS. I realize you were responding to something someone else posted, but that WMD's in Iraq are off topic.


    Why does everybody's religous apocalyptic (5.00 / 1) (#5)
    by Militarytracy on Mon Feb 16, 2015 at 09:43:20 PM EST
    Prophesy end in Jersalem?  It gets really boring after awhile.

    Josh at TPM (5.00 / 2) (#14)
    by MKS on Tue Feb 17, 2015 at 01:04:42 AM EST
    What makes Netanyahu Netanyahu (not the one who is and alas looks likely to remain the Prime Minister of Israel but the American media figure) is this ability to serve as the collective id of a certain strain of hard-right, manichean aggression within American conservatism that can only feel in balance if every moment of our lives is actually a world historical moment.


    Wow.  That is really getting at something--the way neocons are never as happy as when they have a larger than life villain to oppose.....They love getting worked up in a froth of fear and war cries.....They need war....to feel alive...

    A deep and underlying sickness....not very Christian but who's counting....

    Counterargument to Atlantic article (none / 0) (#123)
    by MO Blue on Thu Feb 19, 2015 at 05:45:04 AM EST
    What The Atlantic Gets a Dangerously Wrong About ISIS And Islam

    Jerusha Tanner Lamptey, Professor of Islam and Ministry at Union Theological Seminary in New York, told ThinkProgress that Wood's argument perpetuates the false idea that Islam is a literalistic tradition where violent texts are taken at face value.
    while these positions are widespread, Lamptey noted that they are also potentially dangerous because they play directly into ISIS's plans. By suggesting that Islam is ultimately beholden to specific literal readings of texts, Lamptey said Wood and other pundits inadvertently validate ISIS's voice.
    "[Wood's position] confirms exactly what people like ISIS want people to think about them, which is that they are the only legitimate voice," she said. "It echoes that rhetoric 100%. Yes, that is what ISIS says about themselves, but it is a different step to say `Yes, that is true about the Islamic tradition and all Muslims.'"

    Nihad Awad, the executive director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, expressed a similar sentiment in an interview with Raw Story on Tuesday. He argued that in addition to Wood's piece being "full of factual mistakes," its de facto endorsement of literalistic Quranic interpretations amounts to an advertisement for ISIS's horrific theology.

    Seems many good Christians want to ignore the violent passages in the Bible and that those passages have been used and at times continue to be used to justify inhumane treatment of the people.

    Literal interpretation of the passage of an "eye for an eye" is alive and well in the U.S is just one example.


    Why is acknowledging that (5.00 / 3) (#124)
    by Anne on Thu Feb 19, 2015 at 06:40:33 AM EST
    ISIS apparently believes in a literal interpretation of the religion a form of validation?  Isn't it more an acknowledgment of reality?  We don't have to agree with it, but it seems stupid to me to try to deny what these people are saying and doing.

    I mean, there are Christians who also take their religion quite literally - does that mean their views are the ones that speak for all Christians, or does it just mean that this is what a particular group believes?

    In many ways, I can't blame Muslims for feeling defensive - it can't be easy when people just assume that because someone is Muslim, he or she subscribes to the radical views that grab all the headlines.

    But I think what really bothers me is the accusation that to try to learn about something is to legitimize it; maybe some people are comfortable just closing their eyes and pretending something isn't happening and doesn't exist, but I'm not one of them.  I just don't believe ignorance has ever made anything better, and intentional ignorance seems to me to cause many more problems than it solves.


    Does the Wood article try to educate (none / 0) (#125)
    by MO Blue on Thu Feb 19, 2015 at 07:32:49 AM EST
    Or is it reinforcing the premise that the Muslim religion by its very nature promotes violence?

    Yes, many  Christians take their religion quite literally and their interpretation has fostered violence or inhumane treatment throughout the ages. Good Christians, even as we speak, will tell you quite sincerely that torturing other human beings is justified by the Bible's eye for an eye passage. Yet, articles and TV panels and politicial rants on how Christianity by its very nature promotes violence are not part of our daily life.

    You can choose to feel that this rhetoric educates and I guess in a way it does. It definitely reinforces the prevailing view that runs rampart in this country. I'm not sure what problems this selective depiction of the Muslim religion solves. In fact many people feel that it causes more problems than it cures but evidently you disagree which of course is your right. Intentional ignorance takes many forms and using tunnel vision when looking at a situation is one of them.

    Throughout the ages varying groups have used religion as a way to amass power and wealth. Throughout our country and others, people sprout religious rhetoric to get and maintain wealth and political power. Many people here tend to doubt the sincerity of their religious fervor and feel that it is just a tool to manipulate people rather than condemn the religions of those who use them for their own enpowerment. No similar doubts are even considered here. It has been reported that many of the Baathist's of Saddam Hussein's government and Royal Guard are part of ISIS. Yet, somehow the religion is to blame rather than the people, many of whom, are using the premise of religion to get back in power.


    Our legal system prevents fundamentalists (5.00 / 1) (#127)
    by Militarytracy on Thu Feb 19, 2015 at 08:02:59 AM EST
    From being able to carry out atrocities in God's name.  That's part of the problem here.  There is no legal system in many parts of the Middle East protecting and preventing such atrocity.

    Not in total agreement (5.00 / 1) (#130)
    by MO Blue on Thu Feb 19, 2015 at 08:30:49 AM EST
    that our legal system prevents atrocities to be carried out in God's name. While condemning the Muslim's eye for an eye religious ideologoly we tend to forgot that that same ideology is used to justify the death penalty and torture.

    It isn't wholly embraced though (none / 0) (#132)
    by Militarytracy on Thu Feb 19, 2015 at 08:59:44 AM EST
    Those of us who challenge and will continue to challenge the death penalty can and will do so without the killing of us being acceptable.

    And torture, I'm not sure what your basis that religious fundamentalists in this country or any other Western country drove and supported that, and was able to outstrip our legal systems.

    If you consider the United States a Christian driven nation, both the death penalty and torture go against all of Christ's teachings and commandments.


    I'm a little confused (none / 0) (#147)
    by MO Blue on Thu Feb 19, 2015 at 12:13:12 PM EST
    Are you under the opinion that those in the U.S. who authorized and participated in torture did not avoid the consequence of domestic and international law?

    There is data that suggests that religious fundamentalist and religous people in general do approve of torture at a higher level than non church goers.

    In case you missed it, Pew released survey data showing that the more frequently someone went to church, the more likely they were to approve of torture. (So much for total depravity on the outside.) Church attendance in this case may be a proxy for conservative religious belief. Of the groups surveyed, Evangelical Christians were most likely to think that torture is often or sometimes ok (62%), followed by Catholics (51%), followed by mainline Protestants (46%). Nonbelievers were least likely to agree (40%). Link

    Read the whole article. It has some interesting theories on why this might be occuring.


    No, most Liberals agree (none / 0) (#155)
    by Militarytracy on Thu Feb 19, 2015 at 02:49:46 PM EST
    That that was avoided so far by looking forward and not back.  It was still all legally justified via individuals like John Yoo though many see cracks that could be used to obtain justice. There is no statutory limitations on war crimes in the United States so I use the words so far.  I'm not supporting that certain persons ever be able to sleep soundly at night.  If justice is never done, I think it is okay that some individuals fear every day that it could be.

    And maybe we all need to discuss all this again from a different perspective since Jeb Bush has hired so many of his brother's advisors.


    Another thing, arguing with anyone (none / 0) (#134)
    by Militarytracy on Thu Feb 19, 2015 at 09:30:57 AM EST
    In Islam who has theological credentials of any kind about interpretations of the Koran can get you killed and your murder well supported for apostasy.  That is another way the bullies are ruling.  And that is a troublesome religious law, this killing of people who have or are perceived to have committed apostasy.  It's a problem.

    Yes indeed (5.00 / 2) (#129)
    by FlJoe on Thu Feb 19, 2015 at 08:13:35 AM EST
    It has been reported that many of the Baathist's of Saddam Hussein's government and Royal Guard are part of ISIS. Yet, somehow the religion is to blame rather than the people, many of whom, are using the premise of religion to get back in power.
    these people were among the most secular in the region and I am not convinced that they have bought into the whole end times scenario.

    Isis is a quasi state, with  political/theological, economic and military branches. I am guessing that the economic and military branches are more secular then the religiously insane political leaders. In my opinion many of the Baathists are only in it for the money and are doing better working for ISIS then they could working with The Shia in Baghdad.

    Bottom line is we should not focus only on the bizarre religious aspects of this problem, but rather look at the bigger picture.


    Oh, for crying out loud... (5.00 / 2) (#131)
    by Anne on Thu Feb 19, 2015 at 08:54:46 AM EST
    I thought what the Wood article did was explain what ISIS is all about, what it wants, why it is driven to do what it does, what its goals are, what its adherents believe, how the rest of the world fits into that - or did I just imagine that that's what I was reading?  And while everyone knows that ISIS is violent, at no time did that article cause me to believe that everyone of the Islamic faith subscribes to the tenets that members of ISIS do - if anything, it separated ISIS out from the faith as a whole, not the other way round, so it escapes me how you've managed to make the article out to perpetuate anything.

    For some reason - perhaps out of an abundance of intentional ignorance? - you've chosen to ascribe to me an agreement with those who do believe that anyone and everyone of the Islamic faith believes in the violence that ISIS practices...because I read the Wood article and expressed that I learned something from it?  Sure, yeah - that makes sense.  Or maybe it doesn't.

    Thank you so much for your charitable permission to believe what I want; too bad you don't have a clue what that is.  I'd like to say I'm impressed by your ability to contort my words to fit your own perceptions, but around here, that is nothing special.

    I stopped reading after the "intentional ignorance" part of your comment.  I'm sure there's some illogical gobbledygook that follows that has nothing to do with what I said, and little to do with the Wood article, so I'm pretty sure I didn't miss anything.


    Oh for crying out loud get off (5.00 / 1) (#144)
    by MO Blue on Thu Feb 19, 2015 at 11:51:40 AM EST
    your high horse. The fact that you think that a certain article accomplishes something does not make it an indisputable fact. It just makes it your opinion. Seems you decided that the discussions should evolve around what you describe as intentional ignorance but do like it when someone suggests that you are operating under the same fault.

    Haughtiness   and sheer  nastiness on your part does not make your POV any more valid than anyone else's. So please get over yourself.


    As long as I'm entitled to my opinion, (none / 0) (#157)
    by Anne on Thu Feb 19, 2015 at 03:20:40 PM EST
    I'd appreciate it if you wouldn't misrepresent it, which is what you did, and what I had a problem with.

    This all started because I objected to the idea that to try to learn about something meant one was legitimizing it - which seemed to be your point, what you think the article does.  I didn't get it when you first made it, and I still don't get it.  Do you think it is better not to learn more, or is it okay to learn more as long as we don't talk about it?

    You seemed to have a problem with the Wood article, asking if it was promoting the idea that Islam is an inherently violent religion, and apparently objecting to my feeling that I didn't think it was doing that at all.  But I find it somewhat hilarious that you can snap that what I think doesn't make something an indisputable fact, after just saying that the Wood article  

    ...definitely reinforces the prevailing view that runs rampart (sic) in this country.

    Really?  From what high perch did you come to that conclusion?

    I read the article not from the vantage point of how it made all of Islam look, I read it from the point of view of "what ISIS really wants."  I don't actually know if what I read is the last word on that subject, because I am not an Islamic scholar - but I know more than I did before I read it.  

    And, as is usually the case, the comments on this subject are equally revealing.


    You read into comments what (none / 0) (#160)
    by MO Blue on Thu Feb 19, 2015 at 04:44:44 PM EST
    you choose to read. All the while you are whining that I am putting words into your mouth, you are assigning values to my comments based on your own biases. IOW, putting words into my mouth. o.k. So let's go that route using some of your phrasing of what you seemed to be saying.

     Your statement that  people are closing their eyes and pretending something isn't happening and doesn't exist  appears or seems to imply that you take Wood's opinion of the driving force behind ISIL as fact rather than opinion. Anyone else who disagrees or offers another possibility that disagree with your perceived fact is by your words being ignorance of what is actually happening. Not only ignorant of what you perceive as reality but being intentionally ignorant.

    It is correct that you are not an Islamic scholar. Islamic scholars were quoted in my orginal post. They disagree with Wood's opinion piece not only on its assumptions but have stated it is not even factual. Juan Cole (considered a ME expert) disagrees with Wood's conclusions. He clearly states that he doesn't believe that the driving force behind ISIS is their devotion to Islam. He lists that premise as one of the seven myths. It has been reported that many of the Baathist's of Saddam Hussein's government and Royal Guard are part of ISIS but the possibility that they are using religion as the premise to get back into power is part of what you dismissed out of hand and labeled illogical gobbledygook. That comes across as a very good example of intentional ignorance to me.

    I don't object to how you view the article. I disagree with you. I disagree with the premise that Wood's opinion is the only reality or anything other than an opinion. I also disagree with your premise that people who do not share your view are closing their eyes to reality and are being intentionally ignorant.

    Given the choice between respected Islamic scholars and known M.E. experts like Juan Cole and you, I think I will go with the scholars and the experts.

    BTW, it was a slight overstatement that Islam promotes violence is the prevailing view. A more accurate statement would have been that it reinforces the ever increasing view in this country.

    Currently, 42% say Islam is more likely than other religions to encourage violence among its believers, while 46% say Islam does not encourage violence more than other religions.

    These are similar to opinions about Islam and violence for most of the past decade. But in March 2002, six months after the 9/11 attacks, just 25% said Islam was more likely to encourage violence while 51% disagreed.

    There are some Muslim theologians (none / 0) (#126)
    by Militarytracy on Thu Feb 19, 2015 at 07:57:46 AM EST
    Agreeing with you on this.

    Maybe they *want* a few different things. (5.00 / 1) (#21)
    by EL seattle on Tue Feb 17, 2015 at 05:31:39 AM EST
    For instance, I've always had the suspicion that they'd like to destroy any Buddhist and Assyrian statues that the Taliban and Al-Qaeda hadn't gotten around to yet.

    I don't think the U.S.A. has a lot to do with that particular fetish.

    (It might be a good idea for any Sun-Tzu statues to watch their butts, though. Just in case.)

    - But only the statuary they can't sell (none / 0) (#146)
    by Mr Natural on Thu Feb 19, 2015 at 12:05:17 PM EST
    according to the National Geographic.

    Depressing Article on the Situation in Libya (5.00 / 1) (#114)
    by RickyJim on Wed Feb 18, 2015 at 07:31:39 PM EST
    Link  Where in the Arab world has the US improved a situation by sticking its snoot in the matter?

    Great post Jeralyn (none / 0) (#2)
    by Slado on Mon Feb 16, 2015 at 08:45:28 PM EST
    I have been saying the same thing for weeks.

    Radical Islam is inspired by the ultra conservative interpretation of the Qu'ran and Ha'Dith.  A theology that is not exclusive to ISIS but is taught in madrasahs all over the Middle East.  If the west would listen to what these people are saying and preaching we can understand and confront the ideology we're up against.

    For 10 plus years we've fought an enemy without fully understanding what we're up against and it's led to the current mess we face today and a ton of wasted money and lives.

    How does anyone combat (none / 0) (#6)
    by oculus on Mon Feb 16, 2015 at 09:44:21 PM EST
    These teachings?

    When they are rejected by (5.00 / 1) (#15)
    by MKS on Tue Feb 17, 2015 at 01:08:15 AM EST
    moderate Muslims....

    The secret of the "success" to the surge Iraq was not more U.S. troops but the Sunnis rejecting Al Qaeda because they were too violent and extreme...

    We lose that chance if we bomb Iran.  


    While I definitely feel that bombing Iran (5.00 / 1) (#35)
    by MO Blue on Tue Feb 17, 2015 at 02:55:52 PM EST
    would be a mistake, I'm not sure how that applies to combating the ideology of ISIS.

    Iran is Shiite and ISIS is Sunni and the majority of Iranian Muslims already reject the teachings of ISIS.

    In fact, the Shiite are fighting against ISIS on orders from their top religious leader.

    When the IS militants swept across northern and western Iraq last year, seizing towns and cities, tens of thousands of Shiite men answered a call to arms by the country's top Shiite cleric, Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani, to defend the nation.
    The Shiite fighters, officially known as the Popular Mobilization Forces, were instrumental last summer in helping the faltering Iraqi military stall the IS push outside Baghdad.

    They have also teamed up with Kurdish peshmerga forces in a number of battles, breaking the siege of the northern Shiite-majority town of Amirli in August, and recently driving IS militants from a string of towns in Diyala province, northeast of the Iraqi capital. Uneasy alliance of Kurds, Shiites formed in northern Iraq

    To be effective IMO, Sunni Muslims and their nation states such as Saudi Arabia must reject ISIS and their ideology and fight against them.  


    For that reason, (none / 0) (#53)
    by MKS on Tue Feb 17, 2015 at 08:08:10 PM EST
    it seems unlikely that Shia Iran would allow ISIS to take Baghdad (which is  now controlled by Shias.)

    Iran is a natural counterweight to ISIS.

    Conservatives conflate them all as Islamic Terrorists.....


    We all go to Dabiq and whup em? (none / 0) (#7)
    by Militarytracy on Mon Feb 16, 2015 at 09:50:46 PM EST
    Their story falls apart if that happens.

    Nobody had ever been able to maintain (none / 0) (#8)
    by Militarytracy on Mon Feb 16, 2015 at 09:56:14 PM EST
    Any kind of society under such gratuitous violence.  They are being contained and maintained now.  The areas under their control will implode, they will crumble, and other extremists will become discredited in the aftermath.  We will always some crazies though.

    Ottoman Empire (none / 0) (#10)
    by Slado on Mon Feb 16, 2015 at 11:20:14 PM EST
    Lasted over 700 years and its supreme leader considered himself head of a "Caliphate".   It also did not expand through peace and love.  

    In fact if not for a Polish King in 1693 (on 9/11 no less) send their invading armies back from the gates of Vienna that Caliphate would probably still be in place and most of Europe would be speaking Arabic.



    The language of the Ottoman Court (5.00 / 1) (#12)
    by Politalkix on Mon Feb 16, 2015 at 11:25:50 PM EST
    was not Arabic, it was Turkish.

    Every empire has blood on its hands (5.00 / 2) (#67)
    by Jack203 on Tue Feb 17, 2015 at 10:07:26 PM EST
    Comparing the Ottoman empire to ISIS is pretty damn insulting to the Ottoman empire.

    That Caliphate bears no resemblance (none / 0) (#13)
    by Militarytracy on Tue Feb 17, 2015 at 12:17:31 AM EST
    To the ISIS caliphate and their practiced extremism.  This is a fact that Salman Rushdie has discussed.

    It doesn't? (5.00 / 1) (#18)
    by Slado on Tue Feb 17, 2015 at 02:08:49 AM EST
    How so?  Which part because the one of 1295 sure did as it conquered and converted by force to create its early foothold and expand its territory.

    Once again you make the case that those Muslims weren't as bad so we can ignore the similarities.  Exactly how so?  Conquest through war in the 13th century was only one kind of thing.  Bad.  Especially bad when being put under rule meant you had better convert or live life as a second class citizen if you even survived the conquering.

    ISIS wants a return to the glory days of Islam and in addition finish the job early Muslims started which is making sure every person on the planet speaks Arsbic when they say their prayers.  Not the later more sophisticated empire that one would think of even 500 years later.   They want to be like the Muslims that originally spread the faith by any means possible.

    You said it'd never happened before.  They wouldn't be returning to glory days if it already hadn't.   How exactly did Islam spread to Spain and Italy?  Through moderate Islam?


    Nobody has ever held together under such (5.00 / 1) (#25)
    by Militarytracy on Tue Feb 17, 2015 at 11:12:44 AM EST
    Gratuitous violence.  I'm sticking with that.  Because people cannot psychologically keep it together living under such extreme fear.  There a certain trust, a social compact, that must be created to generate social cohesion.

    It seems to be the fatal flaw with Conservatives, that they don't understand that all human beings are fundamentally made of the same stuff.  They need what you need.  You seek a place where you don't need to be constantly afraid, so do they.  I see how the Koran makes space for psycopathic behavior to still find religous acceptance, but I see most Muslims desiring the same things I desire, food, shelter, safety, love.

    ISIS may hold territory at this time, but it will implode.  They are too toxic.


    North Korea... (5.00 / 1) (#29)
    by ScottW714 on Tue Feb 17, 2015 at 11:56:55 AM EST
    ...has been managing for ~70 years.

    Plenty of folks living under this sort of fear throughout the world.  Not that I like ISIS will last, but for other reasons then people not wanting to living lethal fear day in/out.


    Rewrite #29 (none / 0) (#39)
    by ScottW714 on Tue Feb 17, 2015 at 04:25:18 PM EST
    Plenty of folks living under this sort of fear throughout the world.  Not that I think ISIS will last, but for other reasons, not because people do not want to live under lethal fear day in/out.

    I'll add, that doesn't even make sense, like there is anyone who truly likes living in terror, but plenty are, and have been since the dawn of evil people.


    North Korea won't last much longer (none / 0) (#57)
    by Militarytracy on Tue Feb 17, 2015 at 08:25:12 PM EST
    For whatever reason, the tech jump has led to a lot of freedom of thought.  I don't think North Korea is long for dictatorship.  Much of the U.S. military planning in South Korea has now shifted to dealing with the humanitarian crisis that we all inherit when North Korea bites it.

    Doesn't it depend on whether the general (none / 0) (#26)
    by oculus on Tue Feb 17, 2015 at 11:25:37 AM EST
    population subject to control can muster up enough force to overcome the oppression?  

    Do you think they won't? (none / 0) (#55)
    by Militarytracy on Tue Feb 17, 2015 at 08:21:35 PM EST
    Maybe eventually. (none / 0) (#59)
    by oculus on Tue Feb 17, 2015 at 08:52:33 PM EST
    I hope they do (none / 0) (#60)
    by Militarytracy on Tue Feb 17, 2015 at 08:54:34 PM EST
    Everyone deserves better than the fear and isolation of ISIS governance.

    Is ISIS governing or just killing? (none / 0) (#83)
    by oculus on Wed Feb 18, 2015 at 09:27:50 AM EST
    Islamic empires (none / 0) (#22)
    by FlJoe on Tue Feb 17, 2015 at 08:08:45 AM EST
    spread by force as all empires have always done. The convert or die tactic has been used by Christianity at times. These vermin want a holy war. I say give them hellfire (missiles) but do not give them their precious holy war.

    Don't get lost in the comparison game (none / 0) (#70)
    by Slado on Tue Feb 17, 2015 at 11:16:03 PM EST
    It's meaningless.  bringing up the Crusades and the sins of Christianity is a big waste of time.  We've moved on.  We don't wage holy wars anymire.  We have new more sophisticated dumb reasons to wage wars. Il

    This group is in a holy war.  An Islamic Holy war modeled after the early Holy wars of the early Islamic empires.  

    It's fine to say let's not give them one but as far as they are concerned it's already started and we're in it.  


    You and General Boykin (none / 0) (#71)
    by MKS on Tue Feb 17, 2015 at 11:49:55 PM EST
    who said our God is stronger than their god.

    If you make it holy war by us, then you risk alienating the close to billion peaceful Muslims whose help we need in stopping the successful recruitment  of Muslim kids...

    You validate ISIL by agreeing it is holy war.  They may view it that way, but a bad idea to make a holy war on our side.


    I have to apologize in advance, MKS, (5.00 / 1) (#109)
    by Zorba on Wed Feb 18, 2015 at 02:47:47 PM EST
    And I don't disagree with your comment, but all I could think of with your Boykin reference, "our God is stronger than their god" was:


    "Our God's better than your God...."

    Sorry about that.


    Can't beat a commercial with Lassie (5.00 / 1) (#116)
    by MKS on Wed Feb 18, 2015 at 08:41:55 PM EST
    or a Lassie lookalike.......

    Even Reagan knew not to try and share a scene with a dog.....


    How did the Christian relegion expand (none / 0) (#122)
    by MO Blue on Thu Feb 19, 2015 at 05:23:07 AM EST
    under Charlemagne?

    Charlemagne continued his father's policy towards the papacy and became its protector, removing the Lombards from power in northern Italy, and leading an incursion into Muslim Spain. He also campaigned against the peoples to his east, Christianizing them upon penalty of death, at times leading to events such as the Massacre of Verden.

    How about the forced conversion of Jews in Spain and Portugal?

    Throughout history Christians have conquered land and forced their religion on the people of the lands they conquered.

    The invading Christians labeled the indigenous people as heathens. They set out with a vengeance to cleanse the land of these heathens. The dictates of the Spanish conquerors were, "convert or die."

    True enough (none / 0) (#135)
    by jimakaPPJ on Thu Feb 19, 2015 at 09:55:58 AM EST
    But comparing what Muslims and Christians did/did not do a thousand years or so is begging the issue and seems, to me, a search for moral equivalency.

    What is happening now seems more appropriate.

    Especially to those having their throats slit and heads chopped off.


    True, an organzied military can surrender (none / 0) (#16)
    by MKS on Tue Feb 17, 2015 at 01:11:58 AM EST
    and by that surrender deliver peace....

    That is why Robert E. Lee's best accomplishment was surrendering (and not his military victories which were acts of treason)....Many confederate troops wanted to melt into the countryside and continue a guerilla war that could have lasted for a very long time.....Lee stopped that.... based on the unique place he occupied in Southern society.....


    By saying our way of life (none / 0) (#20)
    by Slado on Tue Feb 17, 2015 at 02:41:56 AM EST
    Secular democracy is better and making sure that message prevails over the opposite.   Which begins first by acknowledging some hard truths.

    Secular Democracy is as of today impoossle in the Islamic world.  This is the biggest challenge we face because Islam if practiced according to its written word does not allow it.

    This link shows the argument within just a chat room of this very basic but important point and what a challenge we face.   The reality that the Islamic world will always be different then ours when it comes to how religion relates to the government and in turn the people because it's part of their basic theology.

    No majority Islsmic country is truly both secular and democratic.   There are some democratic ones but Islam is the dominant religion and non Muslims, women, and homosexual s face a hard time of it even in places like Turkey and Indonesia.   It's not enough to claim it, and we should stop pretending otherwise.  Instead we should require it in what ever way we can diplomatically.

    If we won't start acknowledging reality and making the case against it then why are we over there killing and fighting?  To establish more nation states that go against our values?  


    Interesting that up until recently (5.00 / 1) (#28)
    by jondee on Tue Feb 17, 2015 at 11:48:19 AM EST
    one of the predominant, recurring talking points on the Right in the U.S was that liberal Democrats were promoting the spread of "secularism"..

    Then Reality reared it's ugly head again, and another base-rallying talking point has fallen by the way side.


    Everybody on the right (none / 0) (#42)
    by Slado on Tue Feb 17, 2015 at 05:47:34 PM EST
    Supports the constitution which specifically calls for a secular democracy.

    That's the difference between the Western predominantly Christian world and the Islamic world.  We chose to separate church and state on purpose.   Even the right wing.


    No, they don't (5.00 / 1) (#43)
    by Yman on Tue Feb 17, 2015 at 06:56:53 PM EST
    Everybody on the right Supports the constitution which specifically calls for a secular democracy.

    That's the difference between the Western predominantly Christian world and the Islamic world.  We chose to separate church and state on purpose.   Even the right wing.

    Not really.  Conservatives are constantly complaining about secularism.  Romney specifically attacked Obama for advancing a "secular agenda".   there are polls.

    Link Between Religion and Politics is More Prevalent in GOP Primaries

    61% of conservative Republicans think that separation of church and state has gone too far.  50% think that political leaders should rely on their religious beliefs in their policy decision making.  The majority of Republicans even want Christianity as an official religion.


    so . . . (none / 0) (#50)
    by The Addams Family on Tue Feb 17, 2015 at 07:42:52 PM EST
    your first link goes to a poll, almost three years old, that was conducted in the heat of the GOP primary season - but even if the poll had been conducted yesterday, your point would be nothing more than an instance of the logical fallacy known as tu quoque

    your second link goes to what appears to be an opinion piece by a self-styled "agnosticism/atheism expert" who is arguing by assertion & buttressing his speculations with convincing phrases like "in fact" & "as should be evident"

    apart from the fact that Mitt Romney & other conservatives are not performing decapitations or defenestrations or crucifixions or incinerations or other forms of human sacrifice in the name of theocracy, all you need to do is look around to discover that what actual conservatives are saying does not necessarily comport with your broad-brush characterization - for example, see this comment on Graeme Wood's article from a neoconservative website:

    This article really gets to the difference between Islam and Christianity. Christ said to render unto God that which is God's and unto Caesar that which is Caesar's. The basis for separation of church and state. Christian faith is about our relationship with God. Government among humans is about our relationship with each other. In Islam there can be no separation of church and state. Thus, the very foundations of Islam are incompatible with the accepted norms in the West.

    "So"? More like "No" (none / 0) (#52)
    by Yman on Tue Feb 17, 2015 at 08:01:19 PM EST
    There is no logical fallacy.  No one is claiming that actions or statements of US conservatives justifies the actions of ISIS.  The (false) claim was that:

    "Everybody on the right supports the constitution which specifically calls for a secular democracy.

        That's the difference between the Western predominantly Christian world and the Islamic world.  We chose to separate church and state on purpose.   Even the right wing."

    Everyone on the Right does not support the concept of a secular democracy/separation of church and state.  In fact, conservatives are regularly condemning secularists and separation of church and state, and a majority of them oppose them.  But if you think that poll data that is almost 3 years old (gasp!) is outdated, feel free to provide more current poll data that disproves it.

    Or something, ... ya know, ... more than a comment from a website.

    BTW - The proper second link.


    thank you for correcting the second link (none / 0) (#56)
    by The Addams Family on Tue Feb 17, 2015 at 08:21:49 PM EST
    it still goes to the same About.com "expert" arguing by assertion, as anyone who follows the link can plainly see, so i won't go into it

    thanks also for your invitation to prove a negative (heh)

    i do believe that my link to a single comment from this morning, taken from an actual (neo)conservative website, is no more fatuous than your links to a 3-year-old network poll & an About.com "expert" arguing by assertion

    but i also believe that my link to that website comment will be much more helpful than your links for anyone who, not content with his or her own opinion, wants a sense of what at least one real person on the other side is actually thinking & saying, right now, about the issue at hand


    I guess that's the difference (none / 0) (#63)
    by Yman on Tue Feb 17, 2015 at 08:59:40 PM EST
    I have facts and poll data to support my conclusions.  You have, ... well, ...

    ... your "beliefs".


    you don't know my beliefs (none / 0) (#110)
    by The Addams Family on Wed Feb 18, 2015 at 03:52:09 PM EST
    i have not discussed them here

    what i did was make an observation about the reasoning of your comment & the sources you cited to support it

    anyway, you're right - i do have my beliefs, & they are my own

    your opinions, however, evidently consist of such found materials as three-year-old polling "data" & the sophism of a person foolish enough to publish for pennies on one of the cheesier content mills

    but i've spent enough time in teaching-a-pig-to-sing territory & won't annoy you further


    Sure I do - and yes, you did (none / 0) (#115)
    by Yman on Wed Feb 18, 2015 at 08:10:30 PM EST
    In fact, you used the phrases "I do believe" and "I also believe" in your post, which, in addition to the fact that you posted no evidence, is why said you had your "beliefs".

    The point being discussed was whether the Right supports a secular democracy and separation of church and state.  I supported my position with not one, but two polls showing that's not true.  You supported yours with your "beliefs" and a comment from a conservative website.

    Not really much of a contest.


    Halarious... (5.00 / 2) (#112)
    by ScottW714 on Wed Feb 18, 2015 at 04:28:13 PM EST
    We chose to separate church and state on purpose. Even the right wing.

    Have you read the GOP Platform ?

    Where oh where to begin, gay marriage, religious structures on public lands, abortion, Pledge of allegiance, evolution teachings, churches supporting political parties, birth control, and so much more.

    The idea that the right supports the separation of church and state is so GD ridiculous I am surprised to see you write it.

    They don't call it the religion right for nothin'.

    Find a republican presidential primary candidate since 2000 that mentions 'secular democracy'.  That like 100 leading republican political figures, should be no problem if your hypothesis is correct.

    And using it to slam a democrat doesn't count, because the only time I have seen the word secular used by the right is to when slamming Obama.

    I say it can't be done because those words do not exist in republican political circles.


    No, the Right Wing does (none / 0) (#72)
    by MKS on Wed Feb 18, 2015 at 01:08:02 AM EST
    not believe in Separation of Church and State.  They start off by saying the concept of the Separation of Church and State appears nowhere in the Constitution.

    Rather, the phrase (none / 0) (#73)
    by MKS on Wed Feb 18, 2015 at 01:30:53 AM EST
    "the Separation of Church and State" appears nowhere in the Constitution.

    They are correct in one way (none / 0) (#76)
    by Slado on Wed Feb 18, 2015 at 08:18:20 AM EST
    the original text does not directly call for the "separation of church and state " it alludes to it.

    What has engrained it into reality are the admendments and court cases that have established the clear wall.

    So yes, many on the right continue to push back and want prayer in schools, commandments in the court, leave "God" on the currency etc...

    Point conceded.  So what?

    How are they fighting this war against religious freedom?  Beheadings?  Suicide bombs?  Fatwas against the ACLU?  No, in the way we in the west fight everything.   Through politics and our court system so discussions of the right wing when we discuss radical Islam is just an intentional distraction to avoid the real conversation.

    My point at the start of this which all these posts have successfully avoided is Western democracies started by almost 99% Christians decided governments should no longer be meddling in religion.  

    The Islamic world has made no such choice and if it follows its own theology it can't.

    That is simply a fact that we need to recognize and deal with going forward.  

    It's ok to admit the obvious.


    They do whatever they feel they can (5.00 / 1) (#77)
    by Militarytracy on Wed Feb 18, 2015 at 08:23:25 AM EST
    Get away with.  Our laws are thankfully structured in a way that physically harming those of us who disagree with them comes with consequences.  Without those consequences though, there are individuals whose fervor would lead to committing atrocity.  I never doubt that.  Not for one minute.

    Ok, so again (none / 0) (#96)
    by Slado on Wed Feb 18, 2015 at 11:59:32 AM EST
    so what?  How does that get us a step closer to fighting, confronting and defeating ISIS?

    You've got your morally superior high ground all staked out so how do you plan to confront ISIS with it?

    Since they are the ones actually commiting crimes and their religion is the one that actually calls for government to be religious (unlike Christianity).


    If you want to cut to the chase (none / 0) (#104)
    by MKS on Wed Feb 18, 2015 at 01:15:43 PM EST

    If air power and the use of others' ground forces does the trick, then fine.

    Otherwise, ISIS does not represent a direct threat against the United States....Too many have panicked over this....

    And, referring back to your argument on how the Religious Right is all for the Separation of Church and State (huh?), you do realize liberals are the ones who have eked out any consensus here, after all sorts of name calling by Southern Baptists, who are coincidentally all gung ho on a military confrontation in the Mid East because it it will usher in the End of Times and the Second Coming of Christ.

    The religious conservatives in this country are not dangerous because they will behead employees of Planned Parenthood, but because their ideology calls for a war in the Mid East and they are recklessly pushing in that direction.  


    ISIS is being confronted (none / 0) (#108)
    by Militarytracy on Wed Feb 18, 2015 at 02:27:58 PM EST
    And appropriately so IMO.  

    The original text *does* call for it... (none / 0) (#121)
    by unitron on Thu Feb 19, 2015 at 12:54:26 AM EST
    ...it just doesn't use that particular phrase taken from Jefferson's description, in his letter to the Danbury Baptists, of the effect of what has come to be known as the Establishment Clause, but I consider him well acquainted enough with the intent of the Bill of Rights to accept his interpretation of what that effect is.

    "...Western democracies started by almost 99% Christians decided governments should no longer be meddling in religion."

    Seems to me it's been as much, if not even more so, a decision that religions shouldn't be allowed to meddle in government, which is almost always the greater danger.


    combating the ideology (none / 0) (#4)
    by Politalkix on Mon Feb 16, 2015 at 09:32:33 PM EST

    I think it is also high time that the United States and other western countries pressured Saudi Arabia and other Arab countries to change state policies pertaining to practice of religion within their borders. These countries (supposedly allies of America) need to change.

    Excellent idea (none / 0) (#24)
    by Yman on Tue Feb 17, 2015 at 10:28:44 AM EST
    Is Obama working on that?  Haven't seen anything in the news.

    ISIS wants (none / 0) (#9)
    by Abdul Abulbul Amir on Mon Feb 16, 2015 at 10:06:46 PM EST

    ISIS wants to murder apostates.
    ISIS wants to behead infidels.
    ISIS wants western leaders to consider their acts as merely random acts of regrettable violence.

    Actually, ISIS wants us to acknowledge (5.00 / 1) (#11)
    by MKS on Mon Feb 16, 2015 at 11:20:28 PM EST
    their role as holy warriors--they want a crusade--it empowers them....

    Islam (none / 0) (#19)
    by Slado on Tue Feb 17, 2015 at 02:16:33 AM EST
    Asks all Muslims to speak Arabic.

    You have to know some Arabic to say your prayers and to read an actual Qur'an or Ha'Dith because they are only considered real if written in Arabic.  So I'm sure many once converted would start to pick it up as most Muslims do.

    That was my point.  If they had won we'd have a lot more Arabic speaking Europeans.


    Frankly. (none / 0) (#23)
    by Abdul Abulbul Amir on Tue Feb 17, 2015 at 09:23:10 AM EST
    I don't think ISIS gives a rats patoot about whether we consider them holy warriors or anything else.  Shaping Western opinion seems not to be near the priority of shaping westerners body dimensions.

    No (none / 0) (#31)
    by MKS on Tue Feb 17, 2015 at 02:16:16 PM EST
    The entire point of publicizing these executions is to influence public opinion....

    They publicize select executions, but (none / 0) (#32)
    by Anne on Tue Feb 17, 2015 at 02:32:49 PM EST
    according to the article Jeralyn references,
    The lack of objective reporting from its territory makes the true extent of the slaughter unknowable, but social-media posts from the region suggest that individual executions happen more or less continually, and mass executions every few weeks. Muslim "apostates" are the most common victims. Exempted from automatic execution, it appears, are Christians who do not resist their new government. Baghdadi permits them to live, as long as they pay a special tax, known as the jizya, and acknowledge their subjugation. The Koranic authority for this practice is not in dispute.

    Bold is mine.

    I was surprised to learn how much territory means to ISIS.  

    The caliphate, Cerantonio told me, is not just a political entity but also a vehicle for salvation.

    The last paragraph of the article says it best, even if it's horribly depressing to contemplate:

    That the Islamic State holds the imminent fulfillment of prophecy as a matter of dogma at least tells us the mettle of our opponent. It is ready to cheer its own near-obliteration, and to remain confident, even when surrounded, that it will receive divine succor if it stays true to the Prophetic model. Ideological tools may convince some potential converts that the group's message is false, and military tools can limit its horrors. But for an organization as impervious to persuasion as the Islamic State, few measures short of these will matter, and the war may be a long one, even if it doesn't last until the end of time.

    Such ideological fervor (5.00 / 1) (#33)
    by MKS on Tue Feb 17, 2015 at 02:39:11 PM EST
    depends on the followers never becoming disillusioned.

    A leader who appears less than perfect....Petty betrayals....Namely, the human condition is not conducive to maintaining this type of zeal long term.   The whole thing is inherently unstable....


    Article is Okay, But... (none / 0) (#27)
    by RickyJim on Tue Feb 17, 2015 at 11:41:31 AM EST
    No explanation is given for the success in battling conventional armies, some having extensive training and support from the US.  There is nothing about the who, how and why they get support from people with money.  No explanation is given on their metastasis mechanism, in particular their spectacular debut in Libya.  I am afraid that the fear factor prevents top notch journalists from trying to gather more information on the ground.

    A lot of ISIS members (5.00 / 1) (#30)
    by jondee on Tue Feb 17, 2015 at 02:01:18 PM EST
    are also probably suffering from a virulent form of war psychosis: an advanced case of what La Cosa Nostra used to call "blood in the mouth"..

    People in this country like to pretend that soldiers never get addicted to killing; it cuts too much into all the warm-and-fuzzy military recruiting and Hollywood balderdash..

    A lot of ISIS fighers probably amount to little more than a bunch of mutually-reinforcing Chris Kyles (and his wife who now wants to "strang up" Kyle's killer) who kill more often from up close..  



    Come On (none / 0) (#38)
    by ScottW714 on Tue Feb 17, 2015 at 04:21:33 PM EST
    There, to me, is a big thick fat line between a family member wanting revenge on someone who murdered someone they love, and  psychopaths who take pleasure in killing.

    I disagree with it, but I understand an eye for an eye. She wants one guy dead, the guy who killed her love, psychopaths not only want many dead, they want to be the ones doing the killing.

    I think it's unfair to put her in the same class as ISIS.


    How many ISIS members (none / 0) (#150)
    by jondee on Thu Feb 19, 2015 at 01:33:51 PM EST
    started out in it simply to get some pay back? A fair number I'd imagine.

    If it weren't for a few good folks like you Scott, I'd be almost on the verge of putting the whole state of Texas in the same class as ISIS.

    CK's killer and his family will be lucky if he's not dragged by a pickup down twenty miles of a cheering-throng-lined dirt road before he's lethally injected..  


    Lots of Good People in Houston... (none / 0) (#158)
    by ScottW714 on Thu Feb 19, 2015 at 03:52:15 PM EST
    ...with gas and oil there are people from everywhere, and true blue Texans are far and few.  With a couple exception, almost everyone I work with is either a Yankee or from abroad.

    CK is a hero, like it or not, he is.  And I pity anyone who kills a hero, but I think some are realizing the guy was not in any way sane.  Even the testimony from the cops clearly points to him being way off the deep end.  But I fear that in Texas, that isn't going to matter much in regards to killing a hero.

    Turns out his wife isn't honoring her late husbands wishes.  She is not donating all the proceeds as he wanted.  LINK


    She's supposed to give all the money away? (none / 0) (#161)
    by Mr Natural on Fri Feb 20, 2015 at 09:43:42 AM EST
    To two families?  That doesn't even make sense.  If she begins doling out the $6 million, at some point, long before that process is complete, they'll have been elevated out of the class of the struggling.  At that point, the motivation vanishes.

    It is a silly manufactured controversy.


    Considering There are Lawsuits... (none / 0) (#164)
    by ScottW714 on Fri Feb 20, 2015 at 11:04:32 AM EST
    ...the manufactured part of the controversy doesn't exist. Unless by manufactured you mean the people involved just made up stuff, which by some miracle was recorded on video.

    I don't know, just saying that she is not honoring her husbands public wishes.  Which, if my business law class is still valid, an oral agreement is still legally binding.

    And if you actually read my posts, you would see I was defending the wife.  And while I have no idea what transpired between them, it would be a pretty sh1tty thing to leave a spouse behind without some form of financial security.  And anyone going after that, to me, is a petty ill-intentioned person/group.

    I would also add that any married or child having adult going to war who does not have a will, is pretty damn irresponsible. There is no excuse. When he singed the paperwork for his death benefit he would have gotten the standard will speech, it was not optional.


    No Idea About the Paycheck... (none / 0) (#159)
    by ScottW714 on Thu Feb 19, 2015 at 03:56:52 PM EST
    ...but I was reading about what they do with women/girls after they execute the men and for anyone to go from wanting to get paid to vile, it has to exist long before within them.  No one can make people want 12 year old sex slaves and execute people in mass just because they can.

    Does it matter (none / 0) (#34)
    by jimakaPPJ on Tue Feb 17, 2015 at 02:42:09 PM EST
    what we think ISIS thinks?

    Or does it matter what ISIS does? ISIS kills. Does anyone disagree with that?

    Is ISIS an islamist radical organization? Yes.

    Does this matter? No.

    Should we react differently because it consists of members who terribly and wrongly represent a religion? No.  

    Will ISIS "collapse" if we just let it alone? No more than Hitler would have collapsed.

    Should we put boots on the ground to wipe out ISIS? Yes.

    Why? Because we are the only ones capable. If we don't more and more innocent people will die.

    Hitler? (5.00 / 1) (#47)
    by MKS on Tue Feb 17, 2015 at 07:31:28 PM EST
    Not even close.  ISIS has nowhere near the military, industrial and technical capability of the Third Reich....

    Boots on the ground?  We already did that....It does not work long term because terrorists can always fight a guerilla war.


    Then your strategy is?????? (none / 0) (#62)
    by jimakaPPJ on Tue Feb 17, 2015 at 08:55:39 PM EST
    My point was that Hitler would not have collapsed and didn't collapse and neither will ISIS, although I wish they would.

    But seriously, what is your strategy?? Or would you just try and ignore them??


    Why (none / 0) (#37)
    by FlJoe on Tue Feb 17, 2015 at 03:47:40 PM EST
    exactly are we the only ones capable ?

    Because we are the only ones who (none / 0) (#40)
    by jimakaPPJ on Tue Feb 17, 2015 at 04:46:20 PM EST
    decided that we were.

    Whether we like it or not a long time ago we decided that we would "be a force for good." We would "police the world!" No natural disaster was too large, no war too small for us to come running up, aircraft carriers and relief helicopters a churning and a flitting.

    Of course it, as all things must, divided along political lines. The Right noted that the Left wanted the military used for nothing but "good works" while the Left claimed the Right just wanted war war war.

    So we did what we did. Everyone had security on the old man's money. They regarded us as the always unpaid sheriff who not only, more or less, fixed things but provided them a convenient whipping boy and a source of "feel good" because the evil Americans were just to unsophisticated to understand how evil was just in their minds and everything would be much better if they would just go away.

    Then the Americans finally elected a President who agreed that America was bad and that a humble apology would just make everything peachy.

    Then a real problem comes along and guess what....

    We are still the only ones capable because we never let the rest of'em grow up.


    total bs (none / 0) (#41)
    by FlJoe on Tue Feb 17, 2015 at 04:52:24 PM EST
    there are plenty of military forces in the area that should be able to deal with these guys.

    The key word is "should" (none / 0) (#45)
    by jimakaPPJ on Tue Feb 17, 2015 at 07:17:56 PM EST
    So far they haven't.

    Will they?

    My money is on "won't."

    And I hope I'm wrong.


    I think they will... (none / 0) (#92)
    by kdog on Wed Feb 18, 2015 at 11:05:38 AM EST
    if we don't.  We just need to make it clear that we won't, but that's not what we're doing...unfortunately.

    I think they need help kdog (none / 0) (#93)
    by Militarytracy on Wed Feb 18, 2015 at 11:34:34 AM EST
    I can't say that I know exactly how.  Many Muslims will not run for office though.  I think that's one of the problems.  To be inline with the Koran you don't become politically involved. That's another one of those Koranic rules that has led to a lot of Middle East's problems. Culturally speaking then, who will fight to run things in such a situation?  Probably those who shouldn't be running anything.

    I think they need some support.  Will Islam be able to evolve in some form that leads to its best people seeking leadership positions and to all its people choosing their leaders to make their existing world a better place?


    Respectfully disagree... (none / 0) (#94)
    by kdog on Wed Feb 18, 2015 at 11:51:33 AM EST
    If we help, I think we only help ISIS.  In recruiting, in delegitimizing any opposition as stooges of The Great Satan, etc.

    Since ISIS sprung up, it is clear they have tried to goad us into reinvading and reoccupying at every turn.  We should not take the bait.  

    I know we're partly responsible for this because we ousted Saddam...but you have to cut ties eventually, otherwise we'll just keep being partially responsible for the next mess, and the mess after that.  Enough is enough...now is a good a time as any to let the region sort out it's own future, for good or ill.

    I'd certainly be willing to help in humanitarian ways..accepting refugees fleeing ISIS for example.  But militarily?  Bad idea imho.


    I don't think we should re-invade or (none / 0) (#95)
    by Militarytracy on Wed Feb 18, 2015 at 11:56:39 AM EST
    Re-occupy.  Not the support I speak of :)

    I don't think... (none / 0) (#98)
    by kdog on Wed Feb 18, 2015 at 12:03:31 PM EST
    we should be giving away drones or weapons either...or military advice and training even.  All that stuff legitimizes ISIS and delegitimizes the opposition in the eyes of those who might think about radicalizing and joining ISIS.  

    Not to mention it always starts out with just advisers and arms, next thing you know we helped kill a couple hundred thousand people.  Let's not even start down that spiraling path.

    But I'm pipe dreaming...we'll be involved too much for my taste no matter what.  The only question is how far we get sucked in.


    We aren't giving them away (none / 0) (#106)
    by Militarytracy on Wed Feb 18, 2015 at 02:22:53 PM EST
    We charge :)

    If they don't get them from us they will align with other suppliers. Tis the way of the world since the cold war arms race. The drones are out of Pandora's box.  We no longer drone alone. Who knows how crazy things will get via drones.


    Absolutely (none / 0) (#97)
    by FlJoe on Wed Feb 18, 2015 at 11:59:36 AM EST
    we need to break the cycle of western intervention in the region. Our bullets, bombs and missiles have created more militants then the words of the Quran over the past 100 years.

    Excellent article (none / 0) (#100)
    by Slado on Wed Feb 18, 2015 at 12:25:15 PM EST
    On the causes of Radical Islam.

    Academia edu

    So in the case of Iraq you can just follow the inevitable and see it play out..

    We finish the surge and for all intensive purposes a stab Lish peace and Western and Northern Iraq.  This of course is highly volatile and completely dependent on the Sunnis feeling they're getting a fair deal in the new government.  

    Meanwhile you have the complete breakdown of most of southern serious society as they are engaged in a secular and religious Civil War.

    Morsi because he knows we are leaving rather then continuing to run Iraq as a shared state turns Iraq into a Shia state.  The Sunni's now feel abandoned.

    From these two occurrences we have a huge power vacuum and ISIS is all to happy to fill it.

    Since WWI western powers have meddled in Middle Eastern affairs and we are complicit in the chaos we see today.


    I have to ask, Slado - did you (5.00 / 2) (#102)
    by Anne on Wed Feb 18, 2015 at 01:00:40 PM EST
    read the article Jeralyn linked to?  Because I am getting the distinct impression that you - and many others - did not.  

    For ISIS, this is not about filling a power vacuum, it's about fulfilling the destiny as told by the Prophet. As I understand it, goading the US into action is not a means to turn the Muslim world against us and radicalize more Muslims to join in, it is about engineering the prophecy into reality.

    The Islamic State, also known as the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS), follows a distinctive variety of Islam whose beliefs about the path to the Day of Judgment matter to its strategy, and can help the West know its enemy and predict its behavior. Its rise to power is less like the triumph of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt (a group whose leaders the Islamic State considers apostates) than like the realization of a dystopian alternate reality in which David Koresh or Jim Jones survived to wield absolute power over not just a few hundred people, but some 8 million.


    There is a temptation to rehearse this observation--that jihadists are modern secular people, with modern political concerns, wearing medieval religious disguise--and make it fit the Islamic State. In fact, much of what the group does looks nonsensical except in light of a sincere, carefully considered commitment to returning civilization to a seventh-century legal environment, and ultimately to bringing about the apocalypse.

    The most-articulate spokesmen for that position are the Islamic State's officials and supporters themselves. They refer derisively to "moderns." In conversation, they insist that they will not--cannot--waver from governing precepts that were embedded in Islam by the Prophet Muhammad and his earliest followers.

    Please read the article.


    But (none / 0) (#105)
    by FlJoe on Wed Feb 18, 2015 at 01:17:41 PM EST
    just a fungus thrives in a warm moist environment, ISIS and it's ilk find fertile ground in the vacuum that has been created in the middle east by decades of interference from the west.

    We aren't the only arms suppliers on the globe (none / 0) (#107)
    by Militarytracy on Wed Feb 18, 2015 at 02:25:40 PM EST
    Arms are now a form of diplomacy.  They will either get them from us, or they will get them elsewhere.  When they acquire arms from us those arms come with our stipulations.

    Utter BS (none / 0) (#44)
    by Yman on Tue Feb 17, 2015 at 07:02:04 PM EST
    Then the Americans finally elected a President who agreed that America was bad and that a humble apology would just make everything peachy.

    Obama never said America was bad, and the silly myth about Obama "apologizing"?  debunked too many times to count, but this should get you started.

    Romney's Bogus `Apology' Claim


    Actions speak louder than (2.00 / 2) (#46)
    by jimakaPPJ on Tue Feb 17, 2015 at 07:21:20 PM EST
    A link to some wingnut's blog ... (5.00 / 1) (#49)
    by Yman on Tue Feb 17, 2015 at 07:39:17 PM EST
    ... with a picture of Obama bowing is your evidence that Obama thinks America is bad and that a "humble apology would make everything peachy"?

    So by your logic, when Bush bowed to the Emperer of Japan it was because he was apologizing on behalf of the people who elected him and thought America was bad?  Not to mention bowing to the Pope, or the other POTUSs who did so (Nixon, Eisenhower, etc.)


    Sorry - I prefer facts and reality to silly, winger fairy tales.


    Quit making him (5.00 / 1) (#66)
    by Mordiggian 88 on Tue Feb 17, 2015 at 09:34:42 PM EST
    Change the subject!



    Here's a link (none / 0) (#51)
    by Mordiggian 88 on Tue Feb 17, 2015 at 07:55:51 PM EST
    To demonstrate that the RW and certain people are nutty when it comes to Obama and bowing.

    When do you propose to (none / 0) (#74)
    by FlJoe on Wed Feb 18, 2015 at 07:43:43 AM EST
    let the rest of'em grow up.

    The next time there is trouble? The time after that? I think the time is now. Despite all the screeching ISIL is not that big of a threat to us. We can afford to sit on our hands until the locals realize that they must take care of it themselves.

    Okay, let's assume the time is now (none / 0) (#78)
    by jimakaPPJ on Wed Feb 18, 2015 at 08:46:43 AM EST
    for us to let them "grow up."

    How will you do that?? What does that mean?

    Are you saying we "play defense?" So far mostly good except for Boston, Fort Hood, el al ticket counter, and others that I have missed.

    What variation of 9/11 in the US or in a country with a consulate like Benghazi are you willing to endure before deciding that Junior needs help?

    Sitting on our hands is not a strategy and does not provide adequate protection for us either inside or outside the geographic boundaries of the US.

    Are you saying that we step away and allow Iran to produce nuclear weapons and ICBM's? That would certainly make them "all grown up" and place "Star Wars" back into our discussions about defense.

    I read/heard somewhere that Obama is ignoring ISIS because he wants to form a "grand alliance" with Iran to control and keep the peace. Evidently Obama has never heard:

    THERE was a young lady of Niger   
    Who smiled as she rode on a Tiger;   
      They came back from the ride   
      With the lady inside,   
    And the smile on the face of the Tiger.
    -- Anon

    And for proof I remind us that we helped the Taliban overthrow the Soviets in Afghanistan. Loyalties and gratitude for our help fades quickly because this is, as Slado noted earlier, a long war.

    And while some may offer some minor help they are not capable, physically or culturally, of waging a long war.

    We are a victim of all our good intentions and we are having a very hard time understanding that ISIS doesn't care what we think. They kill and will kill until stopped. We can expect more ISIS inspired "lone wolves" to attack to inspire some talking heads to opine that if we just quit insulting their "religion" they won't hurt us.

    What price freedom?


    I have a novel suggestion for you, jim: (5.00 / 1) (#89)
    by Anne on Wed Feb 18, 2015 at 10:18:38 AM EST
    try reading the article Jeralyn linked to, and try responding to the information contained therein, instead of just immediately launching into Knee Jerk/Ignorant Response Number ____ that sends the entire comment section down the rabbit hole.  

    I don't think I can adequately express how tired I am of your inability or unwillingness to broaden your knowledge and expand the range of options and strategies beyond "just kill them all."  Is your mind really that small, jim?

    I sometimes feel like, if it were up to you, the world would be reduced to a smoking ruin in order to eradicate all the non-white, non-Christians.


    I have a suggestion for you (2.00 / 1) (#91)
    by jimakaPPJ on Wed Feb 18, 2015 at 10:36:06 AM EST
    quit assuming things. FlJoe and I are having a calm, reasoned discussion regarding ISIS and the implications of ISIS's, and others, actions.

    If you don't like my comments don't waste your time reading them and then demonstrating for all to see your venomous hateful nature by making a personal attack to run me off.

    You may now make your personal attack. I will not respond.


    Let them grow up (none / 0) (#80)
    by FlJoe on Wed Feb 18, 2015 at 09:01:02 AM EST
    is your quote so you tell me. Boston, Fort Hood were crimes committed  by Americans with nothing to do with military actions by ISIS, they did not even exist at the time. I am saying that after billions spent on arming our allies in the region that they should carry the burden of military action against ISIS. You are right that this is indeed a long war against jihadism and we should never let down our guard. However we can not and should not fight every battle in this war. It is time that our so called allies in the region shoulder more of the burden, specifically when it comes to military action in the region.

    I agree. They "should" (none / 0) (#85)
    by jimakaPPJ on Wed Feb 18, 2015 at 09:45:28 AM EST
    but they won't.

    And, again, I hope I am wrong.

    But, if I am right all the points I made are correct.

    And while ISIS may or may not have existed when Boston, etc., happened, the sickness of radical islam did.

    A rose by any other name smells the same

    Thats the point (none / 0) (#87)
    by FlJoe on Wed Feb 18, 2015 at 09:53:28 AM EST
    You can not erase jihadism by military force, especially American military force, which in the long run just inspires blowback against us. This is a problem that must be solved by the countries in the region.

    And so?? (none / 0) (#99)
    by jimakaPPJ on Wed Feb 18, 2015 at 12:08:12 PM EST
    You can not erase jihadism by military force, especially American military force,

    We can if we want to. What we have now is a test of wills. And if the problem is to be solved by the countries in the region....when will they start??

    And if this is primarily a Shia - Sunni conflict and if 85% of the split is Sunni then it appears that Shia's are in deep trouble if the current actions of ISIS can be taken as a view of what is in the future. Indeed, the attacks focused in Iraq can be seen as logical. Iraq is one of the few countries with a majority Shia population that has been "democraticized" by the Big Satan.

    Indeed, Obama's reluctance to relate the lone wolves attacks to religion is understandable. I just happen to think that to combat a disease it is necessary to define it.

    Given that some claim that opposing Obama's strategy and calling for direct military action to defeat ISIS is fueled by hatred for "non-white, non-Christians" I have to wonder what do you call letting ISIS continue its killing rampage??


    Definition of insanity (none / 0) (#101)
    by FlJoe on Wed Feb 18, 2015 at 12:31:10 PM EST
    We can if we want to.

    haven't we been trying the military solution for over a decade, with absolutely zero success?

    I just happen to think that to combat a disease it is necessary to define it.
    I am not sure why a lot of people like you think that slapping a particular label on the problem will help in any way, it is quite possible that it may hurt. The military knows what is dealing with, the intelligence agencies know what they are dealing with, the diplomats know what they are dealing with. The jihadists would love for us to declare war on [ fill in the blank] Islam, you could be sure they would mistranslate and twist those words to their favor.

    Haven't we? 10 years?? (none / 0) (#103)
    by jimakaPPJ on Wed Feb 18, 2015 at 01:06:20 PM EST
    No, not really. I hate to bring this up because it will bring the political support for Obama out of the wood work and I don't see the necessity of arguing Bush did/Obama did but we had Iraq quite secure and then Obama ignored the military and pulled out.

    That set the stage for what has happened since.

    Your use of the word "label" when I wrote "define"
    has the smell of pejorative all over it especially when "like you" is used. And everyone knows everything is what?? A fact? If so, so what?? The people you refer to are acting as directed by us.

    And we have not unleashed our full power. Should we? I say yes. It is always better to fight when you have a great advantage. Delays will just enhance ISIS and Iran. What will we do when Iran has nukes and ICBM's??????

    You say no. The current government favors your position. The results will determine who was right.


    what he (none / 0) (#111)
    by FlJoe on Wed Feb 18, 2015 at 04:10:40 PM EST
    did not ignore was Bush's deal to remove our troops. You seem to be advocating permanent American occupation of an unwilling nation. You still are conflating Iraq and Iran which are two absolutely different problems. Define vs. label ? Please don't get all semantic on me.

    Whatever Bush did or did not do (none / 0) (#113)
    by jimakaPPJ on Wed Feb 18, 2015 at 04:50:21 PM EST
    the military said to keep the troops there.

    Obama went against his military advisers. IMHO because that is what he wanted to do because he would not see the potential for future problems.

    You reap what you sow.

    And I am not conflating the two countries. As I noted Iran is an opponent of ISIS and that makes them an ally in the fight against ISIS. It doesn't make them a friend of the US.

    And I wasn't getting all semantic. Define and label have two distinct meanings.... but I shouldn't throw rocks because I am as bad as anyone in the misuse of words.


    So, we should violate treaties (5.00 / 1) (#128)
    by Mordiggian 88 on Thu Feb 19, 2015 at 08:07:52 AM EST
    If the military says that's the right thing to do?

    Bush made the decision, but you blame Obama for it. Why didn't Bush listen to the military, then?


    Do you understand that two wrongs do not (none / 0) (#136)
    by jimakaPPJ on Thu Feb 19, 2015 at 10:03:43 AM EST
    make a right??

    And do you understand the differences between a treaty and a status of forces agreement?


    The real question is (none / 0) (#137)
    by Mordiggian 88 on Thu Feb 19, 2015 at 10:08:44 AM EST
    why should we violate a SOFA after entering into it?

    We should always act in our best interests. (none / 0) (#140)
    by jimakaPPJ on Thu Feb 19, 2015 at 10:29:20 AM EST
    Ohama believed that we should get out.


    "That's not true," Obama interjected. "Oh, you didn't want a status of forces agreement?" Romney asked as an argument ensued. "No," Obama said. "What I would not have done is left 10,000 troops in Iraq that would tie us down. That certainly would not help us in the Middle East."

    Washington Post

    Obama was wrong. His actions led us to ISIS as surely as the sun came up in the east this morning.

    I'm done. The reality is that we have a NOW problem that needs solving. Arguing over who caused it is meaningless.


    If you really think (none / 0) (#141)
    by Mordiggian 88 on Thu Feb 19, 2015 at 10:36:46 AM EST
    that 10k of our  could've prevented the rise of ISIS, even if they weren't in there at the will of the Iraqi government,then you are seriously delusional about this topic. You confuse "getting our way all the time" with "What's best for America"' and there is no cure for that in the real world.

    Then the assumption is (none / 0) (#153)
    by jimakaPPJ on Thu Feb 19, 2015 at 01:53:22 PM EST
    that with 10,000 troops operating with cooperation of the Iraqi government and an integrated command and control system and all the technical/material resources of the US.....ISIS could not have been nipped in the bud.

    Maliki was willing to accept a deal with U.S. forces if it was worth it to him -- the problem was that the Obama administration wanted a small force so that it could say it had ended the war.


    Okay fine. That is your position and you're sticking to it.


    You have the unsourced (none / 0) (#156)
    by Mordiggian 88 on Thu Feb 19, 2015 at 03:05:52 PM EST
    Assertion of a political blog, and repeating their stuff doesn't make it any truer the 2nd, 3rd, or whatever time you do so here.

    you do realize (5.00 / 3) (#133)
    by FlJoe on Thu Feb 19, 2015 at 09:24:09 AM EST
    The Maliki government refused to grant immunity to our troops if they stayed? Would you be comfortable with American troops rotting in Iraqi prisons? By the time we left we were pretty much acting as enforcers or the Shia government. If we had stayed we might have mitigated some of the current carnage while only aggravating the underlying issues, all at a huge price for us in treasure and blood, a price you seem all to willing to commit us to paying.

    I understand that Antony said (none / 0) (#138)
    by jimakaPPJ on Thu Feb 19, 2015 at 10:19:46 AM EST
    "I am the law and I have 10 Legions to make it legal."

    The "underlying issues" have not been resolved and will require a much greater expenditure of our blood and treasure to conclude.

    In fact ISIS is very much one of those "issues."

    Again. Obama left because he wanted to leave. His military said no.

    These claims don't jibe with what we know about how the negotiations with Iraq went. It's the White House itself that decided just 2-3,000 troops made sense, when the Defense Department and others were proposing more. Maliki was willing to accept a deal with U.S. forces if it was worth it to him -- the problem was that the Obama administration wanted a small force so that it could say it had ended the war.



    Your willingness to (5.00 / 1) (#142)
    by FlJoe on Thu Feb 19, 2015 at 10:39:14 AM EST
    commit to
    a much greater expenditure of our blood and treasure to conclude.

    is not shared by a majority of Americans. You seem cavalierly  willing to toss our young men and wealth into an open ended commitment to a strategy that has already proved to be an epic failure.

    My strategy would be a brief (none / 0) (#152)
    by jimakaPPJ on Thu Feb 19, 2015 at 01:44:58 PM EST
    all out war using all necessary resources.

    My belief is that would be less costly than the long "death by a thousand cuts" that your position guarantees us.


    Please define (5.00 / 2) (#163)
    by FlJoe on Fri Feb 20, 2015 at 10:03:44 AM EST
    "all out war" and "brief"
    Could you also enlighten us on your conditions for victory and post war planning?

    Don't forget a detailed plan ... (5.00 / 1) (#165)
    by Yman on Fri Feb 20, 2015 at 12:08:05 PM EST
    ,... for minimizing civilian casualties.

    The Term is Blitzkrieg... (5.00 / 1) (#166)
    by ScottW714 on Fri Feb 20, 2015 at 01:39:25 PM EST
    ...Jim has already mentioned that kids near munitions are not off limits, so I would assume that civilians will not be part of the equation.

    And if he is invading Iran, that's easy, a couple nukes.  Invasions are easy when you have no ethical dilemmas mucking it up.


    Since this has devolved (none / 0) (#139)
    by Mordiggian 88 on Thu Feb 19, 2015 at 10:24:44 AM EST
    into a discussion far from the original topic, and you've once again trotted out your favorite quote from the loser of the Battle of Actium, I''m going to end it here.

    Have a nice day.


    One more thing (none / 0) (#143)
    by FlJoe on Thu Feb 19, 2015 at 10:55:25 AM EST
    What makes "listening to the generals", the end all and be all? Generals and their political enablers  have not exactly had a stellar batting average over the course of our history when it comes to FP. The old we are a hammer, every problem is a nail syndrome.

    I didn't say all advice from generals is (none / 0) (#151)
    by jimakaPPJ on Thu Feb 19, 2015 at 01:42:00 PM EST
    good. I just noted that in this case the "generals" said keep more troops.  Obama said no.

    The demonstrated result is called ISIS and is killing people.


    Obama didn't say 'No" (none / 0) (#154)
    by Yman on Thu Feb 19, 2015 at 02:30:09 PM EST
    Here's (5.00 / 1) (#162)
    by Mordiggian 88 on Fri Feb 20, 2015 at 09:51:32 AM EST
    the take-away, in case Jim doesn't check the link:

    But ending the U.S. troop presence in Iraq was an overwhelmingly popular demand among Iraqis, and Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki appears to have been unwilling to take the political risk of extending it. While he was inclined to see a small number of American soldiers stay behind to continue mentoring Iraqi forces, the likes of Shi'ite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr, on whose support Maliki's ruling coalition depends, were having none of it. Even the Obama Administration's plan to keep some 3,000 trainers behind failed because the Iraqis were unwilling to grant them the legal immunity from local prosecution that is common to SOF agreements in most countries where U.S. forces are based.

    Might makes right (none / 0) (#145)
    by Yman on Thu Feb 19, 2015 at 11:55:05 AM EST
    .. and who cares if we violate international law.

    The war cries of the armchair warriors.


    Where did you read/ hear (none / 0) (#81)
    by Mordiggian 88 on Wed Feb 18, 2015 at 09:06:52 AM EST
    that Obama is "ignoring" ISIS?

    WASHINGTON (AP) -- The top recruiter for the Islamic State group's affiliate in Afghanistan was killed in an American drone strike on Monday, a Pentagon spokesman said Tuesday, marking the first targeted attack on a leader of the IS extremists in that country.

    Abdul Rauf and seven others were killed when the strike hit their car, said Pentagon spokesman Rear Adm. John Kirby. Officials have expressed concerns about the Islamic State group seeking recruits in Afghanistan, as U.S. forces withdraw and Afghan forces take control of the country's security.

    Kirby said Rauf and his associates were targeted because they were planning attacks, but he said the strength of the Islamic State in Afghanistan is "nascent, and aspirational at best."

    That's from last week, 02/10 to be precise.

    Looks like what you read/heard is wrong, if they're targeting ISIS leaders outside of Iraq/Syria, at any rate.

    Thanks for passing on a RW talking point that's easily discredited.


    Killing one ISIS recruiter (none / 0) (#86)
    by jimakaPPJ on Wed Feb 18, 2015 at 09:48:46 AM EST
    while refusing to say ISIS is what it is.

    Thanks for jumping to Obama's defense.

    He sure needs it now days.


    Jim (none / 0) (#88)
    by Mordiggian 88 on Wed Feb 18, 2015 at 10:07:37 AM EST
    tell me this is refusing to say what ISIS is:

    With the killing of Osama bin Laden and other action against Al Qaeda, that group's structure has been "rendered ineffective," the president said. At the same time, though, he acknowledged, "ideologically driven extremism" has taken hold in much of the Muslim world.
    "That kind of extremism, unfortunately, means that we're going to see for some time the possibility that in a whole bunch of different countries, radical groups may spring up, particularly in countries that are still relatively fragile, where you had sectarian tensions, where you don't have a strong state security apparatus," he said.
    "That's why what we have to do is rather than play Whac-A-Mole and send U.S. troops wherever this occurs, we have to build strong partnerships. We have to get the international community to recognize this is a problem. We've got to get Arab and Muslim leaders to say very clearly, `These folks do not represent us, they do not represent Islam' and to speak out forcefully against them."

    You still have't cited that quote you read or heard about Obama, BTW.  

    As for defending Obama, if that's what you call it whenI tell the truth about him as oppose to these petty and easily-disproven lies you peddle here on a regular basis here and on your foul website, then I plead guilty.

    Now, don't post something here because I made you do it, demonstrate you have at least a modicum of self-control in your next reply, por favor.


    please stop making your comments (none / 0) (#117)
    by Jeralyn on Wed Feb 18, 2015 at 08:53:10 PM EST
    personal to Jim. The last paragraph is baiting. The discussion is for everyone, not just two commenters.

    No comment (none / 0) (#120)
    by Mordiggian 88 on Wed Feb 18, 2015 at 10:42:22 PM EST
    You do (none / 0) (#84)
    by FlJoe on Wed Feb 18, 2015 at 09:29:55 AM EST
    realize that Iran is a de-facto ally in the fight against ISIS. Amazing that you conflate the 3 decades from the Taliban fighting the Soviets to the current negotiations with Iran. These issues are not even in the same ballpark. These "lone wolves' you speak of are twisted individuals who are will grab any inspiration at all, Al-Qaeda last year, ISIS this year, who knows what it will be next year, in fact our military adventurism in the Muslim lands is probably the main inspiration that they have.

    Finnaly read the Atlantic article (none / 0) (#36)
    by Jim in St Louis on Tue Feb 17, 2015 at 03:46:07 PM EST
    And you know what it reminded me of?  The Long Telegram written by Mr X back in the forties.
    below is copied from wiki about the soviets : (comments in ( )  are mine)

    *    The USSR perceived itself at perpetual war with capitalism; (ISIS thinks itself at perpetual war with the west)
    *    The USSR viewed left-wing, but non-communist, groups in other countries as an even worse enemy of itself than the capitalist ones; (ISIS hates all the pants wearing women in the west- but they hate the Saudis and Jordanians more)
    *    The USSR would use controllable Marxists in the capitalist world as allies; (well Duh!)  
    *    Soviet aggression was fundamentally not aligned with the views of the Russian people or with economic reality, but rooted in historic Russian nationalism and neurosis; (again where is the people popular support for ISIS- is there anyone who supports them?)
    *    The Soviet government's structure exhibited objective or accurate pictures of internal and external reality. (maybe does not apply since ISIS is not really a governing body)

    ISIS is not the Soviet Union (5.00 / 1) (#48)
    by MKS on Tue Feb 17, 2015 at 07:38:36 PM EST
    They have nowhere near the population, military force, industrial capability, navy, air force.....

    There is very little similarity....

    But the need for conservatives to make ISIS larger than life appears to be a compulsion...


    There is no Soviet Union, (none / 0) (#54)
    by fishcamp on Tue Feb 17, 2015 at 08:13:34 PM EST
    it was dissolved in 1991, and fifteen independent countries evolved, including Ukraine, which Russia, one of the fifteen, is trying to invade.

    Really? (none / 0) (#61)
    by MKS on Tue Feb 17, 2015 at 08:54:47 PM EST
    I was responding to the prior comment that compared ISIS to the "USSR."

    As I'm sure you know, (none / 0) (#68)
    by fishcamp on Tue Feb 17, 2015 at 10:33:08 PM EST
    the USSR and the Soviet Union were the same thing.  It was formed in 1922 after the Russian Revolution, in 1917, and continued until it dissolved in 1991.  It was commonly, but erroneously still called Russia through the mid eighties.  Now Russia is the largest and most powerful country of the seceded fifteen countries, with the Ukrain being second.  I guess one could compare ISIS to the non existent Soviet Union, but I think a better comparison would be to Russia, who seems to think they have the same power they did back in their heyday.

    Whatever (none / 0) (#69)
    by MKS on Tue Feb 17, 2015 at 11:13:04 PM EST
    I was not the one making the comparison....You do get that, right?  Did you read the post I was responding to?  You should direct your lecture to them, not me.

    I responded to the question as posed....

    And, yes, I understand the history you pose....


    Thankyou for your (5.00 / 2) (#75)
    by fishcamp on Wed Feb 18, 2015 at 08:02:41 AM EST
    kind instructions.

    people across the political spectrum are reading it, citing it & commenting on it

    i hope it will become the occasion for intelligent commentary from all perspectives, or at least an occasion for the intelligent commentary's getting more of a hearing than the rest

    Juan Cole posted this: (none / 0) (#148)
    by Mr Natural on Thu Feb 19, 2015 at 12:13:39 PM EST
    "Today's Top 7 Myths about Daesh/ ISIL."  Half the comments referenced Graeme Wood's article.

    From your linked article: (none / 0) (#149)
    by MO Blue on Thu Feb 19, 2015 at 12:21:58 PM EST
    2. Daesh fighters are pious. Some may be. But very large numbers are just criminals who mouth pious slogans. The volunteers from other countries often have a gang past. They engage in drug and other smuggling and in human trafficking and delight in mass murder. They are criminals and sociopaths. Lots of religious cults authorize criminality.

    Seems Cole believes that religious fervor might not be the true driving force behind ISIL. Fancy that.


    How does harvesting human organs for (none / 0) (#79)
    by Militarytracy on Wed Feb 18, 2015 at 08:59:09 AM EST
    Profit tie into the Koran?  Because that is what ISIS is suspected of this morning.

    I think ISIS makes a lot of it up as they go along.

    unsubstantiated rumor (none / 0) (#118)
    by Jeralyn on Wed Feb 18, 2015 at 08:54:57 PM EST
    please don't bring those here.

    The charge was made by Iraq's Ambassador (5.00 / 1) (#119)
    by Mr Natural on Wed Feb 18, 2015 at 09:43:26 PM EST
    to the U.N.

    Ambassador Mohamed Alhakim called on the Security Council to look at bodies recovered from mass shallow graves, which have been found with deep surgical cuts and missing organs.

    "We have bodies. Come and examine them," he said. "It is clear they are missing certain parts."

    Of course, he could be referring to missing heads.

    And it would be difficult to (none / 0) (#82)
    by fishcamp on Wed Feb 18, 2015 at 09:07:33 AM EST
    harvest any organs if they are burned up.  Horrible thought.  Sorry.