Wars Are Long, Kids. So Tuck In and Have Better Ideas.


Apparently I’m not the only one who heard a little subtext in Obama’s press conference yesterday that sounded not unlike, “Hey y’all, this war ain’t going nowhere, sad to say. We’re gonna see some bombings. But we’ve got better ideas and, long term, we’re better and we will, because of that very fact, be victorious. Some day.”

But, as Allapundit at HotAir.com puts it, weak leadership is that one tricky variable that makes “The West is the best!” talk sound a little like whistling in the dark (emphasis mine).

This is the sort of thing you say when you’re trying to break it to people that victory in the new war won’t come soon, and may not come ever. It’s the foreign policy equivalent of another of Obama’s favorite sayings, the old leftist bromide about being on “the wrong side of history”: The enemy’s backwardness is plain and our moral superiority is obvious, so ultimate triumph is assured even in the teeth of immediate defeat. All I could think of while watching this was those photos you see online sometimes of Afghanistan or Iran circa 1960, with all the women in blouses and skirts, and photos of the same two countries today, with women in head coverings or even full burqas. Better ideas don’t always win. Especially if they’re defended by weak leadership.

And there’s little evidence to suggest that Allahpundit is off the mark when he suggests Obama’s strategy is to run out the clock and leave the steaming bag of excrement that is our involvement in the Middle East right smack dab in the center of the Resolute Desk on his way out the door.

And what does that little goody bag hold? Well currently, it holds what looks like — at best — insensitivity to the fact that these two factions of Islam rather hate each other. Always have. At worst, it could appear a measured attempt to keep them fighting so we can back slowly away, hands up, saying, “Hey, not our problem, guys…work it out amongst yourselves…”.

“The Sunnis in Iraq view the conflict as directly managed by Iran,” said Laith Alkhouri, a director of research at security consultancy and NBC News partner Flashpoint Intelligence. “ISIS is extremely savvy at exploiting this relationship.”

Alkhouri said that because Shiite militias are fighting in Sunni areas such as Ramadi, ISIS is able to frame the militias’ battle against ISIS as a larger fight against Sunnis. “Because of that they’re able not only to recruit, but get the tribes to pledge allegiance to ISIS,” Alkhouri said about the Sunni militant group.

Ah yes. Ramadi. Would have been nice to have kept that city stabilized. But hey, wins sometimes look like losses and better ideas require handing back once stable territories and renewing civil wars so we can sail back home to the safety of our own country and not have to think about these things. Right?

In the year since ISIS announced its intention of creating a modern caliphate spanning Syria and Iraq, the group has seized swaths of territory and inspired violence in other countries, from the Middle East and Africa to France, Canada and Australia. Authorities say several ISIS-inspired plots in America have been thwarted, including an attack on an anti-Muhammad event in Texas in which two gunmen were killed, and a Boston man’s alleged plans to behead police officers, which ended with his being shot to death by cops and FBI agents.


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