Obama Says ISIL Is 'Cancer.' But Is the U.S. Ready for More Chemo?


President Obama
Obama / White House

On Wednesday afternoon, President Obama made a statement on the brutal murder of journalist James Foley at the hands of ISIL, a terrorist group with stated plans to establish a new Islamic caliphate over the Middle East. Obama castigated ISIL's radical ideology as something that "no just God would stand for." The president vowed to "do what is necessary to see that justice is done." ISIL, he said, is a "cancer," that the whole world must work to extract.

But if ISIL is a cancer, is the U.S. really ready for another dose of chemotherapy? Have not the last 10 years demonstrated that American military involvement in Iraq is counterproductive and costly?

Sen. Obama understood this—or at least pretended to understand this—when he ran for election in 2008, pledging to withdraw from Iraq and correct a neoconservative foreign policy blunder. Now, of course, President Obama is escalating American bombing of Iraq under the ever-broadening rationale of humanitarianism, fighting evil, etc.

Americans should know by now where this road ends, writes the Cato Institute's Benjamin H. Friedman:

Americans, the president included, need to admit being out of Iraq potentially means letting it burn. The collapse of the fiction that U.S. forces stabilized Iraq before exiting forces us to confront the unpleasant contradictions in U.S. goals there. We want to avoid the tragic costs of U.S. forces trying to suppress Iraq's violence. We want a stable Iraqi federal government and we want Iraqis to live peacefully. Each of those goals conflicts with the others. …

We should know by now that we lack the ability to stabilize Iraq at acceptable cost. We should also know that the primary threat to U.S. security in Iraq is the temptation to try to forcefully run it. Knowing these things means accepting some tragedy in Iraq.

As savage as ISIL may be, there is every reason to think that another War in Iraq—coming on the heels of the last war, which failed miserably to achieve any objective at a reasonable cost, human or financial—would be the greatest tragedy of all.


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  1. “Now, watch this drive.”

    Seriously, David Cameron reportedly canceled his vacation after.the video came out. Obama reportedly made a speech and went golfing.

    1. And yet, somehow the tardos who still clinkg to their cum stained Shepard Fairey “Hope” posters will never make the connection between Bush’s infamous “Now, watch this drive” and the Choco-Nixon dreamboat’s constant vacationing an golfing.

  2. The article suggests two alternatives: America disengages vis-a-vis Iraq and ISIL violently takes over the country. Or, American involvement to suppress ISIL means running the country with unavoidable tragic losses (to us and the Iraqis, presumably). Are these the only options?

    1. Option 3: we encourage European countries to pony up and handle a situation in their relative neighborhood for once.

      1. BWAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!!111!!11!!!

        *wipes tears away from eyes* Oh man, that was a good one! I haven’t laughed that hard in years.

        1. Yeah, it’s a shame that we can’t trust Eurotrash not to start another devastating World War enough to walk away from that obligation we have self imposed.

          1. *Eurotrash not to start another devastating World War *

            Europeans are too weak and feckless to ever start a World War. Anyone with any ambition died between 1914-1945 and apparently left no heirs.

            Unless you’re counting Russians as Europeans.

            I don’t.

    2. Option 4: Obama meets with Congress and decides what the parameters will be for engagement. Congress votes on a use of force with defined limits and a 90 day sunset provision that requires them to keep revisiting the issue to prevent Nam-style escalation.

      1. So, it is okay that we pile up more debt in order to feed the neocon lust for war and the armament makers’ thirst for more crony cash?

        1. *the neocon lust for war and the armament makers’ thirst for more crony cash?*

          So, ISIL are neo-cons?


    3. Well, not creating ISIL in the first place _would_ have been an option.

    4. Option 1A: America comes home and ISIL takes over the job of trying to maintain order at their own expense, while America gets on with our lives.

  3. Question: Didn’t ISIS/ ISIL/ whatever the fuck they’re calling themselves this week originate in Syria? If so, where do you suppose they got their weapons?

    I mean, they couldn’t possibly have gotten them from us. We were only ever going to arm the “good” rebels in Syria, right? There’s no way those weapons could have ever ended up in ISIL’s hands, could they? I mean, the chocolate Nixon and the geriatric “maverick” both said that couldn’t happen.

    1. Are you 12 years of age or 13?

      1. WTF? If you’re implying that only a 12 or 13 year old would believe such an obvious load of horseshit, then my apologies for not using the “/sarc” tag.

        If you’re trying to insult me by implying that my comment was juvenile, I don’t really see what’s sp juvenile about mocking the stupidity of attempting to arm “good” Syrian rebels and claiming that the weapons wouldn’t fall into the hands of the “bad” rebels.

  4. Even terrorist assholes are smart enough to realize that all you have to do is wait for U.S. troops to pull out after the American people tire of intervention and then you are free to do what you want.
    So why “send in the marines” when enough of these terrorists will simply melt into the population, wait until the marines pull out, and then go about their business?

    1. We could have an army of occupation there indefinitely to appease the statists.

      1. It worked in Germany.

  5. Why is it all or nothing? The Kurds are ferocious fighters, just arm them and turn them loose.

    1. Why interfere at all? Why must the US government always be the one to interfere?

      1. Looks like we got us a communist here boys.

        1. I didn’t realize that Reason was a neocon site…

          1. That was sarcasm.

            1. Sarcasm is a lost art me thinks.

      2. Because we like flying and shopping without being blown up or forced to convert to islam at the edge of a sword?

        1. The only people assaulting you in your effort to fly from New York to LA is the State-run TSA.

          1. There are few hijackings for a reason.

            1. Anon E. Mouse|8.20.14 @ 3:26PM|#
              “There are few hijackings for a reason.”

              Are you suggesting TSA has something to do with that?
              If so, you’re going to have a load of ‘proving’ to do; they can’t keep a geriatric plane-hopper off the planes.

              1. While the TSA is a bunch of fucking amateurs, they did manage to keep a total of 1,828 guns off of airplanes in 2013. While the vast majority of these were guns that people simply forget were in their luggage, not all of them were. So yes, as fucked-up as they are, the TSA did actually contribute to airline safety, as much as I dislike saying that.

            2. There are few hijackings because on Sept. 12, 2001, the common wisdom changed from “if someone hijacks your plane be quiet and cooperate” to “if someone hijacks your plane, gang jump the fucker and tear him limb from limb.”

              1. Yep, TSA hasn’t done shit to improve security. Prior to 9/11 there weren’t hardly any US hijackings. That was taken care of after the cubans and lefties gave up with the Air Marshall program – much less intrusive than illegal no fly lists and anal probes.

                1. “Prior to 9/11 there weren’t hardly any US hijackings.”

                  And then 9/11 happened. Unfortunately, it ain’t 2001 anymore.

                  1. 9/11 CHANGED EVERYTHING!

                    1. It did, and to deny this is fucking stupid. It showed terrorists, both State and Non-state, that a small group of dedicated men with minimal funding could change the course of history. In the muslim world, the names of those 19 hijackers will live on for decades, if not centuries. In the muslim world, they’re fucking heroes, and there’s a lot of people like them that want to be heroes.

                2. Could you be more specific about which “Lefties” are responsible for your feeling less safe?

              2. #truth

                1. I was replying to square…not sure why it doesn’t show up that way

              3. “There are few hijackings because on Sept. 12, 2001, the common wisdom changed from “if someone hijacks your plane be quiet and cooperate” to “if someone hijacks your plane, gang jump the fucker and tear him limb from limb.”

                Agreed, but the terrorists adapted their TTPs and switched to explosive devices hidden in common, everyday items, like shoes, toner cartridges, and shampoo bottles. How do passengers defend against an explosive device that blows their aircraft out of the sky?


          1. So the remote possibility of a domestic terror attack somewhere, sometime, means unlimited war whenever POTUS feels like it? Got it.

            1. Unfortunately that’s pretty much the way it has worked since WWII

          2. I suggest you sit down and read up on the number of muslim terrorist attacks that occur around the world on a yearly basis, junior. Or maybe you can sack-up, join the military, travel to some interesting place like the NWFP of Pakistan or Yemen or Somalia, or one of any of a dozen countries, where killing Westerners and non-muslims is a goal to strive to. Until then, go back to your mother’s basement, and STFU.

            1. Above you were talking about dangers to this country, here, that we live in.

              Did you change your mind?

              1. There’s this thing called “international travel”. You might want to look into it.

                1. So now the US gov is responsible for securing all international airspace so that you can pop off to France for shopping trips worry free?

                  Can you please pay for your own security and keep me out of it?

                  1. Are you being obtuse, or just stupid?

            2. Your chance of dying in a terrorist attack in the U.S. is effectively zero. Any American who’s so afraid of terrorists that they want us to play world cop is a pussy.

              1. “Your chance of dying in a terrorist attack in the U.S. is effectively zero” for a fucking reason. If you don’t think terrorism is a real threat, you haven’t been paying attention. In 2013 alone, 11,952 terrorist attacks resulted in 22,178 fatalities (including perpetrator deaths) and 37,529 injuries across 91 countries. Fear had shit to do with anything. You want to see an economic collapse and a REAL police state?; let a dozen real bombs go off in crowded shopping centers or malls in the US.

                1. “In 2013 alone, 11,952 terrorist attacks resulted in 22,178 fatalities (including perpetrator deaths) and 37,529 injuries across 91 countries.”

                  How many outside of the Middle East and surrounding vicinity?

                  1. Few, and that’s exactly the point. Western Nations have better defenses against religious zealots going around chopping off heads and blowing up malls. Without those “better defenses”, there’s absolutely nothing preventing them from doing the same thing anywhere, including here. Without those “better defenses” it’s as easy as getting on an airline, flying into DC, and setting up shop.

                    1. Be honest mouse, you’re one of those fat TSA fucks, aren’t you?

                    2. Nope. Now you be honest. You’re one of those retarded morons that think we should open our borders, and never send our military to fight terrorists, right?

            3. Refresh our memory. How many virgins do you get to play with if you blow yourself up?

      3. Why would selling guns to the Kurds in exchange for some of their oil revenue be “interfering”?

        Sounds like a mutually beneficial market-type transaction to me.

        1. Why should the U.S. government be in the market of selling anything?

          1. It shouldn’t.

            Only a statist would want the government to do such things.

          2. I don’t know. But they are.

            And nothing says it has to be the US government. All the government has to do is not forbid companies that produce arms from selling to them.

            1. Yeah, I have no problem with private individuals selling arms or shipping out to go fight.

              1. What if they’re going to sell arms to and/or fight with ISIS?

                1. What if they’re going to provide arms to ISIS and then go in and bomb them?

        2. Then why not sell to ISIL? They’ll probably pay more.

      4. My inner libertarian sacrilege doesn’t really have a problem with arming the Kurds. Sure they have their own agenda, but they’re the best counter the Middle East has to an IS wielding American weapons. Would definitely be the only state worth a damn in a divided Iraq.

        1. How do you propose arming the Kurds?

          Who is to finance the transaction? You?

          1. Kurds got oil.

            1. We have Taco Bell

              1. Canada has round bacon.

                1. As well as April Wine.

                2. Tragically, that is an urban myth. We do not have round bacon.

      5. I’m not against, in principle, finding out who killed the American, and hunting those people down, through special forces if possible/feasible, or bombs if not (though I’d like that process to have some sort of due process beyond obama’s decision). That said, at the same time, I’m very wary and skeptical of any involvement remaining limited in scope.

  6. Gee, Dr. Obama, maybe you should’ve done something while the cancer was still small and hadn’t metastasized across the entire Middle East.

    But, I know, there were tee times to make.

  7. There is an option. Set some rules. No beheading Americans, no beheading children and sticking their heads on poles in parks, etc. Sort of an American Geneva Convention thing.

    Go and kill Al-Baghdaddy and ISIL. There are only 15,000 of them, and half of those are joining rather than get killed by not joining, plus they get $600 pm. Brutally destroy them. And, say that was done because of the attack on the American journalist, and the attack on the children.

    Then say, as long as Americans and children are left out and you want to fight – go for it. Tell Iraq you’ll have to actually fight this time for your lives.

    1. “There is an option. Set some rules.”

      Yea, I’m pretty sure there are already rules against those things in every country on earth. The problem is the lack of will to enforce those rules. It’s dirty, it’s bloody, and it costs money.

      There’s actually about 50-60 thousand members of ISIS. They generally like the idea of being martyred, so the threat of reprisals doesn’t have that great of an effect. You have to actually kill them, and in order to prevent their deaths from attracting more recruits, you need to kill them in the most violent way possible, wrap their corpses in pig-hides, and crucify them, or something equally as discouraging.

      1. You should buy a plane ticket and kill them yourself!

        1. I have, only I didn’t have to pay for my own ticket.

      2. Refresh our memory. How many virgins do they get to play with in heaven if they blow themselves up?

  8. For once, I agree with Obama! Let these moronic allah worshipers kill each other off. There is NOTHING we can or should do except stay the hell out of it.

    Warning to travelers: go to Muslim countries at your own risk.

  9. At a time when Hamas continues to fire salvos of rockets into Israel while rejecting a ceasefire proposal, the United States has finalized a deal to provide the Palestinian terrorist group’s leading supporter, Qatar, with weaponry worth $11 billion.…..-jihadists

  10. As a government, we don’t *really* care about African problems. We should also stop caring so much about middle eastern problems. It will suck that the price of oil goes up, but I’d rather have my military friends home and alive. I’d rather see electric cars reach cost parity a little sooner (rather than because of subsidies).

    The only thing that will slow terrorism is prosperity and stability. Neither of those things can happen while we are there.

    1. Africa and the middle east have had centuries to develop prosperity and stability, and yet they have, for the most part failed. Every nation on earth has faced similar problems and most have somehow succeeded. The problem isn’t a lack of prosperity or stability, the problem is their culture. Until their culture changes, they’ll be incapable of achieving prosperity or stability. Don’t believe me? Ask your military friends who have been there.

  11. That guy, James Foley, was an enemy of Israel and supporter of Islamic terror –jess like you guys. It didn’t save him and it won’t save you. Your antisemitism and denials about Islamic terror will not save you from them. It didn’t save James Foley or Daniel Pearl.

  12. Chemo? I am honestly surprised that I am apparently the first to suggest radiation treatments.

  13. “If there is a country that has committed unspeakable atrocities in the world, it is the United States of America. They don’t care.” –Nelson Mandela…..005269.cms

  14. Start working at home with Google! It’s by-far the best job I’ve had. Last Wednesday I got a brand new BMW since getting a check for $6474 this – 4 weeks past. I began this 8-months ago and immediately was bringing home at least $77 per hour. I work through this link, go? to tech tab for work detail


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