Tuesday, November 17, 2015

"Pound Raqqa into a Parking Lot"

When America was attacked on 9/11 the world and NATO rallied to our defense. Now that France has been attacked by Islamist terrorists, the American president has gone AWOL.

Yesterday, French president Francois Hollande called for the United States and Russia to join him in attacking Islamic terrorists and ISIS in particular. Barack Obama has provided some logistical support, but beyond paying lip service to the horrors that befell Paris, the president was more concerned about himself than about any war on terrorism.

In a press conference in Antalya, Turkey Obama was alternately petulant and defensive. With the blood not yet dry in Paris, he declared that the massacre was merely a setback. He explained that his brilliant strategy was working and would ultimately succeed. He rejected calls for greater military activity by declaring that he refused to put American troops back into the Middle East. Naturally, he ignored the fact that the primary instigator of the rise of ISIS was his withdrawal of American troops in 2011.

Obama’s press conference was so bad, so tone deaf, so filled with narcissistic self-congratulations, so completely lacking in any sense of responsibility for the chaos that has engulfed large parts of the Middle East and is now being exported to Europe that even the press turned against him.

Ron Allen from NBC—yes, NBC—asked this question:

Q Thank you, Mr. President. I think a lot of people around the world and in America are concerned because given the strategy that you’re pursuing -- and it’s been more than a year now -- ISIS’s capabilities seem to be expanding. Were you aware that they had the capability of pulling off the kind of attack that they did in Paris? Are you concerned? And do you think they have that same capability to strike in the United States?

And do you think that given all you’ve learned about ISIS over the past year or so, and given all the criticism about your underestimating them, do you think you really understand this enemy well enough to defeat them and to protect the homeland?

Needless to say the inveterate and incurable Obamaphiles continue to defend the president. Among them Michael Tomasky in The Daily Beast. They understand that Obama just wants to leave office before something really bad happens.

Allen was being very generous in saying that Obama had a strategy to defeat ISIS. In truth, Obama has a strategy to look as though he is doing something. In effect, he is doing next to nothing. It is all PR, all the time.

In his press conference Obama defended his weakness by declaring that the only choice was between doing nothing and appearing to be tough. One understands that the other option, actually being tough, being resolute, being firm, being decisive like the president of France… escapes him.

He said:

But what we do not do, what I do not do is to take actions either because it is going to work politically or it is going to somehow, in the abstract, make America look tough, or make me look tough. 

As for the chance that he will provide American leadership or even of victory over ISIS, Obama dismissed it out of hand:

But what I'm not interested in doing is posing or pursuing some notion of American leadership or America winning, or whatever other slogans they come up with that has no relationship to what is actually going to work to protect the American people, and to protect people in the region who are getting killed, and to protect our allies and people like France. I'm too busy for that.

Leadership and winning are now slogans. One wonders if Obama knows who he is and what his role is.

Of course, Obama continues to reject the idea that Islamist terrorism has anything to do with Islam. The braindead left has suggested that this is a clever strategy for recruiting Muslims to the anti-terrorist cause. If so, it has failed miserably.

The truth is, Obama’s craven submission to Islam tells Muslims around the world that the terrorists are stronger. The rise of ISIS has greatly increased recruitment of terrorists from the Middle East and Europe. If Obama thinks that by not naming it for what it is he is making Muslims more likely to join the fight against Islamist terrorism, he is delusional.

Like it or not, ISIS is the face of Islam today. It monopolizes media coverage of Muslims; it throws the religion and all of its adherents into disrepute; it defines the religion in a way that the rest of the world’s Muslims, large numbers of whom support it, cannot.

Obama does not understand that reputation is shared by groups. If members of a group you belong to become a criminal conspiracy your group’s reputation suffers. If someone in your family becomes a notorious criminal, your reputation suffers.

When this happens you will feel ashamed. You will make every effort to denounce and separate yourself from the criminal element. If someone tells you that the actions of those people do not reflect on you he is telling you that you need not do anything to destroy it. When Obama tells the world’s Muslims that their religion has nothing to do with ISIS, he is telling them that they need not do anything to crush it. Considering the danger any Muslim would be risking by trying to take on ISIS, Obama’s message can only cause other Muslims to withdraw from the fight.

Besides, Obama’s inconstant and feckless conduct of Middle East policy has alienated Muslim nations like Egypt and Saudi Arabia. Evidently, they do not want to take the risk of marching behind an unreliable leader who has no idea what he is doing, does not want to lead and does not care about winning.

Here the words of our president:

And so to the degree that anyone would equate the terrible actions that took place in Paris with the views of Islam, those kinds of stereotypes are counterproductive. They’re wrong. They will lead, I think, to greater recruitment into terrorist organizations over time if this becomes somehow defined as a Muslim problem as opposed to a terrorist problem.

Now, what is also true is, is that the most vicious terrorist organizations at the moment are ones that claim to be speaking on behalf of true Muslims. And I do think that Muslims around the world -- religious leaders, political leaders, ordinary people -- have to ask very serious questions about how did these extremist ideologies take root, even if it’s only affecting a very small fraction of the population. It is real and it is dangerous. And it has built up over time, and with social media it has now accelerated.

Obama also declared that no one else has a strategy. In fact, many other people have strategies for defeating ISIS. Obama is simply defending his policy by setting up a straw man and pretending that his non-strategy is better than the straw man.

If you are looking for a strategy you need look no further than the words of Peter Quinn. As you know, Quinn is a character in the Showtime series Homeland. From a recent episode, here’s Quinn’s take on ISIS. One notes that Homeland has an Israeli provenance, so Quinn’s words probably represent Israeli opinion.

After all, Israelis have the most experience dealing with Islamist terrorism. One ought to pay heed to their views. Since Obama has always acted as though Israel is the problem, not the solution, one understands that the Israelis cannot say this out loud.

Katie Hopkins sums it up in the Daily Mail:

Because here's the rub. Any man shouting Allahu Akbar as he blows himself to paradise is an adherent of the same religion and scriptures children are forced to learn, repeat and regurgitate by Muslims clerics the world over.

Or, as Peter Quinn, the CIA hitman from Homeland, put it in a remarkably prescient episode from the current series broadcast six weeks ago: '(ISIS) has a clear strategy. A strategy which includes beheadings, crucifixions, and the revival of slavery, and it all derives from their f*cking book, the only book they ever read.'

Hopkins then offers the full transcript of Quinn’s remarks:

CIA official: You said a program should be renewed. I'm asking is our strategy working?

Peter Quinn: What strategy? Tell me what the strategy is and I'll tell you if it's working. [Silence] See, that right there is the problem because they - they have a strategy. They're gathering right now in Raqqa by the tens of thousands, hidden in the civilian population, cleaning their weapons and they know exactly why they're there.

CIA official: Why is that?

Peter Quinn: They call it the end times. What do you think the be-headings are about? The crucifixions in Deir Hafer, the revival of slavery? Do you think they make this s*** up? It's all in the book. Their f****** book. The only book they ever read - they read it all the time. They never stop. They're there for one reason and one reason only: to die for the Caliphate and usher in a world without infidels. That's their strategy and it's been that way since the seventh century. So do you really think that a few special forces teams are going to put a dent in that?

CIA official: Well what would you do?

Peter Quinn: Are you offering me a promotion?

CIA official: I'm offering you a hypothetical.

Peter Quinn: Two-hundred thousand American troops on the ground indefinitely to provide security and support for an equal number of doctors and elementary school teachers.

CIA official: Well that's not going to happen.

Peter Quinn: Then I better get back there.

CIA official: What else? What else would make a difference?

Peter Quinn: Hit reset.

CIA official: Meaning what?

Peter Quinn: Meaning pound Raqqa (ISIS’s stronghold) into a parking lot.

Before the fact, it’s the best response to President Obama’s press conference.


Ares Olympus said...

Well, looking at Googlemap, there's a very large dam there, which we can assume helps regulate the local water supply, and generate electricity.

It reminds me of an engineer's joke - Mechanical engineers build weapons, and civil engineers build targets.

Has anyone tried bombing it? ... Oh.
http://www.worldbulletin.net/haber/117502/bombing-of-dam-by-assad-may-cause-a-disaster 9/2013
The statement argued that if the Euphrates Dam collapsed, it would impact at least three million Syrians living in the wider region extending from the eastern parts of Syria to the Ramadi city in the west of Iraq's capital Baghdad, sparking off a humanitarian disaster.

Euphrates Dam, also known as the Tabqa Dam, is an earth-fill dam on the Euphrates River, located 40 kilometres upstream from the northern Syrian city of Raqqa.

The dam is 60 metres high and 4.5 kilometres long and is the largest dam in Syria. Its construction enabled the creation of Lake Assad, Syria's largest water reservoir.
Fighter jets of Syrian army bombed some areas around Euphrates Dam, Lake Assad and areas surrounding the lake last weekend, creating damage in one of the electricity producing turbines, FSA Raqqa spokesman Ahmed Abu Bakir told Anadolu Agency.

Bakir said the dam provided power to numerous areas in Syria and the dam lake was one of the most strategic water resources of the country.

Bombing things into bumpy parking lots might be good strategy to create a new wave of tens of thousands of refugees heading into Europe at least.

I hope the French, Russian and US military have a better strategy than mine.

Ares Olympus said...

p.s. I see the Russia have finally found convinving evidence the Russian jet crash was caused by a bomb.

So 224 people were killed in one plane crash, and "only" 130 or so killed in the Paris attacks, although many more wounded. Now it makes sense why air travel security is so paranoid that even children and grandmas are potential terrorists.

So the more "soft" targets that terrorists can successfully hit the more incentive we all have to transition ourselves into a police state, in complete public surveillance at least for post attack analysis, and NSA monitoring of our private communications for the chance of catching the attacks early, all in the name of benevolent protection against terroristic threats.

So far Minnesota has been lucky, relying on bad engineering to take our bridges down, like the Interstate 35W bridge collapse over the Mississippi in 2007.

And we don't have to only fear the Muslims, with the 20 year old Oklahoma city bombing, 168 people killed, in revenge against the Waco Texas seige, killing 76 people.

Is the government our enemy or our protector? It apparently depends on which evils you want to look at. I'm glad I only have a slightly paranoid mind.

We know making Raqqa into a parking lot would make us all feel better, but what we don't know is whether it'll make ISIS feel better too.

So sadly I'll take Obama's side on this one. There's no rush to jumping off a cliff. I even imagine President Trump might be even more cowardly than Obama, once he has the finger the kill button. Talk is always easier than responsibilty for consequences.

priss rules said...

Assad is a secular leader, but he's been allied with Russia and Iran, two nations hated by US and EU.

So, US and France worked to weaken him if not take him out completely.

So, US and EU looked the other way as terrorists and rebels waged war on Assad.

The rebels and terrorists were aided by Turkey, Saudi Arabia, and Gulf States.

US and EU claimed to provide arms to 'moderate rebels' but it was fiction. Most of the arms ended up in the hands of terrorists. And US knew this and let it happen.

As long as the terrorists were blowing Syria to hell, US and EU didn't care. They glibly took pleasure from Assad's regime reeling under pressure.

Not that US and EU were for ISIS per se. Nevertheless, they valued ISIS's role in weakening Assad(and the Shia-led government in Iraq allied with Iran).

But finally, it turned into a massive migration crisis and then now even terrorist acts in France.

So, Hollande isn't being frank when he calls for fight on terror.
The fact is US and EU directly and indirectly aided rebel groups that caused all the havoc.
US exerted no pressure on Saudis to stop arming the Jihadis. And EU gave lavish welcome to Saudis and Gulf States that sent so much arms to the rebels.

It's all come to boomerang.

US should work with Russia against ISIS, but the ruling elites of US hate Russia and Iran. And they see the defeat of the rebels/terrorists as the triumph of Assad who is allied with Russia and Iran.

Foreign policy is, of course, totally cynical on all sides.

When Vietnam invaded Cambodia in retaliation against Khmer Rouge violent incursions, China and CIA worked together to aid the Khmer Rouge, the genocidal maniacs who had murdered 2 million of their own.

Foreign policy today is no different. It's a cruel machination of power depending on who happens to constitute the ruling elites.

Anonymous said...

No. No. No. No. No. No. No. (I'm tempted to use stronger language)

I'm glad I never watched Homeland. Ridiculous Balderdash.

400K American troops & Caregivers & Mentors ... Forever? Pernicious Victorian Twaddle.

Islam must solve its own problems (or not). WCiv has done so for 2500 years, at terrible cost.

Currently, our most immediate problem is Islam itself. Vigorous, tough-minded internal Security. And merciless retribution when attacked.

The Cold War was fought to defend ourselves & (True) allies. I served in it in uniform.

Now is a War of Civilizations. Different tactics & strategies are called for.

Not Perpetual Occupation of hostile foreign lands. -- Rich Lara

Stuart Schneiderman said...

But... they are not proposing occupation. They are proposing "merciless retribution."

Sam L. said...

I'm in favor of merciless retribution. ISIS understands that.