War on Terror

France's 9/11 Could Lead to Another Ill-Advised War

Will history repeat itself?



After the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, President George W. Bush promised the U.S. would bring the perpetrators to justice and win a war on terror. On the night of 9/11, Bush made a statement from the Oval Office. "Terrorist attacks can shake the foundations of our biggest buildings," Bush said, "but they cannot touch the foundation of America."

Fourteen years, two land wars, multiple interventions, and a global network of surveillance later, there is more terrorism in the world and instability in the Middle East than there was in 2000. That another 9/11-style attack wouldn't be possible today is largely a function of cockpit doors being locked, and not any of the war on terror policies, foreign and domestic, with which the U.S. government has shook "the foundation of America."

On Friday, terrorist squads affiliated with ISIS carried out coordinated attacks across Paris that killed more than a hundred people and injured more than three hundred. Most of the alleged perpetrators who have been identified are nationals of European countries, mostly France itself. One of the terrorists reportedly came to Europe as a refugee from Syria—a passport indicating such was found at one of the sites but French authorities won't say if any fingerprints found match those of the refugee. Another of the terrorists, a French national, reportedly traveled to Syria in 2013 or 2014 to train with ISIS.

French President Francois Hollande called the attacks an act of war, promising France would be "merciless" and "unforgiving with the barbarians." France's war on ISIS pre-dates the terrorist attacks, while its intervention in Mali to battle Al-Qaeda affiliates trying to take over that country has been cited by some observers as a possible roadmap for the West's fight against ISIS.

On an interview that aired Thursday, President Barack Obama insisted ISIS had been "contained" by Western-led military action. He was pilloried for the comments after the Paris attacks, even though he was referring to containing ISIS geographically and had not ruled out their ability to launch a terrorist attack on foreign soil. Six years into his presidency, Obama ought to be better at choosing his words correctly. Nevertheless, he appears to be correct that ISIS has been contained geographically. It has less territory under its control than it did a year ago when it ran roughshod across the Iraqi army to drive deep into Sunni territory.

Part of the containment is a result of the sustained aerial and land campaign against ISIS, but part of it, as Oliver Roy notes in a column in The New York Times, is a result of ISIS hitting natural boundaries. Relatively strong states like Jordan and Turkey and disinterested populations like Iraq's Shi'ites make the second three hundred mile stretch of territorial conquest exponentially more difficult than the first stretch, from the ISIS capital of Raqqa in Syria to Mosul, Iraq's second city, which ISIS captured at the end of its run last year.

As Roy notes, these limits on the ground for ISIS could be driving it to get more involved in global terrorism, the path of least resistance to attention-grabbing headlines. Additionally, as Hollande demonstrated, launching terrorist attacks abroad can be a powerful tool for propaganda, recruitment, and, ultimately, control. ISIS is a terrorist group steeped in eschatological concerns. ISIS preaches that the end of the world is nigh, a popular refrain with fundamentalists (of the religious and political variety), and, more significantly, that it is a major player in bringing that apocalypse, and the final battle between good and evil that comes with it, to fruition.

France's bombing campaign provides optics for ISIS to further its recruitment and attempt to legitimize its control over the territory it does hold that no amount of oil revenue could've bought it. Including a Syrian refugee, or at least the passport of one, meanwhile, ensures a political backlash that ISIS can in turn use to radicalize those mentally unsound young Muslim men from which ISIS draws its foreign operatives. And if Europe stems the flow of refugees onto the continent as a response to the Paris attacks, they'll be doing a huge favor for ISIS, making it harder for tens of thousands of innocent people to flee the radical Islamist group's dominion, condemning them to ISIS' rule.

What can French airstrikes against ISIS accomplish? France says its hit strategic ISIS locations, but the group obviously expected some kind of military response to the Paris attacks. It's highly unlikely anything left around for France to hit is particularly high-value. France could put boots on the ground in an effort to exterminate ISIS. That plays into ISIS' end-game too. The Bush administration insisted America had to kill its enemies abroad, so its enemies wouldn't come here to kill Americans. "We fight them there so we don't have to fight them here." In practice, that means sending bodies to get killed there so they don't have to be killed here.

ISIS refers to the French and Germans as "Crusaders" even as the two countries are becoming increasingly less Christian ("post-Christian"). France has been one of, if not the strongest Western supporters of Palestinians in the United Nations, hardly the position of a Crusader nation. And while France has intervened militarily from Mali to Syria, Germany has not. Instead it's been the strongest voice in Europe for compassion for refugees, mostly Muslim, fleeing violence in the Middle East. European soldiers on the ground would give ISIS exactly what it wants, local "crusader" targets to kill and be "martyred" by and to use to gain recruits and legitimize its temporal power.

ISIS replaced Al Qaeda, weakened but not finished by fourteen years of American counterterrorist operations. By almost every measure, it is a more vicious organization even than Al Qaeda. This is not a new phenomenon—it is a well-known pattern wherever drug cartels and other crime lords (and what is a terrorist but that?) are knocked off. They are replaced by something more vicious.

In the wake of 9/11, the U.S. Congress passed an authorization for the use of military force against the perpetrators of the attack and associated forces. Al-Qaeda, which the U.S. blamed for the 9/11 attacks, didn't have many associated forces at the time. Today, they have affiliates across Africa and the Middle East. And they are in the fight of their life because of ISIS, which poses a more existential threat to them than the US ever did because it threatens to, and has already, replaced the group as the voice of radical Islamism. The leader of Al-Qaeda has condemned the leader of ISIS as the illegitimate leader of a phony caliphate. And yet, despite this, Hillary Clinton argues that the 9/11 authorization of the use of military force applies to operations against ISIS, an organization that didn't exist on 9/11 and whose average fighter is between 16 and 25 years old, or no older than 11 when 9/11 happened, no matter what their opinion of it was then or now.

There's no evidence France's war on terror will play out any differently from America's. Today, most Afghans may not even be aware what 9/11 was. It will be a lot easier for ISIS to convince residents of Iraq and Syria watching French bombs drop that the actions represent a renewed Crusade than to convince them it's to prevent any more French and Belgian nationals from perpetrating terrorist attacks for which ISIS could claim responsibility.

NEXT: France Launches Airstrikes Against ISIS, Dems Hold Saturday Night Debate, New Images of Pluto: A.M. Links

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  1. “but French authorities won’t say if any fingerprints found match those of the refugee”

    Fingerprints match:


  2. “ran roughshod across the Iraqi army”




    1. You are, dammit!

      1. ….oh….

        *hangs head in shame*

    2. Yes this whole column is incoherent.

      1. Nothing wrong with that of course. Check your grammar privilege !

  3. And if Europe stems the flow of refugees onto the continent as a response to the Paris attacks, they’ll be doing a huge favor for ISIS, making it harder for tens of thousands of innocent people to flee the radical Islamist group’s dominion, condemning them to ISIS’ rule.


    You think everyone, or even a majority of those showing up in Europe came from inside ISIS territory?

    1. Forget it, Swiss. It’s Open Borders Town.

    2. My understanding (imperfect as it is) is that the territory ISIS controls is/was the most sparely populated region in Syria. Most of those fleeing Syria are leaving because of the bombing in Damascus and other more populated cities.

    3. condemning them to ISIS’ rule

      If only there were some way for them to unite against ISIS and resist.

      1. No way man, that would require some kind of hard work and sacrifice. It’s WAY easier to just trek up to Europe, sign up for a lifetime of free shit, and then bitch and complain about literally everything.

        1. I’m sure you’re not only safe but it’s literally air-conditioned wherever you’re typing that. If you lived under ISIS rule and had young children you’d stay and fight like a MAN and not escape, right.

          1. Yeah, if my home was under attack from vicious lunatics intent on destroying everything I’ve ever known, I’d absolutely do everything I could to put a stop to it.

            1. amen brother

          2. For the most part they seem to have abandoned the women and children to ISIS.

          3. yes, fuckyougotmine the girly man.

            Seriously, though, yes, I would fight, many of our ancestors fought. The question is how does anything ever get better if evil is not opposed? And more specifically, if your community is overtaken by thugs, what makes you think that the solution is for other communities to welcome you, AND your thugs to theirs?

            They are thugs, and you have already proven you won’t even help stand up to them.

            Useless people, except as fertilizer.

    4. So, Krayewski just assumes Turkey and Jordan are going to fall to ISIS in next few months?

      And if they do, why not dump these nice folks over to, say, Indonsia, which is super-tolerant, Muslim country which could use a lot of wealth these migrants will bring?
      Or, if you want the ultimate troll, send them to Putin and let him deal with them. Russia has a problem with missing male population, maybe this is a solution?

      1. Ooooh! And send the women to China!

        1. Both of them?

    5. You think everyone, or even a majority of those showing up in Europe came from inside ISIS territory?

      technically speaking, none of them came from ISIS territory before entering the EU.

  4. Another fool, Bush’s failure to complete a mission does not mean the mission should not be finished. And for idiots like this article writer don’t understand is that even if we left them alone they still desire to come to here to kill us. I am for leaving them entirely alone though and letting them come and attack us here so that people will wake up and realize that war means killing everyone just like in WWII not this bs bomb here then bomb there crap that we have been doing.

    1. What mission? Seriously, what mission? Kill all the terrorists, and then kill the next batch that pops up in response, rinse and repeat forever?

      1. Gets kind of tough when a significant percentage of your population is Muslim and they are participating in the attacks. You can go into Reconquista mode or just submit.

        1. You can go into Reconquista mode or just submit.

          Neither of those things is going to happen. “Reconquista” would require brutalizing thousands or millions of innocent people.
          There are some serious problems with Muslims in Europe. But can we dispense with the silly idea that any significant number of them are part of some planned Islamic takeover of Europe?

          1. No we can’t.

            1. So you honestly believe that the majority of the migrants are not in fact fleeing a shitty situation and/or responding to the incentives of generous benefits for refugees, but are part of a planned invasion?

              1. It’s far easier to let the brain go into automatic reprisal mode, especially when you hardly see the taxes for it and never see the fighting yourself.

              2. Doesn’t matter why they are there. They belong to an organization that believes in religious dictatorship. They will support that dictatorship when it becomes feasible – when they hit 35% or so of the population.

              3. he did not say majority.. he said a significant number, and as we’ve just witnessed, the magical number eight, or huite, as they say in Paris, was “a significant number”. And eight ain’t that many

              4. Planned? No, of course not.

                However, it’s probably part of the calculus that causes neighboring Islamic countries not to accept refugees: they’d much rather have these refugees in Europe than in their own countries.

          2. But can we dispense with the silly idea that any significant number of them are part of some planned Islamic takeover of Europe?

            Or that, if you’re not going for scorched-earth warfare, you are surrendering to Islamists.

            1. Their rules, not ours. Europeans just understood it better 700 years ago.

              1. Yes, Europeans had no problem with mass murder 700 years ago. That’s not admirable.

                1. Some Europeans had no problem with it 50-100 years ago.

              2. Try 100 years ago. Do you hear about Greeks having lots of trouble with their Turkish minority, or Turks having trouble with Greeks in Anatolia?
                Worst than Balkan Wars of 90s by a wide margin, but you don’t often hear about it.

            2. Whether or not there is a plan doesn’t make a difference. Whether or not the typical european muslim is aware of such a plan also doesn’t make a difference. The invasion is happening; it’s real.

          3. Whether or not they part of a planned Islamic takeover doesn’t matter. They’ll vote for their blasphemy laws, their more violent brethren will commit terror attacks to scare people into supporting them, and their more political savvy friends will play the victim card, and talk about sensitivity to get the PC crowd supporting them.

            It doesn’t have to be some planned orchestrated effort for it to happen.

            1. Sounds like those fundamental rights should be made more non-negotiable by Europe’s governments. Maybe they should list them, in some kind of bill, and have a court system that ensures those rights shall not be abridged.

              1. First, a list of enumerated rights is what Europeans have, as opposed to a list of enumerated powers, like the US. Enumerated powers give the people more rights and seem to lead to more stable government.

                In any case, whether enumerated rights or powers, courts can only go so far in terms of going against popular will. Courts need the executive for enforcement. Just look at the Nazi rise to power in Germany.

          4. One big central plan? No. Lots people who share the same ideological predisposition towards spreading Islam, converting the local infidels and/or forcing them to submit through violence if need be and conquering the place they live? Yes. The Koran is pretty clear about the righteousness of conquest, forcible conversions, and the inferiority of non-Muslims.

            Then you add to that the scores of Muslim imams, preaching to their congregations about inviting their families from abroad, taking advantage of the welfare state and interbreeding with and out-breeding the Europeans in order to irreversibly alter their host society and expand the Islamic world, and a person might just conclude that a Muslim population is not their best interest, especially not in the interest of their children and grandchildren.

            Not to mention a slap in the face to the Europeans in no less than 2500 years of history who lived an died to build up the principles and institutions that has made Western civilization live. The multicult is pissing away our delicate inheritance.

            1. Well said.

          5. It is clear that at least some of the immigrants are either infiltrators who are already radicalized, or people of the correct demographic to be readily radicalized once they discover that life in Europe does not meet their expectations. The question we need to ask, is how many of these there are, and what is an acceptable number? It appears at this point the the attacks in Paris were the work of a dozen or so people. When you look at the number of people entering Europe from the region, could it be possible to sneak 100 terrorists in? 1000?

          6. Interesting.

            Terrorists and other thugs, prosper only by getting resources from others.

            Much like WW2, in order to defeat the Nazi’s we destroyed not only factories, but entire cities (Dresden) to cut off the war materials needed to sustain the Nazi war machine.

            If it is our goal to defeat ISIS et al, then we have to make the environment they feed in toxic, or destroy it. This involves many we refer to as innocents. Homes, businesses, mosques, and schools they work in, hide in, and live in must be either destroyed, or made inhospitable and non-supportive.

            So long as these communities find it easier to let the thugs live among them, and in fact support them, they will persist. In a real sense, the root problem is not the thugs, it is the support network that supports the thugs.

            It is unfortunate, but until we actually treat this like a WAR, it will be impossible to “win”. The price of supporting the thugs, or letting the thugs live off you, has to be raised. In short, we need the communities that currently host ISIS to more scared of us, than them.

            This, or isolate ourselves from them to the limit of our ability. That means closing borders and deporting people in mass among other things.

            1. In short, either we need to practice, as on a poster my father had said “yea though I walk through the valley of death, I shall fear no evil, for I am the baddest mother fucker in the valley”, or isolate ourselves from them.

              Unfortunately, it appears that the children are in charge, and they continue to scream “it’s not fair!” as if that mattered, rather than making meaningful choices and executing what needs to be done.

      2. Kill all the terrorists, and then kill the next batch that pops up in response, rinse and repeat forever?

        Think of it as a jobs program.

      3. Nuclear weapons. Just start using them on ISIS held cities and positions. Show them that we’re not fucking around anymore, and fervor for the cause will dry up real quick. Especially with the middle-class European kids who romanticize the Caliphate. Ain’t nothing romantic about radiation burns.

        1. I can’t possibly see any blowback from mass murdering hundreds of thousands of people.

          Man, it is getting way too Toby Keith in the Reason comments since Friday.

          1. I can’t possibly see any blowback from mass murdering 129 people.

            1. I can see the blowback — what hasn’t been proven to me that it isn’t exactly what they want — France getting involved in the Syria conflict to cause even more destabilization in the region.

              1. I have to say, Chip’s route is extremely stable. Empty, vacant, glass, but stable.

                It is not something to be rejected, if tactical weapons are those used. As I said above, you can’t just kill the thugs, you have to make them toxic to have around.

          2. it is getting way too Toby Keith in the Reason comments since Friday.

            Talented and handsome? Awww, shucks.

            Also, sometimes people are snarky or sarcastic.

            Also, sometimes people are incensed at a tragedy and type their feelings.

            1. “Also, sometimes people are incensed at a tragedy and type their feelings.”

              For a magazine called “Reason”…

              1. There is damn little reasoning going on. Just posturing, and repeating trite truisms.

    2. It took 8 whole minutes for the first warboner to liken this to WWII. You guys are slowing down.

      1. Meh. He’s a n00b; possibly a drive-by.

        1. Or a tard…

          realize that war means killing everyone just like in WWII

          This is why there is no single living German or Japanese person in those countries today.

          1. “When this war is over, the Japanese language will only be spoken in Hell!”

          2. Remember when they said Japan had never been defeated, just like they say of the middle east which is untrue of course. Note everyone man woman and child was killed in WWII until there was complete surrender. and unfortunately that is what it takes and then you have to stay there for another 50 years. which is what we did not do in the middle east,we left and then Hillary armed them and then now we have this.

      2. Actually, this is nothing like WW2, but that does not mean that specific lessons about wars in general do not apply. It is silly to equate ISIS to conventional war by a nation-state. It is silly to suggest this is all new and no lessons from the past apply.

  5. Meanwhile, the French version of the PATRIOT Act failed to stop this attack. I wonder if the French will sacrifice even more civil liberties in the name of security theater?

    1. They should ban Hijabs. That’ll teach the Muslims.

      1. They should require *everyone* to wear Hijabs.

        1. If by “Hijabs” you mean “sidearms”, then yes.

    2. The French don’t need civil liberties because they are French! By definition, they are superior!

  6. Anything France does abroad is purely for distraction and appeasement purposes. Almost 10% of the population is now Muslim and that number is going up quickly. While ISIS outsiders may have masterminded the attacks, they had lots of help from “French” Muslims.

    They are trying to redirect action abroad to avoid backlash against domestic Muslims – like this. http://www.express.co.uk/news/…..-terrorism

    I think we are watching the opening acts of World War 3.

    1. Drake, any idea what portion of France’s muslims are non-citizens?

      1. What’s that matter? Islam is the Religion of Peace.

      2. Does it matter? Their many kids will be voting citizens in a generation.

        1. It matters only in that they can be deported quickly and easily. Presumably the non-citizens are less assimilated. Deportation wouldn’t really solve the problem, but it would be a start.

          1. They can’t be deported ‘quickly and easily’ for the same reason as in US. A change in the attitude of judiciary and politicians (because EU rules) required for mass deportations would be much bigger swing than FN winning election.

            1. I think the EU rulemakers are in for a nasty awakening real soon now.

        2. It will take a couple generations. France doesn’t have birthright citizenship like the US. You have to be born in France, and at least one of your parents also has to have been born in France. So, two generations living in ghettos, as non-citizens, marginalized and increasingly bitter: No way that leads to more radicalization.

      3. Not sure, but a great number of France’s Muslims hold French passports because they originally came from French colonies. France has a two tiered system with separate passports for “native” French and former citizens of French colonies or territories.

    2. This is not a World War. It has little if anything to do with editions I or II, and even predates the Westphalian nation-state.

      This is the same war that has been going on since the Seventh century. It is the unreformed elements of a religion bent on world conquest vs. pretty much anyone who stands in their way.

      Ed can wish for no more ‘ill-advised’ wars, but so long as we postpone sorting that primary one out we’ll be forever facing a string of minor stand-ins.

      1. Agree with all except the “unreformed” part. ISIS is reformed Islam. Unlike the peaceful Muslims everyone likes, they actually follow the letter of the Koran and Hadith.

        1. As applied to pretty much every other religion, that is not what “reformed” means. Reform as applied to religions generally means moving away from the more backwards and archaic parts of the religion.

          What do you think is gained by telling more peaceful Muslims that they have their religion wrong? Maybe you are correct, but so what? Islam is not going to disappear. Reform is the only way to make it less of a negative force in the world. Telling everyone that the violent jihadis are the only ones doing their religion properly is pointless at best and probably counterproductive.

          1. But the reform you speak of can only come from within Islamic societies. We sure as shit aren’t going to just talk them into it. The litany of freedom related concepts that are inherent in European cultures weren’t given to Europeans from outsiders, generation upon generation of men and women far better than you or I bled and died to build this civilization. And now leftoids and their derivative ideologies, like multiculturalism, are squandering that inheritance every way they can.

          2. As applied to pretty much every other religion, that is not what “reformed” means. Reform as applied to religions generally means moving away from the more backwards and archaic parts of the religion.

            Reformed Christianity went back to a more literal, more fundamentalist, and more strict interpretation of the Bible. In many ways, the Catholic church was far more tolerant and flexible than early protestants. Read up on the early Calvinists, for example.

      2. This is the same war that has been going on since the Seventh century

        The Islamic expansion by the sword has gone on for over a thousand years. The reason is because Mohammad saw into the future when the US would help the Israelis discriminate against the Palestinians! The entire Islamic expansion is a result of blowback!

        1. The reason is – it works! It worked back then until the Europeans really got medieval on them, and it works now.

          1. I’ll get pedantic here – it worked until Europeans got all Enlightenment on them. Sure as shit knights and pikemen weren’t stopping the Turks, and took until 18th century and Prince Eugene of Savoy to start rolling back their conquests.

            1. ^ This.

            2. Not true. The Reconquesta ended with victory in 1492 (which is why the crown could afford to send Columbus on his voyage). Charles Martel (The Hammer) beat them in 732 CE, Vlad III Dracula fought them successfully around 1475/6 (although the Ottomans retook Wallachia in 1476), and there were many other defeats of the Muslims over the years before the 18th century.

            3. What’s happening now is anti-Enlightenment. The weakening of philosophical principles in favor of sophistry has opened an intellectual wound that had been closed because of the Enlightenment. That wound has become infected with mutliculturalist and socialist diseases, from which we may not recover.

            4. The Ottomans never fully recovered from the beating they took at Vienna in 1683.

      3. It is, hopefully, the Last Crusade.

        People tend to forget that the Crusades were a very belated reaction to Islamic expansionism and conquest.

        1. No they weren’t.

          They were a slightly delayed reaction (60 years or so) to Turks closing trade and pilgrimage routes to traffic coming from the West. The prior Arab rulers had allowed trade and pilgrimage by Christians to continue unobstructed.

          1. Western Europe was most certainly reacting to the conquests of Islamic empires. When Constantinople fell, most western political leaders didn’t initially lift a finger it’s true, but the laymen of Europe saw it quite clearly as a calamity that threatened all of European civilization. The call for a Crusade by the Pope might well have been about geopolitical goals, but the level of support that the call for a Crusade received from Christendom was most certainly a result of a desire to roll back the Islamic conquests.

            1. “When Constantinople fell,”

              Constantinople fell about 350 years *after* the First Crusade. Not a related thing. Study harder.

              “Rolling back Islamic conquests” was in no way what it was about in the popular medieval European imagination – it was about pilgrimage. The “secret” side was that it was “really” about trade routes.

              1. Ooooo, it was a “secret”! Thank goodness we have you to explain that to us with your secret decoder ring. Here we were just going on, well, HISTORY.

          2. You are aware that Muslims conquered Jerusalem and the Holy Land in one of their first waves of conquest, yes?

            1. Um, yes.

              Again, “The prior Arab rulers had allowed trade and pilgrimage by Christians to continue unobstructed.”

              Which is why no one in Europe cared until the Turks cut off said routes.

              Re-read The City of God. Medieval Europe cared about Jerusalem and the Holy Land and who ruled them not very much, in point of fact.

      4. How is this NOT a world war? One side wants to conquer the world and the other will resist. Sounds like the perfect definition of a WW to me.

        1. Me too – and I think it will go very hot before long.

    3. “I think we are watching the opening acts of World War 3.”

      I bet you are already unzipped.

      1. And he still might be right.

  7. The war France needs to fight is basically a civil war which it is incapable of acknowledging. Bombing ISIS is a futile exercise, but I’m sure it will make them feel like they’re doing something – so there’s that.

    1. Yes – I said the same thing less succinctly.

    2. They should try isolating the Muslims in slums more.

      1. They should not have brought them in, in the first place, not allow any more in. They are not, and never were, interested in becoming “French”. Why would any country want people coming who oppose the fundamental culture and identity of the host country?

    3. In 1994 I went driving around in a car with a girl who worked in my cousin’s restaurant. She hated Arabs and warned France is going to have major trouble down the road because they refused to integrate and were open in their hostility. At one point, she rolled the window when she saw a few and yelled, ‘Cauchons!”

      It was my first taste of hate. And it was real, man.

      1. Question: was she hot?

        1. Who knows?

          She was however, correct. Being a racist bitch does not mean you are always wrong. Being an open minded, free thinking, humanitarian does not make you right.

  8. What can French airstrikes against ISIS accomplish?

    They give the appearance of doing something. And I’m not saying that airstrikes are a bad thing. Anything which fucks with them is good, but as pointed out by others direct conflict only incentivizes them to do more terror attacks.

    1. Also, if French don’t respond, ISIS leadership gets to point at them and say they are cowards, incapable of fighting back even when their capital is attacked. If “waaaaah, they are bombing us” carries propaganda weight, “mashallah, they don’t dare resist our lions” carries even more.

      1. This is true. And since some significant portion of ISIS recruitment occurs from within Western nations I think the response is necessary to prevent a cascade of amateur-hour cascading attacks.

        1. You mean like, by the “JV team”? Sidenote: Obama is an imbecile.

          1. That is unfair and denigrating to imbeciles everywhere!

      2. The real response of the French public and the rest of us to these atrocities is to pile up flowers, light candles and cry. That’s the message we’re sending and the jihadis are laughing themselves paralytic because of it.

        1. But a guy rolled in his piano and played Imagine. How can you deny such powerful memetic warfare?!

        2. I think hashtag campaigns are the best method of rolling up the jihadists.

          1. This comment makes me want to smoke.

  9. Dropping bombs on the Middle East is definitely going to solve the problem this time.

    1. We should just remove another pesky dictator or two, it’s been working great so far.

      1. Hey, why not supply weapons to the locals and have them do the fighting? I don’t see how that could possibly go wrong.

        1. Hell, we could even help them form an army!

          1. Or… or… we could send in advisors! You know, like Kennedy did!

            1. Then we can continue to expand their role. Like Kennedy and Johnson did.

          2. Like Reagan helped the Mujahedeen! Freedom fighters! Osama Bin Laden was soooo grateful, and that’s why the people of Afghanistan have been our loyal friends to this day.

    2. I agree that bombing the ME is pointless. What I’d really like to hear is a libertarian/classical liberal approach to approaching this problem of a minority of anti-liberals within a society engaging in war-like behavior (murder) while using the values of the society they live in to promote their ideology. The enemy within – if you will. While at the same time demographic and immigration trends tend to support the likely enlargement of populations who will tolerate and even encourage that ideology.

      I’ve yet to hear any of the more dedicated libertarians or ana-capitalists even address this beyond accusing others of pants shitting.

      How about it?

      1. Allright. I’ll tackle this. But you’re going to have to wait till tomorrow; I’m snowed under at work, and already wrote my essay of the day.

        1. I look forward to your response.

        2. Snowed in?

          I helped my brother in east Texas pick the last few of his tomatoes and peppers yesterday.

          I am in short sleeves as we type.

          1. Snowed in under work – not actual snow, unless he works as a snow removal technician (that’s what we call the snow plow dudes in Jersey).

            1. That name, again, is ‘Mr. Plow.’

              1. We are expecting snow tomorrow here. I will be spending the day plowing snow. Yay.

              2. Ah, the simple joys of ploughing…

      2. Murder isn’t “war-like behavior”, it’s a crime and should be treated as such.

        And the response to the Muslim immigration crisis is the same as the response to the influx of Irish papists in the early 19th century, or the sudden release of millions of blacks from bondage in the mid 19th century, or the wave of Asian immigrants in the late 19th century, or the tide of east Europeans in the early 20th century, or the Mexicans in the late 20th-early 21st century. Let them breed and breed and breed like the rapacious vermin they are and consume our delicate and culture from within while honest god-fearing Americans watch helplessly.

        1. Okay, so treat it as a crime.

          And, Muslim immigration isn’t a problem because it is equivalent to immigration America has experienced.

          Got it.

          Seems a bit thin but thanks for the effort.

          1. And, just to be clear, I was really asking how France should address its issues from a ana-cap perspective, not the USA.

            1. France has an long ethic-cultural-religious history that America doesn’t. I don’t know how that shapes either the immigrant experience or the local response to it. I’m certainly not aware of any historical examples of non-imperial immigrants usurping a more liberal culture from within and making it less liberal.

              1. I’m certainly not aware of any historical examples of non-imperial immigrants usurping a more liberal culture from within and making it less liberal.

                Are Islamists “non-imperialists”? While most Muslims aren’t Islamists, as I’ve mentioned previously, it doesn’t require a majority to enforce group norms (see IRA and Hamas).

                I think history is actually filled with examples of immigrants ursurping established more liberal cultures from within and making them less liberal, possibly not in the past couple centuries, but previously – yes. See Gibbons and Ghangis Kahn.

                1. I’m using “imperialist” to refer to an economically and militarily superior nation invading and colonizing a less developed one, like the Romans in Europe or the Moors in Spain or the Spanish in South America or the Europeans in Africa. Genghis Khan was a military conqueror. The Mongolian empire was a story of violent conquest, not one of peaceful immigration overturning a liberal local culture.

                  1. That maybe how you’re using it, but my point is still valid. Islamists seek to impose their ideology on others through violence if necessary, and they’ve got a larger population to hide within who may not outright support them but may have some sympathies. “They’re bad guys but they’re our bad guys.” So in another definition they are imperialists.

                    So, again, your response is that their behavior is criminal and should be treated as such, that immigration (unless it’s sponsored by an imperial nation) is not a threat, and France is a unique case that you cannot address.

              2. I’m certainly not aware of any historical examples of non-imperial immigrants usurping a more liberal culture from within and making it less liberal.

                …Californians moving to Seattle.

                Boom. What do I win?

                1. A pumpkin latte from Starbucks?

                2. LESS not MORE liberal lol

              3. Palestinians in Lebanon?
                Arabs in Bosnia?
                Refugees from India in Pakistan?

                Shit, now it looks like I’m picking on Muslims…

                Russian Jews to Israel? (hey, you said ‘less liberal’, not ‘make it illiberal’).

        2. Um, Hugh, buddy, it’s the “god-fearing” people who are the problem here.

      3. Assimilation, but that’s not something a libertarian government would do, that would be a thing for non-governmental institutes to do.

      4. First step: transition to a more libertarian society. Then see what the sitch is and work from there.

      5. The smart way to carry on a war is covertly. A peaceful war. Never make it look like you’re deliberately killing or maiming, but make them look like accidents. Rely heavily on poison, but also vehicular & other accidents. Deny all responsibility. Then let the rumors fly.

        1. So KGB style?

          Igor like…

      6. Hans Hoppe has some great arguments about immigration. To sum it up, people don’t have a right to the property of others, which means they also don’t have a right to utilize the stolen property of others, so in principle a person doesn’t have a natural right to immigrate to some particular place. What he may have, is a contractual right to immigrate to a place predicated upon that immigrant being sponsored by a property owner. This necessarily precludes “open borders” and mass immigration to places that are not frontier.

        1. Sounds interesting. Rather than forcing me to search google can you post a link please?


      7. What I’d really like to hear is a libertarian/classical liberal approach

        In the US and Europe, immigration is something decided at the national level, and once people are in the country, various laws force everybody to associate with them: you have to do business with them, not discriminate against them in housing and employment, etc. If they are refugees or residents, they also get government support. And there is very little individual screening of people coming in, except for generic background checks and a couple of interviews. And the people doing the checks don’t have to live with the consequences (the officials who let in the Syrian refugee-terrorist will face no repercussions).

        In a libertarian society, there is no national immigration policy; decisions are made locally. That is, in a libertarian society, your town (run more like an HOA) would decide whether to accept refugees or immigrants, employers would decide what immigrants from what nationalities they like, and if you don’t find a place to live and work, you would simply not migrate. Furthermore, the people making the decisions are the people having to live with the consequences.

    3. Bigger bombs …. WAY bigger bombs.

  10. I admit that there isn’t an easy answer to this. And just dropping some bombs won’t do shit. As well, putting restrictions on liberty for citizens doesn’t necessarily stop any attacks, and fucks up life for everybody.

    However, the first thing that France, and frankly the rest of the free world should do is meet with Assad. (Understand, I hate that bloody butcher. However, at this point, the enemy of my enemy is well, my enemy’s enemy, and that will have to do for now.)
    Tell him he has to do 3 things:
    1. Give up claims on the Golan Heights
    2. Stop funding Hezbollah
    3. Dismantle chem weapons facilities (open to US, not UN, inspection).

    If he agrees, then France, the UK, US, etc ally with Russia and utterly destroy everything associated with ISIS in Syria, and meet with the Iraqis and do the same.

    I don’t care what Arabs are doing to Arabs. I care about what Islamists are doing to the rest of us. Will this solve the greater problem. Of course not, but just because we can’t come up with the ultimate answer, doesn’t mean we can’t deal with today’s problem.

    1. BTW: If he doesn’t agree, then fine we get the fuck out and let them screw each other. If Russia wants to get in there, let them. Put STOP ALLOWING IN REFUGEES FROM THESE FUCKING PLACES!! Make these assholes fix their home.

      1. Indeed. The first battle will be introducing Mr Enllightened Cosmopolitan to Mr. Lamppost. Let us note that no Muslim army has invaded France or anywhere else. The only terrorist attacks that have occurred anywhere in the west are by Muslims that our Enlightened Betters have seen fit to let in through the front door. Start taking the concept of treason seriously again, deal with it the way it’s historically been dealt with, and I bet you’ll be surprised at how fast this problem just goes away.

    2. I don’t care what Arabs are doing to Arabs. I care about what Islamists are doing to the rest of us.


    3. “2. Stop funding Hezbollah”

      A total non-starter.

      Assad isn’t so much funding Hezbollah, as he’s merely a conduit for Iran’s funding of Hezbollah. And while Putin has gone in to prop up his chosen proxy, he’s not going to assist in any attempt to muscle the Iranians out. Not because he doesn’t want it, but because he knows he doesn’t have that kind of juice.

      1. I was just thinking about this. That is a fair point that Syria is only a sort of middle man. But considering the proximity of Syria to Lebanon, I think we could leverage Assad. At least try to take them out of the equation. And if Assad feels that his future would be more assured, he may be willing to deal. That is the great thing about the secular Arabs. They are always willing to horse trade.

      2. So show him the video of Gadaffi’s death.

        “Your anus or Hizballah?”



        1. Too soon. Also, at this point, what does it matter?


    4. 4. Unleash the Kurds. Promise them an independent Kurdistan (sorry, Turkey and Iraq).

      1. Good point! I am all for it.

      2. Absolutely. Iraq was a British construct. Trying to hold it together sans Saddam was a fool’s errand.

      3. Can we even get to the Peshmerga? It seems like every response of ISIS is to hit the Kurds harder. And there’s the violent Kurd-separatist group in Turkey who aren’t exactly good guys…

        1. That’s the rub. How do we distinguish from badass Peshmerga freedom fighters and nationalist terrorists who will start a war with Turkey as soon as Isis is done for. Or perhaps a better question: how do we unleash them without Turkey sabotaging them every step of the way.

      4. Unleash the Kurds and the Israelis. For the latter, get the French and Germans to play ball, too. Then fighting anywhere other than in the Middle East would be pointless.

            1. Sadly, my personality remains rock-bottomed and copper sheathed.

              1. Forced sex-change due to new Seattle ordinance? [Nods knowingly.]

                1. Not just a sex change. I am now Chelsea Clinton. Suggesting I’m not invalidates my identity.

                  1. I’m not oppressing you, Stan. You haven’t got a womb! Where’s the fetus going to gestate?! You going to keep it in a box?!

      5. “Unleash the Kurds. Promise them an independent Kurdistan (sorry, Turkey and Iraq).”

        Turkey is already using the pretext of going after ISIS as an excuse to go after the Kurds.

        The problem with unleashing the Kurds (who are already unleashed) is that they don’t care about anything outside of greater Kurdistan–ISIS threats outside of greater Kurdistan are likely to be unaffected by unleashed Kurds.

        1. That’s not a problem, Ken. An independent Kurdistan would be ISIS-free in short order. So that’s one less place for them to hide. Yeah, Turkey is a problem; time for them to take one for the team.

    5. Aren’t Hezbollah and ISIS enemies along the Sunni/Shia divide?

    6. Hezbollah are a legitimate poltical party in Lebanon. They defeated the Israelis attack which featured hundreds of ari sorties in 2006 without even using their most elite forces. Southern Lebanon is largely Shia.
      Assad may have some lesser chemical weapons but the kerfunkle that almost got us involved in a “teeny tiny” war with him was definitely a false flag.
      I am a Jets fan. Picking between Shia and Sunni is like picking between the Patriots and the Raiders. Nevertheless, if I had to, I would pick Shia.
      Israel needs to stop the settlements.

      1. The National Socialists were once elected as a “legitimate authority” but likewise enforced their rule through armed brutality.

        But you’re right, those damned Jews are in the way again.


    7. Don’t know if you’ve been following the news, but you should know that a good deal of the free world is already involved in Syria without meeting Assad or having him agree to your absurd conditions. A good deal of the unfree world is also participating.

    8. Threaten to make Mecca glow in the dark. Then nuke the moon to prove that we’re insane.

      1. The only thing to make sense, so far!

  11. Terrorist groups cannot defeat a country the size of France or Germany let alone the US or Russia.

    What they can do is provoke a response from the populace that leads to instability within the governments of those countries that leads to self-defeating courses of action.

    And so it goes.

    1. I don’t hear many people who believe that the problem with ISIS is the defeat of a state. There’s a little thing we call murder, and maiming that is so unfortunate. We should just ask them to stop that shit. I guess we could stop all this stuff by just recognizing the current ISIS territory as a new state, and asking if we can build an embassy there.

      1. Murder is a crime. Terrorists are criminals, not soldiers. Crime-fighting is a never-ending task. You can kill all the criminals you know about, and they will all be replaced by new criminals. You cannot wage war on crime. Not terrorists, not drugs, not rape, not whatever.

        The fundamental problem with treating crime-fighting against terrorism as war-fighting is is using that “war” to justify the destruction of hard-won civil liberties. So I am totally fucking tired of seeing and hearing shit that says we are at war with terrorists.

        1. So it’s a semantics problem. How much murder does it take to make it a war? Is it a war if the guy killing you says it is, or only if you agree? What does unilaterally calling it just “a crime” accomplish?

          1. So it’s a semantics problem

            No. It’s not a problem of fucking semantics.

            The Hutus and Tutsis managed to kill a million people over a very short time. But as long as they were killing themselves, not one cared about it. But killing white people and posting videos on YouTube is somehow worthy of bombing missions.

            As tragic as it was, Paris means nothing to the US strategically. Let the French work their own problem with the criminals the EU manages to breed within their own confines.

            1. Killing people who were citizens of countries with proper air forces vs killing people with no nation-state to back them up.

            2. We should have intervened to stop the chopping in Africa too. But if you are against both then at least you share my commitment to equality, but in a slightly different way. See, we found common ground.

    2. THIS!!

      The idea that terrorism can somehow destroy the west is absurd. The only thing it can do it encourage our own governments to destroy it for them.

    3. http://www.slate.com/blogs/the…..tefai.html

      French officials received multiple warnings about Paris attacker Omer Ismail Mostefai before Friday’s terror attack but Turkey didn’t get a response from French authorities until after the attack, a Turkish official said on Monday.

      “On Oct. 10, 2014, Turkey received an information request regarding four terror suspects from the French authorities,” a Turkish official told the New York Times. “During the official investigation, the Turkish authorities identified a fifth individual, Omar Ismail Mostefai, and notified their French counterparts twice?in December 2014 and June 2015.

      Mashable also quoted a senior Turkish official as saying that Mostefai, the first gunman identified in the attack, was known to security officials and that France never followed up on shared information until after the attack took place.

      So, no one knows how to handle intelligence that actually identifies criminals in advance of terrorist attacks. So, let’s just bomb the shit out of terrorist hideouts in sovereign states that we’re not actually at war with.

    4. Kinnath, I agree that these terrorist organizations could never wage a traditional war of conquest — they will never be landing en masse on the shores of Delaware — but I don’t understand this false sense of bravado we all seem to have in the west. This notion that we can’t actually be hurt, that these guys can kill a 100 teens at a concert sure, but we are numerically safe…

      Maybe it’s just something we tell ourselves to ease the fear we feel. Every other comment on the internet jokingly or seriously says, ‘Nuke ’em and be done with it.’ We are all aware of this mentality but few acknowledge the reverse perspective. This is a nuclear world, and overtime those resources will become more and more accessible. In 70 years it has gone from 1 nuclear country to 11 now? If our enemies unleash a dirty bomb in New York or Washington, this country will reel. Our enemies have the will to do this, they possibly do not have the means, overtime they are guaranteed the means one day… We can talk strategy for dealing with terrorists, with pointless bombings in Syria, and on and on. But I’d like it if people could at least acknowledge that this threat is deadly serious and only a fool believes in their own immortality. I think we will learn that lesson, really, really, hard one day.

      1. Terrorist groups cannot defeat a country the size of France or Germany let alone the US or Russia.

        I should have quoted your comment so you know what I’m responding too.

    5. Terrorist groups cannot defeat a country the size of France or Germany let alone the US or Russia.

      If even 1 in 1000 Muslims in France were terrorists, that’d be something like 65,000 terrorists. That’s enough bring them to their knees. Now of course the number isn’t that high at this point, but upwards of a quarter of the population expresses popular support for the terrorists and it is from this group that the terrorists are selected, nurtured and materially supported.

  12. This tragedy could have been prevented if it was not for the Snowden the Traitor. He gave the enemy classified information about the methods we use to collect data, data that could have stopped the terrible tragedy in Paris. Is he still your hero, libertarians?

    1. Not sure if serious.

        1. I heard that on the radio this morning. SCARY MOOSLIMBS ARE USING ENCRYPTION APPS TO EVADE THE NSA

      1. Not serious. Satire.

        1. Serious satire.

            1. She was obviously complimenting my satirical ability, so you need to retract that gaze, Sir.

              1. *narrowed gaze for Crusty too*

      2. There have been a few pieces seriously arguing along these lines.

    2. CIA Director Brennan is actually saying that.

      1. John Brennan’s ever expanding drone war needs to stay secretive.

    3. Anybody who wants to communicate securely and free from spying by US spy agencies can do so easily. That was true before Snowden and it’s true now. And there is no legislation or magic technology that is going to change that.


    1. I’monna hafta go with this guy, folks. He’s the only one really speaking my language among all this Babylonian hand-wringing.

  14. There are people in ISIS killing, raping, and destroying thousands of lives and wiping out liberty inside and out of the Middle East, and they are increasing in number and strength, soooooo, which is better kill a lot of them or don’t?


    1. Again, I think he might be jesting, but I’m genuinely sympathetic to this guy’s stated position.

  16. Reposted from the morning links since it’s more appropriate here:

    I think that an attack in the U.S. involving a squad of attackers is all but certain. ISIS has encouraged “lone wolf” attacks, and there have been a few, all of which were failures due to a combination of lucky defenders and shitty attackers.

    After a great deal of thought, I have a hypothesis that explains the seemingly suicidal behavior of ISIS in trying to raise the entire world against them.

    I think that the overriding issue is a religious one; the leaders genuinely believe that God is on their side, and they will win any battle with the west. I think they have a prophecy to the effect that they will defeat Rome whom they basically claim is a euphemism for the U.S. So the religious leaders are really pushing for this.

    But there are also a whole bunch of practical benefits.

    First, recruiting. ISIS needs recruits. A large number of them, especially since they are suffering heavy losses due to their suicidal tactics. This is accomplished by a slick propaganda department that encourages people to see this as a holy war and a chance to imbue their otherwise meaningless lives with grand significance. The propaganda energizes these people. Some are able to become fighters or travel to ISIS controlled lands to work as supply clerks or land-missile guidance systems.

    1. But a significant portion of these people are not capable of this. So what to do with them? You can’t just say “Sorry, no waivers for losers, go back to mommy’s basement you hoser” They’ll go crying to the authorities. You have to maintain the energy. So you encourage them to fuck things up at home. They die, and in the process they create propaganda-of-the-deed.

      Secondly, fomenting war with the west makes ISIS look more revolutionary and religiously meaningful. And the western punitive campaigns give the ISIS propagandists more propaganda of muslim suffering to drive people to support their cause. If they truly believe that God will make them invulnerable to western attack, then this has no downside. They literally can’t lose! 🙂

      1. Third, geopolitics. I suspect that they seek to rupture the U.S.alliance with Gulf Arabs. ISIS’s biggest vulnerability is their supply lines. Specifically, if the Gulf Arab states cut ISIS off from support, they are done. ISIS really came onto the scene when the Gulf Arabs realized that the U.S. was not going to intervene in the Syrian civil war on the side of the Sunnis, and started shipping arms and money directly to them. While ISIS now harvests billions of dollars a year from the territory they control, and thus are less dependent on gulf arab support, they cannot survive if the Gulf Arabs turn against them and allow Iran, Syria, and Russia to chew them up. If the Saudis and the U.S. part ways, ISIS calculates eventually, either through succession or through revolt, the Saudi Throne will fall into their hands.

        The ISIS leadership might not be too off on their calculations. Defeating them cannot be accomplished by air power. To destroy them would require a modern mechanized army using effective combined arms tactics. The U.S. has no allies that will allow them to mass such a expeditionary force.

        1. I suspect that they seek to rupture the U.S.alliance with Gulf Arabs.

          Yes, particularly the Saudis.

        2. To destroy them would require a modern mechanized army using effective combined arms tactics

          This is what I was thinking, too. Just from a tactical point of view, we have had fourteen years of war and we have not really tried this strategy yet. Norman Schwarzkopf is still rolling over in his grave.

        3. Mechanized army in a city? Those don’t work out to well. If you are determined to eradicate them, then it’s going to take a lot of dismounted infantry.

          1. I sure didn’t mind having a nice MBT with when I was on foot…


    Well, yea. Kill as many ISIS as possible, as fast as possible, and keep killing them.

    And the alternative plan?

    1. Stop cutting of the hands, and start shooting for the heads.

      1. off, not of

    2. It really is impossible to parody the war boner crowd.

      1. Stop staring at our dicks, and get some Cialis.

        1. So your war boner can be ready whenever the moment is right!

          1. I’m just saying penis envy is not a strategy.

          2. The thing about warboners is they never go away. No matter how much you stroke them to conflict-glorifying propaganda, no matter how often you stick them into the loamy soils of Europe or the sands of the Middle East or the steaming jungles of Asia or the frigid wastes of Russia or the savannas of Africa, you can’t ever be satisfied. Even after you groan out your mournful climax “we can’t help it war is mankind’s natural state”, and wipe the blood off your dick, you’re ready to go again two minutes later.

            1. You sound like another person who has never actually been in a war, yet somehow feels qualified to hold forth on the topic in a very smug and grandiose manner.

              1. Really? It sounds more to me like he’s criticizing the insatiability of those in power who themselves have never been in war yet are perpetually eager to deploy troops against all enemies, real or perceived.

                1. The two aren’t mutually exclusive, are they? Yes, you’re right, that’s what he’s criticizing. And he’s doing it in a way that makes him sound smug, grandiose, and indicates to my personal biases that he has never actually fought in a war.

                  You sound as smug and grandiose as him, if that’s consolation to you.

                  But it’s a very clever and humorous meme, ‘warboner.’ Heh.

                  1. So someone shouldn’t be anti-war until they’ve tasted it?

  18. I am comforted by the fact that by this time next year Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump will have a plan to deal with ISIS, as well as the bigger threat of terrorism.

    1. Hillary – yes, but it will involve a war. She wants to be the first woman leader to start and win a war. I’m sure the plans are already drawn up. Trump – even without this, he would have managed to bluster us into a war. This incident will be an issue in the election.

      1. “She wants to be the first woman leader to start and win a war.”


        /Ghosts of Elizabeth I, Catherine the Great and Maria Theresa

        1. Does Helen of Troy count?

          1. It’s impossible to lose harder than the side she chose did, though.

        2. But they all lived, like, a hundred years ago.

        3. Yes, I was aware of them. Also, Queen Victoria. I should have said “modern.” I’m not sure how hands-on those queens were with their wars.

          1. Just givin’ ya crap.

            I guess Thatcher didn’t start the one she won….hmmm. Yeah, maybe “Good Quuen Vic” vs Boers?

      2. Hillary will likely get us all killed in nuclear holocaust.

        1. Not if Barry does it first. We’ve still got over a year left of his blundering.

        2. Hillary is the presidential candidate who benefits the most from this. She has the hawkish warboner and free shit crowd united. Her criminality just makes her look appropriate standing on the world stage alongside Putin.

      3. Does that mean we have to start talking about Hillary’s war-clit-dong?

    2. I know, right?

      When we have the right TOP MEN everything will be okey-dokey.

  19. Coming soon to a university near you. The headline is misleading. The student didn’t ‘speak’ about anything. They made demands.

    The lunacy reaches Baltimore

    1. The headline is mis-leading??!!?!?! Is this an American periodical to which we’re referring??!?

  20. If someone is intent on destroying your society and replacing it with their own, is war unreasonable? I think not. The question then becomes, are the capable of causing enough harm for us to go to war? I do not think they are at this time, but in the future they may be.

    1. War against who? Take their territory in Syria and they’ll just leave for some other ME hell-hole. We are fighting an ideology, not a nation-state. Sure, their ultimate plan of a worldwide caliphate requires that they eventually have a nation-state, but at this point they only need a few secure areas from which to operate.

      1. They are already relocating to Western Europe. We don’t have the guts to name the enemy – the PC crowd will call us racists and Islamphobes – the Islamists will go Charlie Hebdo on us.

    2. Their greatest weapon is the PC madness taking over the west. They basically don’t have to do anything at this point, just let us destroy our own society and then they just fill the void.

  21. Bomb all “ISIS” controlled oil! We need to drive up the price of oil!

    1. What sort of idiot would recommend bombing oil fields? Oh yeah, Trump. And he leads the polls as the GOP candidate for president. We are so fucked.

      1. Real idiots would bomb those buying the “ISIS” oil!

  22. I assume the ATF and DEA and will stop chasing cigarette smugglers and small-time weed dealers in order to concentrate on fighting this burgeoning ISIS threat in America, right? Surely the threat is so large that federal law enforcement agencies would not waste time and money and effort investigating utterly petty “crimes,” right?

    1. LOL

    2. I hope so because I don’t how many more cartons of cigarettes I can fit up my ass, even in these tough economic times. I want a shiny new Green Job?

  23. “What can French airstrikes against ISIS accomplish? . . . . France could put boots on the ground in an effort to exterminate ISIS. That plays into ISIS’ end-game too.”

    I agree that a ground war whether in Iraq or Syria isn’t the solution. There is no reason to think a ground war in Syria or Iraq will go better this time than the ground war did in Iraq last time.

    The other thing to remember–especially in Syria–is that there are no “good guys” in Syria from an American standpoint. There are three main factions in Syria. The factions Turkey is backing are Al Qaeda affiliated, and then there is ISIS. The pro-Assad faction backed by Russia isn’t just backed by Hezbollah–it is Hezbollah. It is also the Iranian Revolutionary Guard. It is important to remember that the “Christian factions” also back Assad–and they are almost as hateful towards Americans and American interests as the rest. They blame us for their plight, for various reasons, and they see Assad as the guarantor of their lives.

    Hatred for the West generally and America specifically is the one thing all these facetions have in common, and battling them in Syria on the ground would probably make fighting the insurgency in Iraq look like a cake walk. Why would France (or the United States) be successful in a ground war now where we failed in Iraq before?

    The answer my friends is blowin’ in the wind. The answer is blowin’ in the wind.

    1. The ground war went really well last time. It totatly destroyed Saddam’s government in two weeks. What didn’t go well is trying to get the Iraqis to be anything but greedy pieces of shit who are incapable of running a country.

      I am always puzzled by how people can think that Iraqi’s inability to form a country capable of defending its borders somehow means the ground war was a failure. The purpose of war is to kill people and break things not build national governments. If there was a failure here, it was the failure of the US to understand the ends available not of the ground war.

      As far as ISIS goes, if your goal is to roll through Syria and murder everyone who is associated with ISIS, then a ground war would be very effective. If your goal is to make Syria or Iraq into some kind of functioning nations, then a ground war is not going to do that. That is up to the Syrians and Iraqi’s and no amount of killing ISIS is going to make them do that.

      1. The purpose of war is to kill people and break things not build national governments

        You’re right. And this will happen. But how far does France and her allies have to go? How much breaking will lead to surrender? Is it possible to make this enemy surrender?

        1. I don’t know but my bet is a whole hell of a lot.

      2. “The ground war went really well last time. It totatly destroyed Saddam’s government in two weeks.”

        When I asked, “Why would France (or the United States) be successful in a ground war now where we failed in Iraq before?”, I was talking about the ground war against the insurgency–not Saddam Hussein.

        In many cases, the dead enders we “destroyed” in Saddam’s army are ISIS.

        There is no reason to think a ground war against ISIS will be any more successful this time than our ground war was against the Iraqi insurgency last time.

        Not one.

        1. In many cases, the dead enders we “destroyed” in Saddam’s army are ISIS.

          That is simply not true. ISIS is a Sryian movement. And it arose long after any “dead enders” from the old Iraqi Army had been killed in the insurgency. The US was in Iraq for 8 years and utterly obliterated the insurgency. There was no combat going on in Iraq when the US left. There were not dead enders left.

          The war with ISIS is an entirely new war against an entirely new set of actors that arose out of the civil war in Syria. Whatever you think of this war, it really has nothing to do with the old one.

          1. On 16 May 2010, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi was appointed the new leader of the Islamic State of Iraq.[98][99] Al-Baghdadi replenished the group’s leadership, many of whom had been killed or captured, by appointing former Ba’athist military and intelligence officers who had served during Saddam Hussein’s rule.[100] These men, nearly all of whom had spent time imprisoned by the US military, came to make up about one third of Baghdadi’s top 25 commanders. One of them was a former colonel, Samir al-Khlifawi, also known as Haji Bakr, who became the overall military commander in charge of overseeing the group’s operations.[101][102] Al-Khlifawi was instrumental in doing the ground work that led to the growth of ISIL.[103]


            That is just one example.

            “The war with ISIS is an entirely new war against an entirely new set of actors that arose out of the civil war in Syria. Whatever you think of this war, it really has nothing to do with the old one.”

            I suspect this is something you don’t want to be true–but is.

            1. If they were sitting it out, or jailed after the initial take over, they weren’t “dead enders”. There were some leftovers from Saddam’s goons that would join a Sunni group, to be sure, however. But the real fanatics, the Saddam Fedayeen, et al were mostly blowed up.

              A pity those dirtballs from Tikrit were still around to join in the IS rampages.

              1. That was just their commanders they were talking about.

                They brought a lot of those they commanded in Saddam’s military with them.

      3. You are very correct here. The only thing I would object to here is use of the word ‘murder’ in that third paragraph. There would be no legal act of murder taking place in such circumstances. We would be killing. Not murdering.

        If scraping a living human being from his or her mother’s womb, slicing him or her to bits, and tossing him or her into a trashcan does not fit the legal definition of ‘murder,’ then European and/or US soldiers blitzkrieging a bunch of ______ who enjoy broadcasting the execution of innocent people would not fit that definition either.

        I’m of course offering no value judgment on any scenario here; just my exceedingly worthless take on the jurisprudence of it all.

        1. Why go & spoil the fun of murder by calling it something else? “Murder” feels more satisfying, because then you get to be the bad guy, which is always more fun. Which would you rather be, a murderer or an executioner?

          1. I think he was talking specifically about going after civilians.

            “As far as ISIS goes, if your goal is to roll through Syria and murder everyone who is associated with ISIS, then a ground war would be very effective. If your goal is to make Syria or Iraq into some kind of functioning nations, then a ground war is not going to do that.”

            If we’re going to talk about targeting civilians with our military specifically to break their will, then “murder” is probably the least politically charged term to use.

            The most accurate would probably be “terrorism”. “Terrorism” is targeting civilians with military tactics in order to break their will. John was just talking about that tactic matter of factly–he wasn’t necessarily advocating it. If you’re actually advocating targeting civilians with our military, then at least have the guts to call it what it is. If you’re advocating murdering innocent civilians because you think the ends will justify the means, then have the guts to say so. Don’t expect the rest of us to use pretty words for it–like some kind of progressive.

            Murder by any other name is still about killing civilians. It doesn’t matter what the meaning of “is” is.

  24. The question we should be asking ourselves is: Why were we successful in turning German and Japanese societies pacifist?

    The answer is that we abandoned all our concern for civilian casualties.

    Almost as many people died in the bombing of Dresden as died in Hiroshima and Nagasaki combined. All of our war efforts since Vietnam seem to have been about trying to minimize civilian casualties. Our smart bomb technology minimizes casualties. Our drones minimize American casualties. The Civil War was won, in part, because the North targeted civilians with scorched earth policies in the Shenandoah Valley and in Sherman’s march to the sea in Georgia. World War I ended in the Dolchstoss Myth in large part because the German homeland had no experience of direct military occupation or loss during the war. Dresden and Hamburg fixed that.

    There’s an argument to be made that losing our concern for civilian casualties is what we need to do in Syria and Iraq (and parts of Pakistan and Afghanistan) to punctuate this conflict like we did with Germany and Japan.

    As a libertarian, however, I just can’t bring myself to advocate for doing that. Being anti-terrorist is about finding civilian casualties abhorrent, and concern for other people and their rights against the interests of governments is what being a libertarian is all about.

    1. This thought crossed my mind. The kind of war you need to really kill a dedicated enemy is a war that very few of us have living memory of. It is scorched earth, where people die just by being born into hellfire. I don’t have the stomach for it. The 20th century was a showcase of war horror. Fifteen years into the next century are we really prepared for another helping?

      An aside. I started playing the new Fallout. For all the violence in the series, it has a beautifully melancholy and anti-war message deftly laying and undertone to the dark comedy.

      1. It needs some patches, but it’s stable enough now. I personally think the graphics are great, but a lot of people are complaining. It looks great at 2560×1440 with the graphics options maxed.

        1. I’m an hour in playing on a laptop. I am haven’t played a FPS/RPG since Fallout: New Vegas. I have no plans to get a next-gen console so I play in 720p on a screen in front of my face. So far, so good.

          1. I’m about 12 hours in now. The best thing that has happened so far (spoiler alert) was when I was battling some raiders outside the Liberty Museum… I think that’s the name, and I decided to sneak around a building and ambush some of them, and I ran straight into baby Godzilla. Totally freaked me out.

            1. I killed the baby godzilla. The way radiated monsters move in this game makes them so much scarier than in the previous generation. And the game isn’t shy about putting obstacles that I must avoid or die. I got used to being a wasteland superhero. Now I have a crappy pistol and everything can kill me.

              1. I’m at about 10 hours now and finally get the moves down. It is a hard game and I’m a shitty player, but damn it is addicting.

          2. Oh, I’m playing on PC. I hate consoles.

      2. Bingo. We have lost site of what wars can and cannot do. Wars can only make people do things by killing so many people the remaining people lose their will to fight. Wars don’t make people like you or become something they are not. They can only through brute force and terror destroy people’s will to fight or resist. That is it. If you are not willing to inflict the level of death and terror necessary to do that, you will never accomplish whatever your end to fighting the war is.

        The fact is it is going to take a whole lot of death and killing to get Middle Eastern Muslims to give up on the idea of attacking and terrorizing us. No amount of wishful thinking and limited “this time we will show them we mean it limited strikes” is going to change that.

      3. I’m waiting on my new rig. I’ve played it some, but it’s just not the same without the full mini-nuke video action.

      4. I started playing the new FO as well. Really enjoying it, but the choice of the protagonist makes some of the things accepted in the game’s world ridiculous. In the previous iterations I could accept the protagonist having some vague idea about how the world outside the vault worked; the vaults had some clue about what was happening outside. The Vault Dweller though doesn’t have this advantage. He’s flushed directly from “Normal” into “post-apocalyptic”. How on Earth does the tutorial portion not include him interacting with someone who explains that bottle caps are the new currency? And I can’t imagine how indecipherable a Boston accent would be if it had an additional 200 years of poor education behind it.

    2. Re: Ken Shultz,

      The question we should be asking ourselves is: Why were we successful in turning German and Japanese societies pacifist?

      The answer is that we abandoned all our concern for civilian casualties.

      I wonder what made the British and the French become such pacifists during the interwar periods in such a way the French were more than reluctant to intervene in Germany after the Nazi government reneged from the Versailles agreement and made it clear it would rearm its air force and armada and the British were less than interested in getting into another conflict in the mainland.

      Maybe if the US stopped bombing wedding parties or prop up dictators (to then topple them at the merest whim) the Middle East would not be such a hell hole rife with religious fervor.

      1. I wonder what made the British and the French become such pacifists during the interwar periods in such a way the French were more than reluctant to intervene in Germany after the Nazi government reneged from the Versailles agreement and made it clear it would rearm its air force and armada and the British were less than interested in getting into another conflict in the mainland.

        The horror of World War I did that. They simply could not believe that it could happen again and were willing to believe anything to avoid facing the fact that it could happen again and likely was going to happen again. They didn’t do anything to stop Hilter because doing something would have required believing that another World War was possible and they were so scared from the last one they were unable to believe that.

        Also, both France and the UK had large Communist parties who actively worked with the fascists to undercut the will to fight and downplay the threat of Germany. Leftists would like the world to forget that the Communists and fascists were on the same side all throughout the 1930s.

        1. Re: John,

          The horror of World War I did that.

          Thus making Ken’s thesis that you turn people into pacifists only after burning them with incendiaries, or turning them into ashes, wrong. The French and the British people were spared the horrors of carpet bombing and hunger during WWI, but they felt the horror of losing sons and husbands, uncles and brothers, cousins and friends.


          They didn’t do anything to stop Hilter because doing something would have required believing that another World War was possible

          They didn’t do anything because the people didn’t want it. Period. These are politicians we’re talking about, John. The French Army in 1938 was much more powerful and better armed than the German Army. Hitler knew and said the French could’ve marched inside Germany unopposed during the invasion of Poland in September of 1939 (which is why he made a deal with the Soviets so he wouldn’t have to fight a war in two fronts.) The French people did not want a war, even an easy one.

          Ergo, it is NOT true people become pacifist after being burned with bombs.

          1. You are right. The French people didn’t want it. And that actually proves people do become pacifist or at least less interested in war after being burned by bombs. Why did the French people not want it? Because of the horrible death toll of the first world war. Had WWI been shorter or less bloody, the French would have been more keen of fighting another one.

            1. Re: John,

              And that actually proves people do become pacifist or at least less interested in war after being burned by bombs.

              You cannot seriously entertain that notion when you know full well the French people were NOT burned by bombs during WWI.

              Neither were the Germans, for that matter. The ONLY reason the German people were willing to tolerate a hawkish government was because they felt the Allies treated them unfairly. Even Hitler felt the people were weary of war after the defeat of France in 1940 (he wrote that in his diary, according to David Irving) which demonstrates that the ONLY ONES who desire war are governments, not normal folk.

              1. I disagree, the only people who desire war are those who don’t actually have to go fight it. That can be normal folk or government elite.

          2. “Thus making Ken’s thesis that you turn people into pacifists only after burning them with incendiaries, or turning them into ashes, wrong.”

            That wasn’t exactly my thesis.

            That’s how it worked in Japan. That’s how it worked in Germany.

            Are you really going to say that carpetbombing didn’t have anything to do with the German people capitulating–in contrast to the Dolchstoss Myth after World War I?

            Are you really going to say that dropping nuclear bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki and the firebombing of Tokyo had nothing to do with why Japanese civilians today are so loathe to put their troops anywhere outside of Japan?

            Surely, that would be going to far–right?

            Also, I hope you didn’t miss the part where I came out against targeting civilians. Just because I say something can and does work doesn’t mean I’m advocating it. There’s this thing called morals, They often get in the way of expediency, thank God.

            1. Re: Ken Shultz,

              Are you really going to say that carpetbombing didn’t have anything to do with the German people capitulating–in contrast to the Dolchstoss Myth after World War I?

              First, what are we talking about here? The carpet bombing the Germans subjected the British did not make them capitulate in 1940 or 1941. The Germans capitulated only after the Soviets conquered Berlin in May of 1945. Who cares about the stab-in-the-back propaganda?

              Also, you have the Germans all figured wrong. The Germans in 1939 were not more longing for war than the British or the French. They were enthusiastic about turning the clock back on Versailles but nothing else. Hitler realized this right after the end of the conflict with France in 1940 (something he told his aides, according to David Irving.) The Japanese were different in that they had a sense of collective destiny not unlike religious zealots. You may have a case to make with the Japanese but that would be more an exception and not the rule.

              1. “First, what are we talking about here?”

                We’re talking about the German people capitulating.

                They went from blaming and hating their leaders that capitulated and signed the Armistice as traitors–because Germany hadn’t really lost World War I–to becoming even more pacifist than we are.

                There are a number of reasons for that. One of them surely has to do with guilt associated with the holocaust. But I’d argue that German society had already capitulated by the time that became common knowledge, and it certainly wasn’t enough to make the Germans who knew about what was going on between 1933 and 1939 less aggressive in outlook.

                Also, again, how do you account for the Japanese. The Japanese people went from having a very aggressive outlook–to being so pacifist, they’re even leery of contributing troops to disaster relief outside their borders.

                Surely the consequences of losing at Total War had something to do with those cultural changes.

      2. I wonder what made the British and the French become such pacifists during the interwar periods in such a way the French were more than reluctant to intervene in Germany

        Serious question? Millions upon millions dead leading to determination not to have another major European war at any cost. And that was millions of soldiers dead, with very low civilian casualties. Reinforced by historians and artists presenting those deaths as coming about due to the incompetence of various leaders and profiteering by industrialists, as well as Communists doing their level best to undermine their opponents by any means available.

        1. Yeah, there’s a good reason to think that the British bombing of Dresden had an impact on the British, too.

          There’s also their own experience of London during the Blitz.

          As bad as Paris was on Friday night, it wasn’t anywhere near as bad as London during the Blitz.

          1. We were talking interwar period – though London did have its own Blitz in WWI.

            French and British casualties in WW2 were tiny compared to WW1 so, mission accomplished?

      3. OM – The middle east was exactly the same for thousands of years before we were even a country. Archeological evidence shows it to be a very violent place more than 10K ago. If we stop getting tangled up in intrigues there it will still be just the way it is now. Even if every foreign power were to leave we would still be watching new beheading videos and massacres there on a daily basis.

        Having said that, it sure would be better if we weren’t tangled up in intrigues there. I just wonder if that is possible.

        1. The problem is the Middle East never had an enlightenment. It was ruled by the Ottoman Turks and missed out on the entire thing. By the time Napoleon showed up in Egypt and the Turks and the Arabs realized they had missed out and were no longer a dominant civilization but instead a backward shit hole that was about to be ass fucked by every modern power, it was too late and all they got was post enlightenment post French Revolution bullshit which has damn near destroyed the West and has helped make the Middle East even worse than it was then.

        2. Re: Suthenboy,

          The middle east was exactly the same for thousands of years before we were even a country.

          So were many other places. Human history is filled with horrors, especially by nomadic tribes who coveted the riches of the agrarian civilizations. That is nothing new.


          Having said that, it sure would be better if we weren’t tangled up in intrigues there. I just wonder if that is possible.

          Of course it is possible. It has always been possible. There’s a reason why Switzerland (or Mexico, for that matter) have not been attacked by radical Islamic terrorists. It has been only those countries whose governments have intervened in the Middle East who have suffered attacks.

    3. This is all true, however Germany and Japan were largely monolithic developed cultures. The ME is a tribal shithole pieced together by British bureaucrats post WW1. Until we acknowledge the actual entities and cease our long-standing commitment to maintaining existing borders, there is no possibility of bringing stability even if we commit genocide.

      1. If we did a complete carpet bombing of predominantly Sunni areas in Iraq, I suspect it would have the same effect.

        One way to convince people that there is no other alternative to total capitulation is to give them, literally, no alternative.

        The average Japanese soldier was probably more devoted and willing to go suicidal than your average ISIS soldier, too, and that was also a function of culture and religion.

        Many of the captured Japanese soldiers on Iwo Jima were so terribly injured that they physically couldn’t kill themselves. My understanding is that this played into the moral calculation for dropping the big ones–even if it was only a justification after the fact, American troops not having to fight Japanese troops on the mainland until they were so beaten that they couldn’t kill themselves is a pretty good justification after the fact, isn’t it?

        That’s the way the moral calculus works for some people, I guess. You add up the civilians and Americans that would die in an invasion and occupation and then you subtract all the civilians that would die if you firebombed the area.

        Meanwhile, a successful ISIS attack like the one in Paris killed and injured a few hundred people.

        One of the things I wish more Muslims understood was how much we restrain ourselves and our allies. I don’t know that anyone in history has ever agonized over using their disproportionate military capabilities out of humanitarian concerns like the West does.

    4. I’m not totally convinced this theory holds up, but even if it did for those examples, it doesn’t hold that it’s a universal principle. Why think it applies to people in the Middle East, some of whom have been embroiled in conflict for generations now? ISIS and Assad are both happy to kill civilians that disagree with them or get in their way. Why would partisans in either group care that the French are on a March to the Gulf?

      As for thinking that will work in Afghanistan, give me a break.

    5. You don’t necessarily have to kill massivenumbers of civilians. In fact only the atomic bombings in Japan can be argued to have had the desired effect. Firbombing Tokyo certainly killed more people and yet the continued fighting.

      To win a conventional war you have to destroy your enemy’s ability or will to fight. With unconventional enemy forces I don’t think there’s any way to do the former here. And to achieve the latter you have to credibly threaten something they cannot afford to lose. To a philosophy that does not fear death that mrans you can’t thteaten them with total war. So what is left?

      1. Threaten Mecca. Turn that black stone to dust.

        1. And radicalize every muslim on the planet. Not smart.

    6. this is where I tend to agree you either go all in or you get out this middle ground is the worst outcome for all sides, except for military industrial complex. that aside I’d be willing to pull everything out and let them fight for their own territory, let the chips and countries fall where they may. the only caveat is that if ISIS starts to lose to Iran which I think they would they may start terrorist actions in other countries to get us to intervene. that will take level headed thinking which i don’t think Obama or Hillary are capable of knowing the difference between terrorism due to hate and terrorism to get us to do something.

    7. I’m always for targeting civilians preferentially, but the way to really terrorize them is not to let them know there’s a war at all. Just have them turn up dead or disabled in ways that appear somewhat suspicious, & they’ll start their own rumors as to why there seems to be a lot of illness & accidents lately. They’ll turn on each other, of course.

      There are soooo many ways to do it. Bribe doctors to make medical mistakes. Poison food & drink. Have a lot of “drunk driving”. Gas explosions are pretty simple. Where are these infections coming from? Why so many defective vehicles?

  25. There really wasn’t any repeat of 9/11. Why was that? I’m not willing to believe it was our enhanced security alone.

    I really hope we aren’t seeing the first of more attacks instead of a one-of. The ISIS enemy has made good on their claim to bring their war to the West. There is no good answer apparent to me.

    1. 9-11 succeeded because AQ exploited a pretty serious vulnerability that had never been tested before (previous hijackers had some plan to maybe live through the hijacking). As soon as the technique of “hijacking and flying plane into building” was identified suitable countermeasures were used (United 93). Just hardening the cockpit doors practically eliminated the threat. Additionally, the whole “the buildings would collapse” was not something they thought probable. The WTC had been bombed before and they didn’t fall. And planes had been flown into buildings before without collapsing. The collapse of the towers accounted for most of the causalities on 9-11.

      I think small unit attacks like Paris are a greater threat in Europe than in the States. Europe has done a really, really piss-poor job of assimilating their immigrants. The sort of long-term self-segregating Muslims have done in Europe is really unlike anything we’ve experienced in the US with our waves of immigrants. European Muslims do not need to self-radicalize. Their communities support them. In the States it would be difficult for several similarly radicalized people to assemble.

      I have no doubt ISIS could pull off such an attack in the US, but it would have to be like a 9-11 where they identified and exploited a vulnerability we didn’t know we had. Heck, I think for the US their self-radicalizing lone wolfs are a bit scarier.

  26. Excellent piece. Thanks!

  27. There’s no doubt that the USA created this mess to begin with. If we would have just stayed out of the affairs of the ME, the different Muslim sects would have been very content to just keep fighting each other for the foreseeable future. But no, we had force democracy and western values on them, something they clearly do not want. So instead of just leaving them alone we had to keep fucking with them until they set their attention on the west. The reason they are doing this shit is because they feel that their culture and way of life is threatened by the West in general.

    The only solution is to keep them isolated. Get the fuck out of the ME, period, and don’t accept any more refugees from that region of the world. If there are any problems at home, deal harshly with it, and stop importing more of that culture. That’s the solution. If that doesn’t work, nothing will.

    1. That is the simplest solution, and would result in the least amount of bloodshed, but the open borders fanatics here would never support it. They would prefer a civil war then admitting that their ridiculous ideas don’t fucking work.

    2. You don’t suppose that people emigrating from that region might possibly be trying to escape from fundamentalist authoritarian Islamism, do you?

      1. Of course some of them are, maybe most, but it’s not worth the potential cost to let them in when there’s surely going to be some ISIS plants among them. And then you’re going to wind up with situations like those in Sweden, France, Belgium, and other countries in Europe where you have large neighborhoods of unassimilated Muslims on welfare, who have nothing better to do than sit around and be pissed off and start thinking about how the infidels are to blame. It’s a really bad idea.

        1. How much do you suppose it would cost to append the inscription on the Statue of Liberty with “…unless you look similar to people who don’t like freedom”?

          1. I don’t know. All I know is that it’s a bad idea to import large amounts of people who subscribe to a religion that many of the people’s main goal is to kill you and destroy your culture. But no one is going to listen to that, so don’t worry, we’ll get millions of refugees from the ME, I’m sure of it.

            1. This is why this version of Libertopia that people have with completely open-borders has never existed on Earth at any point in time. It’s completely unsustainable.

              What do you do when you import a large population that believe in the complete opposite of your values? If you just ignore them then they’ll just vote away your liberties, if they’re violent, then eventually your population will vote away it’s own liberties to try to stop them. If violence continues you’re going to evolve into a police state in order to try to stop it, and if you don’t then your citizens will, and you’ll have a civil war on your hands.

              Any belief or ideology that results in it’s own destruction seems to have a pretty big flaw in it.

              1. As is often said here, you can either have open borders or welfare but not both.

          2. “How much do you suppose it would cost to append the inscription on the Statue of Liberty with “…unless you look similar to people who don’t like freedom”?

            I must have missed it when they added that to the Constitution … Zat the 11th amendment?

        2. Yes but thats just the price we have to pay for…. for.. what exactly? We don’t owe the Syrians anything.

          1. So whom do you owe? What moral obligations do you have to let people back into the country after they leave on their so-called ‘vacations’? Or let people move from one state to another to seek economic opportunities or be closer to their family? Or walk to 7-11 to buy Red Bulls and Flamin’ Hot Cheetos? Any or all of those people might be potential radical terrorist murders. If you let them just gad about willy-nilly, you’re just throwing away the lives of the people they might potentially kill.

            1. This is more open-borders nonsense. Walking to a 7-11 is not the same as leaving Syria for France.

              1. It’s always a false choice: absolute freedom of movement or no freedom at all.

                1. Exactly! I wonder how many of these open-borders proponents are college kids. They just come across as people who just sit around all day debating theory. They don’t know the real world.

            2. “Or walk to 7-11 to buy Red Bulls and Flamin’ Hot Cheetos?

              Red Bull and Cheetos, OK.

              But I’m not putting up with Tea and Skittles.

        3. Hyperion – “It’s a really bad idea.”

          Suthenboy – ” You are going to have to do better than that to convince me it is a bad idea.”

          Hyperion – “Obama thinks it is a good idea.”

          Suthenboy – “Oh. Well, you got me there.”

      2. German communists fled from the Nazis too, but didn’t mean their ideas were all that very different.

      3. Many of them, consistent with human nature, are trying to escape from under someone else’s fundamentalist authoritarianism so that they can implement their own.

        What we have is a clash of cultures that are radically different. One of the problems I see is that those who seek to come here on their own initiative and own dime want to be here because they like what they see. If we start shipping them in bulk on our dime we are going to get a lot of what we don’t want. as someone else pointed out earlier, in every place where they have the numbers they come to blows with their neighbors.


        1. This really hits home for me. I have family members who fled Northern Ireland to escape the conflict only to then contribute money to one side. People are fucked up in this way. It’s a human thing.

    3. Get the fuck out of the ME, period

      Hear, hear.

    4. “The reason they are doing this shit”

      This is the reason why your analysis is worthless. You are assuming that “they,” as a mass, have a reason to do what they are doing. You ignore the fact that “they” are many and have differing motivations. The solution is not to isolate them but to divide and conquer. Offer the Baathist officers of Saddam’s army a deal to rejoin Iraqi society. Their culture wasn’t just threatened by the West, it was completely overturned by the West. They make up a fair portion of ISIS forces, are not particularly fundamentalist and have no desire to sacrifice their lives in this conflict.

    5. Bullshit – this conflict predates the USA by a thousand years.

  28. So we should go ahead and surrender, and hope they go easy on us?

    1. I think we surrendered when we re-elected Obama, actually…

      1. Leftists and radical Islam have a lot in common. I can see them joining forces. Then after they win, the Islamists will behead all the leftists that refuse to give up their sinful ways.

        1. Yet even as they are being beheaded, the leftists will feel a sense of guilt that this is, indeed, what they deserve and apologize to the radicals one final time.

        2. Exactly what happened in the Iranian revolution. It won’t happen in the USA, regardless of who is president, until the Muslims can beef up their numbers. Islam may be America’s fastest growing religion, but it’ll take a while yet.

  29. The purpose of the airstrikes is to appease the pissed of French public so they don’t go out hack apart the nearest muslim they can get their hands on.

    The public is pissed they have to respond so that the public does not.

    1. If the public are naive enough to think this token gesture by Hollande is going to do anything except import more potential terrorists in the refugee waves, they’re beyond hope.

      1. It’s not naivete, it’s impotence.

  30. The other thing we might do is change our own attitudes about conflict.

    We seem to expect dramatic changes to take place in very short periods of time and without any casualties.

    Historically, that’s not the way things happen.

    The Thirty Years War took 30 years.

    The question of Germany’s place in Europe took from 1914 – 1945 to decide.

    The aftermath of that conflict and emergence of the Soviet Union as an industrial power is what we called the Cold War. It lasted from 1947 – 1991–more than 40 years.

    From Afghanistan to Israel and the dictators of North Africa, our present conflict is largely a legacy of the Cold War. We think of it as starting in 2001, but it really goes back further than that to our Cold War relationships with Israel in 1948, Iran in 1953, Egypt, Pakistan, and Iraq.

    The idea that the social changes sweeping the Muslim worlds(s) are going to settle down quickly if only we do A, B, and C are probably VERY stupid.

    1. THIS. We have got to get out of the World War II, fight a few years and settle it mentality. Not every war is like that. Moreover, even World War II wasn’t like that when you understand that it was a continuation of a struggle between France and Germany that went back to at least the Franco Prussian War of 1871-72 and really back to Louis XIV.

      1. Every generation makes the same mistake. They assume that their time period on Earth is somehow uniquely different from history. It’s not it never is.

        1. Hey, this is the first time I have seen this so it is the first time it has happened. I am unique and special and so is the time I live in.

    2. The idea that the social changes sweeping the Muslim worlds(s) are going to settle down quickly if only we do A, B, and C are probably VERY stupid.

      (including total war)

    3. We have a population that is increasingly unwilling to embrace sacrifice of any sort. This will be our undoing.

      1. I don’t know.

        Part of the problem with ISIS is that so many of them are willing to make more sacrifices than they should.

    4. From Afghanistan to Israel and the dictators of North Africa, our present conflict is largely a legacy of the Cold War. We think of it as starting in 2001, but it really goes back further than that to our Cold War relationships with Israel in 1948, Iran in 1953, Egypt, Pakistan, and Iraq.

      OUR present conflibt may do this, but the war Islam is fighting started in the 700s.

  31. I guess we are all going to have to beat the shit out of this subject for at least a solid month. God forbid another attack occurs before then.

    1. Well war is the biggest threat to liberty. Period. Free minds and free markets are directly threatened by war.

    2. Just wait until Trump expresses his opinion on the matter.

  32. we’re already at war. What we need are leaders willing to identify the enemy and then destroy them.

  33. Shooden dats be “has shooken”?

  34. There are only three available solutions to this; go back to colonialism and run shit holes like Syria ourselves, kill everyone who lives in those places, or figure out a group of locals we can trust not to attack us and back them allowing them to rule over these places.

    The first one isn’t going to happen. The second option might happen but would be the worst of all solutions for the obvious reasons. That leaves the third option, which is probably the most difficult one.

    1. Solution 4. have zero contact between the middle east and the West whatsoever. Don’t allow any of those fuckers to come here, and if any young Muslim youth decides they want to “vacation” in Syria, make sure that it’s a one way ticket.

      1. We could maybe do that, especially since thanks to shale we have our own oil. I do not think Europe could.

        1. Well Europe could try, but that would make Putin a very powerful man.

        2. Just occupy the oil fields.

    2. figure out a group of locals we can trust not to attack us and back them allowing them to rule over these places

      Ah, I see, the Hillary plan redux, back the ‘moderate’ terrorists. That didn’t work out so well the first time we tried it.

      1. I didn’t say it was a good option. And I don’t think every group over there is a terrorist organization. But even if they are, the Hillary plan lacks one vital feature. The group you put in charge much be more afraid of you than they are of their own people. Hillary and Obama can’t seem to understand that necessity and think us putting them in charge will make them so grateful they won’t want to attack us.

        1. We could do the British Empire thing and just buy off some of the local strong men, kings, emirs, president, etc there in exchange for influence. Unfortunately I think the Obama’s Arab spring may have eliminated most of those.

    3. haven’t we been doing the third option of picking rulers for these countries and now we are in this shit. all options seem shitty except to leave on the caveat that we, Not move the red line Obama, say we will leave but if any of you create an act of terrorism on our land retribution will be swift and nuclear. we just have to make sure we won’t be fighting other peoples war which also got us to this point. Note the idea of ignoring terrorism has not worked in the past however we were still in those countries, one of their claimed concerns.

  35. It just occurred to me that if ISIS takes over Syria, they install their people in the embassies, & everything’s hunky-dory internationally again. That’s the way it is between nation-states, isn’t it?

    1. I have a cunning plan. Recognize ISIS right now as the legitimate government of Syria.

      1. has anybody asked what ISIS wants or have they even said what they want? above and beyond killing all sinners. Maybe that should be the first question.

        1. Worldwide caliphate. Srsly. They are religious fanatics. They cannot be reasoned with.

      2. I have a cunning plan. Recognize ISIS right now as the legitimate government of Syria.

        Then declare war on them. I like the way you think.

    2. So long as they stop bombing foreign nations. The UN is big on respecting existing borders, however they happen to have been drawn.

  36. War is politics by other means. Terrorism evolved because it is a nearly perfect form of warfare, where a small, poorly armed group can force political change against a large, heavily armed force. Their only weapon is fear. Oddly, the actual damage they are capable of inflicting is generally very small. They only threaten a very small portion of a population or nation’s infrastructure. They are not a true threat to society, they are only perceived as such.

    There is only one way to address terrorism and that is through punitive action. That is to say, it cannot be effectively eliminated with conventional forces. It cannot be prevented. Attempting such only makes more terrorists, gives them credibility and expends tremendous amounts of resources in the process.

    Take away their weapon. Don’t be afraid and don’t call for unachievable action to be taken. The only way they can effect change is if you fear them. Odds of being killed by a terrorist is like one in 20,000,000, IIRC.

    When attacked, identify, capture, try, and punish/kill those responsible (and only those responsible). Then go about your life as if nothing happened.

    In the current situation, declaring war on Muslims, is playing right into their hands. That was the entire purpose for these attacks to begin with. The West declaring a holy war on all Muslims will draw otherwise peaceful Muslims to the ISIS cause.

    And many of you are falling for it.

    1. Yes, the sinister conspiracy has lulled many of us into foolish complacency. Only the insight that you have articulated here can save us.

      1. Hello, Stranger. You’re new here. ‘Cisco has been commenting here for a long time and has cred. You, not so much. Nor are your ideas particularly meritorious wrt mainstream libertarianism. Perhaps you’d find more satisfaction at TownHall or Freep.

    2. Thank you.

    3. Thing is, while you’re identifying, capturing, trying, and punishing and or killing those responsible their buddies are crowing about the successful attack that you could do nothing about. They killed hundreds and the west ‘arrested 5’–who have already lawyered up and will probably get scholarships to Yale after they win their trials–and they will win. The next round of recruits is ready to go.

      Because what you describe is, in a large part, what we’ve been doing. Captured, sent to Gitmo, ‘tried’ and handed back to the terroristic shitholes we got them from. Have we executed any of them yet? How many are on their second or third go-round?

      This approach that looks reasoned from your side looks like absolute cowardice to them. And they’re the ones recruiting more terrorists because of it.

      1. You’ve completely missed the point.

        That is NOT what we are doing. Anyone directly responsible for 9-11 has been dead for years. We are prosecuting a war on terror itself. War on a concept, a tactic. It’s like saying you are going to fight a war on drugs or poverty. How are they going? What constitutes victory?

        You can never win a war like that. You make more terrorists faster than you can kill them.

        And I’m not saying you actually need to bring them to trial. Those that can’t be caught can be tried in absentia and then executed using the military or CIA. When they are dead, stop. If and when you are attacked again, wash, rinse, repeat.

        You cannot stop terrorism. You can’t spend enough to even get close. And you restrict liberty by even attempting to. The only course of action is to not worry about it, until it happens, then kill the fuckers responsible and go back to your lives.

        1. We’re not at war with ‘terrorism’.

          That is the euphemism created because to say what we’re at war with openly terrifies people.

          We are at war with Islam–or rather we have finally realized that Islam is, and has been, at war with the West for a long time.

          You will note that Islam is an idea. So was Nazism.

    4. “When attacked, identify, capture, try, and punish/kill those responsible (and only those responsible). ”

      Ah, the old “Workplace Violence Ploy” … works every time it’s tried, amirite?

      1. How’s your 14 year old war to eradicate terrorism going? I think if we just stick it out for another decade or two, we’ll have em right where we want em.

        4500 Americans
        250,000 total dead
        $4T price tag
        Military equipment decimated

        Great plan.

        1. Not my plan.

          This has been on Imperator Fucktard’s plate for the last 7 years …

          1. Oh, the stupidity goes much farther back than that. The turn from doable to stupid actually happened about the time we started actively targeting the Taliban in Afghanistan and decided to become nation builders in Iraq. 03/04ish and that was squarely Bush stupid as opposed to Obama stupid.

  37. Libertarianish Democrat Gary Hart and ultra conservative William S Lind published a book called “Minuteman” that unfortunately was published in August 2001 and now you can buy it for a nickel on Amazon. It was a first step to decentralize the military. Lind is the father of “Fourth Generation War Theory” which our generals do not seem to understand. That’s why listening to the candidates talk about how they will listen to the generals scares me.
    The first rule of fourth generation war is that it will always defeat nation states.
    The second rule is stay out of involvement with 4 gen war.
    Lind’s third rule is don’t accept refugees.

  38. In seriousness though, I just want to make sure I have all this correct:

    Muslim terrorists are masters of warfare, due to their diabolical genius and willingness to carry out random deadly attacks on innocent people, but they pose no real threat to society, even though Islamic terrorist activity and presence seems to be increasing steadily. It’s all in our heads.

    Is that an accurate summary?

    1. Yes. Treat is as a crime, so investigate after it’s done, and make no changes.

      I wonder if mosques (or shit, abortion clinics) start getting shot up and blowing up, if Reason staff will be equally nonchalant.

    2. “but they pose no real threat to society”

      Something tells me you are not posting from Mosul or Syria.

      1. Something tells me the pathological liar and general piece of shit showed up.
        Fuck off trueman:
        mtrueman|5.4.15 @ 12:59AM|#
        “[?] What you haven’t fathomed is that I’m so morally depraved that my deserved rep here doesn’t bother me or interest me in the least. I post for myself; your feelings about me are of no concern.”

        1. “Something tells me…”

          …that you also don’t feel threatened by ISIS. Stands to reason that nobody else is.

  39. “These limits on the ground for ISIS could be driving it to get more involved in global terrorism, the path of least resistance to attention-grabbing headlines. ”

    Isn’t that an argument in favor of “fight them there, so we don’t have to fight them here?”

    This does seem like justification for a punitive expedition. Not to be confused with nation building.

  40. Anyone else think that most of Krayewski’s arguments make the opposite point from what we intended? The fact that Islam’s cries of “Crusader” are so far from accurate and that fact that most of its troops don’t even remember or understand 9/11 means that they are A) Not amenable to reason, and B) Just building fake grievances as an excuse for their militarism.

    We will not be safe until Islam is destroyed as thoroughly as were Nazism and the cult of the Emperor in Japan.

    1. Correction: “from what he intended”

  41. If I were Hollande I would make this announcement.

    All Muslims in France have two choices: leave the country, or be caged in reeducation camps. No Muslims will be killed, however they all carry a poison ( their Muslim “faith” ) that cannot be allowed in a civil society.

    Virtually all of them are on public welfare already so it won’t cost much more to incarcerate them in barbed-wire compounds. Anyone who wants to leave the camps must leave the country. All mosques will be demolished. No Muslims will be allowed to immigrate to or enter France.

    Call it the Charles Martel solution.

    1. “Call it the Charles Martel solution.”

      What do you call the Libertarian solution?

    2. They had some Muslims who had converted to Christianity from what I read at these articles.

  42. Pope Francis had said then Paris attacks piece of a ‘piecemeal World War III’
    Washington Times

  43. Libertarian solution to this incident –

    “Do nothing but continue to accept refugees and immigrants from the middle east”

    The war fatigue has been mostly over for 2,3 years now. Americans are now more evenly split on sending ground troops to engage ISIS. There’s no overwhelming opposition to French air strikes. If attacks ramp up on the rest of the world and America (who has the resources to defend their own soil more effectively) just sort of wants to play defense, there will be some murmurs of resentment around the world.

    The war in Iraq is to libertarians what Jim Crow is to the left. You can’t bring up the specter of drawn out war to discourage ANY sort of military action in response to terrorism.

    ISIS is not a conventional army bound international rule. Reason casually dismisses them with a wave of a hand because they lack of numbers, but that’s besides the point. They obviously can’t win battles mano a mano on the battlefield, so they orchestrate acts of terror on people who can’t fight back.

  44. “Fourteen years, two land wars, multiple interventions, and a global network of surveillance later, there is more terrorism in the world and instability in the Middle East than there was in 2000.”

    Correlation =/= causation.

    “That another 9/11-style attack wouldn’t be possible today is largely a function of cockpit doors being locked, and not any of the war on terror policies, foreign and domestic, with which the U.S. government has shook “the foundation of America.””

    Um yeah bullshit. AQ just kept ramping it up and up until America did the right thing and kicked their asses in Afghanistan.

  45. I’m not saying I disagree, necessarily, with anything in this piece. But it is missing something. What is the (your) solution? What should France do?

  46. Not “another” war, just the same old one declared against the West by the Muslim Brotherhood at its founding, and by the Mad Mullahs of Tehran against “The Great Satan” in November ’79:
    An Existential War that will determine the survival, or disappearance of Western Civilization!

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  49. I would submit that the west is not in a war with radical Islam. War has become a loosely used term that has lost it’s meaning. The west is merely reacting to attacks from the radical factions of Islam or any other faction that cares to attack the west. Sure, there is a lot of military might put out there, the embedded intrepid news reporters show all the latest whiz-bang technology wreaking havoc on any number of terrorist cells, to be shown on the nightly news. But we are not at war. The classical definition of war is a conflict where one side or the other emerges victorious. To conduct a war, one side will wage military operations on the other, and utterly destroy the enemies will and physical capability to wage war. The west has long since lost it’s will to see any conflict through to a military victory. Radical Islam, on the other hand, is at war with the west. They already know we do not have the will to fight a long, bloody, protracted war. They are in it for the long term. They are determined to be victorious in every sense of the word.

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