September 12, 2014 by JImbo
Folks around here have been complaining of the unseasonably cold weather. It’s about 15 degrees below normal for this time of year. We’re used to cold weather, but it usually holds off till at least October! We barely got a summer.
The usual bitter mutterings about “Hurry up already, Global Warming!” come out predictably. People wonder if it means a bad winter this year. They wonder if this is some new trend because we had a pretty cold winter last year.
(Negative 30 Farenheit or so at times)
Then I was reading a biography of Thomas Jefferson. Virginia normally has some mild winters, but a bit later in the year than this he was delayed in writing a friend.
He said the temperature had dipped to 12 degrees below zero and the ink for his pen had frozen solid! Now THAT is cold.
For Virginia anyway.
My point is that the great thing about history is that you can see that there is very little truly NEW under the sun. Go back far enough and there’s been colder winters and hotter summers. There have been bigger floods and drier droughts.
And people have survived.
It’s not just weather either. Take terrorism for example. Our President’s favorite phrase is “extraordinary” closely followed by “unprecedented.” Beyond that I think his next favorite would be “Let Me Be Clear”… which he never is.
But, I digress.
We used to call them Pirates, Corsairs and Assassins. Whatever title you want to use, the idea of terrorism has been around as long as man has been afraid.
That’s all it is. Fear. What “terrorists” are doing is no different than bullies on the playground on a larger scale. Give them your lunch money now and they’ll never stop.
The best way to deal with them is to stand up to them. You don’t always have to fight them. Circumstances dictate that.
Sometimes simply NOT being afraid is enough. Other times you’ll have to get in a scrap. The point is that their primary weapon is fear. If you aren’t afraid then it’s difficult if not impossible to get you to do what they want.
In 1801, President Jefferson refused to pay tribute to the Barbary Pirates. Who were they? Radical Muslims who used the words of the Quran to demand tribute from Non-Muslims.
You see it wasn’t robbery if it was against Infidels. Similarly, it’s not murder to chop the head off an Infidel journalist. It’s just obeying their religion you understand.
The President can SAY that ISIL is “Not Islamic” or “Not a State” but that’s basically a lie. You can’t call them ISIL (meaning “Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant”) without admitting they are an ISLAMIC STATE. It’s right in the name!
Call them anything you want BUT that. By saying “ISIL” you JUST admitted that you consider they an “Islamic State.” You’re probably asking why he always says “ISIL” and not “ISIS.”
Well, a couple reasons. First, he hasn’t gotten permission to attack Syria yet. And Vladimir Putin has said he’ll attack us if we do.
Didn’t hear about that? Oopsie! Oh well, I’m sure he doesn’t mean it. It’s not like he invaded the Ukraine when he said he would.
Er… okay bad example. It’s not like he invaded the Republic of Georgia when… oh yeah he did that too. Okay well it’s not like cut off natural gas supplies to people that disagreed with him… oh yeah he did that too.
But THIS time I’m SURE Russia won’t mind if we bomb Syria a little bit. They only moved a naval battle group over there to prevent it. No danger there at all.
And we did SUCH a good job of defending the Ukraine! They’ve only lost a quarter of their country to Russian “occupation” already. You see it’s not an “invasion” because that would be aggressive and bad. So, it’s an “occupation.”
That way it’s past tense and we can just shrug and say “Well, we tried. Oh well. It’s over. Better live with it, Ukraine!”
But, anyway back to ISIL. The Second reason the President uses ISIL is that it’s MORE than just Syria. The “Levant” means basically everything East of the the Mediterranean… so Syria, Jordan, Lebanon, Israel… especially Israel.
What he’s doing by using “Levant” is giving legitimacy to the ISIS/ISIL claim on those other countries as well. ISIL isn’t IN those other countries in strength (yet) but for some reason he’s assuming that they are.
I’m just gonna file that bit of information away for now. I’m sure it’ll come up again later. Things have been WAY too quiet in Israel since Hamas ran out of rockets.
Oh… what, you think there was peace because of some peace treaty? Or because Israel was spanked for being naughty? No, as USUAL Hamas ran out of missiles and needs a few months to make more in their rocket factories.
Give them 6 months. They can pump them out pretty quick. They’ll be back lobbing rockets into Israel from schools and hospitals.
That’s pretty much all Hamas can DO now. Israel built that huge border wall a few years ago and since then the Hamas suicide bombers haven’t been able to get in. It’s REALLY pissing them off. So, they have to lob rockets and hope Israel kills some children on prime time television in response.
At this point you’re NOT supposed to connect Israel’s successful border wall with our lack of a border wall and recent reports of ISIS/ISIL terrorist cells operating in Mexico across the “border” (lack thereof.) Nope, walls don’t work remember.
Never mind we used a LOT of them when we were overseas and they kept suicide bombers out pretty good. If they stop even one illegal Democrat voter out, then that’s too much risk!
I know I’m on a train of thought speeding out of control here, but bear with me. Speaking of bombers (the flying kind with wings, not the suicide kind), does anyone believe we’ll actually WIN anything by bombing ISIS/ISIL? After declaring we will NOT use ground troops?
You know that Buddhist saying? “What is the sound of one hand clapping?” It sounds a lot like ISIS laughing at us. We tried the “bombing only” thing over and over. it never works on its own.
We ALWAYS end up having to go in with ground troops. That’s how it works. I could go into some really fun and interesting strategic, tactical, historical and sociological/psychological reasons for that but suffice it to say that no country has EVER given up through bombing alone.
Air power can make life miserable for the bad guys. It can blown stuff up. However, it doesn’t win wars by itself.
So who WILL be the ground troops in this conflict? A few months ago the President said we couldn’t trust ANYONE in the region to stand up and fight ISIS/ISIL. What changed?
Well, nothing. Except maybe the Iranians are on the ground in sufficient numbers now. I can see the Iranians walking across Iraq and taking a nice chunk of it. They aren’t factionalized, disunited and scared like the Iraqis are.
Arming the “good terrorsits” (ie rebels) won’t work either. We tried that. ISIS/ISIL are bad asses and just stole the weapons and gear at gunpoint.
Where do you think they got those lines of brand new equipment and weapons? From the stuff WE GAVE THE REBELS. Well, that and the Iraqi Army units that ripped their uniforms off and ran away half naked when they saw the terrorists in the distance.
What’s gonna stop that happening again?
As I’ve said before, this isn’t about being AGAINST something. Terror, war, whatever. You don’t lead by being AGAINST something.
You have to be FOR something. You need a plan. You need a goal.
Stop this “We are against ISIL” or “We are against terrorism.” What does that even MEAN? It’s like the “War on Drugs” and the “War on Poverty” or “War on Illiteracy.”
You can’t be at “War” on an idea like that. So, we need to define our objectives. I say the easiest is… Support the Kurds. Let them have their own state. Israel supports them. Egypt supports them.
There’s this unreasoning fear that “If we support Israel or the Kurds then the whole Middle East will hate us!” So? What if they do?
But they won’t hate us any MORE. In fact in that region you get RESPECTED for taking a stand. Something we haven’t done in years.
If we can go back to our pre-Arab Spring relations with Egypt, go back to supporting Israel, stop supporting the Radicals in Turkey (who are helping ISIS), support the Kurds, and support the UAE, that’s a solid bloc of allies stretching across half the Middle East that will fight WITH US against terrorism.We already have Jordan on our side. We don’t need Assad on our side; he is ALREADY fighting ISIS/ISIL in his own country naturally. It’s in HIS interest to destroy them for his own reasons. He doesn’t need convicning and he’s not doing it for us.
If you BOMB ASSAD, or bomb ISIS and not tell him that’ll only destroy any chance at a neutral arrangement with him AND RUSSIA. Who the hell is the brilliant strategician who came up with that idea?
Oh.. right. The Community Organizer. Our Warmonger-In-Chief. Hey, President Bush started TWO wars. I’m counting SIX so far for Obama. Add it up.
We can also just make “nice” with Iran for now. Just leave them alone. It’s in THEIR interest too to fight SUNNI terrorists. They HATE the Radical Sunnis because they’re Radical Shi’ites. Why are we getting in the middle??? Let them kill one another off!
If we can make “nice” with those countries that have interests allied to ours, we will be fighting FOR peace, FOR allies, and FOR freedom. Think of it as a “NATO” alliance for the Middle East.
it would encompass most of the Western part of the Middle East. It would basically be the Levant League or something like that. League Of Countries Allied in the Levant (LOCAL) Some dumb name like that. I’m sure the politicians will have fun with that sort of thing.
Doesn’t matter. The point is that there is already history for Israel working peacefully with Egypt and Turkey on everything from economics to education to military exercises. The Kurds too are starting to join in at times. Jordan has always played ball. The pieces are already there!
We can take lessons from history, or keep doing the same dumb shit over and over. Do you know how many times the Romans marched across the desert to take some crappy town and then when they left it went right back to the other side? What was the point of that?
They got much farther ahead when they worked with the locals to police their own regions. Trade with them, give them some tips on farming or whatnot. Tell them to sort stuff out.
There were both rewards and punishments. Do a good job at keeping the peace (like Herrod in Jerusalem, a noted bed of terrorist Jew activity) and you get to keep a nice slice of the taxes. Screw up and YOU PAY US. Sometimes with little pillaging or taking your family as slaves.
I’m not condoning an American Empire or slavery, but there could be some incentives for “keeping the peace.” Europe developed a closer trade system across borders after coming together militarily. I’m sure countries would LOVE to have more open access to each others’ markets and peace is good for business.
On the other hand, war is NOT good for business. People say that, but research shows that it’s ONLY good if you happen to sell weapons or coffins. For everyone else, war SUCKS for business.
Maybe they just need a little nudge now and again to get some cooperation.
I’m almost tempted to let ISIS keep that barren patch of desert between Iraq and Syria. Take the good stuff on the edges and let them live in the middle of the desert. There’s nothing out there.
Then we have someone to blame if a terrorist goes crazy. Instead of running around tracking them down we just shrug and say “Oh… must have been ISIS…. bomb it again.” Drop a few bombs on them.
Eventually they might get the idea that it’s in their best interests to convince their terrorist buddies to stop blowing stuff up.
“Hey man, dude every time you blow some shit up, my house gets bombed. I can’t afford to keep rebuilding my dung hut and buying new camels. it’s getting expensive bro! The wives are getting pissed! Seriously, cut that shit out!”
Just a thought.