War

Stop Letting Politicians Scare You Into War in the Middle East

The best way to avoid terrorism is to stop dropping bombs on Muslims.

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They are doing it again. "They" are the war-party politicians, Democrats and Republicans. "It" is scaring you into supporting another war in the Middle East.

When will the American people learn? If in a republic the people are the ultimate check on government power, a gullible, easily frightened public is a disaster waiting to happen. Where is the derisive skepticism Americans are reputed to feel toward politicians? A high-ranking official and, say, CNN's Christiane Amanpour need only say "Boogeyman!" and Americans line up for orders.

"Americans are increasingly concerned that ISIS represents a direct terror threat, fearful that ISIS agents are living in the United States, according to a new CNN/ORC International poll. Most now support military action against the terrorist group," CNN reported in September. "Seven in 10 Americans believe ISIS has the resources to launch an attack against the United States."

Administration officials leave the impression that the Islamic State (ISIS), which holds territory in Iraq and Syria, directly threatens Americans at home, although when pressed, these officials won't say this outright. In interviews President Obama says there is no "immediate intelligence" concerning a threat, but he insists the U.S. military must strike ISIS now or else… Obama wants it both ways: to scare the people into supporting a new American war in Iraq and Syria, without creating a panic. "We will not tolerate safe havens for terrorists who threaten our people," Obama said.

Obama's Republican critics show no restraint. Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), for example, goes to absurd lengths to frighten Americans. "This president needs to rise to the occasion before we all get killed back here at home," Graham said. He forecast the deaths of hundreds of millions of Americans if something drastic is not done.

Thirty thousand ISIS fighters are going to invade and kill 319 million Americans?

What about terrorism?

Veteran foreign correspondent Reese Erlich, who has been in northern Iraq recently, debunks the fearmongers in "10 Myths about Obama's Latest War":

[ISIS] is a vicious, un-Islamic, ultra-right-wing group that poses a real threat to the people of Syria and Iraq. But those people will defeat IS, not the U.S., whose motives are widely questioned in the region. IS poses no more of a terrorist threat to the American people than al-Qaida and its offshoots.

Clearly, ISIS has its hands full fighting Syrian, Iraqi, and Kurdish forces, so why the hysteria that some new and unprecedented threat faces the American people? Because irresponsible politicians know that public fear breeds public acquiescence.

Yet the Obama administration must have thought that ISIS wasn't threatening enough, because during the first airstrikes in Syria, U.S. bombs also hit a hitherto unknown group said to be planning an imminent attack on America, the Khorasan Group. The first reason for skepticism is that the administration has redefined imminent also to mean not imminent.

A second reason is that hardly anyone had heard of the Khorasan Group, and it seemed to disappear as quickly as it arose. Glenn Greenwald wrote in the Intercept,

But once it served its purpose of justifying the start of the bombing campaign in Syria, the Khorasan narrative simply evaporated as quickly as it materialized.…

Literally within a matter of days, we went from "perhaps in its final stages of planning its attack" (CNN) to "plotting as 'aspirational'" and "there did not yet seem to be a concrete plan in the works" (NYT).

It turns out that the Khorasan Group was just an al-Qaeda cell, not some unique new threat against the American people, as it was presented. "There are serious questions about whether the Khorasan Group even exists in any meaningful or identifiable manner," Greenwald writes.

This does not mean that ISIS-inspired terrorism inside the United States is inconceivable. But the threat does not remotely approach the existential, and ISIS has no need to dispatch agents to, or set up sleeper cells in, America. Indeed, the Department of Homeland Security warns that "lone wolf" terrorism by "self-radicalized" Americans is more to be feared than an ISIS plot.

The best way to avoid terrorism is to stop dropping bombs on Muslims. Meanwhile, everyone should take a deep breath. The risk of being a victim of terrorism is miniscule.

This column originally appeared at the Future of Freedom Foundation.

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  1. An economic collapse is not an existential threat. Lots of countries have had them and come out on the other side. Indeed, some would argue that a collapse as bad as it would be would be in the long term good for the country as it ended a lot of wasteful nonsense. That said, the threat of an economic collapse is a big fucking deal and something worth worrying about.

    The point being that just because Isis isn’t an existential threat, doesn’t mean it isn’t a significant threat worth eliminating. That is indeed the entire debate. If Sheldon wants to have that debate and thinks they aren’t, good for him but he is going to have to do better than “they are not an existential threat” and “the worst way to deal with a threat is to try and eliminate it”.

    1. Wha?

      The point being that just because Isis isn’t an existential threat, doesn’t mean it isn’t a significant threat worth eliminating.

      That’s EXACTLY what it fucking means.

      Jesus fucking Christ nailed upside down on the fucking cross…you are as immoral as Tony.

      For the love of fuck, John, we are talking about killing people with bombs…often the wrong people, because of something they might do in some unknown future. And you call yourself a Christian? If, by some chance, there is a god, heaven/hell…you, my friend, are on the first elevator to the bottom floor.

      Your bloodlust is appalling.

      1. You seem to be forgetting the killings of Americans.

        Will Israelis go to hell or are they exempt?

        1. So killing two people is justification for mobilizing the military, going to war and killing innocent people in the collateral damage?

          Might I suggest you search for your perspective? You seem to have lost it.

          1. How many people would they have to kill? 20? 200? 2000?

            1. Yes, Tulpa, yes.

              That’s the right question. What’s the correct number of dead Americans to justify spending a trillion dollars employing a methodology that will, in the end, increase the terrorist threat…

              …moron.

              1. Trillion dollars, where’d you get that number?

          2. “So killing two people is justification for mobilizing the military, going to war and killing innocent people in the collateral damage?”

            No, in and of itself, the killing of two Americans doesn’t provide sufficient cause to do these things. BUT, when you add in the fact that they were publicly and brutally executed in cold blood, that the people who executed them have stated that their goal is to basically take over the whole fucking planet, and that the people who executed them are growing financially, politically, and militarily, there’s a point at which you have to man-up and start killing people.

            1. And by “you” you mean someone else in the Army, and by “man-up” you mean cheer from the sidelines?

              1. I deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan a total of 12 times, spending about 6 years of my life deployed in combat zones. My oldest son did a year deployment in Afghanistan while in the USMC. My youngest son is currently deployed with the US Army to Afghanistan.

                By “you”, I mean “we”, with the exception of fat cubicle-dwelling fucks who want all the benefits of a strong nation-state, but aren’t willing to fight for it.

                1. How’s all that sacrifice working out?

                  You would think, with all that experience, you’d have realized by now, that it doesn’t work.

                  You cannot achieve victory fighting a limited war against an enemy willing to fight a total war. How long you want to keep doing this? We won WW II in 4 years. It’s been 13 in this mess. Life’s too short for this bullshit.

                  They attack us, because we are there. They’ve got nothing we need. Eliminate the root cause.

                  1. “You would think, with all that experience, you’d have realized by now, that it doesn’t work.”

                    From my experience, at a tactical level, it does work.

                    My first war was Desert Shield/Storm. The military was given a goal, and they accomplished that goal brilliantly. We accomplished our military objectives in a matter of weeks. Then the politicians fucked everything up.

                    In OEF, we accomplished our military objectives in a matter of weeks, and then the politicians fucked it up.

                    In OIF, we accomplished our military objectives in a matter of weeks, and then the politicians fucked it up.

                    Even as our overall strategies degraded into a cluster-fuck in OEF and OIF, the military continued to accomplish it’s stated objectives, where those objectives involved the use of force.

                    Your statement that “You cannot achieve victory fighting a limited war against an enemy willing to fight a total war.” is absolutely correct, and while our strategy should be “Go big, or go home”, it cannot be “Go big, or do nothing”. They attack us not because we’re there; that just makes it easier. They attack us because we ARE. Islam is the root cause.

                    1. They attack us because we ARE.

                      So the Swiss are getting attacked? The Netherlands losing their buildings, are they? Liechtenstein getting bombed?

                      You are wrong. We get attacked by them because we interfere with their sovereignty and threaten force for noncompliance. Think what you’d do if another country tried to do that to us.

                      They’ve got nothing we need. We simply leave. And if I’m wrong, and the terrorists follow us home…THEN…you get to kill them. You kill them for shit they’ve actually done, rather than shit they might possible do someday.

                      Moral highground.

                    2. Phillipines, Spain, Sweden, China… I could go on but I’m sure like most “we did it” folks your impervious to evidence. There’s no correlation between terrorism and poverty or imperialism. Plenty of countries are poor or have been under imperialism and have no terrorist problem. The only correlation is islam.

                    3. You left out Spain, Great Britain, the Philippines, Indonesia, India, Pakistan, and all the other places they HAVE attacked, and you leave out the fact that they have ALREADY attacked us. ISIS is just another name for radical islam, and radical islam has already attacked us, and just about every other country on the planet except the ones you list.

                    4. UMM so how did us liberating Kuwait (at Kuwait’s request) interfere with with Al quaeda’s sovereignty? How many of us do they (muslims preaching terrorist Jihad) have to kill for you to understand that they are coming for us. THe ’93 WTC bombing was not enough, nor were the african embassy bombings, nor was the USS Cole, and apparantely not 9/11. And before you respond that ISIS is not Al Quaeda, realize that they have the same stated goals, rhetoric, and tactics. Walks like a duck, quacks like a duck…

                  2. *We won WW II in 4 years. It’s been 13 in this mess. Life’s too short for this bullshit.*

                    You’re EXACTLY RIGHT! Let’s drop some atomic bombs and finish this war just like we finished WW2!

                    1. Where exactly would you drop these atomic bombs?

                2. You are lying. I’m calling you a liar. Post proof of your claim or STFU.

                  1. What exactly are you accusing me of lying about?

        2. You seem to be forgetting the killings of Americans.

          If Americans don’t want to get beheaded all they have to do is stay out of the Middle East. The government of the United States has no obligation to protect citizens who travel outside the country.

          1. US Constitution, Section 8- 10: To define and punish Piracies and Felonies committed on the high Seas, and Offences against the Law of Nations;

            I’m fairly certain that the public and brutal beheading of innocent journalists falls under “Offences against the Law of Nations”, and I’m fairly certain that the reason for punishing crime is to discourage or prevent crimes. While your assertion that the government of the United States has no obligation to protect INDIVIDUAL citizens who travel outside the country may be true, it is obligated by law to punish those commit “Offences against the Law of Nations” against American citizens.

            1. And you think going to war is a cost effective way to bring a couple of thugs to justice?

              AEM, that’s simply irrational. See CE’s post below. THAT, is how you deal with the situation.

              ISIS is no more a threat to the USA than the streetgangs in our cities. You are jaded. You are the frog in the pot. You don’t go to war preemptively, and you certainly don’t spend billions of dollars wearing out our expensive equipment to bring a handful of thugs to justice.

              1. “And you think going to war is a cost effective way to bring a couple of thugs to justice?”

                30,000 to 50,000 radical islamic jihadists is significantly more than “a couple of thugs”, and I’m fairly certain it’s beyond the ability of the FBI to handle.

                1. So 50,000 jihadists beheaded our journalists? Funny, I saw just a couple.

                  I’m fairly certain it’s beyond the ability of the FBI to handle.

                  So how’s the US Army been doing? 13 years, what gains have we made? Do you want to occupy that shithole getting sniped forever? Ask the Soviets.

                  1. “So how’s the US Army been doing? 13 years, what gains have we made?”

                    Well, let’s see. With about 500 people, they armed and organized the Northern Alliance and subsequently drove the Taliban from power. With the addition of about 20,000 more soldiers, they scoured a country the size of California and captured or killed the the vast majority of AL Qaeda fighters in Afghanistan. Military mission accomplished.

                    Realizing that if we packed up and left at that point, things would quickly revert to what they were prior to accomplishing our stated military goals, the “new” mission became “stabilization”. Over the last 12 years, they’ve built hundreds of schools and provided thousands of water wells. They’ve provided security to infrastructure-building projects, because you can’t have a stable nation without rule-of-law, and you can’t have rule-of-law without infrastructure.

                    cont.

                  2. Unfortunately, Afghanistan has two neighboring countries that have a say in the success of our mission, and they’re doing everything in their power to see that it fails. Neither Pakistan nor Iran want a stable Afghanistan, and they continue to provide arms, training, and safe-haven to anybody that wants to get their jihad on. Unfortunately, politics prevents the military from addressing the real problems, like the free-flow of Taliban fighters from Pakistan, and the free-flow of arms from both Pakistan and Iran.

                    Unfortunately, we know that the Pakistani ISI is arming and training the Taliban, and that they’re often involved in leading and organizing coordinated attacks on our forces, but the political decision has been made to pretend it isn’t happening, because we don’t want to destabilize a nuclear-armed Pakistan that is on the verge of a takeover by radical islamists. Again, politics fucks it up for everyone.

                    1. So, IOW, we’ve gained nothing whatsoever. We learned these lessons in Vietnam…and then turned around and repeated all the same mistakes.

                      You must have achievable, quantifiable goals and you must have an exit strategy.

                      All the tactical victories in the world, do not a war win. We cannot win this fight militarily.

                    2. You are correct in that we cannot win this fight militarily, but we also cannot win it without military force. We cannot sit back and allow radical jihadists to establish power over vast swaths of land, people, and resources, given their stated goals. We may not defeat them, but we can certainly disrupt them, hopefully until islam catches up with the rest of the world and looks upon radical islamists the same way we look upon the clowns from the Westboro baptist church.

                    3. It’s not our land, not our people, and not our resources. Why can’t we allow them to establish power over them?

                    4. You’re a fucking idiot, Harvey.

                    5. *All the tactical victories in the world, do not a war win. We cannot win this fight militarily.*

                      Sure we can. You just don’t have the stomach to support what would need to be done to win it militarily.

                    6. “Sure we can. You just don’t have the stomach to support what would need to be done to win it militarily.”

                      It isn’t 1944, and nobody is willing to fire-bomb major population centers and intentionally massacre civilians in order to deny enemy combatants support. To fight a Counter-insurgency (COIN), you actually have to try not to break shit and piss people off. COIN means never having to say you’re sorry.

                    7. You have presented an excellent case for withdrawal. Thanks mouse!

                    8. Quitting doesn’t solve the problem.

                    9. How do you dove the problem? Glass the entire area?

                    10. Solve

                    11. “How do you solve the problem? Glass the entire area?”

                      Unfortunately, that’s impossible and impractical. You solve the problem by going in with everything, and being prepared to stay for the next 50 years if that proves necessary. You solve the problem by stamping out radical islam, and those who preach it. You solve the problem by dragging the target area’s population into the 21st century, even if they kick and scream the entire way.

                    12. “You solve the problem by going in with everything, and being prepared to stay for the next 50 years if that proves necessary”

                      And what happens when we bankrupt our already faltering economy trying to do so? Bin Laden acknowledged the only way of Islam winning to to drag the west into a protracted war of attrition until we go broke and lose morale, and that’s exactly what you’re calling for. Osama 101.

                      Save money. Bring the troops home. Protect OUR borders. The terrorists don’t have the means for full scale invasion, and you know this damn well. As long as the EU, US, Russia, and China focus on border control, these backwards fucks aren’t taking over shit. They don’t even have an Air Force or Navy FFS. But you want to give them the only war they can possibly win. Thanks, but no thanks.

                    13. Your argument lies on the assumption that OIF was separate from what came after. It wasn’t, even though your job was different. Nation-building was always the goal, and the goal was always going to fail completely no matter how much the success of phase 1 colored your thoughts. Politics didn’t screw it up. The decision to go was flawed, and no different wrinkle in strategy was going to change it

                    14. Nation-building was never a military goal in OIF, and would never have been on the table had not one particularly influential dumbass thought it would be a good idea to completely dismantle the fabric of Iraqi society after a successful invasion. On May 23 2003, Bremer issued Order Number 2, effectively firing the entire former Iraqi army, most police forces, and most government employees, putting roughly 700,000 pissed-off and armed Iraqis out of work. That was the day that everything went to shit, and “nation-building” became a virtual necessity if Iraq were ever going to stabilize enough for us to leave.

        3. Two Americans who wandered into a warzone for the promise of pay and noteriety.

          Sucks for them that they got their heads cut off, but their deaths do not constitute an act of war or an existential threat to the United States.

          1. their deaths do not constitute an act of war

            Why not?

            1. Why not?

              Are you bombing street gangs in New Jersey?

              Idiot.

              1. Why send police against street gangs if they only kill one or two people?

                Idiot.

                1. Because sending police is a cost effective way of actually effecting a solution to the problem of someones rights getting violated.

                  Have you been off the planet for the last 13 years? We’ve spent $1.57T, killed 4500 of our own (1500 more than the 9/11 terrorists killed), killed thousands of innocent bystanders and we haven’t gained a thing. The world is no more secure than when we started. In fact, one can reasonably argue it’s worse.

                  What did Einstein say about insanity?

                  1. ” we haven’t gained a thing”

                    Nonsense. There are many thousands of dead terrorists that would disagree with that assertion, if they could. There’s also the intangible benefit of demonstrating that we’re willing to invade and destroy entire nations if we’re attacked.

                    1. And they made many thousands more to replace them. How’s that workin out?

                      There’s also the intangible benefit of demonstrating that we’re willing to invade and destroy entire nations if we’re attacked.

                      We haven’t been attacked. A couple of their soldiers murdered a couple of our civilians. We have soldiers murder foreign nationals all the time. We aren’t at war over it.

                      P-E-R-S-P-E-C-T-I-V-E!

                    2. ISIS is just another name for radical islam, and radical islam has attacked us.

            2. Killing an ambassador used to constitute an act of war, now you blame it on You Tube.

              1. “Killing an ambassador used to constitute an act of war, now you blame it on You Tube.”

                So, let’s start WWI again like they did for the killing of the archduke?

                Libya was/is not even a functioning state at the time. Having people killed in Chaos doesn’t count since there is no state you can punish. From what I hear, we are hot on the trail (just got one) of the folks who planned this. That’s the way to fix it…

                1. Why wasn’t libya a functioning state? Oh yeah, the super genius in-chief, destroyed it.

        4. “Will Israelis go to hell or are they exempt?”

          I think they get a chance to repent and become followers of Big J, if not they go to hell.

      2. You nativity is appalling.

        1. You nativity is appalling.

          King Herod

    2. The debate is whether to ignore ISIS, drop a few bombs on them, or send in enough troops to eradicate them and rule the conquered territory for decades. Hardly anyone wants to sign up for the latter, so ignoring them seems more prudent than helping their recruiting efforts with ineffective bombing campaigns.

      So they murdered a few Westerners in brutal fashion. Demand extradition of the murderers. If they don’t comply, track down the murderers covertly and bring them back for public trial and hanging.

      1. The problem is that this ISN’T the debate. And we certainly got off track after 9/11.

        IF some group is a threat, then dammit make the sacrifices that are necessary to both defeat whatever is that threat and to demonstrate that there is a near universal acknowledgement of that threat. That was the whole point of a militia and its bastard son conscription. That is also the function of raising taxes during wartime (ie actual threat).

        If there is no will to make those sacrifices – both blood and treasure – by EVERYONE; then there is no real threat. Perhaps it is because it is all merely some group of warboners in DC playing games with other people’s blood and treasure. Or perhaps it is because we are a nation that no longer has a reason/will to exist (certainly the case with Europe now) – in which case, let it die and bear the consequences.

        If we have to go to war, then by God mobilize all out and everyone to go to war. Otherwise, there is NO THREAT – and there is no justification whatsoever for chickenhawk experts to keep us in an eternal state of fear-mongered panic in order to keep their own jobs perpetual.

        1. You make some good points, but unfortunately, 70% of Americans are either willfully ignorant, or are blithering-fucking-idiots?, and by the time EVERYONE recognizes an impending threat, much damage will have already been done.

  2. The best way to avoid terrorism is to stop dropping bombs on Muslims.

    But, but, but they hate us because of our freedumz!

    1. The best way to avoid terrorism is to stop dropping bombs on Muslims.

      There’s a shit ton on this list that have nothing to do with muslims

  3. Who’s going to protect us from the terrorist waiting around every corner? Who’s going to stop the Ebola from getting into our cereal bowl? Who’s going to keep drug dealers from giving free drugs to our 3-year-olds? Who’s going to maintain the flow of government checks?

    You, Richman?

  4. ISIS, Ebola, Russia, the Economy etc. My concern is not about what we should or should not be doing but rather how exceedingly ineffective this administration is at everything it endeavors to do. They are completely incompetent at everything except raising money and getting elected. A political class that exists for it’s own sake is a political class that needs to go.

    1. It ain’t just this administration. What, 70-80% of government exists for no reason and/or the things they are created to accomplish could be done more efficiently through private endeavors?

      CDC is the perfect example. They are so busy expanding their scope (government growth) to include preemptive wellness plans and firearm awareness that they can’t perform the job they were created for.

      It’s not just this administration that’s incompetent (though they are worse than most), it’s government at EVERY level.

  5. ISIS is “un-Islamic?” That’s like calling Israel “un-Jewish.”

    1. More like calling the Westboro Baptist Church un-Christian.

      1. Yeah totally comparable, one guy and his family versus a group with millions of supporters.

        1. Millions? You’re off by a few zeroes.

        2. Thirty thousand ISIS fighters are going to invade and kill 319 million Americans?

          Where are these millions?

          1. I didn’t say “fighters” did I?

            1. So in one case you only count the members, and in the other you count ill-defined “supporters.” Isis is too extreme for al-Qaeda, which isn’t exactly indicative of being representative of modern Islam.

              1. Exactly, Al Qaeda, ISIS, the Muslim brotherhood, Hamas, and Hezbollah are not the scostsmen,… I’m mean Muslims. Muslims are clearly too stupid to understand their own religion as well as you understand their religion.

      2. More like calling the Westboro Baptist Church un-Christian.

        I think that srgument could be made.

    2. *No true muslim!*

  6. There would be a lot more skepticism about getting involved if the military draft were still in existence.

    It’s a lot easier to express support for military action when you know you are not the one who is going to be shot at.

    1. Please don’t give the draft supporters any ammo.

      There would be a lot more skepticism about getting involved if Americans had to pay the bill in real time. Imagine if Bush had gone on TV, explained the need for the Iraq War, and ended it by saying “And so every American will be subject to a War Tax equal to 1 percent of AGI until this conflict is over”. Or if Obama had done likewise. Instead we pay for these adventures through debt and the hidden tax of inflation. Introduce taxes and war rationing and the public pays much closer attention.

      1. “Please don’t give the draft supporters any ammo.”

        Don’t mistake my comments as support for the draft.

        I do not support it and cosider military conscription to be an unconstititional violation of the 13th Amendment.

        I’m just saying that if there was one that would generate more oppostion to getting involved in a war.

      2. “And so every American will be subject to a War Tax equal to 1 percent of AGI until this conflict is over”

        I don’t think 1% would have moved the needle much. People seem to be fine with about 5% used for security – the nature of those expenses is always questionable, though.

        Now, if he put it in more realistic terms and said:
        1. The total cost of NOT winning these ways and making thing worse will be about 5 TRILLION dollar over time, when lost productivity of causualties, interest on debt and everything else is figured in.
        2. Since there about 90 million or so actual filed Federal income tax payers, this would equal a bill of $50,000 for each of us.
        3. This is ONLY for those couple of actions and does not include real security, defense and ongoing expenses.

        This might raise some eyebrows.

    2. And it would be a lot easier to run a plantation if slavery were still legal, but it wouldn’t make it right.

  7. The damage to the American economy from continued wars and nation-building in the Middle East is a greater threat than ISIS ever will be. The danger of an Ebola epidemic and / or a deep recession caused by an panic are far greater than ISIS. This list could go on for a while.

  8. [ISIS] is a vicious, un-Islamic, ultra-right-wing group

    One of these three associations is correct. The other two are social and political parroting.

    ISIS would be less of a “threat” if the US government would stop sending it arms and trainers. Did I say ISIS? Darn. I meant the plucky rebels of the “Free Syrian Army.”

  9. Shouldn’t Obama be a Jean Luc Picard, who goes in and gets both sides to stop their violence And begin to trust each other? Or, shouldn’t he find a Jean Luc Picard? Why have they not given us a Jean Luc Picard? Where is the Jean Luc Picard I was promised?

    1. “Where is the Jean Luc Picard I was promised?”

      Reincarnated as Koch.

      1. He got reincarnated, into the past? That’s DEEP man.

    2. We got janeway instead. Blech.

  10. This Sheldon dork is a total idiot.

    How many Americans did the Nazis kill before declaring war on us? Officially? Zero?

    ISIS declared war on us and on our allies. If war is what they want, I say give them what they want. Al Queda did the same thing. Bin Laden declared war on us, we did nothing and soon enough, BAM, 3000 dead Americans.

    I haven’t been “scared” into this decision by anyone. I used ration, logic and REASON. All y’all knee-jerk pacifist/capitulationists anti-war-in-any-circumstance scumbags ought to try it sometime.

  11. I cannot believe anyone who calls themselves rational and/or a libertarian would be in support of this asinine warfare.

    ISIS are, relatively speaking, the new kids on the block. They’re making a name for themselves, and they’re committing random beheadings and making empty threats to the big boys to increase their reputation as THE WORST THREAT EVER.

    Yet EVERY SINGLE NEWS ARTICLE that prints the “BE AFRAID” nonsense buries within the article (and sure as fuck nowhere near the headline) that “they’re is no evidence pointing to a specific threat.” The politicians ain’t the same things, after ranting about how we’re all going to die.

    1. By John’s logic, every single entity on the planet with the military capability and a publicly expressed hostility to America is an “imminent threat,” and we need to destroy them now in a preemptive attack.

      Been paying attention over the last 13 years? Not only did our inevitably half-assed political (and thus military) action NOT eradicate our enemies, not make anyone safer, but we lost civil liberties. And after being mildly upset about last year’s revelations on the Orwellian surveillance state, the American people have gone back to sleep.

      You think we need MORE liberty taken away from us for the illusory cause of staying “safe?” (From attacks that don’t come, but we TOTALLY have to trust the gov’t they’re ALWAYS pending!) Fuck off.

      1. And to be perfectly clear: Americans would be better off with a 9/11-level terrorist attack every 5 years if that meant we could keep our freedoms. Statistically, it wouldn’t be a real threat to almost anyone in the U.S. and it would be the fault the attackers, not us for “letting it happen.”

        The Middle East is a perfect shitstorm of barbaric, ass-backward culture and violent religious zealotry. It’s going to stay that way until they people there get sick of living the metaphorical Stone Age and force cultural & religious evolutions. I think it’s obvious at this point there’s nothing we can or should do about it.

        The world didn’t get more dangerous after 9/11. We just got more scared. There’s no way to live in this world without risk. Just stop with the pointless fearmongering.

    2. ISIS is just another name for radical islam, and radical islam has already proven itself to be a real threat.

      The statement that there is “no evidence pointing to a specific threat” simply means that we haven’t obtained intel that says “Abdul, Hassan, and Mohammed are going to attack the Mall of the Americas with suicide vests on the 23rd of December”.

      Recognizing the reality that they are a real threat, and that they have the capability and the intentions of doing us real harm, isn’t “ranting about how we’re all going to die”.

      1. Right. Because destroying ideas is as simple as military action. The last 13 years have proven that!

        I’m fine with brutally executing people for actual attacks. Not fine with this precrime bullshit, or losing more civil liberties to stop attacks that curiously never come, or pretending people being beheaded is somehow out of the ordinary in that part of the world. Come the fuck on.

        1. Nobody said that destroying ideas is simple. It’ll take decades, if not centuries. But in the mean-time, when 30,000 islamic Jeffery Dahmers threaten to come to your home and kill you, it’s a really bad idea to just sit back and wait for them to come through the door, because they’re going to come in the window that you’re not watching.

          I’m not advocating that we curtail civil liberties; the Patriot Act and similar legislation is an illegal overreaction. What I am advocating is that we should pay attention when a group of 30,000 people with the means and intention of killing Americans says they’re going to kill Americans.

          1. I guess I need to install new deadbolts.

          2. I also need to lock that window! Thanks!

          3. Please explain how going to war with religious extremists DOESN’T create great propaganda for recruiting more religious extremists. Remember, 13 years ago you might have been able to claim “we’ll just kill them all,” and be excused for naivety. You don’t have that excuse any longer.

            Also, please explain:

            – why you believe ISIS is a threat to mainland America, citing evidence of an actual impending attack.

            – how exactly another Iraq war overreaction situation won’t, in reality, less to more civil rights abuses & losses.

            – how another extremely small-scale, potential 9/11-type event would be worse than living in an even more Orwellian world than we have now.

          4. Remember when al-Qaeda told us ask about 9/11 before they did it, using sensationalist behavior to catch the attention of the entire world?

            Oh… that’s right. Besides vague anti-Western speech, they didn’t do that. It would have made pulling off the attacks harder. But big, bad ISIS is totally doing that while planning real attacks, right? Why? Why make planning a real attack harder by putting the authorities on alert?

            Because it’s about their reputation, nothing else.

            But even if I were wrong about that, get it through your head: the U.S. government has PROVEN they’re the bigger threat to the average Americans, all in the name of safety. And you want more of that, for no discernible reason.

            1. I think you’re arguing with Lindsay graham.

            2. That’s funny, because my memory is a little different, and more closely aligned with reality.

              That “vague anti-Western speech”, consisted of a written declaration of war.

              No “sensationalist behavior to catch the attention of the entire world?” Really?

              Prior to 9/11, al Qaeda was caught planning to blow airliners out of the sky. See “the Bojinka Plot”.

              They attacked the U.S. embassies in Nairobi, Kenya, and Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, killing more than 200 people and injuring more than 5,000 others.

              They attacked the USS Cole, killing 17 American military personnel.

              Two days before 9/11, they assassinated Ahmed Shah Massoud, the leader of the Northern Alliance in Afghanistan.

              Nothing sensational there, right?

  12. The biggest problem I have with the war on ISIS is what comes after.

    Sure, we can bomb the hell out of ISIS then invade with a huge ground force and wipe them out completely. I’m 100% confident the US military can do that. But then what?

    We still have Assad, various Sunni militias (some more “moderate” than others), the incompetent Iraqi army, the Iranian-backed Shiite militias, and the Kurds all fighting for control. The Kurds are the only ones who seem trustworthy. Do we stay until they all make nice? Because that’s going to take decades if not centuries…

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