Iraq

More Aid to the Syrian Rebels Would Not Have Stopped ISIS

The if-only-we'd-intervened-more crowd has a new argument.

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The if-only-we'd-intervened-more crowd has a new argument: If Washington had shipped arms to the rebels in Syria—more arms, that is, than it already gave—it might have stopped the rise of ISIS. Marc Lynch, a political scientist at George Washington University, disagrees:

Wait—you say those are MY friends? Shucks.
DC

In general, external support for rebels almost always make wars longer, bloodier and harder to resolve (for more on this, see the proceedings of this Project on Middle East Political Science symposium in the free PDF download). Worse, as the University of Maryland's David Cunningham has shown, Syria had most of the characteristics of the type of civil war in which external support for rebels is least effective. The University of Colorado's Aysegul Aydin and Binghamton University's Patrick Regan have suggested that external support for a rebel group could help when all the external powers backing a rebel group are on the same page and effectively cooperate in directing resources to a common end. Unfortunately, Syria was never that type of civil war.

Syria's combination of a weak, fragmented collage of rebel organizations with a divided, competitive array of external sponsors was therefore the worst profile possible for effective external support….An effective strategy of arming the Syrian rebels would never have been easy, but to have any chance at all it would have required a unified approach by the rebels' external backers, and a unified rebel organization to receive the aid. That would have meant staunching financial flows from its Gulf partners, or at least directing them in a coordinated fashion. Otherwise, U.S. aid to the FSA would be just another bucket of water in an ocean of cash and guns pouring into the conflict.

Lynch goes on to explain why that sort of coordination would have been just about impossible at the time; to read the rest of his post, go here. Then read this piece by Hisham Safi, which describes how Western assistance to the rebel councils in areas taken from Bashar Al-Assad's control went awry, with the would-be rulers spending more time angling for aid dollars than building institutions that were responsive to local needs and able to withstand ISIS' assaults. And then go here for a reminder that ISIS is "fighting with hundreds of millions of dollars of U.S. military equipment seized from the Iraqi Army who abandoned it." If you suspect that sending more military aid to Syria would have ultimately meant more American arms falling into ISIS' hands, you're not alone.

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  1. I am fascinated by how giving ISIS more arms in Syria would have prevented them from going into Iraq.

    Tell me more, Hillary!

    1. It is my impression that ISIS is being backed by the Saudis. ISIS really began to dominate after Obama abandoned his attempts to provide air support to the rebels which the Saudis were really pushing. My guess is that the Saudis decided to start supplying arms and ammo and logistical support to ISIS directly.

      Thus, the argument goes, if the U.S. had done the Saudis’ bidding, the U.S. could have controlled the outcome, eg “No sawing off people’s heads or eating their hearts if you want our 500 lb bounds chewing up enemy armor”

      But, since the U.S. isn’t involved they have no ability to ameliorate the slaughter.

      1. Nope, ISIS is being funded by the Qataris and the Turks (Erdogan).

        The Saudis are scared shitless by ISIS.

        Definitely certain Saudis support ISIS though and contribute. The government doesn’t though.

        1. Aren’t they having the World Cup in Qatar soon? Do you think we’ll boycott? Would anyone even care!?

          1. world cup is four years away.

            1. And world cop is here today!

              Team America, FUCK YEAH

            2. And the one in Qatar is eight years. Next is Russia.

            3. Fortunately Middle East conflicts have a history of being short lived and ending amicably.

          2. Nobody cared that I boycotted the last World Cup. However not watching soccer is a reward in itself so I plan on continuing. .

            1. I’m with you

          3. First Russia, now Qatar. How about they plan the 2026 World Cup in North Korea?

            1. How about Myanmar!

                1. Prisons?

        2. Nope, ISIS is being funded by the Qataris and the Turks (Erdogan).

          Then why is Turkey withholding water from ISIS?

          Abu Musad, openly threatens of invading Istanbul if Turkey doesn’t open the Ataturk dam and allow water to flow downstream in order to reach ISIS-controlled areas in Iraq.

    2. See because then they would have been content to keep their little party in Syria and wouldn’t have to go to Iraq steal them from the regulars. We’re all playing checkers, while Hillary is playing jacks.

    3. The idea was to give the arms to the non-ISIS groups, not ISIS. OTOH, the “vetted” non-ISIS groups seem to be swearing allegiance to ISIS now that ISIS is winning. On the third hand, I suppose she’d argue that if we had given them the arms earlier, then ISIS wouldn’t have been winning and thus they wouldn’t swear allegiance to them.

    4. She wanted to send arms to the rebels fighting ISIS.

  2. Obama was wise to stay out of Syria despite the lamentations of the McCains and Charles Krauthammers.

    1. Wasn’t Obama prepared to invade Syria even without Congressional authorization? Wasn’t it John Kerry’s off-the-cuff response to an adversarial question that inadvertently prevented the USA from illegally entering into another war?

      1. I don’t recall him threatening a GOP style “invasion” and occupation. He did threaten an Obama style surgical bombing.

        1. He did threaten an Obama Clinton style surgical bombing.

          http://www.cnn.com/US/9808/20/us.strikes.01/

          1. Which is why PB is all gung-ho for Clinton 2016!

            The libertarian’s choice!

        2. Remember when JFK and LBJ got us into Vietnam and Nixon got us out. Or when Reagan sent no ground forces anywhere ever (except that tiny contingent to Grenada that lost no one)? Remember when FDR got us into WWII and Truman dropped two atomic bombs on Japan?

          But you’re right. The GOP are totally the only party that invades and totally fucks up countries…

          1. Don’t forget Truman getting us into Korea and Ike getting us out.

          2. Except for that little Beirut thing. Not a war, war though.

          3. GOP of today = Bush/Cheney/McCain/Romney/Adelson and the warboner club.

            1. First, you didn’t say of today, second Obama murdered the leader of a sovereign country without a declaration of war…

              1. Qaddafi? His own people killed him. Regicide more or less. It was sweet.

                1. He was killed as a result of our intervention.

                2. Thought you said that they were a “surrogate army” of the US, for $500 million.

                  Was the US involvement necessary in Libya or not, do you think? Did it make the end result any better?

                3. By that standard, the execution of Saddam Hussein was regicide, as well. You really are a mendacious fuck.

                4. Turd.Burglar.

            2. Really? I thought you were saying that was the GOP of yesterday, and you were saying that the GOP of today was the Tea Party, which ranges from slightly more skeptical of war than Bush, McCain, and Clinton (but slightly more hawkish than Obama) to much more skeptical of war than Obama.

              1. PB wants to have his Tea Party and drink it too.

                1. PB is felatiating BHO so hard, I am surprised he can type

          4. Truman dropping atomic bombs was probably the most humane thing to do. An invasion of Japan wouldn’t have been pretty.

            Look at the fire bombing campaign LeMay(May be wrong general) pursued against mainland Japan.

        3. Okay, that’s fair.

          But this is still military action without any constitutional formalities such as congressional debate, let alone a declaration of war, right? And when announcing that he wouldn’t strike, didn’t he also insist that he had a right to strike as part of his CiC powers?

          The amount of latitude in making military decisions concentrated in one person should, I think, be occasion for wariness.

        4. He did ask for $500 million to train and arm the rebels, though he didn’t want an invasion the way Clinton and her advisors did.

          The “Obama style surgical bombing” doesn’t seem to have worked out that well in Libya anyway.

          1. Libya was a resounding success. One thug killed using the Libyan people as a surrogate army.

            Cost of $500 million and zero troops.

            1. Killed the leader of a sovereign country that we were not at war with.

              1. Thanks to JFK’S bright ideas Ngo Dinh Diem – leader of a government we were helping in a war – ended up killed in a coup. More smart defense diplomacy.

            2. The current Libya seems to be in quite a bit of chaos right now.

              1. SOP in the Middle East.

                Saddam was the best insurance policy against the Caliphate we had but Bush and Cheney were too stupid to know that.

                1. So was Qaddafi an insurance policy against the chaos we’re seeing right now in Libya, then, and Obama was too stupid to know that? (And, conversely, Reagan was correct to back Saddam as a least worst option back in the day?)

                  1. Reagan had a realistic view in foreign policy. I applaud his negotiations with Gorby. Of course he didn’t listen to Cheney too seriously either. Cheney went full scale nuts sometime later.

                2. I don’t think anyone is defending Bush or Cheney bro…

                3. You called Libya a success but say this. Maybe your plug is in to far?

                  North Africa is a fuck show, and in case you missed it getting rid of dictators doesn’t make the world a better place.

            3. success? We traded the relative stability of Qaddafi for a new wild west. But we did manage to run a gun smuggling op for a while which, as events reveal, was not worth the four lives lost.

            4. Libya was a resounding success. One thug killed using the Libyan people as a surrogate army.

              Do you know what else got killed? The possibility that any single, solitary future leader will ever voluntarily give up nukes like Qadaffi had.

              This forgettable little war actually ended in an underappreciated tragedy.

              1. Libya was a resounding success.

                So the goal all along was to create a haven for Islamic nutjob terrorists to use to spread chaos across North Africa?

                I suspected as much. . . .

            5. Palin’s Buttplug|8.12.14 @ 12:00PM|#
              “Libya was a resounding success. One thug killed using the Libyan people as a surrogate army.
              Cost of $500 million and zero troops.”

              And one ambassador plus several embassy workers!

              1. Not to mention the wonderful message we sent:
                “negotiate with us, and give up you nukes – and we will bomb the shit out of you, arm your rebels and watch as they kill your ass”

                No one will ever negotiate with us in good faith ever again.

                PB you stupid mendacious ass wipe, bumbles blew up what little street cred we had left after shrub. If this is a success, I hate to think what a !@#$up by bumbles would look like.

        5. Palin’s Buttplug|8.12.14 @ 11:41AM|#
          “I don’t recall him threatening a GOP style “invasion””

          Yeah, turd, pedantry is so convincing.

        6. You should ask for an Obama style surgical bombing surgery the next time you need one.

          You’d end up with your kidneys in the trash, your liver chopped to pieces, and your intestines would be using the scalpels to attack your heart. Also, there’d be a dead wedding party next to the operating table.

        7. Surgical style of Obama? Does this mean drone strikes on homes in residential areas killing all and sundry because the home is suspected of having once held someone who might have looked like someone who could have been connected to a terrorist organization? Surgical in that sense, or surgical in the sense of a whole lot of civilians needing surgery after?

    2. LOL

      Obama was wise to press Congress for Syrian intervention, declare that he could undertake the action unilaterally without Congress, “consult” with Congress, and then realize that his little war was less popular than Clamato — and then and only then, back his little ass out after Kerry’s slip gave Russia the opportunity to be a power-broker and gave Obama the fig leaf to change course. Such a wise man.

      1. Clamato is delicious. Especially mixed with cerveza.

        1. Word… That’s my second favorite way to maintain my electrolytes.

          1. I prefer Brawndo

      2. ^This. Obama is a foreign policy failure not because he’s not able to achieve his objective but because he doesn’t know what objectives he’s aiming for. He’s rudderless and that’s why he behaves like a weathervane – first one direction than another.

        Hillary Clinton was right in her comment that our foreign policy needs an organizing principle and “Don’t do stupid things” is idiotic.

        I’d characterize myself as a non-interventionist, so you’d think I’d find Obama’s current position on Iraq acceptable. The problem is he’s created a power vacuum with the manner in which he withdrew from Iraq and with is incredibly ham-handed diplomacy in the ME in general but with the Saudis in particular. He is a fucking idiot.

    3. So you could make the case that he was against it before he was for it?

    4. Obama was wise to stay out of Syria

      He did?

      http://www.reuters.com/article…..OK20120801

      http://rt.com/news/164536-syri…..ed-lethal/

      1. PB rewrites history – news at 11.

    5. And the Clintons, don’t forget.

  3. Bob Corker asked the president a long question that included sharp criticisms of President Obama’s handling of a number of foreign policy issues?including Syria, ISIS, Russia, and Ukraine. Obama answered Corker at length. Then, the president defended his administration’s actions on Syria, saying that the notion that many have put forth regarding arming the rebels earlier would have led to better outcomes in Syria was “horseshit.”

    http://www.thedailybeast.com/a…..esh-t.html

    1. The Blue-on-Blue internecine conflict started earlier than I expected.

      1. Hil-Dog has lost every debate point she has had with Obama. In order to separate herself from his policy she will need to engage in some Romney-style lying like saying Obama “apologized” to everyone.

        1. I bet you’re the kind of guy who would fuck a person in the ass and not even have the goddamn common courtesy to give him a reach-around. I’ll be watching you.

          1. How tall are you? 5’9″? I didn’t know they stacked shit that high!

            1. Sgt. Hartman just works for everything.

              1. Sergeant? What is this, the fucking army? It’s Senior Drill Instructor GySgt. Hartmann to you, maggot! You had best start shitting me Tiffany gold cuff links, or I will definitely fuck you up! Now, disappear, scumbag!

                For some reason they changed the SDI’s name in the movie. In the book, he was named Gerheim.

          2. You’re so ugly you could be a modern art masterpiece!

        2. Or some Romney-style lying of saying that Obama really did want to get a SOFA signed and leave some troops in Iraq– oh wait, Obama has changed his mind and called that no longer a lie, now it’s a lie to say that he wanted the troops to leave.

          1. The revolutionary truth must always be subject to re-interpretation when necessary, comrade.

        3. All the politicians are liars.

          Buttplug, don’t you think it would be best to elect Mitch Daniels to the presidency? He has all these crazy-ass scandals right out there in the open (boomerang wife, LSD dealer in college, budget guy for W) and so this way–instead of trying to defend his reputation against rabid and implacable foes–he’ll be forced to concentrate on difficult, complex, subtle matters of public policy.

          1. I’m for gridlock. It is our best mode of political operation.

            1. Woah woah woah. You’re starting to sound like a libertarian!

              1. briannnnn|8.12.14 @ 12:04PM|#
                “Woah woah woah. You’re starting to sound like a libertarian!”

                No. It’s turd’s semi-weekly attempt at getting people to accept him; lies.

            2. Yeah, but someone has to be elected POTUS. Wouldn’t it best to alternate teams once a decade or so? (The ’90s turned out a lot better than the 2000s, so I’ll count that as a point to Team Blue.)

              1. Dems are a lousy opposition party (see 2001-09).

            3. A lying piece of shit is what you are Weigel. Go follow Robin Williams’ example and hang yourself.

              1. Yeah, he’s all for gridlock except when it comes to free shit.

              2. well, that was uncalled for. Are you really so threatened by a little dissent?

            4. Might be the only thing you’ve ever said I agree with. But, then I don’t totally believe you on this one. I think you want gridlock where it looks like the decision might not be to your liking, and non-gridlock where Obama gets to act according to the will of his latest big donor.

        4. 8% Turd.Burglar.

  4. What’s good for Haliburton is good for America, or something.

    1. “or something”

      I would specify NW Louisiana and Texas as gaining.

  5. So what’s the brilliant Jesse Walker’s idea of stopping ISIS. They ain’t exactly freedom lovers are they. Does Jesse Walker have a serious response to a genocidal caliphate smack dab in the middle of the Middle East? Mocking them isn’t going to save anybody lives you know. I mean these fire worshippers and Christians being killed have a god damn right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness too, right?

    1. Short of re-establishing the Ottoman Empire, there is no stopping them.

      1. ISIS can’t hold territory very long.

        They are to vicious and backward; the local economy will collapse and people will start to die of thirst or famine or exposure.

        Eventually, the local clans will rise up and destroy them. Saddam Hussein was very careful to keep clan leaders placated to keep them supporting his despotic rule. ISIS doesn’t strike me as being that smart.

        So eventually the refugee problem will become so great that one of the neighbors will back some rebel clans in fighting off ISIS, and the hunters will become the hunted.

        This is what happens to Al Queda whenever they take any territory.

        If *I* were dictator for life of the U.S. I would invite the refugees to come here and start a new life. No welfare, but a chance to work and become prosperous in a secure environment.

        1. I agree with everything you said, tarran.

        2. ISIS can’t hold territory very long.

          I wouldn’t be so sure. First, who is going to take it from them? Assad? Maliki?

          Second, they don’t have to be better at governing than the Swiss. Just better than Assad and Maliki.

          Finally, they are sure acting like they know how to hold territory ,and plan to do so:

          http://pjmedia.com/richardfern…..e-two-one/

          Below the fold, there’s maps and everything.

          1. I did some reading and it appears that ISIS aren’t as idiotic as I had assumed.

            Basically, they are trying to establish a stable set of revenues:
            1) Oil from Syrian and Iraqi fields that they are shipping via truck into Turkey

            2) Taxes on local businesses

            However, their fanaticism is at war with this: the massacring of non-Sunnis and people who violate the ISIS variant of islamic law will eventually create a restice population that hates their guts. And their fanaticism will keep them from bending on policies that are pissing off the people they rule.

            I was shocked that they seem to have a endowment of 2 billion dollars. I didn’t realize it could be that high.

            But, I think they will piss it away pretty quickly. The more territory they hold, the more money they have to spend on infrastructure and logistics and fighters. Their legal system will really get in the way of capital accumulation, so they will need to import the equipment they use. Their fanaticism makes it very unlikely they will work well with outside technicians.

            So they may be militarily strong, in the short term, but in the long term they will either moderate or die.

            1. We sometimes forget we don’t have to fight everyone who is wrong. Usually their wrongness is their biggest foe.

          2. Second, they don’t have to be better at governing than the Swiss

            NOBODY IZ!!!!

        3. “””””If *I* were dictator for life of the U.S. I would invite the refugees to come here and start a new life”””””

          Good thing you are not. I don’t want refugee ISIS and the other crazies in the US, we have enough already.

          Invite enough Middle Easterners into the US and you get the Middle East in the US.

      2. Short of re-establishing the Ottoman Empire, there is no stopping them.

        Good thing we broke that up!

        Oh wait.

        It’s kinda sad we’ve managed to fuck up the only peace that region’s ever known.

        1. That’s not accurate. The Romans managed to subdue the region, after putting down a few revolts with increasing ferocity. Not that I’m advocating anything here.

          1. Pre-Islam doesn’t count

            1. The Jews were the Muslims of the day. At least the more radical ones.

        2. To be fair, the Ottoman Empire had been the sick man of Europe for a couple of hundred years.

      3. there is no stopping them.

        So we should either learn Arabic or prepare to die? Once they have killed all the Jews they will settle down and allow us to live in peace? How in the fuck are oppressive, un-free, backwards tyrants so unstoppable?

        While I wouldn’t claim to know the appropriate way to stop them, of course we could. They have so many negatives which can’t be overcome. Technology? They produce very little. Industry? The same. They don’t really even drill their own oil but they can’t be stopped?

        We lack the cultural confidence to stop them, I agree, but that has nothing to do with them being “unstoppable”.

        1. Sticks and stones may break my bones, but nukes from orbit are forever.

        2. doesn’t appear to be much danger in their killing all the Jews.

          1. Well, Iran will shortly have the right tool for the Jew-killing job. Iran and ISIS aren’t exactly friends, I know.

            But ISIS and some of the Paki Taliban are buds now, and the phone lines from the Paki Taliban to “certain elements” of the Paki government, which has nukes, are always open.

            Just sayin’, is all.

        3. My comment is not meant to imply that we should try to stop them, only that we surely could if we really wanted to do so.

          1. Sure we could stop them if we wanted to. That would require a massive troop commitment and a 20-30 year occupation. Do you think we have the money or political will to do that? I don’t. And even if we did, it would be a waste of lives and money to do so.

        4. How in the fuck are oppressive, un-free, backwards tyrants so unstoppable?

          When you have no qualms about killing anyone who stands in your way, you can accomplish quite a bit.

    2. So what’s the brilliant Jesse Walker’s idea of stopping ISIS.

      I don’t have a plan. Do you?

      1. You’re not allowed to criticize unless you’ve got a better idea! Everyone knows that!

      2. Massive food-aid for the citizenry they count as their base. Huge shipments of cookie dough, pizza, Snapple, and Cheezy-poofs will turn them into grateful, lethargic, sex-crazed diabetics who are immune from radicalization and piety.

        1. Uh I think you forgot to include porn and viagra in your humanitarian aid package. Not sure that cheezy poofs alone are enough to create a sex crazed populace.

        2. I am considered a radical by my political betters and I am a lethargic sex-crazed person

      3. Here are my plans, pick any:

        * Back the restoration of the Ottoman Empire.
        * Back the restoration of the Byzantine Empire.
        * Offer statehood to one or more countries (or “country,” in the case of Kurdistan).
        * Tell Europe that we’re not doing this anymore, enjoy.
        * Annex the whole region and plunder it for its oil wealth.
        * Continue to muck about, blowing shit up on occasion, and hope that we don’t end up generating enough hate for another domestic terrorist attack.
        * Allow a wholesale conflict to resolve the problems there, once and for all, intervening only to prevent intervention by countries outside the region.
        * Nuke the site from orbit.

        1. * Tell Europe that we’re not doing this anymore, enjoy.

          I’m a huge fan of this one.

          1. It’s actually my favorite, too, and I also think it works for another conflict.

            1. It’s actually my favorite, too, and I also think it works for another ever other conflict.

              ftfy

              1. Fuck, I fucked up the fix.

                1. Well, I dunno, I’m not sure I want Europe to be World Cop. I’d rather it be us than them, if there must be one. But, certainly, I like the idea of Europe being Europe Cop. It’s they who have the real interests in the Middle East and Eastern Europe, after all.

                  1. Europe doesn’t have any forces to be world cop.

                    1. Step #1 in the Europe Plan: Re-fucking-arm.

                      Germany, France, and the UK actually have some military, and they obviously have vast military potential. Sorry, the subsidizing of your social welfare extravaganza is coming to an end. We’re still friends, and good luck with Russia and Islam.

                    2. Every time Germany re-arms, we get another world war. Have you learned nothing!?

                    3. I’ve learned something. Next time, we stay out of it.

                    4. If had not gotten involved in the first one … we would have not had to fight the second.

                    5. No Europe can be the the world’s refugee camp. Fuck it.

        2. * Annex the whole region and plunder it for its oil wealth.

          I’ve been saying that for years. But no one wants to be an imperialist anymore. That brand has been ruined.

      4. Jesse Walker|8.12.14 @ 11:53AM|#
        “I don’t have a plan. Do you?”

        I do.
        Let the people being threatened take care of the problem.

        1. They’re threatening us. We can and should take care of them.

      5. Yep, I thought so. You’ve got no plan. Reason has no plan. This is the kind of serious thinking I’m coming to expect from you folks. At least try and do better than just belittling ISIS from afar. They do have 25,000 folks surrounded on a mountain and exterminated scores of them already.

        I’m no expert, but ISIS probably will have to be defeated by putting “boots on the ground”. Maybe we can arm the Kurds well enough so that they can defeat them. If they can’t defeat them, however, an international coalition of the willing should go in there and kill them, and occupy the space until the locals can manage the area themselves. If it takes us 100 year of being there, so be it.

        What would you do if you’re in charge Jesse Walker? We’re in a libertarian moment or something, and Rand Paul might could be President. How would you advice him my man?

        1. If it takes us 100 year of being there, so be it.

          So you have no plan either.

        2. If they can’t defeat them, however, an international coalition of the willing should go in there and kill them, and occupy the space until the locals can manage the area themselves. If it takes us 100 year of being there, so be it.

          This is “serious thinking”?

          Rand Paul might could be President. How would you advice him my man?

          I’d tell him this isn’t our fight. I don’t object to purely humanitarian assistance like those food and water drops, but otherwise he should let the locals deal with it.

          1. Hey man, I said I’m no expert. However, there does seem to be international consensus that ISIS must be destroyed. They’re so bad the Vatican supports destroying them.

            The locals aren’t winning man. They can’t cut it yet. They need more than humanitarian aid. They need weapons and probably our air support, at the very least. If that doesn’t work, we’re going to have to wipe them out ourselves. All justified in the name of Liberty.

    3. Are you back from Syria already, Lyle? When do you ship out to Iraq?

      1. Excuse me Jordan, but I have every right as an American to ask my military to serve wherever I god damn want them to serve.

    4. “these fire worshippers and Christians being killed have a god damn right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness too, right?”

      I don’t recall the Declaration of Independence being a statement of Planetary Annexation.

      1. Liberals misunderstand the phrase “logical fallacy;” they think using logic is a fallacy.

      2. Ah yeah, liberty can all exist within the borders of the United States. That’s just brilliant.

        1. only not all

    5. Mocking them isn’t going to save anybody lives you know.

      And wetting your pants 15,000 miles away won’t strengthen them.

      1. I’m not wetting my pants, but the people on that mountain are wetting their pants, and worse dying.

  6. I think we should wait until these crazy sumbitches take over every last country on Earth and are massing on the Canadian and Mexican borders before we do anything about it.

    Also, if George Bush’s crazy cowboy vision would have been followed, we would have already taken out Iran and Syria, so there’d be no ISIS.

    1. C-
      Almost a Gentlemen’s C, but not quite. Lacked the requisite effort.

    2. ISIS = radical Islam. So there will be no “taking them out”.

      Nothing stopped Bush from a large scale war in the Middle East except his failures in Iraq.

      1. Because oil profiteering! 9/11 was an inside job!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    3. “”””Also, if George Bush’s crazy cowboy vision would have been followed, we would have already taken out Iran and Syria, so there’d be no ISIS”””

      Iran has nothing to do with ISIS and Syrian government is fighting ISIS.

  7. My plan doesn’t involve stopping ISIS. It would involve the creation of vast numbers of cheap cruise missiles, with a few missile carriers to launch them from.

    ISIS attacks the US? Vast numbers of cheap cruise missiles fall upon them.

    There. That’s my plan.

    1. It would involve the creation of vast numbers of cheap cruise missiles,

      Obviously a pipe dream. Government doesn’t do anything cheap.

          1. CruiseX. See what I did there?

              1. Give ’em the right address, a phone number, and you get guaranteed delivery!

              2. There’s no seX in FedEx?

      1. “Cheap” being relative, of course. We can leave off the pinpoint accuracy, and even any range beyond that needed to get from the Mediterranean to, say, the Iraq/Syria border. Really, more like an upgraded V-1 than anything else.

  8. the Hillary rehab tour is underway. By spring of 2016, no one will remember that she worked for the very administration she’s tossing under the bus.

    1. The Emo-Progs hate her. She is too “Wall Street” for them.

    2. She’s really a very poor campaigner. I’ve been stunned by the series of missteps she’s made. This latest seems to me to be ill-timed. She has a long time to distance herself from the administration, after all.

      1. I agree. All she had to do was quite literally nothing and she’d be the dem candidate 2016. Opening her mouth just gives her more chances to fuck something up beyond repair; at this rate, by 2016 there’ll be enough fuckups that she won’t be able to run for mayor of bumfuck, wherever.

      2. you act like the negatives will matter. Gradually, the Obama dogwashers are finding it more and more convenient to cast a stone. And where will they move their allegiance to? Not Rand or anyone with else with an R next to his name.

        1. Overexposure is actually a huge problem for candidates. The smart move, since she’s so well-known, would have been to have waited until the campaign season really got going. Yet this supposedly READY-TO-BE-SERVED (is that right?) candidate makes mistake after mistake after mistake.

          She could end up being the nominee, I guess, but I bet another candidate ends up wiping her head on the floor. There are a few possibilities and, no, none of them are fake Indians.

          1. There are a few possibilities and, no, none of them are fake Indians.

            but damnit, I really want Warren to beat her, just for the humiliation factor.

            1. They could run on the Totally Inept, Unqualified, Inexperienced, Venal, Dishonest, Lesbian Lovers ticket.

              1. They could run on the Totally Inept, Unqualified, Inexperienced, Venal, Dishonest, Lesbian Lovers ticket.

                Looking at the last pres election cycle, it appears to work every time. Minus the lesbian lovers part. That might hurt considering their appearances, but their qualifications in the other areas outweigh that.

                1. Yes, but gay is so chic right now.

                  I rather suspect that most Americans are thinking–some denying the thought but having it anyway–that more of the same might not be such a great idea.

            2. Sorry, but I like the country too much for the possible outcome that would risk.

          2. Who are the other possibilities? Joe Biden? A joke; even most democrats think he’s pretty much insane. Weigel’s preferred candidate Brian Schweitzer? Not in a million years; America wouldn’t know Brian Schweitzer from Albert Schweitzer. Who else is even running?

            1. Who are the other possibilities? Joe Biden?

              I’m honest-to-god voting for Joe Biden if Rand isn’t the R nominee.

              1. wouldn’t we have to? i mean. comedy gold.

            2. Castro is the Hispanic Obama, which could work. And I’m not sure Biden is any more of a joke than Clinton. She’s really accomplished nothing except padding the resume.

              I once thought Mark Warner might be a dark horse, but it looks like he’s not running. There are some others, too, almost all of which have better backgrounds and experience than Clinton.

              What’s interesting is that you get the feeling that, like in 2012, major candidates aren’t playing, because they feel the result isn’t good–either a loss or a win during a shit economy.

              Still quite a while before this all starts to gel.

              1. It’s only natural that a guy with the named Hussein should be followed up with one named Castro (not that these names make me laugh or anything ;))

                1. He’ll get the commie vote while denying he’s a communist! Perfect!

              2. Pro Libertate|8.12.14 @ 12:43PM|#
                …”Clinton. She’s really accomplished nothing except padding the resume.”

                Uh, I’m pretty sure she’s taken the gold in the Coat-tail Riding event.

                1. Yes, one must acknowledge her skill. Pretty good for an ex-Republican.

            3. Cory Booker! Young, um…. “melanin-enhanced” half-term senator from an impossibly crooked Blue state. It’s a can’t miss formula!

              1. And no Negro dialect!

      3. I think she “looks great on paper” (from the mainstream, non-libertarian point-of-view). Look: long-suffering wife, U.S. Senator, Secretary of State, intimately familiar with all the corridors of power. Truly, a woman of experience. And, even if we don’t like to admit it, we really could get two, two, TWO Clintons for the price of one.

        But, on the other hand, isn’t she terribly unlikeable? The robotic and stilted speech, the gaffe-parade, the many scandals (petty, significant, and imagined), the voice, the appearance, the constant presence in the last quarter century of our public life?

        I can’t wait to see Bernie Sanders or Martin O’Malley or Elizabeth Warren or Kamala Harris make a run…

        1. What experience? First Lady is meaningless, she only got the Senate seat because of being married to her husband, and she was a shitty SoS.

          How is she any different from George W. Bush, for that matter, in the fact that she has ridden on someone else’s coattails the whole way?

          I leave out her lack of charisma, honesty, character, etc.

          1. hehe, you used “riding” with a Clinton.

          2. I leave out her lack of charisma, honesty, character, etc.

            What difference, at this point, does it make?

            1. . . .lack of accountability. . . .

          3. She’s been in conversation with White House Staff and enmeshed in the actual executive decision-making process since 1993. A unique perspective to be sure.

            Whether “unique” = “valuable” is left as an exercise for the reader.

            1. So have some low-level flunkies at OMB.

      4. Pro Libertate|8.12.14 @ 12:11PM|#
        “She’s really a very poor campaigner. I’ve been stunned by the series of missteps she’s made.”

        I don’t think it’ll matter. She’s D and it’s a ‘woman’s turn!’

  9. What? No love for the excellent pic and alt-text?!

    1. The comic book is nothing like the TV series – Isis was fighting a villain with actual superpowers, instead of a crooked real estate agent or whatever.

      1. “In today’s episode, the Mighty Isis matches her mystical powers against the wickedness of Arthur Wilson, a local accountant secretly embezzling from the local Rotary Club”

        1. “Sorry, toots, the budget only allows one superpowered being per episode. Perhaps you would like a shorter skirt?”

  10. Auric:

    Is any part of your hiking route near a back country airfield or clearing that a helicopter could make it in to? If so you could visit a local airport and ask if any pilots would be willing to make a supply drop to you.

  11. While people have a tendency to lump what they call ‘intervenshunists’ into one pile of undifferentiated, disposable policy-making, there are some interesting angles to the Obama/Hilary foreign policy approach that are worth looking at more closely:

    – Notable: they seem to have a desire to BOTH micromanage world events, but also do so ‘from afar’, with the greatest insulation from any accusations of responsibility for outcomes.

    Supporters (Buttplug?) tend to tout the idea that they ‘do these things better’ because they avoid high costs/ommitments. These same people tend to avoid any actual discussion of policy outcomes as being ‘secondary’ to the method of intervention; all outcomes are BOOOOOSH!!! anyway, so who cares.

    The flaws with this approach are many; mainly in that the low barrier to entry means the US tends to find itself meddling in many issues, yet the manner of influence – money, guns, occasional airstrikes – tend to be ineffective in delivering outcomes.

    like other policies preferred by democrats (i.e. “throwing money at problems”), when they encounter the inevitable failure of their policies, they do not reconsider the course of action itself, but rather simply argue they had not done *enough*.

    My read on this is that it is insincere: if they ‘could have’ gone bigger, they would have. but they didn’t. They simply want to say, ‘we did the right thing; it was a matter of ‘how much’. its just an excuse, not an honest assessment of their policy ideas.

    1. Supporters (Buttplug?) tend to tout the idea that they ‘do these things better’

      I think you’re using the wrong word there; You’re looking for “fanatic,” or “zealot,” or (my fav) “supplicant.”

      1. Or, “idiots”, “morons”, “sycophants”, “useful idiots”, . . . .

    2. You can really feel Gilmore pining for the days when we have really costly and ‘effective’ interventions instead of this lightweight stuff.

  12. Did all the writers at Reason die or did they all go on a cruise?

    1. Death is a kind of journey

      1. Death,
        Exciting and new.
        Come aboard,
        And cease to exist.

        1. *blinks twice, then rises to begin thunderous applause*

            1. “Its Expecting You”

              1. Now that is dark. It’s Mr. Death from the village.

                1. I totally wanted to bang that mud-covered aussie post-apocolyptic tribal slut.

                  And then sell all the other kids into Tina-Turner-slavery

                  I was a cynical 12 yr old.

  13. The comic book is nothing like the TV series – Isis was fighting a villain with actual superpowers, instead of a crooked real estate agent or whatever.

    1. Reposted it above.

    2. But how was her rack?

      1. I dunno, but check out the rack of Morticia from the Addams Family:

        http://fc07.deviantart.net/fs2…..tasies.jpg

  14. The Neocons apparently have a crystal ball we can’t see or use and it lets them see alternate worlds. Maybe sending the rebels arms would have hurt ISIS, but it’s impossible to know. Maybe those rebels, who are kind of bad at fighting, would have just ran away and the weapons would have ended up in ISIS hands JUST LIKE IN IRAQ. Arming the Kurds fighting ISIS at least makes some sense they have a proven track record of kicking ass.

    1. There are Kurds in Syria. But THOSE Kurds (who are barely different than their Kurdistan counterparts) were considered terrorists by our fucking brilliant and mostly idiotic intelligence community.

      1. The PKK is bad, and the Syrian Kurds are ‘affiliated’ with them. This is a case where we should just not care about who’s affiliated with what. It’s not like Turkey’s a friend anyways.

        1. Yes, fuck that Middle-earth sounding Muslim spastic called Erdogan.

  15. In general, external support for rebels almost always make wars longer, bloodier and harder to resolve…

    Just ask the British in 1781. Ba-zow!

  16. Had this disastrous mess been Bush’s the socialist progressive media douche-tool sucking the pooper of the current admin would be shitting and puking all over themselves by the hour monthly. The headlines would be screaming nonstop, “THE WORLD IS FALLING APART! SAVE US, DEMOCRATS! SAVE US FROM THESE EVIL, PLANET-DESTROYING RIGHT-WINGERS!”

    1. Yep, the lap-dog press is really on top of this disaster.

  17. Phrasing!

  18. On the bright side, it looks like Maliki is going step down. If he’s replaced and the Sunnis stop being angry, ISIS is up a creek in Iraq.

  19. The Kurds are the metaphorical Libertarians of the Middle East.

    1. There seems to be a lot socialism, but that was true of Israel too and is less every year.

    2. The Kurds are the metaphorical Libertarians of the Middle East.

      I’m not sure about this, but the Kurds surely have been consistently reliable and reasonable throughout this clusterfuck. Advocating for their own state while cooperating with Baghdad and Washington. Keeping the peace within their own tribes and constructing something that looks like a civil society in their own territory. They certainly treat women and minority groups with a degree of respect not found in other places in the ME.

      If nothing else we need to assist them and work to ensure they don’t suffer under ISIS or what comes after ISIS.

      1. If nothing else we need to assist them and work to ensure they don’t suffer under ISIS or what comes after ISIS.

        Something championed by the late Christopher Hitchens.

  20. The Pax Americana is dead, and good riddance. Maybe it was supposed to calm the world, weed out aggression. It worked too well. Europe basically gave up on life. Meanwhile, a fraction of the world’s population has had the opposite reaction to the Pax. Their aggressor response has increased beyond madness. They have become… well, they’ve killed most of the people they meet outside of their group. And not just killed… they’ve done things…

    1. +1 Bad TV show good movie.

      1. “Bad TV show”

        You’re dead to me.

  21. While it may be true that “More Aid to the Syrian Rebels Would Not Have Stopped ISIS”…

    … it remains possible that world peace may be achieved in our lifetimes….

    … by Steven Segal and his Electric Guitarspeaking the Language of the Gods

    Don’t get me started on the Russian “Humanitarian Convoy“, designed expressly for the purpose of instigating a wider military conflict by inserting Russian personnel in between the Ukrainians and rebels.

    Now, if they could only put Steven Segal in there as well…

  22. What if the aid had gone instead to Assad, as my friend Bob advised? He seemed at the time like he had a pretty good case, & subsequent events haven’t made his judgment seem any worse.

    1. Bob’s not very clever.

      Besides, the US only underwrites dictators who have the ability to make peace with Israel AND keep their own radicals in line.

      Assad is neither. And he’s a dick.

      1. Did the death of that politician make the world a better place, or a worse one?

    2. US foreign policy = we’re against whoever is in power at the moment. As soon as we install a new leader we’re against him too.

  23. Iraq under Hussein was not a rose garden. Given that we went in and fucked it up completely. If we, as a nation, broke it do we owe it to the people whose lives we have fucked over to fix it?

    Disclaimer, would prefer to abandon ALL the bases overseas and bring ALL the troops home. Just looking at the situation in Iraq from the standpoint of being responsible for fixing what you break. Then again not sure how you fix today’s Iraq. The US did create the current crisis in this case.

    1. Say the answer to the first question is “No”…

      … and leaving aside to what degree the status quo is “our creation” versus “a foreseeable consequence of various actions, including the way we left iraq in 2011…”

      The fact that we DO NOT have any particular obligation to stabilize Iraq does not mean there may not be some reason in our interests for doing so.

      Its just that no one has articulated that reason. Yet. From a political perspective, I’d guess they’ll take their sweet time about doing so as well.

      So far, Obama has stuck US forces back into the fray behind the claim that such actions are justified for ‘humanitarian’ reasons.

      The question is, how long do we expect them to keep saying that, versus saying our reason for continued military action is something to do with the risks ISIS presents… to the Kurds… or the US… or ‘long term stability’…or whatever.

      i expect they will allow this to drag out until the conventional narrative shapes itself, and Obama never has to come out and state explicitly what the Casus Belli is *this time*

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