Skip to comments.Is ISIS 'An Existential Threat'?
Posted on 08/12/2014 6:46:45 AM PDT by Kaslin
U.S. air strikes since Friday have opened a corridor through which tens of thousands of Yazidis, trapped and starving on a mountain in Iraq, have escaped to safety in Kurdistan.
The Kurds, whose peshmerga fighters were sent reeling by the Islamic State last week, bolstered now by the arrival of U.S. air power, recaptured two towns. But the peshmerga have apparently lost the strategically important town of Jalawla, 20 miles from Iran, the furthest east that ISIS forces have penetrated.
Last week's gains by the Islamic State caused Republican hawks to flock to the Sunday talk shows.
"ISIS is a direct threat to the United States of America," said Rep. Peter King, John McCain called for bombing ISIS in Syria and Iraq.
But using air power to prevent ISIS from seizing the Kurdish capital of Irbil and Baghdad is not enough, said Sen. Lindsey Graham. "We need to go on offense," he told FOX News, "There is no force within the Mideast that can neutralize or contain or destroy ISIS without at least American air power."
The Islamic State is "an existential threat" to our homeland, Graham added, asking, "do we really want to let America be attacked?"
Came then this warning from Sen. Graham:
"If he [Obama] does not go on the offensive against ISIS, ISIL, whatever you want to call these guys, they're coming here. This is not just about Baghdad, not just about Syria. It is about our homeland."
"I think of an American city in flames because of the terrorists' ability to operate in Syria and Iraq," said Graham, "Mr. President ... what is your strategy to stop these people from attacking the homeland?"
This semi-hysterical talk of an "existential threat" to the "homeland," and the dread specter of "an American city in flames" is vintage war party, designed to panic us into launching a new war.
But before allowing these "Cassandras" to stampede us back into the civil-sectarian Middle East wars that resulted from our previous interventions, let us inspect more closely what they are saying.
If ISIS' gains are truly an "existential threat" to the republic and our cities are about to "go up in flames," why did these Republican hawks not demand that President Obama call back Congress from its five-week vacation to vote to authorize a new war on ISIS in Syria and Iraq?
After all, King, McCain and Graham belong to a party that is suing the president for usurping Congressional powers. Yet, they are also demanding that Obama start bombing nations he has no authority to bomb, as ISIS has not attacked us.
King, McCain and Graham want Obama to play imperial president and launch a preemptive war that their own Congress has not authorized.
What kind of constitutionalists, what kind of conservatives are these?
Is Graham right that an "existential threat" is at hand? Is our very existence as a nation in peril? Graham says no force in the Mideast can stop ISIL without us. Is this true?
Turkey, a nation of 76 million, has the second-largest army in NATO, equipped with U.S. weapons, and an air force ISIL does not have.
If President Recep Tayyip Erdogan wanted to crush ISIS, he could seal his border to foreign fighters entering Syria and send the Turkish army to assist President Bashar Assad in annihilating ISIS in Syria.
The jihadists of the Islamic State may be more motivated, but they are hugely outnumbered and outgunned in the region.
The Syrian government and army, Hezbollah in Lebanon, the Shia-dominated government of Iraq, a Shia Iran of 70 million, and the Kurds in Syria and Kurdistan are all anti-Islamic State and willing to fight.
All are potential allies in a coalition to contain or crush ISIS, as is Vladimir Putin's Russia, if U.S. diplomacy were not frozen in the 1980s.
Only last August, McCain and Graham were attacking Obama for not enforcing his "red line" by bombing Syria's army, the most successful anti-ISIL force in the field.
The threat of the Islamic State should not be minimized. It would provide a breeding and training ground for terrorists to attack us and the West. But it should not be wildly exaggerated to plunge us into a new war.
For wherever ISIS has won ground, it has, through atrocities and beheadings, imposition of Sharia law, and ruthless repression, alienated almost everyone, including al-Qaida.
Should ISIS succeed in holding northern Syria and western Iraq, who will recognize this caliphate? Who will trade with it? How will it hold the allegiance of peoples upon whom it is even now imposing terrorist rule?
The Sunni of Iraq are already chaffing against ISIS rule. How long will Turks, Syrians, Iraqis, Kurds and Iranians tolerate a Talibanized Islamic State right next door? And should ISIS attack the United States, we have more than sufficient means to retaliate, without sending in American troops.
Let Middle Easterners take the lead in fighting this newest Middle East war.
RE: Is ISIS ‘An Existential Threat’?
Before reading the article, I glanced at the author’s name, and after doing that, I already know his answer — “no”.
With an open border its a direct physical threat.
Worth repeating in bold font...
As much as it pains me to say, Obama is right. Bomb the Shiite outta IS. But do not send ground forces.
Radical islam and the teaching thereof to youth is the biggest threat. Isolate or eliminate those teaching this trash and the problem will go away.
"What difference does it make?"
"A nation can survive its fools, and even the ambitious.
But it cannot survive treason from within. An enemy at the gates is less formidable, for he is known and carries his banner openly.
But the traitor moves amongst those within the gate freely, his sly whispers rustling through all the alleys, heard in the very halls of government itself.
For the traitor appears not a traitor; he speaks in accents familiar to his victims, and he wears their face and their arguments, he appeals to the baseness that lies deep in the hearts of all men.
He rots the soul of a nation, he works secretly and unknown in the night to undermine the pillars of the city, he infects the body politic so that it can no longer resist.
A murderer is less to be feared."
-- Marcus Tullius Cicero
"Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction.
We didn't pass it to our children in the bloodstream.
It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same,
or one day we will spend our sunset years telling our children
and our children's children what it was once like in the United States where men were free."
President Ronald Reagan
The Current FReepathon Pays For The Current Quarters Expenses?
Pat’s kind of a one trick pony. Like the Marxist, he knows one thing. In his case, it’s “isolationism.” No other ideas can penetrate his ideological committment to it.
Unfortunately, our military leaders are more concerned about putting women in combat arms positions than defeating our enemies.
Actually, It’s my opinion that napalm would send a more definitive message.
What will happen is they’ll start firing off car bombs in major U.S. cities (glad I don’t live in one) or in shopping malls (glad I don’t go to them).
Even then it will be passed off as nothing to see here folks, move along. It will have to get really bad before it gets reported on seriously.
Agreed, but the focus of his article is on how to defeat ISIS without the U.S. going to war.
Buchanan: “(ISIS) would provide a breeding ground for terrorists to attack us the the West.”
Obama: “And your point is?”
You pose a scary ‘what if’ there. But the fact is we could send more boots on the ground and have more useless conflicts like we have had in Iraq and Afghanistan, but unless we take out the trash here at home and close the borders - its just a matter of time before your ‘what if’ does indeed happen.
ISIS is a threat to the whole world. A coalition of air power should inflict enough damage so Iraq and Syria can finish them off. The problem is Obama hates the Iraqi and Syrian leaders and seems to like Sunni extremists.
They aren’t until they are. A Mumbai style attack staged by ISIS vets is the most likely possibility. The can return to the US and obtain most of the weapons they need locally.
"It depends on what the meaning of 'IS IS' ..."
The existential threat is not one single group. ISIS, HAMAS, Boko Haram, Muslim Brotherhood, the “guys out for a walk” in Benghazi are all just different divisions in a larger war against those who occupy the dar al-harb.
Buchanan provides an alternative rational for pursuing the policies Obama’s leftist critics want him to pursue. To wit, do nothing. Hope for the best. Congratulate yourself on having done nothing.