That's all war does
is produce unintended consequences
--Dexter Filkins, on Fresh Air (25 Sept 14)
The discontent generated in backward countries
by their contact with Western civilization
is not primarily resentment against exploitation
by domineering foreigners.
It is rather the result of a crumbling or weakening
of tribal solidarity and communal life
--The True Believer, Eric Hoffer
You get nothing! You lose!
Good day, sir!
--Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory (1971)
The Nusra Front "and other Syrian Rebels", Khorasan Group (sounds like an investment firm) and all the usual suspects darting in and out of the picture, donning or shedding uniforms and flags as the moment dictates -- it's a roller derby of viciousness, a hillbilly hootenanny, Eastern-style. Come aboard, one and all.
The U.S. press says the opposition to these "madmen" are "moderates", but moderates do not fight, nor do they win, civil wars. Winners are always extremist, de facto. Good guys do not win nasty wars.
So where will the defeated fighters end up? If ISIS is defeated -- which does not seem imminent -- their fighters will disperse and continue in the guise of terrorists or Low Intensity Conflict players. They are a Mobius strip of violence, the Wankel rotary engine of mayhem.
How or will the defeated fighters reintegrate into any society? Will they be thrown into Gitmo Gulags? Will they have their Masada? Unlikely, for as Mr. Filkins said in today's NPR interview, those chimerical rebel fighters the U.S. is supposedly supporting are incapable of -- anything, really. His book title says it all: The Forever War.
Moreover, as Filkins says, the Islamic State is not a direct threat to the U.S. or Europe. Oh, they might roll over Jordan, and/or Saudi Arabia or Lebanon, but not the West. The unbridled enthusiasm shared by the M.E. fighters is not ours; the U.S. has naught to gain by further intervention; they never did.
In a little ditty sent by RAW's South FLA associate and self-proclaimed bard Rick Spisak, he writes:
And in another five or ten years we'll attack our current "temporary" allies. Those we're currently arming and training as we depose this week's hated tyrants of convenience.
Saddam, he's our guy, the Shah of Iran, he's our guy, Khadafy, he's ours, too. Assad, he's our guy, Maliki, he's our guy, Diem, he's our guy, Mubarak, he's our guy, and the bodies stack higher and higher.
Whatever motivates the U.S. is surely not the same thing motivating the players in the Middle East.