I must admit, I don’t understand the threat or the solution. Politicians and pundits agree that we face an existential threat to our culture and nation. I am called to a war without personal cost or discomfort, we will get other countries to fight it and pay for it. My destruction by terrorist is certain, but the Saudi government will save us with their soldiers and oil money. American conservatives with their huge brains and razor sharp critical thinking skills proclaim “ISIS will conquer America, replacing our constitution with sharia law”, I just don’t see how any of this is possible.
Militarily, ISIS is an armed mob without any air force or navy. A self-proclaimed caliphate without any CIA, FBI or NSA. A government that can’t pick up the trash, repair roadways, or keep the water and electricity operational. They collect their taxes with a bayonet, and enforce their law with beheadings. They have no industrial capacity to build tanks or artillery, they can’t mass produce bullets or antibiotics. ISIS can’t even defeat the Kurds.
The only advantage/asset that ISIS has is fear. Our morale is their target.
ISIS leadership is well aware of all this, they will never meet us on the battle field, they will never challenge us in the market, they will never allow fair and honest elections. They survive on media coverage, they need us frightened and jumping at shadows.
Perhaps that is my problem, ISIS doesn’t scare me. I worry more about some random traffic accident, living on the gulf coast I worry about hurricanes not ISIS. For conservatives if you shout ISIS! They will jump in the air screaming WHERE!! WHERE!!, then land and shake in their boots. I don’t have the required mental wiring to be a conservative. I actually think that having a Mr. Tough Guy President that will make “sand glow” or will “bomb the sh*t out of them” is rather simplistic, even stupid. But then, I am a Low-Information-Voter and can’t figure things out for myself, I only believe those things my masters tell me to believe. Or so I am told by conservatives.
The most successful tactic for ISIS is fear, and the best tactic for republican politicians is fear. There is a symbiotic relationship, without ISIS the politician has no campaign, without the politician ISIS has no barker, without fear neither has anything. Without fear both become irrelevant, little more than an irritant, and occasionally a terrible tragedy.
The republican candidates promise another war, another invasion of Iraq, one more time, we’ll get it right this time. War using borrowed money with soldiers worn thin by multiple deployments. This approach has an unbroken record of failure. Some blame President Bush, others blame President Obama, but I blame both. Since 1941 we have built a military designed to defeat any major world power, a well-trained and well equipped professional army to defeat another well-trained and well equipped professional army. Now we face an armed mob hiding among civilians which befuddles our generals. We will not slaughter unarmed civilians for no military gain. Yes, in WW2 we leveled Dresden, Hiroshima and Nagasaki, killing hundreds of thousands of unarmed civilians, and that ended the war. Would leveling Aleppo, Damascus and Baghdad end the war with ISIS? Or would it strengthen ISIS, and create more recruits?
We do not have the correct institutions to fight an ISIS type organization. We have the institutions to defeat Nazi Germany and Imperial Japan.
President Obama has developed a Fabian strategy. Since they won’t face us in a decisive battle, he is trying to harass them with skirmishes, disrupt their money flows and oil sales, striking the leadership and small gatherings when and where we can find them. Unfortunately, the American public wants to see shock and awe, we want a 5 minute news bite on the evening news cast, or 10 minutes on the endless cable news broadcast, followed with instant analysis by some expert. We want the expert pundit to say exactly what we want to hear, and we want this without having to pay any war taxes or send any family member to the war zone.
Our politicians understand all this and see opportunity. They will scare us and then promise to “make sand glow”, and “bomb the sh*t out of them”. The talking heads tell us this will work, or that it won’t work, depending on what their audience wants to hear. The charlatan gets rich, the politician gets elected and the foot soldier gets the shaft. Meanwhile we get a titillating little scare without facing any real danger nor any financial cost.
ISIS is not a creditable threat to America and eventually they will be destroyed. Then there will be another outlaw terrorist bunch and we will start all over, and I still won't be scare.