Contributor Post Created with Sketch. ISIS: Our Non-Strategy and Our Too-Calm Republican Candidates

 

screenshot 2015-03-17 12.38.59I was flabbergasted to read this morning that we are “embracing a new approach” in the battle against ISIS:

In a major shift of focus in the battle against the Islamic State, the Obama administration is planning to establish a new military base in Anbar Province and send 400 American military trainers to help Iraqi forces retake the city of Ramadi.

Point 1: With all respect to our highly accomplished and experienced men and women in uniform, at this point a force of 400 military trainers in Anbar Province should properly be described as “next month’s hostages.” How could anyone of even cursory familiarity with this region — or the history of warfare, for that matter — fail to think of that immediately?

Point 2: No one in his or her right mind would think air power alone a sufficient tool to defeat the Islamic State. But nor would one in his or her right mind think a near-complete failure to use air power the tool of choice, either. As retired Air Force general David A. Deptula notes, we’re now averaging 12 strike sorties per day:

During Operation Desert Storm in Iraq and Kuwait in 1991, the average was 1,241; in Operation Allied Force in Kosovo in 1999, it was 298; in the first 30 days of Operation Iraqi Freedom in 2003, 691; during Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan in 2001, 86.

These mishagas stories about sandstorms holding us back? We have sensors that can readily penetrate fog and sandstorms; and I can’t be the only one who knows this. We’ve used not a single Reaper drone. Not one. I can’t begin to imagine what we’re thinking: We’re planning to send 400 “advisers” into Anbar without so much as a hint that we’ll even offer them air cover when ISIS decides they’ll make a tasty afternoon snack?

Point 3: It would take me far too long to enumerate all of ISIS’s latest advances and atrocities, but among the highlights: In Libya, they just ambushed a vehicle traveling to Tripoli, taking hostage 88 Eritrean refugees. These include women, children, and an unspecified number of Christians who will surely meet the fate of the 28 Ethiopian Christian they took hostage two months ago. Teenage girls abducted by fighters in Iraq and Syria are being sold in slave markets ‘for as little as a pack of cigarettes,’” the UN envoy on sexual violence reported on Monday:

Bangura described the ordeal of several teenage girls, many of whom were part of the Yazidi minority targeted by the jihadists.

“Some were taken, locked up in a room — over 100 of them in a small house — stripped naked and washed.”

They were then made to stand in front of a group of men who decided “what you are worth”.

Bangura gave the account of a 15-year-old girl who was sold to an Isis leader, a sheikh aged in his 50s, who showed her a gun and a stick and asked her “tell me what you want”.

“She said ‘the gun’ and he replied: ‘I didn’t buy you so that you could kill yourself’,” before raping her, Bangura said.

Abducting girls has become a key part of the Isis strategy to recruit foreign fighters who have been travelling to Iraq and Syria in record numbers over the last 18 months.

“This is how they attract young men: we have women waiting for you, virgins that you can marry,” Bangura said. “The foreign fighters are the backbone of the fighting.”

Meanwhile, as we meditate thoughtfully on the entirely atypical and unexpected phenomenon of sandstorms in the desert and count the hapless prospective hostages we might usefully send to Anbar, ISIS staged attacks in Amariya al Falluja. That means they’re now about 37 miles southwest of Baghdad. They also attacked Surt, capturing a critical power plant on the coastal road to Misurata. That means they can shut off the power in central and Western Libya. The Kurds — our great hope, remember them? — are reportedly beginning to panic:

The Kurds desperately need an influx of arms and supplies in order to be able to continue to hold their 600-mile long border against ISIS attacks.

The need for weapons has only increased over the past months as the militant group has effectively plundered Iraqi military bases after overrunning cities, Yaroslav Trofimov reports from Kurdish-controlled areas for The Wall Street Journal. 

“Peshmerga ammunition stocks are running low and whatever heavy weapons they have are mostly of Saddam Hussein-era vintage,” Trofimov reports, citing Peshmerga commanders. Currently, Kurdish lines throughout Iraq consist of defenses manned by Peshmerga troops armed with outdated weapons with dwindling supplies of ammunition.

And although the Peshmerga have put up an effective defense since being driven back by an ISIS offensive last summer, their positions could be easily overrun should ISIS launch a concentrated assault.

“If ISIS combines its forces and pushes into one area with multiple vehicles, they will break through — and then the whole line breaks,” Jamestown Foundation analyst Wladimir van Wilgenburg told The Journal.

This concern is especially true should ISIS launch a suicide blitz like it has done previously in Ramadi and Mosul. On those occasions, the militants overwhelmed well-defended static Iraqi defensive positions through waves of suicide car bombings that demoralized and ultimately drove back the Iraqi forces.

Point 4: In the Further Annals of the Fastest Imperial Decline in the Recorded History of Humanity, Obama boldly announced last Monday at the G7 Summit in Germany that the United States does not yet have a “complete strategy” for training Iraqi security forces to reconquer territory seized by Islamic State fighters. (Yes, we know — that much is clear to the whole world, I assure you. Why it was necessary to say the obvious, I have no idea.) However, the White House has come up with this ingenious alternative to a strategy: As NPR cheerfully reports, “the Obama administration has turned to a group of social media experts — millennials.” No, I kid you not. Our millennials. The ones who still haven’t left their parents’ basements. They are, apparently,

… supposed to create an initiative or product or tool that will challenge violent extremism. Think of it as…

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

TEMPLE-RASTON: “Mad Men” meets millennials.

SGRO: “Mad Men” did not have the tech savviness that we have with Gen Z and Gen Y. So it’s even uber “Mad Men.”

TEMPLE-RASTON: And yesterday was pitch day at the State Department.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

STORROW: I’m now going to introduce the judges.

TEMPLE-RASTON: The judges weren’t just State Department officials. They included television and broadcast executives, terrorism experts and academics. And they sat facing the teams on stage like judges from “American Idol.” Mount Royal University from Calgary, Canada, was the first to make its pitch.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

KADE GRANT-JOHANSEN: Violent extremism is the most compelling issue of our generation.

TEMPLE-RASTON: That’s Kade Grant-Johansen, a marketing and management major from Mount Royal. This group decided to start a prevention campaign called the WANT Movement. WANT stands for We Are Not Them. Patty Derbyshire was the faculty adviser.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

ANDERS: 52 JUMAA is an interactive app which enhances personal identity, social interaction and community spirit.

TEMPLE-RASTON: That’s one of the international team members laying out the program.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING) …

ANDERS: This app mobilizes positive behavior among communities of young Muslims.

TEMPLE-RASTON: Show gratitude by making tea for your mother. Show generosity by feeding a homeless person. The idea is to provide positive reinforcement. And, finally, there was Missouri State University. It had an ambitious program that aimed to unite the world against violent extremism called ONE95.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: ONE95 is a digital platform for starting initiatives and receiving support.

TEMPLE-RASTON: It has a social media component, curriculum for teachers and created the hashtag #EndViolentExtremism.

Think I made that up? I wish. I couldn’t, even. Go listen for yourself.

So clearly we can say that for reasons known only to God and this Administration, Obama has no serious interest at all in repelling ISIS’s advances. Fine. We’ve got No-Drama Elagabalus in the White House.

But tell me: Why aren’t the GOP presidential candidates screaming about this? I don’t mean screaming about whose fault this is. I mean screaming the way reading the paragraphs above would make any sane person scream — no less one who proposes to become the Commander-in-Chief of the United States military and the leader of the Free World on his first day on the job.

Do you get this?

Update: The Independent is now reporting that according to Australian intelligence reports, ISIS has now seized enough radioactive material to build a devastating dirty bomb. The news just gets better by the minute.

There are 115 comments.

  1. Penfold Member

    I’ll say this for Obama. When he goes all out, well, wow! 400 advisors. Man, that’s showin em sumpthing by golly. After all, it only took 300 Spartans to stop the Persians at Marathon… Oh, wait. That didn’t turn out so good for the 300.

    • #1
    • June 10, 2015, at 6:43 AM PST
    • Like
  2. Vance Richards Member

    #DontBeheadMeBro!

    Hey look, I could be a national defense expert.

    Now let me try domestic policy:

    #TimeToElectAnAdult

    We’re doomed, aren’t we?

    • #2
    • June 10, 2015, at 6:56 AM PST
    • Like
  3. I Walton Member

    Frankly the M.E. is beyond our comprehension, we’re always over our heads there, so it’d be nice if we could just forget about it and let them sort everything out. Unfortunately we don’t have that luxury because Israel wont march peacefully to its own suicide, the Shia and Sunni will not stop trying to kill each other, and will arm themselves eventually with nukes. So it would be nice to have a coherent policy vision about the place, the world and our role in it and a few adults in key positions here and there. How much of the unfolding global, domestic, and regional disasters can we reverse after almost two more years?

    • #3
    • June 10, 2015, at 7:09 AM PST
    • Like
  4. Zafar Member

    Claire Berlinski:But tell me: Why aren’t the GOP presidential candidates screaming about this?

    Because sending the US Army back into Iraq is unpopular in the US and the candidates are (electioneering) politicians.

    Iow: because enough of you are not demanding a coherent response from them.

    • #4
    • June 10, 2015, at 7:11 AM PST
    • Like
  5. Claire Berlinski, Ed. Editor
    Claire Berlinski, Ed. Post author

    John Penfold:

    No, it is not beyond our comprehension. We don’t have another two years to wait.

    • #5
    • June 10, 2015, at 7:13 AM PST
    • Like
  6. MLH Inactive
    MLH

    Zafar:

    Claire Berlinski:But tell me: Why aren’t the GOP presidential candidates screaming about this?

    Because sending the US Army back into Iraq is unpopular in the US and the candidates are (electioneering) politicians.

    Iow: because enough of you are not demanding a coherent response from them.

    Although a bet a bunch of our warriors are will to go and kick som. .. but even then ROE and all.

    You hit the nail on the head, I think, Zafar. We are much more worried about Caitlyn’s ego/feelings.

    • #6
    • June 10, 2015, at 7:16 AM PST
    • Like
  7. Profile Photo Member

    Claire Berlinski:

    John Penfold:

    No, it is not beyond our comprehension. We don’t have another two years to wait.

    Respectfully, I have to say that it would be time to quit pounding the panic button when it comes to the M.E. We probably have much more time than we are willing to admit at this time.

    • #7
    • June 10, 2015, at 7:18 AM PST
    • Like
  8. Claire Berlinski, Ed. Editor
    Claire Berlinski, Ed. Post author

    Zafar:

    Claire Berlinski:But tell me: Why aren’t the GOP presidential candidates screaming about this?

    Because sending the US Army back into Iraq is unpopular in the US and the candidates are (electioneering) politicians.

    Iow: because enough of you are not demanding a coherent response from them.

    Wasn’t “leadership” supposed to be a sought-after quality in a leader?

    • #8
    • June 10, 2015, at 7:18 AM PST
    • Like
  9. Claire Berlinski, Ed. Editor
    Claire Berlinski, Ed. Post author

    Brad2971:

    Claire Berlinski:

    John Penfold:

    No, it is not beyond our comprehension. We don’t have another two years to wait.

    Respectfully, I have to say that it would be time to quit pounding the panic button when it comes to the M.E. We probably have much more time than we are willing to admit at this time.

    Much more time before what? Before we have to go to war with an ISIS armed with every extant piece of military hardware from the Med to the Indus? Or are you figuring we won’t ever have to deal with this? I just don’t think they’ll get tired of these hijinks and apply to join the TPP any time soon, if that’s the hope.

    • #9
    • June 10, 2015, at 7:22 AM PST
    • Like
  10. The Reticulator Member

    This is a couple of weeks old, but here is a link to what Eugene Robinson said about Republican criticism of the President’s “policy.” Here is an excerpt:

    It’s hard to tell what Jeb Bush thinks. He says he wants to “take out” the Islamic State, in cooperation with other countries — which sounds a lot like Obama’s policy of providing US airpower and letting our allies fight on the ground. Asked whether more US troops are needed, Bush says he would rely on his military advisers to make that determination. Again, it’s unclear how this differs from what Obama is doing now. Yet somehow, in Bush’s view, Obama is making grave errors of an unspecified nature.

    Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas and former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee seem to want intensified airstrikes and more weapons for the Kurds. Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, former Texas Gov. Rick Perry, and most of the others speak forcefully but vaguely about the need for the US to project strength. Yada yada yada.

    Eventually, one hopes, some candidate will come up with credible alternatives to Obama’s Mideast policies. So far, not even close.

    Robinson is no friend to Republican candidates, but I don’t know what we should do, either.

    • #10
    • June 10, 2015, at 7:24 AM PST
    • Like
  11. Ward Inactive

    It will probably take a hostage crisis or some such headliner atrocity to our attention and they probably know that too so they will probably avoid it for a little while longer.

    • #11
    • June 10, 2015, at 7:26 AM PST
    • Like
  12. Profile Photo Member

    Claire Berlinski:

    Brad2971:

    Respectfully, I have to say that it would be time to quit pounding the panic button when it comes to the M.E. We probably have much more time than we are willing to admit at this time.

    Much more time before what? Before we have to go to war with an ISIS armed with every extant piece of military hardware from the Med to the Indus? Or are you figuring we won’t ever have to deal with this? I just don’t think they’ll get tired of these hijinks and apply to join the TPP any time soon, if that’s the hope.

    What if I were to tell you that the one thing Vladimir Putin has succeeded in doing the last few years is show the world the US cannot indefinitely drop divisions of soldiers and Marines every time a situation not to the liking of the US happens. What if I were to also tell you ISIS understands this, to a degree, as well.

    Right now, the rest of the world is waiting to see whether or not Saudi Arabia understands this.

    • #12
    • June 10, 2015, at 7:28 AM PST
    • Like
  13. Valiuth Member

    Zafar:

    Claire Berlinski:But tell me: Why aren’t the GOP presidential candidates screaming about this?

    Because sending the US Army back into Iraq is unpopular in the US and the candidates are (electioneering) politicians.

    Iow: because enough of you are not demanding a coherent response from them.

    A tried and test American reaction of ignoring a crisis in the making, then when things deteriorate even further (and don’t let anyone tell you things can’t get worse, because they always can and will) we look around at each other and ask why no one did anything sooner.

    Of course it would be the job of our elected leaders to motivate and make the case for handling these kinds of things before they become so bad that the common man takes notice and begins to worry. That is why you have leaders, so that they can lead you not casually be swept up by the tide of public apathy.

    I just can’t believe that our response to this is some collage students coming up with an App. No, actually I can believe it and it is mind boggling. Do they really think Candy Crush is any competition to having your own personal 15 year old sex slave? Do they think that the men who go out to join ISIS just haven’t been hugged enough?

    • #13
    • June 10, 2015, at 7:38 AM PST
    • Like
  14. Claire Berlinski, Ed. Editor
    Claire Berlinski, Ed. Post author

    Brad2971:What if I were to tell you that the one thing Vladimir Putin has succeeded in doing the last few years is show the world the US cannot indefinitely drop divisions of soldiers and Marines every time a situation not to the liking of the US happens.

    Putin wouldn’t stand in our way on this one for a second. They’re as much a threat to him as to us.

    • #14
    • June 10, 2015, at 7:41 AM PST
    • Like
  15. Casey Inactive

    400 trainers, eh? The modern way I guess.

    Does anyone else suspect that next month we’ll have hundreds of Iraqi soldiers wandering around the desert saying “I’m an INTP, what are you?”

    • #15
    • June 10, 2015, at 7:41 AM PST
    • Like
  16. Larry3435 Member

    I don’t understand all the handwringing about what to do. There is a hostile military force on the ground, in formation. Smashing it is what our military was built to do, and what it does better than any military force in history. No, we are not good at fighting terrorists disguised as civilians who fight by burying mines on roads and killing random civilians. No, we are not good at nation building. But this, we are very very good at.

    Go in with overwhelming force. Kill everyone standing under an ISIS flag. Blow up all of their equipment. Destroy their headquarters. Kill their commanders. Then get out. It will take less than a week.

    The Iraqis and Syrians can deal with the aftermath. It can’t possibly be any worse than it is now.

    • #16
    • June 10, 2015, at 7:43 AM PST
    • Like
  17. Claire Berlinski, Ed. Editor
    Claire Berlinski, Ed. Post author

    Larry3435:I don’t understand all the handwringing about what to do. There is a hostile military force on the ground, in formation. Smashing it is what our military was built to do, and what it does better than any military force in history. No, we are not good at fighting terrorists disguised as civilians who fight by burying mines on roads and killing random civilians. No, we are not good at nation building. But this, we are very very good at.

    Go in with overwhelming force. Kill everyone standing under an ISIS flag. Blow up all of their equipment. Destroy their headquarters. Kill their commanders. Then get out. It will take less than a week.

    The Iraqis and Syrians can deal with the aftermath. It can’t possibly be any worse than it is now.

    Yep.

    • #17
    • June 10, 2015, at 7:45 AM PST
    • Like
  18. Valiuth Member

    Brad2971:

    Claire Berlinski:

    John Penfold:

    No, it is not beyond our comprehension. We don’t have another two years to wait.

    Respectfully, I have to say that it would be time to quit pounding the panic button when it comes to the M.E. We probably have much more time than we are willing to admit at this time.

    Oh surely this is so. Heck we might not ever have to do anything. After all it is hard to picture ISIS building a fleet large enough to cross the ocean and attack us here. We can always throw out all Middle Easterners, ban Islam, and just retreat into Fortress America. Hey it might even be nice.

    Frankly, I think we could have said this (and in fact did) about nearly every psychotic totalitarian regime ever. Who really thinks the Nazis would have invaded New York? The Soviets never did either, and probably couldn’t have despite their vast armies. I highly doubt a bunch of desert fanatics have much of a chance either. Of course if your nation can be reached by a car from Syria you might have something to worry about. Sucks to be them I guess. Should have founded their nations on a different continent.

    So when should we start to worry? If this isn’t the time, when is? What is our “line in the sand”? What atrocity, depravity, or conquest by ISIS will we not let stand?

    • #18
    • June 10, 2015, at 7:47 AM PST
    • Like
  19. Profile Photo Member

    Claire Berlinski:

    Brad2971:What if I were to tell you that the one thing Vladimir Putin has succeeded in doing the last few years is show the world the US cannot indefinitely drop divisions of soldiers and Marines every time a situation not to the liking of the US happens.

    Putin wouldn’t stand in our way on this one for a second. They’re as much a threat to him as to us.

    Yet Putin very much stood in our way when it came to going into Syria in the first place, in 2013. And he more than stood in the way of unified NATO action in Ukraine.

    Don’t think the rest of the world, including ISIS and Iran, is oblivious to that, and doesn’t take notes accordingly.

    • #19
    • June 10, 2015, at 7:49 AM PST
    • Like
  20. Claire Berlinski, Ed. Editor
    Claire Berlinski, Ed. Post author

    Valiuth:

     Of course if your nation can be reached by a car from Syria you might have something to worry about.

    Or a flight.

    • #20
    • June 10, 2015, at 7:50 AM PST
    • Like
  21. Zafar Member

    Valiuth:

    Of course it would be the job of our elected leaders to motivate and make the case for handling these kinds of things before they become so bad that the common man takes notice and begins to worry. That is why you have leaders, so that they can lead you not casually be swept up by the tide of public apathy.

    Iraq, in addition to being a country (sort of) with lots of oil and the site of a couple of wars and a US occupation and ISIS and Iranian intervention and yadayadayada, also provides a rich source of domestic political point scoring in the US – at this point in the electoral cycle the last seems to dysfunctionally dominate the other definitions.

    Unless candidates are pressed to respond to Iraq without using it as an object lesson in Republican idiocy or Democratic fecklessness I don’t see that changing in the near future. The shining seas are dangerously effective as insulating borders.

    Do they really think Candy Crush is any competition to having your own personal 15 year old sex slave?

    I don’t know Valiuth, people really seem into Candy Crush.

    Do they think that the men who go out to join ISIS just haven’t been hugged enough?

    It’s probably at least a good part of the explanation.

    • #21
    • June 10, 2015, at 7:50 AM PST
    • Like
  22. Claire Berlinski, Ed. Editor
    Claire Berlinski, Ed. Post author

    Brad2971:

    Yet Putin very much stood in our way when it came to going into Syria in the first place, in 2013.

    When Assad was the target. Assad is now under practically under siege in Damascus.

    And he more than stood in the way of unified NATO action in Ukraine.

    This isn’t Ukraine. This is, among other things, a flood of Chechen fighters.

    Don’t think the rest of the world, including ISIS and Iran, is oblivious to that, and doesn’t take notes accordingly.

    Iran is a different story.

    • #22
    • June 10, 2015, at 7:52 AM PST
    • Like
  23. Profile Photo Member

    Valiuth:

    Oh surely this is so. Heck we might not ever have to do anything. After all it is hard to picture ISIS building a fleet large enough to cross the ocean and attack us here. We can always throw out all Middle Easterners, ban Islam, and just retreat into Fortress America. Hey it might even be nice.

    Frankly, I think we could have said this (and in fact did) about nearly every psychotic totalitarian regime ever. Who really thinks the Nazis would have invaded New York? The Soviets never did either, and probably couldn’t have despite their vast armies. I highly doubt a bunch of desert fanatics have much of a chance either. Of course if your nation can be reached by a car from Syria you might have something to worry about. Sucks to be them I guess. Should have founded their nations on a different continent.

    So when should we start to worry? If this isn’t the time, when is? What is our “line in the sand”? What atrocity, depravity, or conquest by ISIS will we not let stand?

    You don’t thnk the rest of the world hasn’t heard that same song you just played? You don’t think the rest of the world is quite copacetic with the US not being able, in some way, to draw that “line in the sand?”

    • #23
    • June 10, 2015, at 7:52 AM PST
    • Like
  24. Zafar Member

    Claire Berlinski:

    Larry3435:I don’t understand all the handwringing about what to do. There is a hostile military force on the ground, in formation. Smashing it is what our military was built to do, and what it does better than any military force in history. No, we are not good at fighting terrorists disguised as civilians who fight by burying mines on roads and killing random civilians. No, we are not good at nation building. But this, we are very very good at.

    Go in with overwhelming force. Kill everyone standing under an ISIS flag. Blow up all of their equipment. Destroy their headquarters. Kill their commanders. Then get out. It will take less than a week.

    The Iraqis and Syrians can deal with the aftermath. It can’t possibly be any worse than it is now.

    Yep.

    No, it really can be worse. Let’s not do this ‘work it out as we go along’ thing again because we always always always get something awful that we didn’t but should have expected.

    • #24
    • June 10, 2015, at 7:53 AM PST
    • Like
  25. Marion Evans Inactive

    ISIS is made of desert Sunni Syrians and Iraqis (and foreign fighters) and has taken over Sunni-majority desert territories in Syria and Iraq. They have no chance of expanding elsewhere, except maybe south towards Saudi Arabia, the vast Sunni desert.

    • #25
    • June 10, 2015, at 7:55 AM PST
    • Like
  26. Profile Photo Member

    Zafar:

    No, it really can be worse. Let’s not do this ‘work it out as we go along’ thing again because we always always always get something awful that we didn’t but should have expected.

    What if “work it out as we go along” is the only true course of action to take?

    • #26
    • June 10, 2015, at 7:56 AM PST
    • Like
  27. Zafar Member

    Brad2971:

    Zafar:

    No, it really can be worse. Let’s not do this ‘work it out as we go along’ thing again because we always always always get something awful that we didn’t but should have expected.

    What if “work it out as we go along” is the only true course of action to take?

    Well then I guess we’re doing okay.

    • #27
    • June 10, 2015, at 7:57 AM PST
    • Like
  28. Valiuth Member

    Claire Berlinski:

    Valiuth:

    Of course if your nation can be reached by a car from Syria you might have something to worry about.

    Or a flight.

    I don’t think they have invaded anyone by plane. It seems to me they prefer Toyota trucks. Still that’s three continents they can drive to, and something like 2/3 of humanity they can enslave.

    • #28
    • June 10, 2015, at 7:58 AM PST
    • Like
  29. Valiuth Member

    Zafar:

    Iraq, in addition to being a country (sort of) with lots of oil and the site of a couple of wars and a US occupation and ISIS and Iranian intervention and yadayadayada, also provides a rich source of domestic political point scoring in the US – at this point in the electoral cycle the last seems to dysfunctionally dominate the other definitions.

    Unless candidates are pressed to respond to Iraq without using it as an object lesson in Republican idiocy or Democratic fecklessness I don’t see that changing in the near future. The shining seas are dangerously effective as insulating borders.

    Yes, I know. Our cycle of hindsight induced flagellation is hard to break, especially in the backdrop of a nostalgic past and counterfactual delusions.

    Do they really think Candy Crush is any competition to having your own personal 15 year old sex slave?

    I don’t know Valiuth, people really seem into Candy Crush.

    Most people though haven’t been offered a sex slave. I would like to think most people would refuse the offer, but I think we both have our doubts about how true that is.

    Do they think that the men who go out to join ISIS just haven’t been hugged enough?

    It’s probably at least a good part of the explanation.

    I highly doubt it is sufficient and it might not even be necessary.

    • #29
    • June 10, 2015, at 8:08 AM PST
    • Like
  30. Claire Berlinski, Ed. Editor
    Claire Berlinski, Ed. Post author

    Valiuth:

    Claire Berlinski:

    Valiuth:

    Of course if your nation can be reached by a car from Syria you might have something to worry about.

    Or a flight.

    I don’t think they have invaded anyone by plane. It seems to me they prefer Toyota trucks. Still that’s three continents they can drive to, and something like 2/3 of humanity they can enslave.

    Yes. But I’ve got to say–having just flown through Rome–that my flight experience wasn’t enhanced by the thought that ISIS was just a hop, skip, and a jump away from my airspace and helping itself to Syrian RPGs. You only need to take down a few fully-laden aircraft to turn the international air traffic system to chaos.

    • #30
    • June 10, 2015, at 8:14 AM PST
    • Like