Foreign Policy

Hillary Clinton Says America Must Lead an Urgent War Against ISIS

'This is a worldwide fight and America must lead it.'

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Clinton
C SPAN

Democratic presidential frontrunner Hillary Clinton delivered a fiery foreign policy speech Thursday. Heavy on hawkish rhetoric but light on actual strategy, Clinton vowed to defeat ISIS, dismantle the organization's infrastructure, financing, and recruitment power, and bolster U.S. defenses against threats both external and internal.

The conflict with ISIS, "requires sustained commitment from every pillar of American power," she said. "This is a worldwide fight and America must lead it."

At the same time, Clinton doesn't think the U.S. should commit a massive ground force. She does, however, favor imposing a no-fly zone on Syria to protect U.S. allies from both ISIS and Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. That's something the Obama administration has actively opposed, which shows that Clinton's reputation for being a relative hawk is well-deserved.

Indeed, if the Republican frontrunners are speeding down the highway to endless Middle Eastern intervention at 90 miles per hour, Clinton is cruising along at a comfortable 85.

She did, however, separate herself from the Republicans in one fundamental way: she refused to blame terrorism on Islam itself. "Muslims have nothing whatsoever to do with terrorism," she said.

I understand the sentiment she's trying to express, but the best thing we could do for Muslims would be to stop bombing, invading, and destabilizing their countries. Their lives matter more than their feelings.

Watch the speech here.

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  1. ‘This is a worldwide fight and America must lead it.’

    [citation needed]

    1. This is the kind of talk that created ISIS in the first place.

      1. Your mom created ISIS in the first place.

  2. Hawks for Hillary! Electing the Hilldawg is the best chance we have to realize total nuclear war by 2077.

      1. yeah, our current weapons wont be any good by 2077, and I’ll be damned if I’m paying for another set just to end it all.

    1. Seriously though, shit like this is why I think Sanders might have a chance at the candidacy. I mean, if you’re going to vote for war, why not go full bore and vote for a Republican to run it? The choice between Warmonger and 90% Warmonger isn’t much of a choice for the people who actually, for whatever reason, prefer “no war”. And I suspect Sanders is going to stake out that “No War” part of the sandbox for himself, at least on the left side of the aisle. Obviously, Paul is the only one even looking at it from the right side of the aisle.

      1. Nope. They are all in for Hillary. Sander’s appeal is very concentrated. He’s basically proggie eyecandy that they will put away when they vote for Hillary.

        1. Could be. I have to admit I can’t stand to pay too close of attention to that side of things. It makes my eyes bleed.

          1. And your soul die.

            1. I’m a libertarian. I don’t think I’m allowed to claim to have one of those.

        2. He’d make a great VP from Clinton’s perspective. Nail down socialist/progressive vote, then put him wherever Obama put Biden.

          1. “…, then put him wherever Obama put Biden.”

            They are phasing out research on chimps.

  3. She did, however, separate herself from the Republicans in one fundamental way: she refused to blame terrorism on Islam itself. “Muslims have nothing whatsoever to do with terrorism,” she said.

    That statement goes way beyond “refus[ing] to blame terrorism on Islam itself” and into “denying the perpetrators are even Muslim” territory.

    She also in(s)anely claimed ISIS doesn’t have a religious test for who they kill, so. She seems like a pandering fucking moron right now.

    1. JUST right now?

      1. Especially right now.

      2. Sometimes she seems like a pandering robot, sometimes like a pandering sociopath…

      3. Right now is a point on the vast space-time continuum in which Hillary Clinton is a pandering fucking moron.

    2. The other candidates are just too racist to admit where the real terrorists are hiding: Jewish community centers, Hobby Lobby, and the hunting and fishing section at Wal-Mart

      1. Don’t forget Chik-Fil-A.

    3. The statement is so ridiculous it is obviously not meant to be believed, but is merely extreme signaling. Like, “How far do I have to go to exceed everybody else in anti-anti-Islamism?

  4. The best thing we could do for Muslims is to convince them that continuing the 1,000+ year war between Shia and Sunni should end.

    Or we could apologize for the Barbary War and pay reparations.

    1. “we could apologize for the Barbary War and pay reparations.”

      Joking?

      1. Cyto,

        Hard to tell these days. Besides I haven’t made up my mind.

  5. “Muslims have nothing whatsoever to do with terrorism,” she said.

    Nothing whatsoever? I am chalking this one up to her being rarely truthful.

    1. It’s all one massive coincidence.

    2. But Sandy Hook, Tucson, South Carolina and Virginia were ALL ABOUT white-wing conservatism, you see.

  6. Hillary is just jealous of the way folks like Bashar al-Assad get to run their countries.

    1. That’s the truth.

    2. Hillary wishes she was a rose in the desert like Asma Al-Assad.

  7. “the best thing we could do for Muslims would be to stop bombing, invading, and destabilizing their countries.”

    This is every bit as moronic as Hillary’s comment. 1) The job of the USG is to protect the rights of American citizens, not to do ‘what’s best’ for ‘Muslims’. 2) The problems over there are not America’s fault, period. They have a crazy violent culture, with some gaps.

    As I said earlier, ‘destabilization/instability’ are now Reason’s go-to shortcuts when writing about the ME. No need for critical thinking or detailed info or otherwise actually knowing what you’re talking about. Doesn’t matter that strongman Assad couldn’t keep the peace. Just dip your banal column in your oh-so-libertarian love for tyrants and voila published.

    1. Goddamnit, this was supposed to go here:

      ——

      2) The problems over there are not America’s fault, period. They have a crazy violent culture, with some gaps.

      I don’t think that’s accurate. It seems pretty clear that by knocking out the assholes who were keeping the ISIS goons under their thumbs, we set the stage for their rise in the region. I mean seriously, do you think ISIS would be doing their thing if Saddam were still in power?

      1. It seems pretty clear that by knocking out the assholes who were keeping the ISIS goons under their thumbs, we set the stage for their rise in the region.

        Yup.

        1. Nope.

          “do you think ISIS would be doing their thing if Saddam were still in power?”

          Yes they just wouldn’t be called ISIS. During the early days of the Syrian revolution, Assad released tons of Jihadist scum from his prisons almost certainly so that they would ruin the revolution. Then, his military blatantly coordinated with ISIS. So much for ‘keeping them under his thumb’. If there was no ISIS to join, these scumbags would have joined Nusra or something which would be ISIS in all but name. If Sadaam were around, he might support them-Assad and Sadaam hated each other, and Sadaam did send some support to jihadist outfits. So much for ‘the good secular strongman’ ideal.

          1. So much for ‘the good secular strongman’ ideal.

            It was working until we knocked out Saddam. And it’s not really an “ideal” so much as a “it was working, and as you noted above, it wasn’t our problem to fix.” 1) The job of the USG is to protect the rights of American citizens, not to do ‘what’s best’ for ‘Muslims’.

            1. “It was working until we knocked out Saddam.” Assad shot at his people/Tito died/the inevitable happens.

              1. Well, why accelerate the process? 1) The job of the USG is to protect the rights of American citizens, not to do ‘what’s best’ for ‘Muslims’.

          2. Yeah, their leadership totally didn’t come out of Baathist and fundamentalist Sunni ranks in Iraq.

            In all, nine members of the Islamic State’s top command did time at Bucca, according to the terrorism research firm Soufan Group. Apart from Baghdadi himself, who spent five years there, his deputy, Abu Muslim al-Turkmani, as well as senior military leader Haji Bakr, now deceased, and the leader of foreign fighters, Abu Qasim, were incarcerated there, Soufan said. Though it’s likely that the men were extremists when they entered Bucca, the group added, it’s certain they were when they left.

            “Before their detention, Mr. al-Baghdadi and others were violent radicals, intent on attacking America,” wrote military veteran Andrew Thompson and academic Jeremi Suri in the New York Times this month. “Their time in prison deepened their extremism and gave them opportunities to broaden their following. ? The prisons became virtual terrorist universities: The hardened radicals were the professors, the other detainees were the students, and the prison authorities played the role of absent custodian.”

            1. The leadership did but those tons and tons of foreigners and guys from Syria’s jails didn’t. They’d be swarming to Syria-and I bet Sadaam would release those guys you talked about so they could too.

              “”Their time in prison deepened their extremism and gave them opportunities to broaden their following. ? The prisons became virtual terrorist universities: The hardened radicals were the professors, the other detainees were the students, and the prison authorities played the role of absent custodian.””

              I’m sure this would end well if only Sadaam were in charge.

              It should be noted that the Kurds are as able to repulse ISIS as well as they are largely because they were liberated in 2003.

              1. I’m sure this would end well if only Sadaam were in charge.

                Did I say that? Or did I specifically rebut your position that the invasion of Iraq had nothing to do with the rise of ISIS?

          3. Man, you must have like better intelligence the US Gov to know for a fact all of those things happened.

          1. I only read the descriptor but Cheney was wrong. Invading Iraq was easy victory. Nation-building was a terrible quagmire.

            1. If you didn’t listen to what he said, then you should just shut up before you say something stupid.

              oops, too late

              1. I’d ask how I’m wrong but I’m guessing you don’t have an answer.

                1. Specifically, Cheney said that by removing Saddam we would unleash the pent up hostilities in Iraq. The net result of which would be that Iran would get a piece, Syria would get a piece, and the Kurds would want their own country which would destabilize Turkey.

                  Sounds awful prescient.

                  1. If not by removal, then Sadaam would someday die, like Tito. Sometimes things are just inevitable. Iraq doesn’t make sense as a country.

                    1. Iraq doesn’t make sense as a country.

                      That doesn’t explain why we have to be involved in the destruction and then attempted preservation of it.

                    2. So Saddam dying and power being handed to someone else would be equal to the country being invaded, having most of its infrastructure destroyed, and its military disbanded? That’s some quality derp there, ToxicCanadian.

                  2. Cheney “Sounds awful prescient.”

                    Why didn’t Cheney 2003 listen to Cheney 1994? What changed? WMD?

                    We won’t get fooled again. .. At least for a while.

      2. “by knocking out the assholes who were keeping the ISIS goons under their thumbs, we set the stage for their rise in the region.”

        This would be more convincing if these assholes hadn’t risen in places where America hadn’t done anything. Boko-haram comes to mind. The Algerian civil war also (that conflict makes the current one in the Levant look mild).

        1. The situation in Nigeria before the rise of Boko-Haram was, strangely enough, different from the situation in the ME, prior to the US invasion in 2002.

          1. Yes. This should tell us something.

            1. “Yes. This should tell us something.”

              That American involvement is not the sine qua non of radical Islam. So what. It is one of several conditions that contribute to it.

      3. So basically, Hillary is now trying to validate the wisdom of her past actions?

    2. 1) The job of the USG is to protect the rights of American citizens, not to do ‘what’s best’ for ‘Muslims’.

      I do agree with this, but I don’t see much reason why “bombing, invading, and destabilizing [Muslim] countries” counts as protecting the rights of American citizens. I would much rather have not had Gulf War 2. But then again, I also think Gulf War 1 was stupid, so… *shrug*

      1. Gulf War 2 was necessitated by the 1) dumb decision that was Gulf War 1 and 2) the dumb decision not to finish the job of Gulf War 1. The situation in 2002 was untenable.

        1. And apparently Gulf War 3 is now necessitated by the dumb decision that was Gulf War 2. There’s a lesson in there somewhere.

          1. “And apparently Gulf War 3 is now necessitated by the dumb decision that was Gulf War 2.”

            But it’s not. It *may be* necessitated by ISIS, which exists because of the civil war started by Assad.

          2. Lesson: start planning for GulfWar4 now.

            1. It’s Gulf Wars all the way down.

        2. What exactly do you think the job back in 1991 was? ‘Cause the last time I checked it was to push Iraq back out of Kuwait. Which we did. Beautifully. Probably the best, cleanest, conflict in American history – *precisely* because we had a clear objective and ‘win conditions’ and didn’t think going in and somehow rejiggering ME cultures to be more peaceful was worth attempting.

          The Iraqi people wanted Saddam out in ’91? Fine – let them get off their arses and show themselves making some headway – especially considering we had demolished most of his armed forces for them already and then we’ll come by to provide some assistance.

          But there was no mandate nor need to depose Hussein in ’91 – and no particular reason to depose him in ’03. The second war is only ‘necessary’ if you think that we should have stuck our dick in that hornet’s nest a decade earlier than we did.

          1. What exactly do you think the job back in 1991 was? ‘Cause the last time I checked it was to push Iraq back out of Kuwait.

            Which, (while I recognize you are not claiming this) was so completely not our job. And wouldn’t have even been necessary if, when Saddam asked if he could invade them, we’d said “No”. Since he asked us for permission first, and we said (correctly) that it wasn’t our business.

            1. “Which, (while I recognize you are not claiming this) was so completely not our job. ”

              Wasn’t there a slew of UN resolutions, a large coalition, and Senate approval? Maybe not our job to do alone.

    3. All that free healthcare and you still can’t get treatment for your raging warboner.

      1. With your vapidity and hipster, as well as your ignorance and refusal to engage in facts, are you sure you’re not writing for Reason?

        1. His grammar and spelling are far too good to write professionally. Now you’re just being silly.

    4. The problems over there are not America’s fault, period.

      You keep saying that and yet with half a century of American intervention in the middle east, I still can’t believe it. No, we aren’t 100% at fault, but there is plenty of fucking blame to go around.

  8. “This is a worldwide fight and America must lead it.”

    Not by invading Syria and destroying ISIS with a massive ground force, but by enforcing a piddling no fly zone and sending John Kerry around to say stupid things.

    Invade with a massive force, or pull everyone out. One or the other.

    1. No kidding. Hawks can be good. Incoherent schizo tough lady for president is not good.

    2. We totally need a no-fly zone, ISIS’s air superiority is what they are depending on to win this war!

    3. Bombing seems quite effective against ISIS according to a supposed intelligence officer for ISIS. Parts one and two of the article describe the effect of bombing.

  9. 2) The problems over there are not America’s fault, period. They have a crazy violent culture, with some gaps.

    I don’t think that’s accurate. It seems pretty clear that by knocking out the assholes who were keeping the ISIS goons under their thumbs, we set the stage for their rise in the region. I mean seriously, do you think ISIS would be doing their thing if Saddam were still in power?

    1. How were they supposed to know that aiming to topple every secular regime in the region would leave a power vacuum for Islamists? No one could have predicted that.

      1. Yes, if only America hadn’t toppled Assad.

        1. that aiming to topple every secular regime

          Try not to be so dense all of the time.

          1. So what? Syria isn’t a mess because America ‘aimed’ to topple Assad. It’s a mess because Assad fired on his people and started a civil war.

            1. Move the goal post further.

              1. I haven’t moved them at all.

                1. I’m quite certain that you tell yourself that. Like you told yourself that I made some claim that the US actually did topple every secular regime in the region. Then I point out that I didn’t make that claim and you literally say “So what?” and proceed to argue against a strawman. That is the very definition moving the goal posts. But you slayed that strawman real good and stuff.

                  1. No you just made a point that was banal and I pointed it out.

          2. Yes, the Arab Spring was apparently a bad thing now.

            1. When was it apparently a good thing? It seems to have been a rather natural chain of events in Tunisia, and everywhere else that it was imposed by external forces it was an unmitigated disaster. Some people, those with a modicum of foresight knew the Arab Spring was a catastrophe in the making from the very beginning. Hint: Islam apologists and liberal interventionists were not in that camp.

    2. “do you think ISIS would be doing their thing if Saddam were still in power?”

      Yes they just wouldn’t be called ISIS. During the early days of the Syrian revolution, Assad released tons of Jihadist scum from his prisons almost certainly so that they would ruin the revolution. Then, his military blatantly coordinated with ISIS. So much for ‘keeping them under his thumb’. If there was no ISIS to join, these scumbags would have joined Nusra or something which would be ISIS in all but name. If Sadaam were around, he might support them-Assad and Sadaam hated each other, and Sadaam did send some support to jihadist outfits. So much for ‘the good secular strongman’ ideal.

      1. And yet none of this happened until we created that power vacuum by knocking out Saddam.

        1. Actually it happened when Assad started a civil war in his country. Before that, what is ISIS now was a faint shadow of its former self.

          Tyrants don’t create lasting peace. That’s what should have been learned in Yugoslavia.

      2. No Cytoxic,if Saddam were still around Iraq would be the peaceful pillar of regional stability it always had been. This is what these people actually believe. All harms and all things that go wrong in the ME are the result of the US getting rid of Saddam. It is an article of religious faith.

        1. Oh, spare me the strawman characterization. The ME is fucked up, it always has been. We did ourselves and the ME no favors by sticking our dick in it and making it worse.

          Or do you think it’s better now than it was before we invaded Iraq?

          1. John never lets actual arguments from actual libertarians get in the way of his straw man arguments.

          2. Until Obama started messing with the place (pulling troops out of Iraq). It wasn’t too bad.

          3. Since we can’t live the counter factual, we will never know for sure. Chances are it would be much worse had we not invaded. Had we not invaded Saddam would have either been assassinated or died of natural causes at some point in the 00s. When that happened Iraq would have fell into civil war the way Syria has. And that would have no doubt spread to Syria. So rather than Syria and the northern half of Iraq completely imploding, all of Iraq, sans the Kurd areas would have imploded.

            Had we just left even 20,000 troops in Iraq in 2011, ISIS would have never expanded outside of Syria. You can argue that our presence in the ME is not worth the trouble. But it is totatlly wrong to say our presence there is the cause of all of this or didn’t atl least mitigate the problems we are seeing.

            I am sympathetic to the position of saying fuck it and not caring except to incinerate ISIS if they attack US soil. What is ridiculous however are the constant claims that our presence over there somehow is the cause of all of this. Bullshit.

            1. So essentially you’re saying that we would have had the same result with a lot less expense and American lives lost.

              1. NO. I am saying we would have a worse result. Instead of Syria and part of Iraq falling apart, all of both would have fallen apart. Moreover, if we had stayed in Iraq, none of Iraq would have fallen apart and ISIS would be much less of a threat.

            2. So, Saddam had no sons, had no command structure, had no political structure that wasn’t completely and utterly dependent upon him to handle every detail of managing his regime?

              That’s like Lucas levels of storytelling inanity.

              The most likely result of Saddam’s death would have been a short, sharp, brutal power struggle between the major subordinate players until one came out on top – and then business as usual – ‘America is the Great Satan, we have tons of WMD’s pointed at Washington that we’re not acutally going to show you, etc’.

          4. Saddam was secular but secular psychos are not much better than Islamic ones. He didn’t have to be a believer to recognize the enemy of my enemy is my friend.

        2. You are an adept straw man slayer.

        3. I didn’t say anything about peaceful. But Iraq was pretty stable before Gulf 1. It was actually even pretty stable before Gulf 2. And more importantly, since Saddam didn’t bloody well attack us, it was an improvement over the situation now.

          1. It wasn’t stable at all before Gulf War II. It was a complete basket case. Saddam barely controlled half of the country. The entire place was crumbling and about to fall apart. Bush’s failure to appreciate that fact and his naive belief that the US could just eliminate Saddam and put in a US backed replacement was his biggest mistake in dealing with Iraq. The Bush Administration did not have a clue how unstable Iraq actually was.

            1. I love how people gloss over the raving lunacy that ran amok terrorizing people under him and his mental sons.

              Fuck them. If there’s one good thing that came out of the Iraq War was finding the prick holed up like a rat and then finishing him off.

              1. I completely agree. There is no way in hell the world wasn’t a better place for that bastard being at the end of a rope. However bad things are now, they would be worse with him still around.

              2. There is no glossing. Saddam was a complete bastard asshole, and his sons were worse. But they were not our problem to fix.

            2. It was as stable as it could have possibly been, given the stupid fucking embargo we were enforcing on the country. And it was more stable then than it is now.

      3. And sometimes strongmen don’t live forever. Or they get overthrown.

        1. “What is Yugoslavia?”

          1. The birthplace of basketball legend Vlade Divac?

            1. The place that could never quite win a World Cup despite talent.

          2. An error in judgement. The US backed the wrong side.

            1. The US should not have backed any side.

              The point is that tyranny is not a long-term keeper of peace.

              1. Doesn’t have to be. *Democracy* is not a long-term keeper of peace.

              2. “The point is that tyranny is not a long-term keeper of peace.”

                Roman Empire, Chinese empire, Soviet empire, Ottoman Empire, … The list is endless. Tyrants are pretty effective for at least decades, in general.

      4. ISIS is a product of the Syrian Civil War, not of the collapse of Saddam/instability caused by W’s invasion as the left claims and not due to Obama’s troop withdrawal as Republicans claim.

        1. WE HAVE A WINNER

          1. So, then what exactly did we win be destroying Iraq?

            1. We get to destroy it again. And again, and again, and again, and…

  10. “Muslims have nothing whatsoever to do with terrorism,” she said.

    This textbook head-in-the-sand.

    1. Acknowledging reality would feel racist.

  11. “She did, however, separate herself from the Republicans in one fundamental way: she refused to blame terrorism on Islam itself. “Muslims have nothing whatsoever to do with terrorism,” she said.”

    Is Hillary Clinton retarded?

    1. You win the Rhetorical Question of the Day Award.

      1. I answered you in the AM links – albeit late. I said, ‘Rudy was inspirational. I was just a sore-loser.’

          1. I was a TEDIOUS trequartista before there was such a position so rarely off sides!

            1. Would you settle for mundane?

              1. Sure. What difference does it make at this point?

        1. I answered you in the AM links – albeit late. I said, ‘Rudy was inspirational. I was just a sore-loser.’

          I think that makes you a sore winner if anything.

    2. Is this a question?

  12. She does, however, favor imposing a no-fly zone on Syria to protect U.S. allies

    Hmmm. Lets see here. Russians have several squadrons of top-of-the-line Flanker mods and an S300 battalion in theater already.

    Hillary being a ‘hawk’ is like illiterate person who loves Shakespeare; no matter how heartfelt the conviction they have no idea what they’re talking about.

    1. I bet plenty of the play goers were illiterate.

  13. ISIS has kidnapped and killed American citizens on multiple occasions. They recently attacked our ally France and say they are going to attack New York. They also openly claim to be at war with the US.

    Given those facts, aren’t we already at war with ISIS? IF we are not, then under what conditions are we ever at war with anyone? And if we are at war with them, shouldn’t we fight that war?

    I don’t understand how it is wrong to go and attack a government, and ISIS is a government that controls a lot of territory, that is attacking your citizens and allies, promising to attack your largest city and says they are at war with you. Are we just supposed to stand around and wait for ISIS to get around to killing people in New York? And even then, is there anything that would cause reason to admit that yes we are at war with ISIS and that fact means it is okay to you know make war on them?

    1. Politicians love them some “flexibility” – saying there’s a state of war with someone kind of commits us to fight that war.

      1. Sure but I am asking those questions of Reason. They object to aggressive wars and interventions. And that is not an unreasonable position. Given the facts I outline above, I am left to wonder if they really object to aggressive wars and interventions or just object to the US doing anything to defend itself.

        1. Would be nice if that was so cut-and-dried. However…

          1. ISIS is not an actual country.
          2. In so much ISIS has an ‘address,’ that address spans primarily two recognized nations.
          3. Said recognized nations’ regimes are more-or-less Iranian stooges at this point.
          4. All the players have different rosters of enemies in the theater than we do; Russians hate ISIS but love Bashar and don’t really care about Kurds, Turkey hates Kurds, ISIS, and Bashar. USA loves Kurds, some mysterious rebel faction in Syria, but hates ISIS and Bashar.

          Until we delineate our objectives for all the players on the ground there, an effective military solution – war, kinetic-something, peace, whatever you call it – cannot be formulated. That is political problem, hence up to the Lightworker to solve.

          1. 1. It basically is a state.

          2. 1. ISIS is not an actual country.

            Yeah. To be a country they would need a seat at the UN. Otherwise it doesn’t count.

          3. 1. ISIS is not an actual country.
            2. In so much ISIS has an ‘address,’ that address spans primarily two recognized nations.

            That is just completely untrue. ISIS has courts, laws, a police force, an army, controls territory and even has a capital. It is absolutely a country by any reasonable definition. What it is not is a internationally recognized sovereignty. But it sure as hell is a government and a country by any reasonable definition of the term.

            And our objectives are easy, destroy ISIS in Syria. The objectives only become hard if you think doing that requires stabilizing Syria. And regardless, even if invading and destroying ISIS is not practical at this time, that doesn’t change the fact that we are at war with them and the government has a responsibility to prosecute that war.

            1. That is just completely untrue. ISIS has courts, laws, a police force, an army, controls territory and even has a capital. It is absolutely a country by any reasonable definition. What it is not is a internationally recognized sovereignty. But it sure as hell is a government and a country by any reasonable definition of the term.

              Yes, ISIS is a de facto country. But since it is a de facto country grafted on two ‘real’ countries with pretty messy politics and a lot of international players, one must politically figure out what the end-game is for the real countries. If one goes in to kill ISIS, and finds themselves getting shot at by five other factions that also hate ISIS, need ROE for everyone you’ll encounter. See what I mean here?

              And our objectives are easy, destroy ISIS in Syria. The objectives only become hard if you think doing that requires stabilizing Syria. And regardless, even if invading and destroying ISIS is not practical at this time, that doesn’t change the fact that we are at war with them and the government has a responsibility to prosecute that war.

              Absolutely. But my general point here is one cannot war away on ISIS in a vacuum, not if the goal is to actually win. ‘Prosecute war’ insinuates a strategy exists. Without coherence on all the moving parts in that theater, there is no coherent strategy for any one of them.

              1. For sure. We need a strategy. I don’t think reason really understands that however. They seem to think that we can avoid being at war by just ignoring it and wishing hard enough.

              2. Bombs dropped from airplanes or drones is a workable solution.

                Kill them all. Let Ackbar sort them out.

                1. Bombs dropped from airplanes or drones is a workable solution.

                  Kill them all. Let Ackbar sort them out.

                  This has been US strategy for past decade or so. It doesn’t work obviously. Even if we toss morality out the window and elected to go, say, carpet-bomb Raqqa, we don’t have the firepower to do it. Currently USA has several dozen B-52’s active, it would take a month (at least) just to get the logistics/deployment pipe set up to do that kind of ops, telegraphing what we’re scheming to basically whole world.

                  1. Zeitgeist,

                    There are other kinds of bombs that can be delivered by B52s and submarines. Just saying.

                    Beyond that, you underestimate the fire power of those dozen B52s. And even if ISIS knew they were coming, what are they going to do about it?

                    As an aside, if killing your enemies didn’t win wars, no one in the history of the world would have ever won a war. The idea that killing people makes things worse is one of the most absurd things people utter in this context. Yes, killing is hard and nasty and sometimes you have to do a lot of it. How in the hell is not killing them an alternative? What, do you think they will give up and stop fighting if we just don’t kill them long enough?

                    1. There are other kinds of bombs that can be delivered by B52s and submarines. Just saying.

                      You want to start tossing nukes around in same operational theater shared with Russians? Haha, you funny.

                      Beyond that, you underestimate the fire power of those dozen B52s. And even if ISIS knew they were coming, what are they going to do about it?

                      Look up Rolling Thunder or Linebacker in Vietnam to see what kind of strategic aircraft fleet it takes to drop serious tonnage on morons in huts. The United States no longer has that capability in active inventory.

                    2. Vietnam is about a hundred times more difficult target than Syria. Vietnam had enormously sophisticated air defenses. ISIS has no air defense. Also, Vietnam had a much larger and more industrialized population than Syria. In addition, the fire power of a single B 52 today is orders of magnitude greater than one in 1972. So not only do you not have to plan for getting around an air defense grid, you also get more firepower from each plane.

                      Lastly, there is more in the US arsenal than B52s. A single career group parked in the Med has tremendous ground attack capability.

                    3. In addition, the fire power of a single B 52 today is orders of magnitude greater than one in 1972.

                      B-52 payload has not magically changed since Vietnam. Same airframe, same motors, I don’t quite get where ‘order of magnitude’ more is coming from here.

                      A single career group parked in the Med has tremendous ground attack capability.

                      This might come as surprise to you, but single carrier group in Med has very little capability to bomb anything in an ISIS-controlled part of Syria. It is several hundred miles, over Russian-controlled airspace. Look at a map.

                      Might also add that compared to, say, the 1980’s air wing on a Nimitz-class CVN could fly farther, with more bombs, than the modern equivalent.

                    4. Hey, if you can get all of ISIS to show up in Dabiq, I’m OK dropping a nuke on it.

                2. Yeah, that will work well:

                  Nearly 90 Percent Of People Killed In Recent Drone Strikes Were Not The Target

                  But I’m told blowback is a myth, so who cares, right?

                  1. Yeah Jordan. Blowback is real. That is why we are still at war with Japan and Germany. Think about it, we killed millions of innocent civilians in bombing campaigns in Japan and Germany. And of course that didn’t break their will to fight or anything. Nope, that just made them want to fight us more and created more Nazis and Japanese fascists. That is why we still are dealing with the Nazi and Japanese menace today. Right?

                    Think about what you are saying Jordan. If killing people didn’t win wars, how did anyone ever win any war? Why haven’t pacifists ruled the world? How in the world can you think blowback has any connection to reality?

                  2. There will be blowback. Until there isn’t. It will take a while. We have been at war with Islam (sharia?) off and on since the very early 1800s.

            2. Do they have an airline or a beer?

              1. They likely never will have a beer BP, but I bet they are working on the airline part.

            3. They fund a welfare state, control utilities…

    2. Are we just supposed to stand around and wait for ISIS to get around to killing people in New York?

      I seriously doubt it’s going to be actual fighters on the ISIS payroll who kill people in New York. Rather the attacks will be perpetrated by people inspired by ISIS.

      1. Maybe. But even if that is true, what difference does it make? ISIS is still atacking American citizens and its allies overseas and it is encouraging and supporting people to attack Americans here. That is called making war.

    3. We are not (officially) at war with ISIS. They are officially at war with the US.

      Thus according to Libertarian PRINCIPLES as espoused by Reason we should not waste our military on them. And if they attack the US mainland it is not their fault.

      Because Non-Aggression.

      1. The NAP apparently only applies to the US and doesn’t mean non aggression it means “never do anything”.

  14. “Message from Hillary Clinton, O Emir, she’s appointing us all American consuls.”

  15. “Muslims have nothing whatsoever to do with terrorism,” she said.

    Obviously what she meant was, Muslims do nothing to end or prevent terrorisHAHAHAHAHA!!

    Damn, couldn’t quite get it out!

  16. Hillary’s no hawk, she’s just a poll driven hack. She see the country wants to do something about these terrorists so she’s back on the bandwagon. Once the public loses its appetite for war, she’ll be back on the peacenik train. Remember, she opposed the surge. Some hawk!

    1. Hillary’s no hawk, she’s just a poll driven hack. She see the country wants to do something about these terrorists so she’s back on the bandwagon. Once the public loses its appetite for war, she’ll be back on the peacenik train. Remember, she opposed the surge. Some hawk!

      Hillary absolutely is a hawk, in the worst kind of Hitler-in-the-dining-car way.

  17. Needz moar comments about pantsuit shitting

    1. But enough about your mom.

      1. But enough about your mom.

  18. These idiots are
    unbelievable. Bush invades ME countries and he’s a hateful warmonger. Obama and Hillary do it, and it’s all about American leadership and making the world safe for Muslim democracy. Libertarians point out the inconsistency and reiterate the wisdom of staying the fuck out of it and they get hammered in their own publication by supposedly “libertarian” commenters.

    1. NAP or suicide. Choose one.

      Also Barbary War. Making slaves of Americans is nothing to go to war about.

    2. LIES ABOUT WMD!

      That’s how they make the distinction.

    3. I would love to walk away too. Sadly, ISIS has invited us to the party. Even if you are right that the only reason ISIS wants to attack us is because that evil George Bush invaded Iraq, that doesn’t change anything. We can’t go back in time and undo that. And ISIS doesn’t seem like the type of people who accept apologies very well.

      They are going to attack us sooner or later. They have made it clear they plan to and given the events in Paris it is pretty clear they have the ability to eventually do so. So we can’t just walk away.

      1. ISIS is legacy of US policy in Iraq, specifically de-Baathification. All these bitter Sunnis, full of professional military and bureaucratic peeps who can run a regime, first showed up in Zarqawi’s crew, and have now re-materialized as the competent foundation for ISIS in the political vacuum of Sunni Iraq and Syria.

        1. First, that is not true. But even if it is, that doesn’t change the situation we face. We can’t undo that. It doesn’t matter if ISIS was caused by the US invasion of Iraq or divine will. They are still there, they still are making war against us, and they are not going to stop.

          So while the debate of who caused ISIS might be interesting, it is ultimately completely irrelevant to the quesiton of what we are going to do about ISIS or the reality that ISIS is making war on us.

          1. First, that is not true.

            Agree that where ISIS came from is moot point, but I am sure the operationally competent locus of ISIS, especially the Iraqi component which seized Fallujah and Ramadi, are basically same pool of Sunni peeps from the Zarqawi days.

            1. Remember Zarqawi was a honored guest of Saddam and Saddam and Asaad hated each other. Lets say for the sake of argument that had the US not invaded Saddam would have somehow stayed alive and Iraq would have kept its shit together. The Syrian civil war would have still broken out. And when that happened, Zarqawi and his gang would have almost certainly gone to Syria to fight Assad. We would have ISIS only with the additional brain power and leadership of the various people like Zarqawi himself who died fighting the US. Likely ISIS would be even more dangerous than it is now.

              1. Maybe so. If we had gone all the way to Baghdad in Gulf War 1.0 none of this would have happened either, and if Jupiter’s orbit had been oh-so-slightly different Earth would not have formed.

                All moot points at this juncture.

            2. Don’t they have leadership from all over the goddamn place, including former Yugoslav splinter states, Soviet republics, etc?

              1. I would guess they do, but the sudden ISIS ‘surge’ into taking over whole chunks of Iraq from hapless Shiite regime clowns was a locally-run operation. And that is when ISIS metastasized from one of many Syrian rebel factions into this de facto oil-fed terrorist pseudo-state.

      2. I am not saying they want to attack us because of Bush. What I am saying is that the whole region is full of assholes and we need to stay the hell away from it! NOT get more involved.

        Imagine you had a bar where Hell’s Angels, various rival street gangs, and bunches of roided-up militarized cops all congregated on a regular basis to get blind drunk and start shit with each other to provoke shootouts.

        What would you think of the unaffiliated guy, already heavily in debt, who decides to go in and start taking sides, poking the bear, loudly declaring that gangster X is slightly less crazy and brutal than gangster Y, and then starts buying rounds of drinks for some of the crazies in there while shouting at most of the others. Would he be a hero? A leader? Or would he be just an idiot who’s asking to get himself killed for something that’s not his business and totally not worth it?

        Go ahead and call me an isolationist. I say free trade with everybody who wants to trade and military ties/commitments to help out in civil wars with NONE of them. Just like I would walk blocks out of my way to avoid said nightmare bar, I’m proud to be an isolationist.

  19. America is at fault for going to war over a few Americans made slaves by the Barbary Pirates. It has been all down hill ever since. Besides they were sailors. Very uncouth. Not worth a war.

    1. Lets say ISIS pulls off another 911 and kills a couple of thousand New Yorkers. There are nine million people in the New Yorker metro area. You have a greater chance of being eaten by a grizzly bear than being one of those 2000. So only a pants shitting war monger neocon would think the US government has any duty to prevent that from happening or take action against ISIS if it did.

      signed

      The Staff of Reason.

      1. Who says you can protect said people by going to war? Why not just focus on domestic defense?

        1. Who says you can protect said people by going to war? Why not just focus on domestic defense?

          Domestic defense against something like ISIS is more police than military operation. And this is not about protecting anybody, it is about killing something trying to kill you. ISIS needs to be liquidated, but the (violent) solution there is embedded in broader political regional calculus US leadership is incapable of figuring out.

        2. What Zeigeist said. And considering that Reason has published like 50 articles in the last two days about how taking in Syrian refugees is the most important thing in the world since homo marriage, they don’t seem to keen on domestic defense either.

          And if a government is sending people to your country to attack and kill your people, are you at war. You don’t get a choice about going to war. Your enemies get that choice.

          1. So is this a position libertarians (e.g. the military guys in this community) support or not? Or are they divided?

            Yes. They do need to be liquidated. Don’t know why they just fucken do it already.

        3. Who says you can protect said people by going to war? Why not just focus on domestic defense?

          Just kill or arrest the perps after every attack. Sure that will work.

      2. Which is why those 9 million New Yorkers should gladly give up any claims that the 1st, 2nd, or 4th Amendments will now or ever again apply to them. They must agree that they will always love Big Brother because he helps to keep them safe from East Asia. And we have always been at war with East Asia!!

        1. Why does waging war mean that? In fact, losing your rights is something that is associated with police work not war. If you are worried about your rights, bombing these assholes over there seems like a lot better option than hoping the cops catch them here. All depending on the cops does is give the cops a reason to take away everyone’s rights.

  20. “She does, however, favor imposing a no-fly zone on Syria to protect U.S. allies from both ISIS and Syrian President Bashar al-Assad”

    This is simply a buzzword. It means nothing. The US – if it chooses – already has air supremacy over the region. It uses the excuse of the presence of ISIS to wage an air campaign within Syria, tho not directly against Syrian forces.

    All an ostensible “no fly” zone would do would put the US in the position of threatening to shoot down syrian aircraft in their own airspace while never actually admitting that we’re at war with Syria.

    The second component of a so-called “no fly” zone would be the establishment of a ‘safe zone’ to prevent ground infiltration of ISIS into population centers.

    This would by definition require people on the ground to enforce its boundaries.

    see here

    “The term “no-fly zone” is a misnomer for the proposals currently under discussion since the area would need to be protected against attacks or infiltration on the ground, and from bombardment by artillery, rockets and missiles, not merely from air strikes by the Syrian regime (the Islamic State has no air force).

    The foremost requirement for such a safe zone would be a large commitment of competent ground forces to protect its borders and police the area, supported by airpower to provide aerial surveillance and, if needed, close air support for these troops.”

    1. No fly zone? How about a no mosquito zone.

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