ISIS: Pass the Shock, Hold the Awe and Ground Troops

The photo above is from ISIS' latest atrocity video depicting Peshmerga soldiers captured in Kirkuk. They are put in individual cages, driven in a caravan through the streets of Kirkuk which are filled with excited onlookers, and then lined up for execution. The video doesn't actually show their final fate, leaving it to the viewer's imagination. While there is a flash image inserted of the burning Jordanian pilot and another of the beheaded Coptic Christians, all of the ISIS figures appear to be have guns drawn, not knives.

This post is not about them, or the video, but why we shouldn't let our reactions to these propaganda videos -- usally a mix of shock, disgust and fear --lead us into war. [More....]

War is exactly what ISIS wants. Why give it to them? From an article by Paul Waldman of the American Prospect in The Week:

ISIS's brutality is beyond question, as is the threat they pose to countries in the Middle East. But here in America, so many act as if there's also no question that they pose a threat to us. That's despite the fact that they haven't tried to launch any terrorist attacks against the United States, and the four Americans they've killed were only those who had the terrible fortune to fall into their clutches.

That isn't to say that they might not one day try to attack America more directly, but believing that, unless we launch a full-scale war in Syria, ISIS will invade the United States and we'll "all get killed back here at home," as Sen. Lindsey Graham so memorably put it, is not the mark of a person in full possession of his or her faculties.

On a deeper level, the new issue of Foreign Policy Magazine has a very long and sobering article, by Audrey Kurth Kronin, "ISIS Is Not a Terrorist Group: Why Counterterrorism Won’t Stop the Latest Jihadist Threat", that argues counter-insurgency and counter-terrorism measures won't defeat ISIS, but war is just folly. Kronin is a professor and the Director the International Security Program at George Mason University.

It's too long to hit all the points, but here are some that stood out to me:

ISIS is now led by well-trained, capable former Iraqi military leaders who know U.S. techniques and habits because Washington helped train them. And after routing Iraqi army units and taking their U.S.-supplied equipment, ISIS is now armed with American tanks, artillery, armored Humvees, and mine-resistant vehicles.

...The pursuit of a full-fledged military campaign would exhaust U.S. resources and offer little hope of obtaining the objective. Wars pursued at odds with political reality cannot be won. 

There are no good options. ISIS is not a U.S. problem. It's a problem for countries in the region ISIS wants to conquer.

ISIS is not merely an American problem. The wars in Iraq and Syria involve not only regional players but also major global actors, such as Russia, Turkey, Iran, Saudi Arabia, and other Gulf states. Washington must stop behaving as if it can fix the region’s problems with military force and instead resurrect its role as a diplomatic superpower.

Responding to ISIS as if they are merely terrorists is the wrong approach because ISIS is not just a terrorist group. It may not be a full-fledged state, but that's its goal and it's making headway. And it is not Al Qaida, they have very different goals.

As ISIS has grown, its goals and intentions have become clearer. Al Qaeda conceived of itself as the vanguard of a global insurgency mobilizing Muslim communities against secular rule. ISIS, in contrast, seeks to control territory and create a “pure” Sunni Islamist state governed by a brutal interpretation of sharia; to immediately obliterate the political borders of the Middle East that were created by Western powers in the twentieth century; and to position itself as the sole political, religious, and military authority over all of the world’s Muslims.

What can be done? Treat ISIS like other states that are threats to international stability.

ISIS is not a nuclear power, but the group represents a threat to international stability equivalent to that posed by North Korea. It should be treated no less seriously.

... The major powers and regional players must agree to stiffen the international arms embargo currently imposed on ISIS, enact more vigorous sanctions against the group, conduct joint border patrols, provide more aid for displaced persons and refugees, and strengthen UN peacekeeping missions in countries that border Iraq and Syria. Although some of these tools overlap with counterterrorism, they should be put in the service of a strategy for fighting an enemy more akin to a state actor.

There's also the matter of ISIS' wealth:

Of course, like terrorist groups, ISIS also takes hostages, demanding tens of millions of dollars in ransom payments. But more important to the group’s finances is a wide-ranging extortion racket that targets owners and producers in ISIS territory, taxing everything from small family farms to large enterprises such as cell-phone service providers, water delivery companies, and electric utilities. The enterprise is so complex that the U.S. Treasury has declined to estimate ISIS’ total assets and revenues, but ISIS is clearly a highly diversified enterprise whose wealth dwarfs that of any terrorist organization. And there is little evidence that Washington has succeeded in reducing the group’s coffers. 

A "surge" like the one Bush used in Iraq would not work either.

the logic of U.S. counterinsurgency does not suit the struggle against ISIS. The United States cannot win the hearts and minds of Iraq’s Sunni Arabs, because the Maliki government has already lost them. The Shiite-dominated Iraqi government has so badly undercut its own political legitimacy that it might be impossible to restore it. Moreover, the United States no longer occupies Iraq. Washington can send in more troops, but it cannot lend legitimacy to a government it no longer controls. ISIS is less an insurgent group fighting against an established government than one party in a conventional civil war between a breakaway territory and a weak central state.

Why war is not the answer:

Putting more U.S. troops on the ground would be counterproductive, entangling the United States in an unwinnable war that could go on for decades. The United States cannot rebuild the Iraqi state or determine the outcome of the Syrian civil war. Frustrating as it might be to some, when it comes to military action, Washington should stick to a realistic course that recognizes the limitations of U.S. military force as a long-term solution.

The warmongers need to be ignored. War is the wrong response. It will please ISIS, we won't win and it will bleed us dry -- in money and human life. We should limit our military efforts to containment, which realistically, is all that can be accomplished:

The sobering fact is that the United States has no good military options in its fight against ISIS. Neither counterterrorism, nor counterinsurgency, nor conventional warfare is likely to afford Washington a clear-cut victory against the group.

For the time being, at least, the policy that best matches ends and means and that has the best chance of securing U.S. interests is one of offensive containment: combining a limited military campaign with a major diplomatic and economic effort to weaken ISIS and align the interests of the many countries that are threatened by the group’s advance.

How to do that?

The United States must stay committed to fighting ISIS over the long term in a manner that matches ends with means, calibrating and improving U.S. efforts to contain the group by moving past outmoded forms of counterterrorism and counterinsurgency while also resisting pressure to cross the threshold into full-fledged war.

Over time, the successful containment of ISIS might open up better policy options. But for the foreseeable future, containment is the best policy that the United States can pursue.

The media can run all the polls it wants. A decision to go to war should not be based on polls, especially when most Americans don't understand a thing about ISIS or what motivates them and their responses are knee-jerk reactions to the horror of the beheading videos. The videos are a propaganda technique and recruitment tool. ISIS knows they push everyone's buttons.

Its brutality—videotaped beheadings, mass executions—is designed to intimidate foes and suppress dissent. Revulsion among Muslims at such cruelty might eventually undermine ISIS. But for the time being, Washington’s focus on ISIS’ savagery only helps the group augment its aura of strength.

The violent videos gather a lot more recruits than al Qaida's overly pious videos:

ISIS, in contrast, offers a very different message for young men, and sometimes women. The group attracts followers yearning for not only religious righteousness but also adventure, personal power, and a sense of self and community. And, of course, some people just want to kill— and ISIS welcomes them, too. The group’s brutal violence attracts attention, demonstrates dominance, and draws people to the action. 

...In short, ISIS offers short-term, primitive gratification. It does not radicalize people in ways that can be countered by appeals to logic. Teenagers are attracted to the group without even understanding what it is, and older fighters just want to be associated with ISIS’ success. Compared with fighting al Qaeda’s relatively austere message, Washington has found it much harder to counter ISIS’ more visceral appeal, perhaps for a very simple reason: a desire for power, agency, and instant results also pervades American culture. 

One last quote, on the resources we've devoted to counterterrorism since 9/11 and the threat of attacks by lone or loony wolves at home, who are ISIS-inspired but unlikely to be directed by ISIS:

In the post-9/11 era, the United States has built up a trillion-dollar infrastructure of intelligence, law enforcement, and military operations aimed at al Qaeda and its affiliates. According to a 2010 investigation by The Washington Post, some 263 U.S. government organizations were created or reorganized in response to the 9/11 attacks, including the Department of Homeland Security, the National Counterterrorism Center, and the Transportation Security Administration.

Each year, U.S. intelligence agencies produce some 50,000 reports on terrorism. Fifty-one U.S. federal organizations and military commands track the flow of money to and from terrorist networks. This structure has helped make terrorist attacks on U.S. soil exceedingly rare.

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  • Display: Sort:
    Containment is the key (5.00 / 1) (#1)
    by MKS on Sun Feb 22, 2015 at 01:05:46 AM EST
    It has worked against more formidable actors than ISIS....

    And, ISIS is not a direct threat against the U.S.

    Not the key (5.00 / 1) (#4)
    by FlJoe on Sun Feb 22, 2015 at 07:54:19 AM EST
    but definitely our best strategy for now. We can  absolutely afford to slow play this one.

    When (5.00 / 1) (#51)
    by FlJoe on Tue Feb 24, 2015 at 06:23:07 AM EST
    I state I "see" something as fact, I assume everyone would consider I believe it to be a fact.
    I did not say that my saying it made it a fact.
    So you admit its just an opinion? An opinion strong enough to take us to war? Why do you kill copperheads, is it because you are afraid of them biting you, or do you just enjoy killing animals? There is no shame in prudent fear, it's a primary survival instinct hardwired in our DNA, however hitting the panic button over "perceived" overblown fears is a dangerous path to take.

    Of course it is an opinion. (none / 0) (#58)
    by jimakaPPJ on Tue Feb 24, 2015 at 10:41:27 AM EST
    You do understand this is a "blog" don't you? And you do understand that "I" am not the prez and can't declare war...

    And no, I am not "afraid" of getting snake bit. I just find it prudent to kill copper heads because of the damage they might do to me and/or my family and friends.

    Of course now you are changing the subject. Fear of personal harm and taking action to prevent the cause of the fear is one thing.. It is not "cowering under Lindsay's bed" which is your claim.

    I repeat. You are trying a reverse sell. If someone sees ISIS, or other radical islamist groups, as dangerous and a threat to the US, they are cowards. To be brave one must declare that ISIS, and the others, is no threat.

    BTW - Reptiles are not animals.

    And I am a NRA member who enjoyed hunting in my younger years. I also enjoyed eating the wild game I killed. Have you ever slaughtered a hog or beef??


    Reptiles aren't animals? (none / 0) (#60)
    by jbindc on Tue Feb 24, 2015 at 11:04:27 AM EST
    Uh, wrong.

    For example, see what the Smithsonian has to say:

    Reptiles and amphibians are cold-blooded, or "ectothermic," animals, which means that they depend on external sources, such as the sun, to maintain their body temperatures. Since they don't burn energy to heat internal "furnaces," reptiles eat 30 to 50 times less food than do birds and mammals (warm-blooded animals) of similar sizes.

    It's not his fault (5.00 / 1) (#65)
    by jondee on Tue Feb 24, 2015 at 03:59:53 PM EST
    he heard O'Reilly say reptiles aren't animals.

    Well (none / 0) (#66)
    by FlJoe on Tue Feb 24, 2015 at 04:21:57 PM EST
    after seeing combat against the reptilian hordes on Centauri V, he is an expert after all.

    You got me (2.00 / 1) (#68)
    by jimakaPPJ on Tue Feb 24, 2015 at 08:42:10 PM EST
    I should have noted that reptiles aren't warm blooded animals but I didn't.

    Enjoy the giggles.

    But have any of you actually killed what you eat??


    I have in the past (4.00 / 1) (#69)
    by Yman on Tue Feb 24, 2015 at 09:49:16 PM EST
    But ever since I went vegetarian, I'm limited to snakes, turtles, lizards and other plants.

    I always make sure the fish (none / 0) (#73)
    by jondee on Wed Feb 25, 2015 at 11:40:51 AM EST
    I eat have been weaned from their mothers before I kill them..

    Some kind-hearted scientists on Fox advised that.


    I do not (none / 0) (#62)
    by FlJoe on Tue Feb 24, 2015 at 11:16:47 AM EST
    equate prudent fear with cowardice. You see a threat in ISIS and copperheads.
    1. a distressing emotion aroused by impending danger, evil, pain, etc., whether the threat is real or imagined; the feeling or condition of being afraid...........
    2. anticipation of the possibility that something unpleasant will occur. You kill copperheads out of anticipation of possibility (but low probability) of snake bites. You want to kill ISIS for the possibility (and even lower probability) they may attack us. You fear both.

     I doubt you travel to the next county to kill copperheads, I don't think it is wise to travel halfway around the globe to kill the ISIS snakes, especially when it will cost us dearly and there is no guarantee for success.

    Reptiles are not animals
     What are they then, plants? You better dust of your biology text books.

    Enough, Jim is not the topic (none / 0) (#63)
    by Jeralyn on Tue Feb 24, 2015 at 02:04:57 PM EST
    You two have made your points. The thread is not about you. Please move back to the topic.

    we understand it's a blog (none / 0) (#64)
    by Jeralyn on Tue Feb 24, 2015 at 02:07:26 PM EST
    but it's not your blog, so please don't keep repeating your same point over and over. Blogclogging isn't allowed here.

    Hostage abductions and prisoner executions... (5.00 / 1) (#52)
    by mike in dc on Tue Feb 24, 2015 at 07:13:37 AM EST
    ...are a sign of weakness, not strength.  When IS was making progress on the ground, they were primarily shooting videos touting their conquests.  Now that's no longer happening.  It's all terror, all the time.  
    Just an observation.

    Shall we put this on the grave stones? (2.00 / 2) (#2)
    by jimakaPPJ on Sun Feb 22, 2015 at 07:12:38 AM EST
    This structure has helped make terrorist attacks on U.S. soil exceedingly rare.

    Why not (4.00 / 3) (#3)
    by FlJoe on Sun Feb 22, 2015 at 07:50:12 AM EST
    and also put "at least I wasn't murdered by a radical Islamist" on the graves stones of Mike Brown, Eric Garner, Tamir Rice and all the rest.

    People are more likely to die (none / 0) (#5)
    by Mordiggian 88 on Sun Feb 22, 2015 at 09:00:10 AM EST
    In an auto accident than being killed by a terrorist attack in this country.  

    The idea that ISIS can kill,their way to success is an illusion that scaremongers in this country like to appropriate for their own purposes.


    ISIS doesn't have to achieve success by (none / 0) (#9)
    by jimakaPPJ on Sun Feb 22, 2015 at 04:40:10 PM EST
    killing and no one except some on the Left thinks that is even germane. al Qaeda didn't achieve success yet they did kill around 3000 on 9/11.

    ISIS kills and they will attack within the US unless we can disrupt their activities.


    AQ got us out of Saudi Arabia (5.00 / 1) (#13)
    by Mordiggian 88 on Sun Feb 22, 2015 at 06:12:49 PM EST
    After 9/11, which is what they wanted.

     And your vision of ISIS killing people here does their work for them almost better then they could.


    Really? You are seriously telling me that (2.00 / 1) (#15)
    by jimakaPPJ on Sun Feb 22, 2015 at 08:10:45 PM EST
    my reasonable prudence that ISIS and the other flavors of radical islamist:

    does their work for them almost better then they could.

    In what way??

    I suppose you also are against vaccinations and haven't had physical in years.


    Reasonable prudence (5.00 / 1) (#16)
    by Mordiggian 88 on Sun Feb 22, 2015 at 08:28:44 PM EST
    Is not being worried about an ISIS attack in America.  

    But thanks for trying to make my position seem unreasonable, instead of directly addressing what I wrote in my previous comment.


    You panic and endow (5.00 / 2) (#18)
    by MKS on Sun Feb 22, 2015 at 11:19:51 PM EST
    ISIS with super human powers and build up their ability to conquer....and you are terrorized by what they do.....Your reaction is gold to ISIS.....

    For about the 1000th time (2.00 / 1) (#24)
    by jimakaPPJ on Mon Feb 23, 2015 at 10:45:17 AM EST
    no one I know is doing what you claim. No one is terrorized. No one thinks they have super human powers.

    What we do know is that ISIS is just another radical islamist organization with a somewhat different bent  that seems to be selling well to young people and has had great success in capturing a very large amount of real estate in a very short period of time.

    And it has produced a great amount of shock videos of various ways they kill people to try induce terror in many people in order to influence people to not fight them. To just accept them as rulers.

    And yes, as MT pointed out in another thread they have threatened America just as other groups have. In fact another group has threatened the Mall of America.

    The question is this. At what point will we fight? Must we have another 9/11? How many Boston Marathon's and Fort Hood's should be accept before it becomes plain to you and other who oppose war that we are under attack?

    Waiting to see when and if the local countries in the ME actually take effective action against ISIS may suit you but that doesn't mean that it will happen. In fact, past history shows that it will not happen.

    I would fight now. But that doesn't mean that I am  "terrorized." It means that I have carefully looked at the situation regarding radical islam and determined that the sooner we fight the smaller the battle will be. It is the prudent thing to do.

    I remind everyone that France and England could have eliminated Hitler very easily early on but instead their leaders reused to lead saying "People are tired of war," and we will have "Peace in our time." The result was millions upon millions upon millions dead that need not have died.


    ISIS had nothing to do with Boston (5.00 / 1) (#67)
    by MKS on Tue Feb 24, 2015 at 07:53:40 PM EST
    or Ft. Hood.  

    Do you believe that there was any connection between 9/11 and Iraq and Saddam Hussein?   There wasn't any, but that did not stop Fox viewers from believing there was....

    And, Hitler?  You abandon any credibility when you reach for Hitler.  What did Hitler have that ISIS does not?  Many, many things.... Primarily an industrial base that designed and manufactured the premier war materiel of the era.....And the best tanks, and many of them, and an air force and submarines....And a much larger army....

    There is no comparison....

    Moreover, ISIS's military advances have been halted.....

    Panic, panic, panic.....feeds ISIS.....It appears that you want war with any Mid East Muslims....Just go and kill Muslims....any Muslims will do....they are alike.

    We need to recognize that we are at war with Islam.  We need to militarily defeat Islam.....Right, chief?


    Thank you (none / 0) (#70)
    by Mordiggian 88 on Wed Feb 25, 2015 at 12:34:17 AM EST
    for bringing facts and common sense to the discussion.

    For the 1001st time (none / 0) (#72)
    by FlJoe on Wed Feb 25, 2015 at 06:22:20 AM EST
    We have already tried military action in the area...total failure on a geopolitical level. Sure we can take out ISIS but then what? All I hear from the hawks is we "must take out ISIS", when it comes to the next step it is crickets. I have heard exactly zero end game scenarios credible or not.

     I gather from the talk I've heard about Obama removing the troops to soon that the hawks envision some kind continuing American presence. One thing we should all agree on the will not greet us at liberators. All I seem to hear from the mongers regarding the overarching problem with jihadism is, the beatings will continue until morale improves.

    Seriously, can any of the hawks around here propose a plan or provide a link to a credible path we can take after we dispose of ISIS ?


    That's bullshit (none / 0) (#20)
    by Militarytracy on Mon Feb 23, 2015 at 08:00:32 AM EST
    We are still there. Just not in uniform.

    We only changed out military uniforms (none / 0) (#21)
    by Militarytracy on Mon Feb 23, 2015 at 08:04:20 AM EST
    For differently dressed military contractors.

    He drove the U.S. Army out of the KSA, (none / 0) (#23)
    by Mordiggian 88 on Mon Feb 23, 2015 at 09:56:25 AM EST
    that they were replaced by private forces doesn't change the fact that he achieved his stated goal.

    And you, the wife of a  U.S. military officer, are going to tell me that said forces are just as good as those they replaced?  Oh, please.  All we get with them is a thin veil of deniability.


    Yeah, they're ex SEALs and Rangers (none / 0) (#27)
    by Militarytracy on Mon Feb 23, 2015 at 11:20:19 AM EST
    I don't know about Delta, they seem to stay Delta-ish forever.  And lots and lots of attack helicopter pilots.

    And a secret drone base (none / 0) (#28)
    by Militarytracy on Mon Feb 23, 2015 at 11:23:50 AM EST
    Great, I'm sure OBL (none / 0) (#29)
    by Mordiggian 88 on Mon Feb 23, 2015 at 11:31:18 AM EST
    Is laughing in Hell regarding your defense of using private mercenaries retired from the U.S. Military and a "secret" drone base thatmis now there.

    My defense of what? (5.00 / 1) (#30)
    by Militarytracy on Mon Feb 23, 2015 at 11:36:42 AM EST
    The facts?  There are blacked out United States military bases still in Saudi Arabia too.  If you really cared to know that you easily could.  You just aren't allowed to know specifically where they are.

    Everything about our presence in Saudi Arabia is simply blacked out and re-clothed.


    Yes, I''m sure that the residents of the KSA (none / 0) (#31)
    by Mordiggian 88 on Mon Feb 23, 2015 at 11:47:16 AM EST
    Around these bases don't know what's going on, or that the lack of discussion of them in the US press keeps the jihadis in the dark as well.

    I don't know if it does or it doesn't (none / 0) (#32)
    by Militarytracy on Mon Feb 23, 2015 at 11:55:01 AM EST
    There is still a US military presence in Saudi Arabia though.

    I never said I doubted you (none / 0) (#36)
    by Mordiggian 88 on Mon Feb 23, 2015 at 12:11:53 PM EST
    but to the world at large we've withdrawn from there publicly, and the lack of publicity regarding the bases there only feeds that impression, IMHO.

    True if you aren't a fact junkie (5.00 / 3) (#37)
    by Militarytracy on Mon Feb 23, 2015 at 12:32:03 PM EST
    I am sort of sick of how out of touch too many are with military reality.  As Mr Natural posted awhile back, civilians are completely out of touch in this country with their military and they seem to want it to stay that way.  The powers that be will use that to their advantage.

    It is so tiresome though. It is present in the rightwing and the leftwing, both ends have very specific military myths they politically conveniently cling to.  And they only seem to want knowledge of their military to win shallow politically convenient arguments.


    Unfortunately, the ISIS types (none / 0) (#38)
    by Mordiggian 88 on Mon Feb 23, 2015 at 12:37:55 PM EST
    are not handicapped in the same way. If there is local tension about the bases in the KSA, they will exploit it to their advantage if they can.

    Oh My God...any God (none / 0) (#39)
    by Militarytracy on Mon Feb 23, 2015 at 12:38:52 PM EST
    You just go on and on like this all day?

    It's an elementary revolutionary tactic (none / 0) (#42)
    by Mordiggian 88 on Mon Feb 23, 2015 at 01:01:10 PM EST
    That Mao used to great advantage in rallying the peasants against the rapacious landlords of post-Imperial China(not that they were any less rapacious in Imperial China).

    I would think the wife of a military officer would understand the necessity of strategic/tactical analysis of even the most unpleasant possibilities when dealing with an intelligent enemy.

    And, we've already established that I don't want Obama for a God nor that I am your God, so we can finally dispense with theology for now.  👽


    I know (none / 0) (#44)
    by Militarytracy on Mon Feb 23, 2015 at 01:11:44 PM EST
    I never think of that

    You can let go (none / 0) (#46)
    by Mordiggian 88 on Mon Feb 23, 2015 at 01:15:33 PM EST
    of your pearls now.  😃

    I could be causing local tension right now :) (none / 0) (#40)
    by Militarytracy on Mon Feb 23, 2015 at 12:46:01 PM EST
    The day I was born I was causing local tension.  So were you in some way, using oxygen, demanding food and stuff.  The planet is getting crowded, and everyone is overlapping now with social media, and allies, you can't even believe what's going on out there :)  If local tension means you can do whatever you want, expect things to go completely to hell more and more with each passing day.

    of course (5.00 / 2) (#22)
    by FlJoe on Mon Feb 23, 2015 at 08:55:46 AM EST
    ISIS doesn't have to achieve success by killing

    looks like they already succeeded with you
    and they will attack within the US
    looks like they got you scared, maybe Lindsey Graham has some room under his bed for you to cower under.

    It amazes me that you conflate (none / 0) (#25)
    by jimakaPPJ on Mon Feb 23, 2015 at 10:56:21 AM EST
    the statement of what someone sees as facts with them being terrorized/scared, etc.

    I think that, based on current available information, that if I live long enough I will contract prostate cancer and that I should be aware of that fact and take steps to protect myself.

    Does that mean I should get under my doctor's bed?

    What you are trying to do is sell your political position by invoking the fear that people have of being called a coward. And yes, when you say someone is terrorized and cowering you are saying they are cowards.

    That is an inaccurate portrayal of people's prudent concern and is a wrapped and distorted statement of the facts.


    just saying (5.00 / 1) (#26)
    by FlJoe on Mon Feb 23, 2015 at 11:12:59 AM EST
    terrorists by definition succeed by spreading fear, you are showing fear by stating that they will be coming here to kill us. We have installed many layers of protections against attacks since 9/11, but you seem to think that ISIS has special powers to attack us.

    No. Stating what I see as a fact (none / 0) (#33)
    by jimakaPPJ on Mon Feb 23, 2015 at 11:55:49 AM EST
    is not "showing fear."

    Please quit with the ludicrous stuff. Anyone can see what you are trying to do.

    And no, I do not think ISIS will be landing on the beaches of New Jersey.

    I do think that ISIS has already put in place attacks using 9/11 type tactics.

    And yes, we have put in many layers of protection and they have worked well.

    My car, which I keep well maintained, has served me well. But, at some point, it will fail.


    If they did (none / 0) (#34)
    by Mordiggian 88 on Mon Feb 23, 2015 at 12:08:18 PM EST
    a 9/11-style attack here,mthe gloves would come off anfpdbthere would be a repeat of shock and awe where they current hold sway.

    Now, getting certain fools to take them seriously enough to envision them doing such an attack and talking about it, that mission has already been accomplished, IMHO.


    On one hand you (none / 0) (#41)
    by jimakaPPJ on Mon Feb 23, 2015 at 12:46:07 PM EST
    claim that ISIS wants us to attack them.

    On the other hand you deny the possibility.

    Which is it?

    "envison" is the same as an actual act??


    Let me see. I may have cancer but I won't do anything about it. It will just go away.


    They're a cancer over there (none / 0) (#45)
    by Mordiggian 88 on Mon Feb 23, 2015 at 01:13:54 PM EST
    but you want to start the chemotherapy over here before anything happens in this country.

    Just (none / 0) (#35)
    by FlJoe on Mon Feb 23, 2015 at 12:09:04 PM EST
    because you state something as fact does not make it so. There is absolutely nothing that makes ISIS more able to strike at us then any other group. Matter of fact I would surmise that Al-Qaeda, with their decades of planning and network building, is still a greater threat for domestic attacks.

    By the way your car analogy is just silly.


    Nope, didn't say that (none / 0) (#43)
    by jimakaPPJ on Mon Feb 23, 2015 at 01:01:16 PM EST
    what I said was:

    No. Stating what I see as a fact is not "showing fear.(Emphasis added)

    I can state anything I want that I see as a fact and that is not showing fear.

    I didn't say that ISIS was more, or less, capable that the other radical islamist groups to attack us. I would even agree that al Qaeda probably is a greater threat. But that doesn't mean ISIS is not one.

    What I do not understand is the rush to try and prevent action against ISIS by the US.

    What is the motive?

    BTW - The point was that when a single event can cause harm then defense will ultimately fail.


    Just (5.00 / 1) (#47)
    by FlJoe on Mon Feb 23, 2015 at 01:35:25 PM EST
    because you "see" a fact does not make it true. Your perceived fear (yes you fear an attack) is good enough for a casus belli, we have been there done that with disastrous  results.
    What I do not understand is the rush to try and prevent action against ISIS by the US.
    I don't understand the opposite, why the rush to get into war? I always thought that avoiding military action was the preferred option.

    How ISIS gets succour (none / 0) (#6)
    by Politalkix on Sun Feb 22, 2015 at 09:21:27 AM EST

    Fuad Hussein, the chief of staff of the Kurdish President, Massoud Barzani, told The Independent on Sunday: "There is sympathy for Da'esh [the Arabic acronym for IS, also known as Isis] in many Arab countries and this has translated into money - and that is a disaster."  He pointed out that until recently financial aid was being given more or less openly by Gulf states to the opposition in Syria - but by now most of these rebel groups have been absorbed into IS and Jabhat al-Nusra, the al-Qaeda affiliate, so it is they "who now have the money and the weapons".

    When ISIS comes to Rome (none / 0) (#7)
    by Politalkix on Sun Feb 22, 2015 at 04:14:16 PM EST
    Italians will be prepared to thwart them link

    But don't let the characteristic Italian nonchalance fool you info thinking that they do not know how to deal with fascists. link

    "The bodies of Mussolini and Petacci were taken to Milan and left in a suburban square, the Piazzale Loreto, for a large angry crowd to insult and physically abuse. They were then hung upside down from a metal girder above a service station on the square."

    I'll be in Rome later this summer (none / 0) (#14)
    by christinep on Sun Feb 22, 2015 at 06:24:13 PM EST
    Ah yes, there is theory and there is reality.  Yet, I agree that a number of European countries certainly have had preparation for dealing with terror. (With an Italian-Slovenian background on my Dad's side, I grew up learning about the real evil of fascism.) As you suggest, the joy of living does not mean being unaware.  Ciao.

    not to worry (none / 0) (#8)
    by thomas rogan on Sun Feb 22, 2015 at 04:37:34 PM EST
    If Americans won't fight a war for thousands of Yazidis/Christians being killed in Iraq, for hundreds of thousands in Darfur, in Rwanda, for or for hundreds of Christian girls kidnapped by Boko Haram, they sure won't do anything for a couple of soldiers put to death.  
    And if I walk by a burning building and someone is inside, I might as well keep on walking because it isn't my house that is burning down and the fire won't spread to my house which is one hundred miles away.
    Wonderful how we transform the non-evil cowardice of convenience into a grand virtue.

    Maybe (5.00 / 2) (#12)
    by Ga6thDem on Sun Feb 22, 2015 at 06:05:30 PM EST
    people think they ought to fight their own wars. People are sick of war and after the disaster that was Iraq it is going to be hard to convince Americans to do anything. Nobody wants a repeat of Iraq but Republicans cannot even admit that the whole venture was based on lies and incompetence.

    If my firehose sprays gasoline (5.00 / 3) (#19)
    by ruffian on Mon Feb 23, 2015 at 05:38:06 AM EST
    I think my neighbors will tell me to stay away from their house.

    That is very very very (2.00 / 1) (#10)
    by jimakaPPJ on Sun Feb 22, 2015 at 04:41:18 PM EST
    well said.

    Huh ? (none / 0) (#11)
    by FlJoe on Sun Feb 22, 2015 at 04:49:30 PM EST
    Wonderful how we transform the non-evil cowardice of convenience into a grand virtue.
    Please translate.

    Sounds like the poster has volunteered (5.00 / 4) (#17)
    by Mr Natural on Sun Feb 22, 2015 at 10:08:45 PM EST
    to join today's Abraham Lincoln Brigade of keyboard ISIS fighters.  They'll join forces with FOX war hero Bill O'Reilly... Blasting away at evul terrrrrrrrorists from 6000 miles away - with hot air and spittle.

    it's their battle (none / 0) (#50)
    by Jeralyn on Tue Feb 24, 2015 at 12:27:47 AM EST
    The U.S. is helping with training, arms, and money. That's more than enough. We shouldn't get into WWIII because of some You Tube videos (that may or may not be artificially enhanced.)

    I Agree Partially (none / 0) (#53)
    by RickyJim on Tue Feb 24, 2015 at 07:37:58 AM EST
    The US shouldn't do more than give advice and perhaps weapons the anti-ISIS forces.  However, saying that if we do more, it may turn into World War III, which implies that Korea, Vietnam, the Gulf Wars and Afghanistan weren't WWIII, is unnecessary hyperbole.

    True (none / 0) (#55)
    by FlJoe on Tue Feb 24, 2015 at 08:05:36 AM EST
    a bit of hyperbole there, I would call it an endless brushfire/civil war. Can you spell quagmire? We still have one foot stuck in Afghanistan after 14 years and counting.

    Makes sense (none / 0) (#54)
    by Abdul Abulbul Amir on Tue Feb 24, 2015 at 07:59:56 AM EST
    After all this essentially "a quarrel in a far away country between people of whom we know nothing."

    See what MKS wrote above (none / 0) (#71)
    by Mordiggian 88 on Wed Feb 25, 2015 at 12:37:27 AM EST
    about the stupidity of comparing ISIS to Hitlers' Germany.

    You misunderstand. (3.50 / 2) (#74)
    by Abdul Abulbul Amir on Thu Feb 26, 2015 at 06:18:30 PM EST

    The comparison is not to national socialism but to the hide your head response from those who had the power to deal with a problem when it was small.

    You misunderstand (5.00 / 1) (#75)
    by Yman on Thu Feb 26, 2015 at 08:10:26 PM EST
    Chamberlain gave that speech in late Sept., 1938.  The threat from Hitler at that point - unlike ISIS now - was not "small".

    Smaller than in 1939 or 1941 (none / 0) (#76)
    by Abdul Abulbul Amir on Mon Mar 02, 2015 at 09:47:24 AM EST
    There is evidence that armed resistance at that point could have triggered a coup to oust Hitler. Link  At the very least if the war had started at that point the substantial Czech armament industry would not have been arming the German army.

    Contrary to your view Chamberlain viewed the threat small enough that accommodation was preferred to confrontation.

    Ignoring growing threats does not mean they go away.  On the contrary victory after victory brings new recruits for the "strong horse."


    please stay on topic (none / 0) (#77)
    by Jeralyn on Mon Mar 02, 2015 at 11:56:10 AM EST
    It's not Germany and WWII