Thursday, September 18, 2014

Breaking Bad II

 So we beat on, boats against the current, 
borne back ceaselessly into the past   
--The Great Gatsby, F. Scott Fitzgerald 
{continuation of Breaking Bad}:
How and why does the fiction that the U.S. is fighting Terrorism continue? This "New American Century" does not demand a "New American Studies" or a "New American Society". What we face is nothing new. Our citizens were wearying of these senseless wars, but they have rallied following the recent Islamic State beheadings of Westerners, led by the pied pipers of the press to imagine they are viewing some new sort of maleficence.

Citizens of our country may think that relations between our religious sects are more pacific, but all that is gone is that The Crusades (and subsequent edicts) bled off their fervor. Islam, however, suffers from no such restrictions. It may be demode to state the fact that the U.S. finds itself in the middle of a millennial fight between religious groups, but there it is.

Let these Islamic nations drown in a sea of blood and sand, and let the U.S. cease its support of any nation not supporting liberal ideals. The U.S. cannot fight a war when it has no sure friends in the region to whom it may turn. 

Our efforts at war are hopelessly hamstrung. We went to "go get 'em", but we fight conventionally and they do not. We have not learned to fight guerrilla war, and perhaps never will, and we lack the stomach or legitimacy for a broader elimination of the threat. What is left if to staunch our national bleeding. 

The reality is, more terror attacks may occur, but by putting our full efforts into a protective posture we can hopefully stave them off. Every attack in the U.S. gave off signals: the Boston Marathon bombing and the base shootings by Nidal Hassan in Texas are examples. The Washington Navy Yard shooting, though not terrorist, was another example. The intelligence indicators are there, and there is where we should put our resources.

Using all government agencies to focus on the Homeland imparts legitimacy and more importantly, interior lines of defense. Our defense would become concentric and relevant to the reality of the threat. Intel would coordinate with State and Defense, and would become the outer defense. Homeland Security, FBI and Justice, along with local police and intel functions would be the inner defensive ring.

The goals now should be not having our servicemen serving as bullet magnets in some far-flung danger zone. The United States is the zone we should be protecting with all of our might.

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Blogger Ael said...

Cui bono.

Friday, September 19, 2014 at 1:41:00 PM GMT-5  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I've been thinking about all of this long and hard and my sober assessment is as follows:

Short term- Midterm: I agree with you that we should stay home and let IS' neighbors fight this one.

Caveat, the populations of some of IS' neighbors (e.g. SA, Yemen) will join IS and IS becomes bigger and badder. Much upheaval in OPEC sector means much pain and suffering for western economies.

Solution: US does an about face concerning cooperating with Syria (Assad) and Iran. Encourages these countries to fight IS and offers support.

Barriers to solution: 1. Israel. 2. US politicians inability to make (to sell to the People/to admit error) the move given years of bloviating (see axis of evil as well as growing irrational antagonism towards Russia, whose cooperation should be imperative). 3. US preference for COIN as opposed to waging total war (see WW2).

Outcome scenario 1: IS spreads to SA, Yemen and other Arab states. US must increase efforts to stop IS expansion; includes boots on ground. War is fought by half measures over several years. US bankrupts itself and degrades combat effectiveness due to troops and equipment being worn out.

Outcome scenario 2: US maintains arial bombing and advisory role, but no brigade level troop commitment. IS adapts and expands (US "interference" helps IS recruitment and increases sympathy among Arab populace). Economic chaos as SA, etc fall to IS and IS caliphate contains territory from Libya to Turkey.

Long term outcome: IS is a consolidated caliphate comprising most of the M.E. IS attacks Israel and destroys it. IS follows the historic play book of caliphates and attempts to expand into Europe (see Islamic conquest of Spain and invasion of Eastern Europe).

Final analysis: It is in the best interest of Europe to fight and thoroughly defeat IS now before they become stronger rather than a few decades from now. The fight is inevitable. Europe includes Russia as Russia is closer to expanding Islamic extremism than we are (see Turkey and Chechnya, etc). European nations should wage total war against IS now (very lax ROE). Barring European willingness to become involved, the US must make political accommodations/adjustments regarding Russia, Syria and Iran (and by default, Israel) immediately or it must, itself, wage total war in the region.


Monday, September 22, 2014 at 11:46:00 AM GMT-5  
Blogger Lisa said...

Interesting analysis, avedis.

Your p.o.v. recognizes the vast solidarity among the M.E. countries for the IS agenda. I tend to agree.

As per our or EUR's ability to stomach total war, I doubt. You are correct that the playbook of history is there.

It is odd: so many see IS as a one-trick pony, or as ushering in some sort of biblical end days. The rest think the US should muddle about like Keystone Cops.

To me, you're either out, or you're in, 100%. Since it's Europe's backyard, it is they who should commit to the obliteration of IS (if, indeed, this were possible.)

Tuesday, September 23, 2014 at 10:49:00 AM GMT-5  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


IS is what the governments of SA, Yemen, et al claim to be. Life for the avg citizen wouldn't change much under IS *except* under IS the leadership would adhere to the same code instead of shirking it and, something about IS that doesn't get mentioned much, they actually do have a civil services sector that is doing good public works and infrastructure building in their captured territory; something the previous governments did not. So maybe life for true believers is actually materially improved under IS as well as "morally" improved (again, according to the true believers' perspective).

IS has every opportunity to win the hearts and minds of the majority of the Sunni population; we do not - nor do the official governments.

It is a big mistake, IMO, to assume that because we westerners see the head choppings, mass shootings and crucifixions, etc. as unmitigated evil, that the Sunnis do as well. I know that goes against our western liberal fantasy (and associated self-reinforcing PC talk) that all people are the same everywhere and that everyone wants to be a western liberal because history ended and started anew with the advent of said liberalism.....but that's why I say it's just a fantasy.

History has not ended and started anew. Liberalism, humanistic secularism is not appreciated by a huge swath of the globe and never will be because it is perceived as weakness and corruption (and to some extent it is). A mere 100 years ago my paternal ancestors were getting shot, chopped and crucified by this same crew. Heck, I am not that old and I grew up with survivors of that mess. IS is reality not an aberration. The liberalism that connot perceive this is the aberration (from an historical and cultural standpoint). But we just cannot see it and that failure will be our downfall in all of this.


Tuesday, September 23, 2014 at 2:05:00 PM GMT-5  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I want to put a finer point on the above: We are not ever going to win the hearts and minds of these people. Furthermore, they will always see us as the enemy and they *will* come after us. They will have to be destroyed in the most ruthless fashion sooner or later.

Now, lest I appear to be contradicting myself re; the Palestinians and Israel - I do believe that the Mediterranean coast dwelling Arabs are potentially more tolerant and more cosmopolitan. Frankly, I believe that the same is true of the Persians (Iran) should they be given a chance. I would not like to see the window of opportunity to close on building a working relationship with those groups.


Tuesday, September 23, 2014 at 2:14:00 PM GMT-5  
Anonymous Lisa said...

IS is reality not an aberration. The liberalism that cannot perceive this is the aberration (from an historical and cultural standpoint).

Just so. And when you think England only banned hanging and quartering [hanged almost to the point of death, emasculated, disembowelled, beheaded and quartered (chopped into four pieces)] in 1870, and all of the other less codified brutality which continues today, the liberals refusal to see their own indwelling viciousness and disingenuity may also be an aberration ...

But in sad fact, denial, and the ability to think oneself unique and better than one is, is a human failing.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014 at 11:34:00 PM GMT-5  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"But in sad fact, denial, and the ability to think oneself unique and better than one is, is a human failing."

Yep. An out of control ego is a terrible thing.


Wednesday, September 24, 2014 at 2:02:00 AM GMT-5  

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