US ponders military intervention in Syria as well as Iraq

posted at 1:01 pm on August 23, 2014 by Ed Morrissey

The debate about whether to intervene in Syria’s civil war has waned and waxed for three years, but the execution of James Foley has reignited it — and changed its direction. For most of that time, the advocates of intervention focused on the need to get rid of Bashar al-Assad, while opponents insisted that intervention would only boost radical Islamic extremists and create a failed state. Now we have a failed state where extremists control vast swaths of territory, and where containment no longer looks like an option.

Now the White House, which had been reluctant to commit to military action against Assad, may end up intervening against one of his enemies instead:

The Obama administration is debating a more robust intervention in Syria, including possible American airstrikes, in a significant escalation of its weeks-long military assault on the Islamic extremist group that has destabilized neighboring Iraq and killed an American journalist, officials said Friday.

While President Obama has long resisted being drawn into Syria’s bloody civil war, officials said recent advances by the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria had made clear that it represents a threat to the interests of the United States and its allies. The beheading of James Foley, the American journalist, has contributed to what officials called a “new context” for a challenge that has long divided the president’s team. …

American officials said they would also take a look at airstrikes by fighter jets and bombers as well as potentially sending Special Operations forces into Syria, like those who tried to rescue Mr. Foley and other hostages on a mission in July. One possibility officials have discussed for Iraq that could be translated to Syria would be a series of unmanned drone strikes targeting ISIS leaders, much like those conducted in Yemen, Somalia and Pakistan.

Whether Mr. Obama would actually authorize a new strategy remained unclear and aides said he has not yet been presented with recommendations. The president has long expressed skepticism that more assertive action by the United States, including arming Syrian rebels as urged in 2011 by Hillary Rodham Clinton, then the secretary of state, would change the course of the civil war there. But he sent out a top adviser on Friday to publicly hint at the possibility a day after the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff said ISIS could not be defeated without going after it in Syria.

That advice came from Joint Chiefs chair Gen. Martin Dempsey, who made the obvious observation on Thursday that there isn’t much difference between Iraq and Syria any longer anyway. Neither country controls much of the border, and ISIS operates freely in both areas. Military pressure on one side of the border would just mean that ISIS would flex back into the other temporarily, and then vice versa when needed:

Dempsey said for ISIS to be defeated, it would have to be addressed in Syria, possibly in part by airstrikes.

“And that will come when we have a coalition in the region that takes on the task of defeating ISIS over time. ISIS will only truly be defeated when it’s rejected by the 20 million disenfranchised Sunni that happen to reside between Damascus and Baghdad,” he said.

“It requires a variety of instruments, only one small part of which is airstrikes. I’m not predicting those will occur in Syria, at least not by the United States of America. But it requires the application of all of the tools of national power — diplomatic, economic, information, military,” he said.

In other words, it doesn’t take Carl von Clausewitz to know that attacking an enemy only in one theater when they control two won’t win the war in the long run. The irony in this case is that any American intervention in Syria against ISIS will have the immediate effect of bolstering Assad. That can’t be helped, unfortunately, because the short-term threat to the US and to the various minorities that live in the region comes from ISIS and has to be addressed now, not later. Clearing the ground of ISIS might eventually make it easier for the so-called moderate rebels to displace ISIS, but, er … don’t bet on it. Stability is suddenly looking a hell of a lot better in Washington DC than it did during the so-called Arab Spring.

Dempsey is also correct that it will take an uprising of Sunni tribes to crush ISIS, but it will take substantial outside intervention to get them to do that, just as it did during the Anbar Awakening. And this time, they will take a lot of convincing that the West won’t just walk away to leave them in servitude to their Shi’ite-majority leadership in Baghdad, which is why a significant number of these tribal leaders threw in with ISIS over the last three years since the American withdrawal. Don’t bet on them switching sides soon, unless the new government in Baghdad offers real reform and power-sharing, which the Iranians probably will discourage.

The butchery of ISIS in its beheading of James Foley at least has awakened the Obama administration to the nature of ISIS as an enemy, rather than just a local outfit of “jayvees.” CBS News reports this morning that the administration has now acknowledged that Foley’s beheading marked a “point of escalation,” to which they are still struggling to respond:

A senior administration official told CBS News’ Julianna Goldman that this week marks “a point of escalation” in the fight against the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, or ISIS, because of the gruesome beheading of journalist James Foley and the ISIS threats against the U.S. that have to be taken seriously. …

Former U.S. Ambassador to Iraq James Jeffrey said the danger from ISIS isn’t new, but this week, its savagery hit the world stage.

“These people are capable of anything, we’ve long known that,” said Jeffrey. “Now Americans are seeing that what happened to tens of thousands of people in the region has happened to an American.”

Intelligence sources tell CBS News that ISIS and other Syria-based terror cells don’t have the capability to carry out a large-scale attack, but dozens of Americans and about a thousand Western Europeans have linked up with radical Islamist groups in Syria. They have passports that allow them to travel freely to the U.S. and pose a growing threat.

The return of these jihadists to their home countries, and the havoc they will wreak on their return, represents the most direct threat from ISIS — at least for the moment. I spoke to Senator Rob Portman about that threat earlier this week, and he says that the Senate will address that when it returns after Labor Day:

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This is getting out of hand.
How are these strikes constitutional?

weedisgood on August 23, 2014 at 1:04 PM

whatever you say about Assad, he did not kill Christians and other religious minorities.
.
Obama, on the contrary, has blood on his hands by no action earlier when the rise of ISIS could have been prevented but did not because of selfish political reasons (or conflict with his golf schedule)

huntingmoose on August 23, 2014 at 1:09 PM

Although it would be nice enough to know the endgame-I cannot see how any other power in Iraq could be ‘worse’ than ISIS. we should be anyone’s who’s against ISIS air force.

gerrym51 on August 23, 2014 at 1:12 PM

Our new best buddy al-Assad must be getting a hearty laugh out of this

DarkCurrent on August 23, 2014 at 1:14 PM

whatever you say about Assad, he did not kill Christians and other religious minorities.
huntingmoose on August 23, 2014 at 1:09 PM

Muslims countries are better ruled by a dictator.
Another reason why the Iraq invasion was destined to be a disaster.

weedisgood on August 23, 2014 at 1:16 PM

Let me get this straight. The Obama Regime, many Republicans and media pundits on one hand are telling me I should be shaking in my boots and cowering in my closet because ISIS. On the other hand many of these same people are also telling me that they broke the immigration system and now are the only ones that can fix it while illegal immigrants continue to cross the southern border. Yeah, got it.

Jackson on August 23, 2014 at 1:16 PM

Lil’ Putin was right all along. Hillary/Kerry/obama look more and more like imbeciles.

Schadenfreude on August 23, 2014 at 1:17 PM

Hitting ISIS terrorists in Syria is the only way to defeat them… Their main base has always been Syria… Hitting ISIS terrorist in Syria will actually benefit the Syrian rebels more than Assad as ISIS have been killing far more Syrian rebels than they have killed Assad gangs…

mnjg on August 23, 2014 at 1:17 PM

Now the White House, which had been reluctant to commit to military action against Assad, may end up intervening against one of his enemies instead

They really catch on quick, don’t they? In another few years they just might be able to find their own arses without an instruction book.

VorDaj on August 23, 2014 at 1:18 PM

Our new best buddy al-Assad must be getting a hearty laugh out of this

DarkCurrent on August 23, 2014 at 1:14 PM

“We can do business with him” — Hillary, shortly before lambasting him

The Kerrys/Assads, shortly before, oh well…

#smartpower

everdiso on August 21, 2014 at 3:13 PM

Schadenfreude on August 23, 2014 at 1:20 PM

Hitting ISIS terrorists in Syria is the only way to defeat them… Their main base has always been Syria… Hitting ISIS terrorist in Syria will actually benefit the Syrian rebels more than Assad as ISIS have been killing far more Syrian rebels than they have killed Assad gangs…

mnjg on August 23, 2014 at 1:17 PM

Assad at full strength would have dealt with ISIS in no time.
Now he is somewhat weaken because of the civil war.

If this does not serve as a lesson to NOT EVER invade another Muslim country, nothing will.

weedisgood on August 23, 2014 at 1:20 PM

I wonder if it has yet dawned on anyone in the Obama administration, or on McCain, or anyone in the Lame Stream, that ISIS is like a reincarnation of the Turks from a century ago, just on a very minor scale, at least so far?

VorDaj on August 23, 2014 at 1:21 PM

The best thing is that Egypt had the good fortune to get rid of obama’s muzzie brotherhood.

Schadenfreude on August 23, 2014 at 1:21 PM

how are these strikes constitutional?

If Congress doesn’t object to them (and, obviously, if it authorizes or ratifies them), they’re constitutional. Silence/inaction implies consent.

Seth Halpern on August 23, 2014 at 1:22 PM

the strangest thing to me about all this-when we had murderous dictators-we had stability.

It seems when you give these countries(mideast) more freedom they use it to spread eaches ethnic cleansing. they don’t want to give all minorities equal say.

gerrym51 on August 23, 2014 at 1:22 PM

We are already in Syria. The strike on the camp where Mr. Foley was imprisoned proves that.

unclesmrgol on August 23, 2014 at 1:23 PM

This is getting out of hand.
How are these strikes constitutional?

weedisgood on August 23, 2014 at 1:04 PM

Terrorists have no constitutional rights, nor did the Nippons and Nazis

kenny on August 23, 2014 at 1:24 PM

They really catch on quick, don’t they? In another few years they just might be able to find their own arses without an instruction book.

VorDaj on August 23, 2014 at 1:18 PM

#smartpower

everdiso on August 21, 2014 at 3:13 PM

ISIS enjoy all the US toys, via Iraq, Saudi Arabia and Syria. This is dumber than any good/bad fiction.

The oaf gulfs on.

Schadenfreude on August 23, 2014 at 1:24 PM

This is getting out of hand.
How are these strikes constitutional?

weedisgood on August 23, 2014 at 1:04 PM

“Wake up, the constitution is soooo yesterday” — obama

Schadenfreude on August 23, 2014 at 1:26 PM

If this does not serve as a lesson to NOT EVER invade another Muslim country, nothing will.

weedisgood on August 23, 2014 at 1:20 PM

We’ll keep that in mind, Prime Minister Chamberlain.

Alien on August 23, 2014 at 1:26 PM

Wouldn’t it have been better to have defeated the enemy in Iraq before turning it over to ISIS. Guess who is looking like the adults now, and I hate like heck to say it, but it’s McAmnesty and Ms. Nancy Graham.

they lie on August 23, 2014 at 1:27 PM

Obama, on the contrary, has blood on his hands by no action earlier when the rise of ISIS could have been prevented but did not because of selfish political reasons (or conflict with his golf schedule)

huntingmoose on August 23, 2014 at 1:09 PM

No matter what the problem is, Obama’s solution almost always involves at least 18 holes of golf. I guess it’s a variation of that old, “If your only tool is a hammer, every problem looks like a nail”.

VorDaj on August 23, 2014 at 1:27 PM

But….but….but….we had to be out of Iraq in time to get Obama reelected. And the suck up Generals who should have resigned over it, went along with it. Never mind that we turned the country over to ISIS. Looks like the smart ones, and horrors on my having to say so, was McAmnesty and Nancy Graham.

they lie on August 23, 2014 at 1:30 PM

Muslims countries are better ruled by a dictator who control his own people by murdering them. That’s what Saddam Hussein did, and I approved!

Another reason why the Iraq invasion signed off on by the current Democrat Secretary of State and the Democrat presidential nominee in 2016 was destined to be a disaster. I happily voted for the first Democrat for President in 2004, and will happily vote for the other Democrat for President in 2016.

dave’s_still_not_here on August 23, 2014 at 1:16 PM

Fixed.

weed_is_good. brains_are_better.

Del Dolemonte on August 23, 2014 at 1:30 PM

Wouldn’t it have been better to have defeated the enemy in Iraq before turning it over to ISIS. Guess who is looking like the adults now, and I hate like heck to say it, but it’s McAmnesty and Ms. Nancy Graham.

they lie on August 23, 2014 at 1:27 PM

The only adult McCain will ever look like is a senile one. He has blood on his hands by supporting ISIS in Syria. He even had his picture taken with some of his ISIS friends there.

VorDaj on August 23, 2014 at 1:30 PM

As with most things, Obama doesn’t even approach par on the golf course.

kenny on August 23, 2014 at 1:31 PM

I don’t believe there is anyone in this country capable of fomulating a coherent strategy and prosecuting it. Dithering, pondering and contemplating is what our administration does best.

crankyoldlady on August 23, 2014 at 1:32 PM

They have passports that allow them to travel freely to the U.S. and pose a growing threat.

Like they need passports.

notropis on August 23, 2014 at 1:32 PM

I always chuckle when I hear the term ‘failed state.’

‘Oops, our state failed. We really gave it our best, but just couldn’t manage to put it past the goal line.’ And no one ever seems to notice that all these “failed states” are Muslim.

Anyway, this is just embarrassing. Keystone cops stuff. The people running our country have no clue what they’re doing.

WhatSlushfund on August 23, 2014 at 1:33 PM

If this does not serve as a lesson to NOT EVER invade another Muslim country, nothing will. Much better that they invade us here instead.

dave’s_still_not_here on August 23, 2014 at 1:20 PM

Fixed.

You’ll be one of the first ones they behead, too.

F-

Del Dolemonte on August 23, 2014 at 1:36 PM

In other words, it doesn’t take Carl von Clausewitz to know that attacking an enemy only in one theater when they control two won’t win the war in the long run

Clausewitz also knew that there is no diplomacy without the threat of overwhelming military force. Someone please tell Kerry.

kenny on August 23, 2014 at 1:36 PM

We’ll keep that in mind, Prime Minister Chamberlain.

Alien on August 23, 2014 at 1:26 PM

It’s impossible to civilize barbarians.
The dictators know this that’s why they keep them at bay. Once there is no dictator, the flood gates pretty much open.

weedisgood on August 23, 2014 at 1:37 PM

So, we are now the Syrian Air Force, huh?

And I don’t necessarily have a problem with that. I jut want to make sure we are all clear up front on what we are embarking on…

JohnGalt23 on August 23, 2014 at 1:41 PM

Hitting ISIS terrorist in Syria will actually benefit the Syrian rebels more than Assad as ISIS have been killing far more Syrian rebels than they have killed Assad gangs…

mnjg on August 23, 2014 at 1:17 PM

Your comments are a joke. Last year you were cheering while Obama’s posturing against Assad and arming of all rebel factions helped ISIS. Many people on here tried to warn you about this exact problem, but you refused to listen.

corkie on August 23, 2014 at 1:43 PM

As Obama ignores Congress, the question is so does he now ignore his own White House staff?
The White House plots and ponders while Obama goes out and golfs.

albill on August 23, 2014 at 1:45 PM

the flood gates pretty much open.

weedisgood on August 23, 2014 at 1:37 PM

Does it matter if the flood gates are open? Seriously, what difference does it make. Why do you care if Iraq and Syria are run by dictators or radical Islamists? How does it affect you in any way?

corkie on August 23, 2014 at 1:45 PM

The Harvard-educated fool who thinks retreat and withdrawal before securing the victory is “ending” a war is getting his ass kicked by reality.

It is a tragedy so many people are being slaughtered by a once defeated enemy, allowed to regain its strength and wage terrorism and war again by a feckless moron like Barack Obama.

Have no fear. He will learn nothing by the horrific consequences of his blunders. He will hand Afghanistan back to the Taliban directly.

novaculus on August 23, 2014 at 1:45 PM

Former U.S. Ambassador to Iraq James Jeffrey said the danger from ISIS isn’t new, but this week, its savagery hit the world stage.

“These people are capable of anything, we’ve long known that,” said Jeffrey. “Now Americans are seeing that what happened to tens of thousands of people in the region has happened to an American.”

(let me finish this thought)

“And now that Americans are seeing this for themselves, the Obama administration has to find a way to convince the public that they have been dealing with this situation from the very beginning. President Obama admits that this terror caused by George Bush has been at the top of our list of throwbacks that has hung over this countries head,” he said.

“The politics are complicated but the administration will work it out to our advantage,” he added.

Walter L. Newton on August 23, 2014 at 1:48 PM

New coalition: US-Syria-Iran-NKorea?
Obaka: “Assad must go stay!”

Rea1ityCheck on August 23, 2014 at 1:51 PM

Muslims countries are better ruled by a dictator.
Another reason why the Iraq invasion Obama’s intervention in Libya was destined to be a disaster.

weedisgood on August 23, 2014 at 1:16 PM

FIFY

Alien on August 23, 2014 at 1:57 PM

when it’s rejected by the 20 million disenfranchised Sunni that happen to reside between Damascus and Baghdad,” he said.

Somehow I don’t think the Sunnis are concerned about inclusivity.

BL@KBIRD on August 23, 2014 at 1:57 PM

Your comments are a joke. Last year you were cheering while Obama’s posturing against Assad and arming of all rebel factions helped ISIS. Many people on here tried to warn you about this exact problem, but you refused to listen.

corkie on August 23, 2014 at 1:43 PM

Low IQ moron corkie… Assad and ISIS have been in a defacto alliance for a long time dedicating almost all their efforts to kill the Syrian rebels and barely touching each others until just recently and yet even now both of them still dedicating the majority of their resources against the rebels… The facts and truth are stubborn thing but morons like you either refuse to accept it or are too stupid to understand it…
Even today Wall Street Journal talked about this as if it is a new discovery….
http://online.wsj.com/articles/assad-policies-aided-rise-of-islamic-state-militant-group-1408739733
“Assad Policies Aided Rise of Islamic State Militant Group
Islamic State, or ISIS, Gained Momentum Early On From Calculated Decision by Syrian President Bashar al-Assad to Go Easy on It”

mnjg on August 23, 2014 at 1:59 PM

So, if we had actually taken the fight to al Qaeda and its friends back in 2006-07, told Assad that these foreign terrorists going through Syria must stop or we will stop it for him because they were killing US soldiers… that, you see, with an active conflict going on and our people getting killed, would have been DUMB.

Instead we let Syria off the hook, gave a place for ISIS to gestate, had Obama abandon the peace process, had the Kurds, Yazidis, Christians and Sunni’s that hate ISIS put at risk of slaughter, and then they start to actually get slaughtered, but only after Obama denounces Syria, of course… now going after ISIS in Syria is SMART.

This is why you fight wars hard, fully, and to a conclusion and make sure that ANYONE fielding fighters or allowing them to pass through their territory are brought to heel: YOU SAVE THE INNOCENT FROM LATER SLAUGHTER. But that, you see, is DUMB.

And what actually happened? SMARTPOWER!!!

I’ll take the dumb sort, thanks. It saves lives in the long run.

ajacksonian on August 23, 2014 at 2:04 PM

Muslims countries are better ruled by a dictator…

It’s impossible to civilize barbarians.
The dictators know this that’s why they keep them at bay. Once there is no dictator, the flood gates pretty much open.

weedisgood on August 23, 2014 at 1:16 PM

US State Department website:

“Indonesia’s democratization and reform process since 1998 has increased its stability and security, and resulted in strengthened U.S.-Indonesia relations. In 2010, Presidents Obama and Yudhoyono inaugurated the U.S.-Indonesia Comprehensive Partnership, which has fostered consistent high-level engagement on issues related to democracy and civil society, education, security, climate and environment, energy, and trade issues, among others.”

Alien on August 23, 2014 at 2:04 PM

mnjg on August 23, 2014 at 1:59 PM

Homininity does not make a dispute won.

kenny on August 23, 2014 at 2:05 PM

Classic, truly classic. I look forward to the libs justifying this one, airstrikes to support Assad….boy howdy.

Bishop on August 23, 2014 at 2:06 PM

I am willing to help the Kurds, the Israelis, the moderate Syrians and those who fought on our side in the awakening. I am not willing to do Iran’s dirty work or Assad’s. Help to Iraq should depend on the new government’s approach to the Kurds and the Sunnis of the Awakening.

Taking out ISIS in Syria just means Assad will turn back to slaughtering the FSA (the moderate Syrian opposition) full time just as he did before ISIS got too big for its britches. If we go to Syria, we should assume Assad will tacitly aid ISIS just as he did their predecessors, the Al Queda in Iraq, when they were fighting us. Thus, we should assume that if we go into Syria, we will have to take out both ISIS and Assad. Perhaps by then, Russia will be too busy with its Ukraine incursion to help Assad much.

KW64 on August 23, 2014 at 2:07 PM

Why not hit both where Assad and ISIS are in close contact, MOAB and napalm the shiznatch out of them and tell Assad our weapons just aren’t that precise.

Bishop on August 23, 2014 at 2:12 PM

So will we be leading from behind against both Assad and the Islamic State?

For instance, if a US jet that just finished a bombing run against Syrian government forces meets a US jet that just finished a bombing run against Syrian rebel forces should meet, will they have to shoot each other down?

Oh, right–moderate secular rebels are our allies in Syria. Just like the “moderate Taliban”.

MidniteRambler on August 23, 2014 at 2:15 PM

There are as many unicorns in Syria as there are moderate muslims.

VorDaj on August 23, 2014 at 2:21 PM

Why not hit both where Assad and ISIS are in close contact, MOAB and napalm the shiznatch out of them and tell Assad our weapons just aren’t that precise.

Bishop on August 23, 2014 at 2:12 PM

With B-52′s, carpet bombing within fifty feet is a direct hit.

RickB on August 23, 2014 at 2:21 PM

Why not hit both where Assad and ISIS are in close contact, MOAB and napalm the shiznatch out of them and tell Assad our weapons just aren’t that precise.

Bishop on August 23, 2014 at 2:12 PM

Most excellent idea… Hit both evil at the same time…

mnjg on August 23, 2014 at 2:28 PM

We don’t need to be concerned about a JV team.

they lie on August 23, 2014 at 2:28 PM

The Koran on my shelf “Do they then feel secure from the coming of an overwhelming punishment on them from Allah, or the suddenly coming of the Hour upon them, taking them unaware.” Yosuf Chapter 12 Koran.

kenny on August 23, 2014 at 2:29 PM

Oh, right–moderate secular rebels are our allies in Syria. Just like the “moderate Taliban”.

MidniteRambler on August 23, 2014 at 2:15 PM

Don’t forget the moderate leaders in Iran, either! That has always been a favorite of mine…get to use a cold fish to the face to both parties with that. It’s like Steny Hoyer looking for moderate terrorists when visiting the MB in Egypt way before the Arab Spring was even a thought.

We never do seem to find these moderates, though.

ajacksonian on August 23, 2014 at 2:32 PM

MY HEAD HURTS!(Maybe if I borrow a sundial from Del, and POUND IT ON MY HEAD that will stop the stupid coming from these idiots in D.C.) Yes, I know. Only in my dreams.

flackcatcher on August 23, 2014 at 2:35 PM

KW64 on August 23, 2014 at 2:07 PM

I totally agree that we should not be helping the Iranian terrorist mullahs and their stooge in Syria Assad but hitting ISIS terrorists in Syria will actually help the Syrian rebels more so than Assad as ISIS terrorists have killed far more many rebels than they killed Assad gangs… Just last week ISIS terrorists butchered 700 Syrian rebels from one tribe in Deir Al Zour province in eastern Syria… ISIS is the best thing that happened to Assad in Syria until just few weeks ago… It is ISIS/Assad (i.e. Iran) defacto alliance that has been the worst for the Syrian rebels… Both Assad and ISIS terrorists have dedicated the super vast majority of their efforts to fight the Syrian rebels and barely touching each others …Only very recently when Assad/ISIS have started fighting each others in a meaningful way… Even with this latest turn of events the majority of ISIS attacks are against the Syrian rebels and the super vast majority of Assad attacks are against the Syrian rebels…

mnjg on August 23, 2014 at 2:36 PM

Weed is the most racist dude here.

CW on August 23, 2014 at 2:39 PM

What happens when you leave the theater of war with an undefeated enemy still in place?

Well history now has an answer for this!

And yet this is something that should have been learned centuries ago… and WAS. Our elites are too intelligent to actually be smart.

ajacksonian on August 23, 2014 at 2:39 PM

MY HEAD HURTS!(Maybe if I borrow a sundial from Del, and POUND IT ON MY HEAD that will stop the stupid coming from these idiots in D.C.) Yes, I know. Only in my dreams.

flackcatcher on August 23, 2014 at 2:35 PM

Labor Day Clearance coming up next week!

Del Dolemonte on August 23, 2014 at 2:51 PM

What happens when you leave the theater of war with an undefeated enemy still in place?

Well history now has an answer for this!

And yet this is something that should have been learned centuries ago… and WAS. Our elites are too intelligent to actually be smart.

ajacksonian on August 23, 2014 at 2:39 PM

Hmmm Vietnam comes to mind.

Stray Cat on August 23, 2014 at 3:07 PM

Hmmm Vietnam comes to mind.

Stray Cat on August 23, 2014 at 3:07 PM

Exactly that.

Don’t take land.

Don’t defeat the enemy.

Leave the theater of war.

The enemy returns stronger than before and inflicts themselves on the innocent.

Vietnam and Iraq: our elites refuse to learn a lesson and it is basic to survival of the Nation.

ajacksonian on August 23, 2014 at 3:16 PM

Hmmm Vietnam comes to mind.

Stray Cat on August 23, 2014 at 3:07 PM
On the the ground US military won the war in Viet. Draftdoggers and liberal punks at home lost the gains and the hopes of the human race in SE Asia thereby left millions of fine people in the hands of Communist scum who butchered them and “reeducated” them. So presumably point made is don’t listen to gutless, whiny liberal ladies.

kenny on August 23, 2014 at 3:34 PM

When a country has to “ponder” whether or not it will assist people being slaughtered, murdered and maimed by vicious terrorists then that country is a weak, sorry entity.

rplat on August 23, 2014 at 3:53 PM

Assad and ISIS have been in a defacto alliance for a long time

mnjg on August 23, 2014 at 1:59 PM

Liar. Assad has been fighting all rebel factions – including ISIS. ISIS has been fighting Assad forces from the beginning.

The facts and truth are stubborn thing

You’re the one being stubborn in your attempt to cover for your early support for Obama’s posture against Assad – which helped ISIS gain power. You should be ashamed of yourself instead of lying about the situation.

corkie on August 23, 2014 at 3:59 PM

Suddenly, all those defense cuts of the last 20 years look a lot more foolish.

formwiz on August 23, 2014 at 4:10 PM

corkie on August 23, 2014 at 3:59 PM

Moron corkie… Their is a fight and their a token fight… From the beginning until just recently ISIS/Assad fights were of the token type, now they are more serious… Nothing would change the fact that ISIS/Assad were until just few weeks ago in defacto alliance concentrating almost all their resources against the Syrian rebels…

mnjg on August 23, 2014 at 4:13 PM

Is anybody pondering any kind of action at all against whoever is supplying and funding the ‘ISIS’ members? Or are we all still pretending that the barbarian’s warrior classes materialize out of nowhere and are completely unrelated to anything else spawned by the Islamic meme?

YiZhangZhe on August 23, 2014 at 4:30 PM

their(sic) a token fight…

mnjg on August 23, 2014 at 4:13 PM

Oh please. Sure Assad was hoping that ISIS would also fight the other rebels. That’s why your Wall Street Journal article calls it a THREE WAY civil war from the beginning. Weakening Assad helped ISIS no matter how you look at it. You were stupidly cheering Obama for weakening Assad. ISIS succeeded its recruiting efforts when Obama was poised to have the US Navy attack from the Mediterranean. It was stupid from the beginning, and you were stupid to support it. Just admit it.

corkie on August 23, 2014 at 4:32 PM

0b00ba: We should bomb Assad’s forces to help the nice, moderate, secular rebels in Syria. Just ask John McCain, he’s down with it.

Putin: No you don’t, skippy.

0b00ba: Dang! Ok… we should bomb Assad’s enemies who are evil and not moderate at all.

Putin: Fine, just don’t tell me how to handle Ukraine which is my neighbor, as you bomb IS which is ten thousand miles from you.

Akzed on August 23, 2014 at 5:00 PM

Moron corkie… Their is a fight and their a token fight… mnjg on August 23, 2014 at 4:13 PM

Wow that corkie their sure a moron their.

Akzed on August 23, 2014 at 5:02 PM

corkie on August 23, 2014 at 4:32 PM

Moron corkie… The person who has contributed the most and by far to the strengthening of ISIS terrorists in Syria is Assad… All the facts prove this…

mnjg on August 23, 2014 at 5:09 PM

Coulda sworn I remember someone saying, fight em there or fight em here. Guess we dropped that. We may well end up fighting em both places. Nice job 0!

Bmore on August 23, 2014 at 5:12 PM

Is anybody pondering any kind of action at all against whoever is supplying and funding the ‘ISIS’ members? Or are we all still pretending that the barbarian’s warrior classes materialize out of nowhere and are completely unrelated to anything else spawned by the Islamic meme? YiZhangZhe on August 23, 2014 at 4:30 PM

The CIA created them, just like it created Al Qaeda. Benghazi was a covert weapons transfer operation, funneling Russian weapons from Qaddafi’s arsenal and Qatar to the Syrian rebels through Turkey. The locals decided it was not a good idea to send weapons -that they viewed as rightly theirs- out of the country, and put the kibosh on it.

Then Putin put the kibosh on attacking Assad in any way, shape, or form.

Now, because IS is outa control, 0b00ba has to pretend to be all pissed off about IS, and make some halfhearted effort to like, bomb them and stuff, while maintaining the fiction that the nice, moderate, secular Syrian rebels are worthy of help, hoping that no one realizes that we are about to help Assad fight the rebels we helped create. Game, set, match for Putin.

Why do you think the thirty-plus staff that escaped the “consulate” (that was absent from the State Dept’s web site) have basically been in witness protection ever since?

This is why the Mohammed video was blamed – that effort was the fruit of guilty knowledge: there had to be a reason for the attack on the consulate. Since 0b00ba knew that there was a reason, knew what it was, and didn’t want it to get out, the Mohammed video was trotted out to deflect attention to it and away from the actual reason.

The ouster of Qaddafi was Phase One of this whole plan.

Akzed on August 23, 2014 at 5:26 PM

Mission creep, incrementalism, half-hearted military interventions in response to polling data, war strategy developed by political operatives…oh goody-goody-GOODY! The sixties are back again! Where’s my Country Joe and the Fish album…

jbspry on August 23, 2014 at 6:21 PM

This is getting out of hand.
How are these strikes constitutional?

weedisgood on August 23, 2014 at 1:04 PM

Settle down little guy. You’re not going to be called up. You’re safe.

hawkdriver on August 23, 2014 at 7:32 PM

Another reason why the Iraq invasion was destined to be a disaster.

weedisgood on August 23, 2014 at 1:16 PM

Don’t tell the Kurds in Halabja that. Oh right. You can’t. Saddam gassed them.

hawkdriver on August 23, 2014 at 7:34 PM

mnjg on August 23, 2014 at 1:59 PM

Considering your track record on Syrian War commenting. You’re the last guy that should be calling Corkie a moron. You’re slipping to troll status in my book at about 20 miles over the speed limit, my friend.

hawkdriver on August 23, 2014 at 7:38 PM

You were stupidly cheering Obama for weakening Assad. ISIS succeeded its recruiting efforts when Obama was poised to have the US Navy attack from the Mediterranean. It was stupid from the beginning, and you were stupid to support it. Just admit it.

corkie on August 23, 2014 at 4:32 PM

That’s exactly what he was preaching. Good comments in this thread Cork ole boy.

hawkdriver on August 23, 2014 at 7:41 PM

US ponders military intervention in Syria as well as Iraq

They can “ponder” all they want. Here’s the reality:

http://www.usdebtclock.org/

or maybe:

http://www.dailyjobcuts.com/ (and they actually miss a lot)

We can’t be poor one minute when we want to (rightfully) slam the Dems for their tax and spend BS, and then the next minute act like we’re solvent and have plenty of money to save the world. Let’s focus on saving ourselves first.

Akzed on August 23, 2014 at 5:26 PM

Shut up, Akzed, you’re obviously an un-American thought criminal and a coward. /s of course.

Dr. ZhivBlago on August 23, 2014 at 8:11 PM

Moron corkie… The person who has contributed the most and by far to the strengthening of ISIS terrorists in Syria is Assad… All the facts prove this…

mnjg on August 23, 2014 at 5:09 PM

Then why did the article that you linked to say that it was a 3-way war????? Of course Assad did what he could to pit ISIS against other rebels, but weakening Assad was wrong. You were wrong. Just admit it.

That’s exactly what he was preaching. Good comments in this thread Cork ole boy.

hawkdriver on August 23, 2014 at 7:41 PM

Thanks, hawk! I’m can’t believe this guy is trying to pretend that he wasn’t wrong about Syria all along. I went back and read his comments. He calling for the bombing of Assad and claiming that his chemical weapons would be gone within a month. He couldn’t have been more wrong. ISIS would be even stronger now if mnjg’s advice had been followed.

corkie on August 23, 2014 at 11:21 PM

We can’t be poor one minute when we want to (rightfully) slam the Dems for their tax and spend BS, and then the next minute act like we’re solvent and have plenty of money to save the world. Let’s focus on saving ourselves first.

Dr. ZhivBlago on August 23, 2014 at 8:11 PM

When it comes to war, the govt. always seems to have plenty of money at hand. Of course, I never hear anyone suggesting taxes to pay for the new war.

cimbri on August 24, 2014 at 2:16 AM

When it comes to war, the govt. always seems to have plenty of money at hand. Of course, I never hear anyone suggesting taxes to pay for the new war.

cimbri on August 24, 2014 at 2:16 AM

Were it not for the military and weapons-manufacturing lobbyists, our financial situation would have long since hit its inevitable conclusion. Those folks are very, very, very good at postponing bankruptcy even in the face of a massive welfare state.

LawfulGood on August 24, 2014 at 4:44 AM

I never hear anyone suggesting taxes to pay for the new war.

cimbri on August 24, 2014 at 2:16 AM

Because it’s a stupid idea.

I support your calls for fiscal discipline – even with respect to waging war (maybe we shouldn’t spend money on hitting ISIS), but raising taxes to cover any such cost is stupid.

Why a new tax? Why do you think that taxes is the only side of that equation? Why not ask people to suggest cutting other spending in order to pay for a new war? You’d get plenty of proposals for that from conservatives. Do you hate cutting government spending?

corkie on August 24, 2014 at 2:46 PM