Americans: Dubious About War But Ready to Fight ISIS—Just Not With Ground Troops

Public opinion, military action, and ISIS.


DC Comics

Was it really as recently as July that I could write a column headlined "The Public Turns Against War"? This week an NBC/Wall Street Journal poll has 61 percent of American voters agreeing that military action against ISIS is in the national interest; just 13 percent say it isn't. The same survey shows a sudden growth in the number of Americans who think the U.S. should be more active around the world: It's 27 percent now, compared to 19 percent in April. That comes on the heels of a Pew poll last month where 31 percent of Americans said they think the U.S. does too little to solve the world's problems, sharply up from 17 percent last November. What happened to the anti-interventionist moment?

The short answer is that this isn't as severe a shift as it might initially seem. Both surveys still show more Americans wanting the U.S. to be less active, not more active, around the world. (The margin is 40–27 in the NBC/Journal poll, 39–31 in Pew.) So while the McCain types are more numerous now than they were before the beheadings of James Foley and Steven Sotloff, they are still clearly outnumbered in the U.S. at large—though not, alas, in the federal government.

Furthermore, even when I wrote my earlier article there were exceptions to the general anti-war mood, which I noted. While the popularity of the drone war was dropping, for example, Americans who favored drone strikes against suspected terrorists abroad still outnumbered Americans who were opposed. People were more willing to risk a robot than to risk a soldier, more willing to kill from the air than to put boots on the ground.

It is thus no surprise that while a majority in the NBC/Journal poll wants to hit ISIS with military force, only 34 percent want to send combat troops into action. Similarly, a recent CNN survey showed 76 percent of the country favoring airstrikes against ISIS but 61 percent opposing ground troops. This is not far from the mood I described in July:

While there's no enthusiasm for sending combat troops back to Baghdad, that Times/CBS survey showed 51 percent of the country supporting President Barack Obama's decision to send in military advisors—a sign that it's possible to sell an intervention if you can convince people it's limited. (When he announced his plan, Obama insisted that the advisors were not being sent into combat.) And 56 percent supported the use of unmanned drones in Iraq. "I understand he wants to fight terrorism," one participant in the poll said, "but send in robots, drones. Don't send in our troops. Our men and women are dying for what?"

What lessons should you draw from all this? Here are three:

1. While it's true that the public is more willing to intervene abroad than it was a few months ago, it's important not to forget how much the baseline has changed. Quoting my July column again:

Late last year, the Pew Research Center released one of its periodic surveys of American attitudes about foreign policy. Fifty-two percent of the country, a record high, endorsed the idea that "the U.S. should mind its own business internationally and let other countries get along the best they can on their own." Only 38 percent disagreed. This marked a striking change: Even in 1976, a year after the fall of Saigon, the people who disagreed with the statement narrowly outnumbered the ones who agreed with it….

I was going to make a joke about a national-security blanket, but for once he isn't dragging that thing around.
Charles M. Schulz

In 2014, for the first time in the 12 years that Gallup has been asking the question, a plurality of Americans said it was a mistake to send troops to Afghanistan after 9/11. In that case the margin was very narrow—49 percent to 48 percent—but when it comes to Iraq the numbers are overwhelming. According to a New York Times/CBS News poll released last month, three quarters of the country regret the Iraq war. Even the troops are inclined to agree: In a Washington Post/Kaiser Family Foundation survey released this spring, half the veterans of the Iraq and Afghan wars said the invasion of Iraq wasn't worth it. Only 44 percent said it was.

2. Generally speaking, persuading the public to support an intervention means getting them to believe not just that American lives are at risk, but that war will not put many more American lives at risk. The beheadings have evidently convinced a lot of my countrymen that ISIS is a threat, but not such a threat that they're willing to send in ground troops.

Given what it would take to eradicate ISIS, it's not hard to imagine ways the hawks could overreach here. There certainly isn't anything in the new polls that suggests Americans are eager to engage in another nation-building mission. Public opinion could turn on a dime if the war becomes a quagmire.

3. In the meantime, some politicians who ordinarily oppose foreign intervention have been watching the polls and trimming their sails. And by "some politicians," I mean the Kentucky quasi-libertarian Rand Paul, who evidently has decided to lead from behind this time.

When the presidential primaries get rolling, the ISIS intervention will be something Paul can point to when he wants to persuade Republican voters that he isn't a knee-jerk peacenik—and if he can triangulate by comparing the limited war he wanted to the long slog we got, that might work in his favor too. But this could also be the flip-flop that wrecks his chance to position himself as an early critic of an ill-fated intervention. Barack Obama was able to do something in 2008 that John Kerry could never do in 2004: tell voters he opposed the Iraq war from the beginning. Rand Paul better hope he didn't just turn himself into the John Kerry of 2016.

NEXT: What Destiny Tells Us About the Future of Video Games

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  1. Aren’t there some rebels out there we can arm to fight ISIS?

    1. There are the ones who were against us before they were for us, who then turned against us again, but now are once again for us.

      I think those are the ones we’re looking for.

      1. Absolutely nothing.
        Obo sees all and knows all! 3D chess master!
        (can we hope Putin will save his sorry ass again?)

        1. Scams within scams within scams.

            1. First thing Obama should’ve done was hire a mentat. His house is the laughingstock of the Landsraad.

    2. Fist, we send poisonous snakes to kill the ISIS, then we send giant lizards to kill the snakes, then we send monkeys to kill the lizards, and then winter comes, and monkeys freeze to death.

      Oh wait. It doesn’t get cold in Iraq. Perfect plan, foiled!

      1. Add blue barracudas and you’ve got Legends of the Hidden Temple

  2. Send Blackwater

    1. It could be their community service.

    2. You mean Constellis Holdings?


  3. Barack Obama was able to do something in 2008 that John Kerry could never do in 2004: tell voters he opposed the Iraq war from the beginning.

    Obama only opposed the war because at the time he wanted to join his plot with Tony Rezko’s plot on one side of his property and Saddam Hussein’s plot on the other side. CONSPIRACY.

    1. “and Saddam Hussein’s plot”

      I knew I saw that mustachioed motherscratcher selling kabobs in Hyde Park!

  4. When Isis was a Saturday morning cartoon in the 70s, the car she and her boyfriend or whatever drove was a Thing. How bad-ass is that? They should bring that car back. It’s like having your own Rat Patrol assault car.

    1. If ISIS really wanted to be even more scarier, they would design armored vehicles that look like the bat mobile, only with rocket launchers, and then drive those around in the desert with their flag on them.

      Then the government could pretend that they’re battling super villains instead of just plain old terrorists.

      1. I didn’t mean that ISIS should bring the car back. I meant Volkswagen.

    2. I’d say make a drinking game out of counting the current regulatory violations in a Thing but that’s a sure path to alcohol poisoning.

      1. Look, if the regulatory environment prevents the Thing from coming back, then the regulatory environment needs to go. It’s that simple. . .like the Thing itself.

  5. I’m on the fence until we find out what the millennials think about this.

    1. Well, it’s like, like I dunno, like Obama, he’s sort of like cool and so like Bush he wasn’t that cool, so maybe it’s like ok now to get the terrorists… what? like someone is texting me on my iPhone, I gotta go…

      1. You forgot to show off the new tat and then gripe about KEMIKULZ from KORPARASHUNS!

  6. I feel like a Johnny-One-Note, but why can’t we just kill all the brown people? Sure, there might be some innocent people in there, but at least we’re sure we got the right ones this time!

    1. poe’s law

      1. I mean, we could kill all of the black, yellow, red, and ginger people too. Then it will just be a master race of peaceloving European Americans. Wait, no southern Europeans, too swarthy…and we’ll definitely have to kill the Russians, I mean, they’re invading Ukraine. Then again, let them, the Urals aren’t even a real place.

        1. …and ginger people too.

          You can not kill that which has no soul.

          1. They have souls. Their freckles are the images of the souls that they have stolen.

  7. So what we’re saying is that the general public is still just as gullible and easily duped as ever, it just takes a little more trickery on the part of our dear leaders to lead them into yet another fucked up situation?

    Sounds about right.

    1. Nah – TEAM RED is more generally supportive of using military force, and TEAM BLUE will just follow whatever the Lightworker wants to do.

    2. I think it’s a bit like “Americans are in favor of reducing the scope of government and government spending” right up until you seriously propose doing it.

      In other words “Hands of My Intervention!”

      1. Does a big knife and a camera count?

      2. Well, Isis from the old TV show had the following powers:

        Isis demonstrated numerous powers that manifested when the need arose. These included flight, super speed and super strength (to a level comparable to Superman and Wonder Woman), the ability to make objects levitate, the ability to hold back elements such as rocks and water, the ability to change the molecules of inanimate objects to allow people to pass though them, the ability to act as a human lightning rod, remote viewing, and (at her power’s maximum) the ability to stop and reverse time. To activate these powers, Isis usually is shown reciting a rhyming chant (the most frequent being “Oh zephyr winds that blow on high, lift me now so I can fly!”). The medallion Andrea Thomas uses to change into Isis also gives her apparent limited powers even when in her non-Isis form, as she is shown communicating telepathically with her pet crow Tut and engaging in minor mind control even without changing. She also received a superior hand-to-hand and weapons combat skills from the goddess.

          1. I’m not sure why they haven’t.

            1. She is only interested in intervention in Egypt.

              1. Last report she was working in hotel marketing in Hawaii (good pay in that). Also, she’s 64 years old – not so limber.

                1. Do you think she tells people to back off, she’s fucking Isis?

  8. I just ask people, “Since 1992, what improvements has military intervention made in the Middle East?” And I get either a blank expression or a “Yeah, your right”.

    1. And it only cost us a trillion bucks to accomplish absolutely nothing.

      What’s the plan?

      Kill people!

      Good plan.

      1. [Blackadder is informed that a German spy is stealing battle plans]
        General Melchett: You look surprised, Blackadder.
        Captain Blackadder: I certainly am, sir. I didn’t realise we had any battle plans.
        General Melchett: Well, of course we have! How else do you think the battles are directed?
        Captain Blackadder: Our battles are directed, sir?
        General Melchett: Well, of course they are, Blackadder, directed according to the Grand Plan.
        Captain Blackadder: Would that be the plan to continue with total slaughter until everyone’s dead except Field Marshal Haig, Lady Haig and their tortoise, Alan?
        General Melchett: Great Scott! Even you know it!

    2. Good idea. I’ll have to try it out.

  9. So if we get a YouTube video of Janet Yellen cutting someone’s head off, will Americans finally get serious about federal spending?

    1. She’d need to get punched in an elevator for that.

  10. Forget Scarab, I wanna know if Isis’ power can defeat the evil of those side-fuselage mounted jet engines. American is *still* flying their shitty MD-80s years and years after announcing they were replacing them. Gotta remember the earplugs on those flights in case one ends up in the back.

  11. If this week has proved anything its that most people don’t give a damn about almost anything until they see a video of it. Then it becomes a crisis.

    1. Janay-nay!

    2. I’d made a similar point as well. If those journalists were taken out w/ suicide bombers, this wouldn’t have moved so far so fast.

  12. I have decided to spend the remainder of the Obama presidency hiding in the basement and making booze.

    1. You misspelled drinking.

      1. making booze is a superset of activities that includes drinking booze.

        1. drinking booze is necessary for making booze; and making booze is sufficient for drinking booze; so it’s a nice closed loop system.

  13. This will solve the “invasion of the month club” enthusiasm: draft (no exemptions) everyone, male and female, between age 18 and 26 who professes to want action against ISIS. And honorably discharge all service personnel who say “You now, enough of this shit. I signed up to defend America, not play world cop.”

    1. YES! I’m 27!!! Now I can advocate doing stupid shit with other people’s lives!!!

  14. Fight ISIS?

    Nuke it from orbit; its the only way to be sure.

    1. Now, wait just a second here. ISIS has a substantial dollar value…

  15. I have a new strategy for the Middle East. We build factories there. The factories are U.S. and allied corporations, which we make into massive fortresses with defense units assigned to each. We train and employ local workers, who are security-screened to the nth degree. After we establish industry and a functional middle class, then we can stop the military protection.

    Cheaper and more productive than invading every decade, killing people, and constantly blowing shit up.

    1. You mock, but it would have been way cheaper and more effective if we had just offered premium prices for poppy crops in Afghanistan.

      We wouldn’t need a single soldier there, just a warehouse with a giant safe to keep all the cash in and an incinerator.

      The farmers show up with their crop, we give them big $$ and then burn it.

      1. I mock nothing. Give the people an economic incentive to love America. Or to loathe us while getting addicted to our consumer crack.

        1. How about some sort of One Laptop Per Child type project? One where we drop in tons of satellite phones that can access all sorts of pr0n sites?

          Because it is satellite based, no amount of filtering in country will prevent the kids from seeing all sorts of good old fashioned fucking.

          I’m guessing that within a few years there will be a saying that “an american slut on broadband is worth 40 virgins in the afterlife”

          1. Why not just give them women? Buy them from Eastern Europe and drop them off in Iraq.

            1. Ah, the Albanian model.

      2. If he’d just pay me what he’s spending to make me stop robbing him, I’d stop robbing him. -Butch

        1. Just paying them doesn’t work. We tried and ending up having to drone them anyway back during the Jefferson administration. So it needs to be some sort of ongoing economic incentive, where both sides mutually benefit.

          I have it! Mollywood! Muslim Hollywood. With Islamic-friendly porn.

    2. +1 East India Company

  16. Survey question: “If we could send troops and equipment into the Middle East and establish a lasting stable democracy in which all players agree to peaceful mutual trust and co-operation, with no risk of failure, aren’t we obligated to do it? Also, do you like pie?”

    1. They know nothing of pie technology in the Middle East. It’s all baklava over there.

  17. We’ll throw our Multiple Independently Retargetable Pie technology at them until they beg for mercy.

    1. Made from scratch or factory pie?

    2. I hope Multiple Independent model works more effectively than the Dynamic Engagement model we’ve been using up until now.

  18. The problem is that after the first gulf war, the public fell in love with smart bombs. We thought we could wage war with minimal casualties. No more carpet bombing.

    Turns out that just killing a few of the people makes it hard to rebuild a nation afterwards. Kind of like the US and our national debt. People might know intellectually it is a serious problem, but since it isn’t biting them in the ass personally they aren’t willing to change their ways.

    If you really want to change the middle east, I think you need to look at the two cases where we did successfully do some nation building: Germany and Japan. So you need to start with a multi-year plan of indiscriminate carpet bombing and make sure to run your civilian casualties way up.

    Of course, you might be a pussy and think that killing hundreds of thousands of people just to look tough is the wrong thing to do.

    1. Ya know, PJ, I think you’re right.

      The great thing about our old war-fighting model (war to the hilt until unconditional surrender) was that it broke the ancien regime irrevocably, and softened up the supporting society enough that it could be changed.

      The current small footprint approach to kinda fighting wars is more like a coup d’?tat: decapitate the current regime and replace it with someone else who has some democratic window dressing.

      Big surprise that nothing that matters really changes.

  19. my classmate’s half-sister makes $78 /hr on the laptop . She has been unemployed for eight months but last month her pay check was $21027 just working on the laptop for a few hours. look at this site…….


    1. half-sister makes $78 /hr on the laptop

      You are not even trying, work-bot, mini-me could spike that.

    2. That bitch only worked 269.6 hours last month. Whooo Hooooo! Sign me up.

  20. It seems the ISIL/ISIS conflict was quietly been resolved in the editorial room sometime around lunch.

    because even the article tag has changed. “”Tags: ISIS Rss Feed for “ISIS””

    No one cares except me. I want to do a victory dance. (does gopher dance) Somehow it isnt’ entirely satisfying.

    Part of it seems to be that we’ve had a half-dozen ‘ISIS’ themed articles today… (Sullum, Robby, Matt, Nick, Stossel, Jesse.. plus bonus: ‘Christopher Preble’)… none of which seem to really satisfy the need for a “Coherent Non-Intervention Rallying Cry”, or whatever they’re trying to articulate.

    Actually, FWIW, Preble seemed to be the most coherent, at least in that he didn’t even try to make any claims about the universal benefits of ‘Do Nothin’ism’, and just said ‘No Nation-Building!’; which i suppose isn’t exactly even necessary.

    I’d think if there’s an article that needs doing, it would be dumping the Non-intervention moaning and pointing out that the US is going to be more or less fighting a war on behalf of Iran, more or less. There is a sunni/shia cold war going on, and sticking ourselves deeper into it may not be the best idea at the moment.

    1. It seems the ISIL/ISIS conflict was quietly been resolved in the editorial room sometime around lunch.

      We did indeed formally settle on “ISIS” over “ISIL” today. Ron Bailey suggested calling them “those assholes,” but I noted that this would make them hard to distinguish from many other people we write about.

      1. I second Ron’s motion, with the addition of a cluster of punctuation (eg. “@$#*^@0”) preceding ‘assholes’ to distinguish them from Salon writers.

      2. There’s always the Popular Front of Mesopotamia.

      3. Any resolution on what to call Barry’s war on ISIS? I’m partial to Operation Defeat Islamo-Nazism (ODIN), but YMMV.

        1. OPERATION YMMV??

          too acronymy.

          And obviously, this should be

        2. OPERATION ISISINATION was considered for runner-up

          McCain was rooting for OPERATION ISIS-BOOM-BAH, but no one listened to him

  21. To the extent that ISIS is a terrorist group violating all kinds of national and international laws regarding warfare, I really think they are more outlaws than an army and should be treated as such. Rather than fighting them with troops, they really deserve to be arreted and imprisoned as common criminals. Obama is absolutely right to suggest we shouldn’t send troops, we need to send LEOs.

    Now let me think….where could we possibly find enough cops to go round up ISIS? They’d have to be cops with military kits – full body armour, MRAPS, assault rifles and grenade launchers, plus a gung-ho FYTW attitude and the righteousness that comes from knowing you’re fighting on the side of the angels and nothing you can do will ever violate the law. Maybe we could find one or two of those cops here in the US if we looked hard enough?

    1. Finally, I have been converted to the “law enforcement” model of fighting terrorism.

      SWAT the fuckers. Everyone who matters wins.

    2. Have the SWAT convention in Oakland, put them on a plane and send them to the Middle East. Kill two (or three) birds with one stone.

  22. There is a sunni/shia cold war going on, and sticking ourselves deeper into it may not be the best idea at the moment.

    Our intentions are good. Let the pie fly!

    1. That’s not a sunni/shia cold war.

      That’s a hot war that has been going on for hundreds of years.

      1. Clicked too soon.

        I suggest we sell arms to both sides.


      2. Or we could just kill all of them. You know, just to be safe and for the children and everything.

        1. They seem to love killing each other. Why not help them indulge their hobbies? And make a little cash on the side.

  23. This points to what I have been saying for a long time; if there is another 911 or anything like it, the American response will be to bomb the middle east into a parking lot. The Bush experiment in nation building was the last time the US will deal with the Middle East in anything approaching humane terms. That may shock your delicate ears but like it or not, it is the truth.

    1. John, help me out…

      Are you making a normative statement or a descriptive statement?

      Initially I thought it was a descriptive one, but your “shock your delicate ears” statement is calling that conclusion into question.

      1. I am making a descriptive statement. And the reality of what this country will do if there is another really big terror attack that comes from the Middle East most certainly going to shock the delicate sensibilities of many of the people on this board.

        1. Fucking really? Strawman much?


          I think you’d find plenty of us not shocked at what comes next, rather fully in support of it.

          1. Bullshit. You would support it for about a week until you got bored or it got hard or the first picture of any collateral damage came in.

            If the Mexicans invaded Texas tomorrow and managed to hold onto it for a while, Reason would be argued to end the aggressive and hopeless war within a year.

            1. I’m not sure there are enough people on the planet to effectively invade and hold Texas.

            2. Yes, of course. I’m at 20 yrs and counting of wearing the uniform because I’m squeemish about applying my craft. And arguing that a war is not justified is certainly the same as lacking the stomach for it. What were you saying about ad hominems down there…

    2. I wonder what the odds are that we get another significant terror attack in the next two, two and a half years.

      1. If we knew that, the odds would be zero since knowing that would require understanding the threat and thus allow us to eliminate it.

        My SWAG would be one in three maybe. I don’t think it is fifty fifty. But it is not remote either.

  24. My old boss was railing against ISIS and how we should go in there and destroy ’em.

    I asked when he was going to sign up and go and fight.

    I got a bit of silence and then a “that’s why we have a military!”

    1. The Return of the Chickenhawk!

      1. Oh God, I thought that #$%&ing; old thing was dead and buried…

      2. So, what you’re saying is, unless every person in the country actively volunteers, military action is forbidden – and any support for military action is rank hypocrisy?

        I’m just curious what the Chickenhawk corollary is.

        1. I think RC was being sarcastic. If he wasn’t, then yeah, what a stupid fucking meme that is.

        2. While I don’t mean to put words in LH’s mouth, I think he means if you are unwilling to put your own ass on the line, don’t be so fucking quick to put someone else’s there.

          1. Sure.

            And that means we are beholden to oppose airstrikes until we all learn to Fly?

            1. Well, ideally, if you believe in something to start killing people for it (which is a part of military operations), it would be nice to volunteer.

              More relevantly, US hasn’t had a coherent Middle East policy since probably George Bush Senior, so any American soldier who dies there will die for nothing. Crazy Muslims are a dime a dozen, just killing them won’t solve much.

            2. No, it means you should weigh the likely benefits against the costs before making a decision to put people in harms way.

              1. really? Because no one was talking about ‘cost-benefit’ above.

                they were saying,

                “if you’re unable to shed your own blood then you have no right to have an opinion”

                Which is stupid.

                Pretending the stupid point was never made isn’t much of defense.

                1. GILMORE

                  Who are you quoting with this?

                  “if you’re unable to shed your own blood then you have no right to have an opinion”

                  I normally respect your opinions, but that’s out of line. No one said any such thing. And you’ve got it in quotes. WTF?

                  I was talking about making a person with no skin in the game remember that it’s not just the other guys who die in war. Cost-benefit was EXACTLY my point.

                  Not to mention the billions that will be spent avenging the deaths of two journalists with the military.

                2. Where’d you come up with that quote?

                  if you’re unable to shed your own blood then you have no right to have an opinion

                  more like: “If you’re unable to shed your own blood then you have no right to tell your fellow citizens to go shed theirs”

                3. “they were saying,

                  “if you’re UNABLE to shed your own blood then you have no right to have an opinion”

                  Which is stupid.”

                  Who’s “they”?

                  Actually, that’s your interpretation of LHs comment.

                  Most of my friends and family lean heavily conservative and would love nothing more than to see Amerika, in all its military glory, go over to the ME and kick some terrorist ass. Only a couple of them have ever served, not because, as you suggest the argument goes, they were/are “unable”, but because, as FA suggests, they were/are unwilling.

                  I think the opinions of those who have seen combat have a little bit more weight when it comes to going or not going to war. That said, the burden should ALWAYS be on those arguing in favor of spending billions (Potentially trillions) in the act of war.

                  1. The point here was that there was a suggestion made that ‘unless a person is volunteering to fight’ then their opinion is invalid.

                    i.e. everyone’s a Chickenhawk! if they think any kind of action is ever warranted.

                    Can’t you say that about ANYTHING? “Do it yourself then!”

                    Its a rhetorical cheap shot that says almost nothing.

          2. That is fucking idiotic. Old people and cripples can’t put their asses on the line. So are they prevented from ever arguing for war?

            More importantly, since putting your ass on the line gives you special authority, does that mean that since I am a veteran and have done so, I can tell any non veteran who disagrees with me to shut the fuck up? I don’t think so.

            How about we just argue these issues on the merits rather than engaging in ad hominem?

            1. The point, which you are apparently incapable of grasping, is that it’s pretty easy to send others off to die for your cause when you’ve got no skin in the game.

              There are certain things worth risking people’s lives over. This ain’t one of them! In fact, it’s not even close to being one of those things.

              1. This. ISIS is just plain awful – but the ME is not worth the effort, considering what our other ventures there have spawned.

            2. “…does that mean that since I am a veteran and have done so, I can tell any non veteran who disagrees with me to shut the fuck up? I don’t think so.”

              Burn strawman burn!

              “How about we just argue these issues on the merits rather than engaging in ad hominem?”

              Says the guy who regularly employs an army of strawman when debating. Nice.

            3. I think that sort of comment still has its place. Too often people say things without thinking too much about what they entail. If somebody says “that ought to be illegal”, we need to remind them that they’re saying that it’s bad that they would have someone attacked in their homes, probably have their families brutalized along with them, pets slaughtered, before being locked away with real nasty people and quite possibly raped or murdered. Maybe, in light of all that, they still feel the same. Maybe not.

              Similarly, when you say “let’s go get those guys”, you’re implicitly saying you want people to be put in harm’s way. So, it’s important to make them actually think about what they’re demanding. Yes, these guys are evil (if the gingers joining forces with them wasn’t enough of a clue), but how many dollars and how many American lives do you think getting rid of them is worth?

  25. the reaction to “Obama’s War” by the prog-elite, New Republic =

    ” New varieties of half-heartedness would be disastrous. Shall we not do stupid stuff? Fine, then. Not bombing ISIS in Syria would be stupid stuff. (Where is the border between Syria and Iraq?) Not transforming the Free Syrian Army into a powerful fighting force would be stupid stuff. Not arming?and in every other way standing behind?the Kurds would be stupid stuff. And?here comes the apostasy!?not considering the sagacious use of American troops would be stupid stuff. The obsolescence of the American army is not a conclusion warranted by the war in Iraq. In our determination not to fight the last war, we must not pretend that it was the last war. If the president’s ends in his campaign against ISIS are justified, then he must not deny himself the means. The new government in Baghdad may work out or it may not. Our allies may agree to share the toughest burdens of the campaign or they may not. The outcome of this multilateral effort will depend on the United States. It still comes down to us. Why are we so uneasy with our own moral and historical prominence? “


    “If the president’s ends are justified…” (they skip over actually debating this part)

    1. You mean if Congress’ ends are justified. In our system, only Congress can initiate a war.

      Glad I could clear that up.

      1. Silly rabbit.

        Congress is obstructionism. Executive Action is Warranted.

        (all that aside….it is interesting to note that the author of the above piece, in their quest to find a ‘cute’ rhetorical rationale for re-engaging in Iraq, seems to be saying that ‘Everything Obama has done in the last 6 years is Stupid Stuff’)

        1. They have this weird mental disability that projects the entire history of the western world up to the last two seconds into the Bush administration.

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