Keeping our heads about ISIS

On the way somewhere in the car today, I dutifully tuned into Right Wing Radio Station AM 560 to listen to what Dennis Miller had to say about something about which he generally knows nothing about. That’s what commentators like Dennis Miller do, you see. It’s their job to keep the Right stirred up about Obama and the economy and foreign policy so that the Republicans can swing the vote, take power back and go on with their policies of fighting the whole world all at once. 

None other than Charles Krauthamer was comedian Dennis Miller’s guest today. The conservative columnist has a book out. Apparently he claims he saw all this coming, this disturbance in the Middle East. That opinion pretty much puts him in alignment with every prophet, columnist and prognosticator since the Torah was written down in goat’s blood. 

Men like Krauthamer are particularly upset because the ISIS group has begun beheading Americans to get our attention and pick a fight. But that’s a little ironic, is it not?

We Americans love movies about rebels like William Wallace in Braveheart and Russell Crowe in Gladiator. It’s all well and good when some Scottish dude or a Roman gladiator lops off a few heads in battle. White guys can do that because they seem like they actually could be Christian if you look close enough or study the plot lines. 

But Lord knows we do hate it when some Muslims get jiggy with beheadings and televise them to get under our skin. Never mind that Muslims and Christians have been doing similar things to each since the Crusades and before all that. We chopped each other to pieces for years, stuck each other’s heads on pikes and didn’t solve a goddamn thing… or we wouldn’t be having this discussion now. 

What’s really sad is that according to the Koran the Muslim faith thinks the world of Jesus as a prophet and it seems like there might be some common ground right there. Fundamentalists in the Arab world have instead focused on the murderous call of jihad to craft their worldview. Meanwhile here in America our own little fundamentalist Christian movement has been at work for the last 30 years trying to rewrite the Constitution in their image and foment a revisionist view of history that America was founded as a Christian nation. 

There is the same brand of crap being thrown against the wall on both sides of the fence. Our side has not behaved much better. We tortured Iraqis when given the chance back in the early 2000s and now those actions have essentially come back to roost.

The escalation of violence by ISIS is not surprising. They know they can’t take over the world. They haven’t the equipment or the wealth or the support. But they can dream big, and taking over a country or two in the Middle East is a pretty worthy goal before they figure out they have to regroup and actually have a way to govern people who hate them just as much as they hate back. 

It’s going to blow up in their faces sooner or later. Which is why America does not need to lose our heads. If they bring their ISIS brand of bullshit to our shores it won’t be the first time we’ve been struck. But at least we’ve got a President considering all the options, including an international coalition to track and contain the ISIS threat. 

But let’s not pretend this can be solved overnight, or that it’s strictly Obama’s fault that some right wing Muslims are pissed off and trying to pick a fight. This has been going on for centuries and it will keep on happening for a long time. Our main goal is to keep our heads and force their hand. It’s unlikely they have a real plan in place to enact a caliphate. That’s pretty much a pipe dream. They can’t even make it happen in Iraq, much less America. 

We’ve calmed down Iran and kept an eye on Syria. Yes there are people dying but we have been on alert for humanitarian crises. We may err on helping too much in that way, but so be it. 

There’s no use rushing off to a war that can’t be fought. This is an ideology we’re battling, not a people. The best strategy is forcing them back on themselves. There is only so much honor among thieves and murderers who only agree on one thing, and that is killing in the name of God. 

Our Arab friends in the region and certainly Israel don’t want these kind of nuts taking over. America certainly mourns the lives of journalists serving the cause of justice by reporting the truth. Those who committed those war crimes deserve to die. But we do need to be careful that we don’t lose our collective heads and shoot ourselves in the foot. We’ve done that once before in Iraq, which is why we’re invested so deeply there now. 

Be patient. Be smart. Build a coalition. ISIS will eventually collapse under the weight of the murderous pressure they have brought upon themselves. 


2 thoughts on “Keeping our heads about ISIS

  1. Honest to God man, it’s interesting how your melon works… A Freshman Poli-Sci major could have seen this all coming – it’s not like rocket science. All one must do is look back to the late 70’s. The only thing Obama’s done right, tongue in cheek, is to keep the Wall Street welfare going so we don’t get smoked with inflation. That’s going to fall on the next president.

  2. Well it appears then that a Freshman Poli-Sci major is much smarter than men like Ted Cruz and others calling for Instant War.
    Steve Chapman basically iterates the same thing I said in this post, that we’re smart to be patient. And despite your claims, Obama has done many things right. Obamacare is now being touted as successful even by many Republicans. He also oversaw the stabilization (if not the restoration) of an economy rocked by unwarranted tax cuts and unbudgeted wars (Bush), leaving America in a position of essential weakness as the Middle East happily watched us twist in the wind. I hear all kinds of conservatives calling Obama “weak” when in fact his considerate approach is a strength. Actually having a plan rather than claiming you do, as Bush repeatedly did (lies about WMD, We’ll be greeted as Liberators, This will be over in a year, I don’t care about bin Laden, on and on) is much smarter. But the Right Wing doesn’t care about smart. It only cares about showing force. That’s their equivalent to using our brains. And it’s stupid. So you can call this post “elemental” if you like, but the only thing Obama’s done wrong is refusing to hold Wall Street accountable.

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