Sunday, October 5, 2014

Sullivan on ISIS and Obama

Andrew Sullivan critiques Obama's policy on ISIS on The Daily Dish.

Yes, we should tighten our defenses; yes, we should deal firmly with any Americans who are going to fight there; yes, we should perhaps intervene from a distance if one side seemed to be gaining the upper hand too much. (Our real interest is in bolstering the one stable power in the region, which is Iran.) But basically: leave these insane, foul, sectarian conflagrations to those who fight them. Above all, do not make this a war between Islam and the West. Let it be what it is: a war of Islam against itself.

The alternative was outlined by George W Bush today. His view is that we should be patient and baby-sit “Iraqi” “democracy” for an indefinite period of time with residual troops. We are now doing that in Afghanistan. The alternative, in other words, is an endless pseudo-empire in failed states to achieve “democracy” where such a thing makes absolutely no sense at all. It’s a form of welfare with no cut-off, creating hatred for the US and thereby anti-Western terror for the foreseeable future and beyond.

We elected Obama precisely to be calm and sane enough to be able to resist what he has now done. He betrayed us. His policy, such as it is, is utterly incoherent and as free from any sane fiscal footing as his predecessor’s. He has launched a war against an entity that even the CIA says poses no threat to the US. And his party will be eviscerated in the coming November elections as a result. If you voted twice for Obama to end these unwinnable, bankrupting, open-ended wars, why on earth would you vote Democrat to enable another one? Yes, the polls show support for the new war right now. But just watch. The easy part is over. The civilian casualties will mount, ISIS and al Qaeda are uniting again, the narrative of Islam against the West is back in the foreground, the completely farcical idea of arming “moderate Syrians” will go nowhere, and the terror risk at home will escalate. There will be no victories. Except for the Republicans.

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