First published in DelawareLiberal on 8/26/2014 by ProgressivePopulist
The fruitless search for moderate allies in the middle east is
absurd. I'm an optimist, but this idea is ridiculous. Moderate nations
to create both a political and military front to stop and roll back the
ISIL Caliphate? Syria? Iran? They were "enemies" before being
considered as future allies.
But there are other potential allies
to lead the effort to roll back ISIL because they are terrified of these
whacked out warriors; the recent attack by Egypt and the UAE on the
Libyan militants gives some hope for some form of coalition that could
take on this task. Diplomacy with ISIL seems a total fantasy.
to the 500,000 or so Egyptian and UAE boots on the ground, if not
committed elsewhere, the Saudi's 250,000, Jordan's 100,000 and maybe
20,000 from Kuwait and Qatar and you're talking close to a 100 to 1
advantage over ISIL on the ground. A number of these countries have
both heavy firepower and some air power. Then you've got a serious
advantage if they have the will to win. Iran with their 500,000 active
military could seriously sweeten the pot, especially in Iraq and slam
dunk at least ISIL containment. Contained where I don't know for this
And we're going to have to ask ourselves quite
seriously who is the worst threat to our security; Assad or ISIL ? The
answer is pretty obvious to me.
And, how about Israel? They've
got much more to worry about with ISIL than even currently on their
plate with Hamas. They can add another 175,000 active military plus
lots of experience with the IDF. Maybe it is time to refocus their
security priorities and payback for all the military toys we've funded
over the years.
But make no mistake here, these are no "moderates"
let alone budding democracies. This includes Israel. Democracy, sort
of, moderate no. Jordan is creeping toward democracy. Funding for
ISIL is coming from within most of those "allies". Just as it is for Al
Qa'ida. Hell, we trained ISIl in the form of the Yarmouk Brigade in
Jordan and armed them. Some of those arms are now showing up in Iraq !
So are our strategies taught by us to the Iraq Sunni opposition.
Sound familiar? Afghanistan-Al Qa'ida and the Taliban aided by the U.S.
to oppose the Russian occupation?
To have fantasized that we
might have sided with Syrian rebels to oppose Assad while siding with
Maliki was ridiculous. That would have generated the ISIL caliphate and
headquartered it in Damascus. To have fantasized that with the
obliteration of Bin Laden and the Al Qa'ida central command we were on
our way to victory is somewhat dampened by the metastasising of the
organization throughout middle east and africa. At least one survey of
opinions of non-Al Qa'ida affiliated jihadist rebels in Syria revealed
approval of the 9-11 attacks and the hope for more to come.
truth seems to be that the goals of both ISIL and Al Qa'ida seem quite
similar. For that matter, the religious goals of the Saudi power
structure and the Pakistan military intelligence network (ISI), though
the Saudi's are more geographically ambitious than the ISI who seem
focused on the Af/Pak region. This was revealed in the Wikileaks
document dump which included statements to that effect from the U.S.
Yet, the War on Terror seems focused on Al
Qa'ida, not the totality of the Jihadist movement, all focused on the
same creed and goals. In spite of huge increases in the homeland
security budget, not to mention NSA and the CIA's budgets, we seem
utterly shocked, just shocked at the emergence of ISIS.
time to refocus? The hanging of an ISIL flag on the fence at the White
House, as reported by ABC news should be a bit of a jolt. I don't
think the homeland is facing an invasion by these crazies any time soon
but terror strikes are well within the realm of possibility.
like its time to abandon all old assumptions and rethink alliances with
new creativity and realism. No. Not take on this challenge alone or
with U.S. military boots on the ground. There's close to a million
active military boots of those already in the region from among the
middle east nations with close borders and very much to lose to the
Caliphate. Brilliant diplomacy with those most threatened by the
Caliphate can provide ample military response to their immediate threat
and containment. Obama is both a very cool head in this terrifying
drama and a brilliant thinker, in and out of the box. He can do this if
the war drum bangers don't overwhelm us with fear and disinformation.
we haven't already, I'm hopeful Sec. Kerry can pull those most
threatened together in some kind of summit. And perhaps hammer out a
deal where, if invited, we provide hardware and strategic advice,
providing we can cut deals with each to cut funding for Jihad from
within their own ranks. The Saudi comes to mind especially here. And
in return for funding/military hardware, we negotiate with each for
abundant intelligence on ISIL and all Jihadist groups and very strong
screening on their end of travelers heading west to help us identify the
crazies heading our way.
A cold, steely recognition is needed
that we're not dealing with moderates by any stretch. And recognizing
that the military hardware involved may well be used against us by some
elements in their midst down the road. And a clear understanding that
we're not dealing with totally reliable partners here given the
mercurial environment they've had to operate in to survive.