ISIL is busy building a capital in Syria while Obama dithers

posted at 6:41 pm on August 28, 2014 by Gabriel Malor

Last month, AFP reported that the Islamic State had established a marriage bureau to help jihadists find brides. It was a troubling sign that ISIL and its self-proclaimed caliphate believed it would be around for a while. Since then, the group has been digging in:

In the Syrian city of Raqqah on the banks of the Euphrates River, Islamic State militants are busy building a capital fit for their followers.

Human rights observers say they have stoned women to death for adultery, while residents report that religious textbooks have been imported for schools and the market flooded with black cloaks for girls as young as 6 years old. Even as it wages war on multiple fronts, the group has had time to focus on the details, recruit thousands into its forces and celebrate victories by parading the heads of its enemies.

It sounds ghastly. According to one resident, via Bloomberg News, accused thieves have their hands cut off, which is a punishment right out of the Middle Ages. So far, it seems beyond the Syrian government’s ability to stop. The NY Times reports that part of ISIL’s success is coming from its professionalism, which it’s getting from middle-aged former officers in Saddam Hussein’s military. Many of these officers were banned from participating in Iraq’s post-war government, the ones that weren’t simply imprisoned, I mean.  Now they’re getting revenge.

Meanwhile, U.S. airstrikes against ISIL are only occurring in Iraq. President Obama has not yet announced what he wants to do about ISIL in Syria, but it’s already leading to grumbles from Congress. If this all seems vaguely familiar, that’s because last year at about this time, Obama proposed airstrikes in Syriaonly against the Syrian government rather than rebel groups. He was firmly rebuffed by most of the Democrats and the Republicans and with little public support, he didn’t press the issue.

Here we are again, only given recent developments, I think he’d receive much broader acceptance for military action—if only he would ask for it. At this point, the American public probably won’t make the distinction between airstrikes in ISIL-controlled Iraq and airstrikes in ISIL-controlled Syria. Legally, however, Obama is stretching his authority to commit airstrikes in either country. The 2002 Authorization for the Use of Military Force in Iraq was explicitly directed at toppling Saddam Hussein and his supporters. The 2001 AUMF was directed at Al Qaeda and its affiliated groups, which have rejected ISIL. Which means, if we really want to make a military confrontation with ISIL kosher, Congress needs to pass a new AUMF. Will Nobel Peace Prize awardee Obama have the stones to ask Congress for a war authorization? I’m not holding my breath, which means you might as well get used to thinking of Raqqah as the ISIL capital city.

What do you think? Should the U.S. be declaring war on ISIL, even a limited war of airstrikes?


Related Posts:

Breaking on Hot Air

Blowback

Note from Hot Air management: This section is for comments from Hot Air's community of registered readers. Please don't assume that Hot Air management agrees with or otherwise endorses any particular comment just because we let it stand. A reminder: Anyone who fails to comply with our terms of use may lose their posting privilege.

Trackbacks/Pings

Trackback URL

Comments

Dither, Fundraise, Dither, Golf, Fundraise, Golf, Vacay, Dither, and Fundraise.

It’s all Obama can do.

ConstantineXI on August 28, 2014 at 6:43 PM

If we had an American president, then he would recognize ISIS as a nation followed by an appeal to Congress for a formal declaration of war. Rules of engagement: Win the war.

Wisdom_of_Homer on August 28, 2014 at 6:45 PM

Only if we’re using tactical nukes.

listens2glenn on August 28, 2014 at 6:45 PM

Obama should put together a strong coalition to strike at ISIS wherever..oh who am I kidding, Obama isn’t going to do sh!t.

Aplombed on August 28, 2014 at 6:47 PM

Worst Ever!!!

Bmore on August 28, 2014 at 6:48 PM

Obama should put together a strong coalition to strike at ISIS wherever..oh who am I kidding, Obama isn’t going to do sh!t.

Aplombed on August 28, 2014 at 6:47 PM

Obama will never do anything to materially harm ISIS. Even if they pull off a 9/11. They are too close to his muslim (brotherhood) roots.

ConstantineXI on August 28, 2014 at 6:49 PM

What do you think? Should the U.S. be declaring war on ISIL, even a limited war of airstrikes?

This is one messed up world. You can never really be sure who is supposed to get hit. Every once in awhile though it becomes really apparent who’s got it coming to ‘em. ISIS just moved to the top of that list. We should bomb ‘em wherever and whenever we can. The government should establish a prize fund for private companies to develop cheap, effective ways to bomb ISIS at a profit. The term “terminate with extreme prejudice” was invented for people like ISIS.

Rocks on August 28, 2014 at 6:49 PM

What do you think? Should the U.S. be declaring war on ISIL, even a limited war of airstrikes?

Nah. I say just wait until they make it here to start the airstrikes.

Bmore on August 28, 2014 at 6:49 PM

Many of these officers were banned from participating in Iraq’s post-war government, the ones that weren’t simply imprisoned, I mean. Now they’re getting revenge.
==================================

Terrific, an ongoing Blood Ba’ath!!

canopfor on August 28, 2014 at 6:53 PM

Now, take your time and really let this sink in.

‘WE DON’T HAVE A STRATEGY YET’ TO FIGHT ISIS…

Bmore on August 28, 2014 at 6:54 PM

Paying a hefty price for weakening Assad.

weedisgood on August 28, 2014 at 6:55 PM

Random explosions would be better, all if them occurring at night.

“Nope, wasn’t us” being the answer when anyone starts asking, “must be accidents”.

Bishop on August 28, 2014 at 6:56 PM

With the market being flooded with black cloaks, my guess is that facial recognition software will not be up to the task of helping them find brides.. Although,when has physical attraction been their strong point for making such distinctions..?
& Damascus could just as easily have been their declared capital if 12 months ago bad decisions went ahead..

DJcool on August 28, 2014 at 6:56 PM

Facilitating ISIS to organize not only an army but a functioning state is just more proof of how super geniusey smart this Obama fellow is.

Once they really build up their poser base Obama will have them right where he wants them.

I can’t wait to see what happens under Obama’s plan when Putin reaches Kiev. It’s going to be curtains for Russia.

jukin3 on August 28, 2014 at 6:57 PM

We need to put a Dome over the entire Middle East. A big old super-duper impregnable glass dome, then we could sit outside it and watch these barbarians just go to town on each other…..

Fathom on August 28, 2014 at 6:58 PM

News Flash: The ISIS strategy is….
http://www.zonu.com/images/0X0/2010-01-03-11587/Muslim-conquests-up-to-850-AD.jpg

RBMN on August 28, 2014 at 6:59 PM

According to one resident, via Bloomberg News, accused thieves have their hands cut off, which is a punishment right out of the Middle Ages.

Saudi Arabia still does this, today.

Saudi Arabia also regularly beheads people, including one guy this year for “sorcery”.

The distance between the Islamic State and “respectable” Muslim regimes is not necessarily very far.

Realist on August 28, 2014 at 7:00 PM

Dither, Fundraise, Dither, Golf, Fundraise, Golf, Vacay, Dither, and Fundraise.

It’s all Obama can do.

ConstantineXI on August 28, 2014 at 6:43 PM

You forgot “blame republicans” for every mistake the universe’s smartest man in history makes.

jukin3 on August 28, 2014 at 7:00 PM

The only difference between the religious goals of peaceful Muslims and ISIS Muslims is their level of violence.

Muslims do not have loyalty or patriotism to any country; one can live in any place and be loyal to the big Mo.

albill on August 28, 2014 at 7:00 PM

a limited war of airstrikes

I love spending hundreds of millions of dollars of other people’s debt to convince my enemies that they can never be defeated.

Big thumbs up.

Axe on August 28, 2014 at 7:01 PM

jukin3 on August 28, 2014 at 6:57 PM

You write sarcasm, but that probably is teh one’s plan.

Aplombed on August 28, 2014 at 7:02 PM

According to one resident, via Bloomberg News, accused thieves have their hands cut off, which is a punishment right out of the Middle Ages.

As opposed to housing criminals ant Crime University with meals and entertainment along with knowledge and weight training at $45k/year?

This is one aspect of the old ways I agree with. Efficient and effective.

jukin3 on August 28, 2014 at 7:03 PM

“We don’t have a strategy yet” to fight ISIS.
Better get one pretty quick. September 11 is right around the corner and the jihadis don’t like to let that one go by without making a statement.

mongoose on August 28, 2014 at 7:04 PM

What do you think? Should the U.S. be declaring war on ISIL, even a limited war of airstrikes?

Kill them over there before they kill us here.

Remember, Syria & Iraq are finished, just have lots of feudal city states. And Kurdistan.

rbj on August 28, 2014 at 7:04 PM

Muslims do not have loyalty or patriotism to any country; one can live in any place and be loyal to the big Mo.

albill on August 28, 2014 at 7:00 PM

THIS!!!!!!!

It is all you need to know and everyday it smacks you in the face.

jukin3 on August 28, 2014 at 7:06 PM

It was all fun and games mocking the ‘do-nothing president’, but now we need a serious, adult leader.
Instead, the next president is going to inherit the world aflame.

Wait until they actually hit the USA on our own soil, which will certainly happen in the next two years.

Tard on August 28, 2014 at 7:08 PM

I would aid the FSA and the Kurds and see if the new Iraqi government seems likely to reach out to the Kurds and Sunnis in an effective manner. If it does, I would aid the Iraqi national army but not any Shia militias. I think the Kurds would have a tough time taking back Mosul without Iraqi Army help but the Shia militias would just make it even harder because of their unprofessional sectarian violence. If Israel wants to use its new border connection to the “moderate” Syrian rebels, to give them military aid, that is fine as well. That is as far as I would go in Syria at this time as long as Assad and ISIS are fighting each other.

FWIW: If the Assad regime once again develops a tacit truce with ISIS and they both just attack groups we are nominally in support of in a manner that requires US action, I would treat them both as hostiles and part of the same problem even if Iran looks at them very differently. I would not develop even the appearance of an agreement or even a modus vivandi with either Assad or ISIS.

KW64 on August 28, 2014 at 7:09 PM

Ever bothered to read the 2002 CAUF? Sorry for the GPO style getting broken up by blockquotes.

How about this part:

Whereas Iraq continues to aid and harbor other international terrorist
organizations, including organizations that threaten the lives and
safety of United States citizens;

Note that al Qaeda is mentioned by name in an earlier paragraph, but it is not the ONLY terrorist organization that the CAUF addresses.

That comes clearer later in the CAUF:

Whereas the President and Congress are determined to continue to take
all appropriate actions against international terrorists and
terrorist organizations, including those nations, organizations, or
persons who planned, authorized, committed, or aided the terrorist
attacks that occurred on September 11, 2001, or harbored such
persons or organizations;

Whereas the President has authority under the Constitution to take
action in order to deter and prevent acts of international terrorism
against the United States, as Congress recognized in the joint
resolution on Authorization for Use of Military Force (Public Law
107-40); and

Whereas it is in the national security interests of the United States to
restore international peace and security to the Persian Gulf region:
Now, therefore, be it

Resolved by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United
States of America in Congress <> assembled,

SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.

This joint resolution may be cited as the “Authorization for Use of
Military Force Against Iraq Resolution of 2002”.

That including bit demonstrates that the aim to get rid of terrorists in Iraq isn’t JUST about aQ but about ALL INTERNATIONAL TERROR ORGANIZATIONS.

Congress made that a huge window to fly through and they had their reasons at the time, but it was way, way too wide in scope. I would love it if it was directed at just aQ but it was NOT.

Please would you even bother to read the CAUF before talking about it?

ajacksonian on August 28, 2014 at 7:10 PM

Kill them over there before they kill us here.

Remember, Syria & Iraq are finished, just have lots of feudal city states. And Kurdistan.

rbj on August 28, 2014 at 7:04 PM

Sounds like a waste of rockets.

The problem of terrorism in the middle east is worse than when this began in 2001. More of the same won’t work.

The real problem is the funding these people receive. How can so many terrorists go about doing what they do without day jobs? The money comes from somewhere: Saudi Arabia, Iran and Pakistan.

Until those countries are made to stop providing money for the jihad, this will never end. It makes us look weak to keep dropping bombs and not affecting the outcome. Time to stop.

FrankT on August 28, 2014 at 7:10 PM

According to one resident, via Bloomberg News, accused thieves have their hands cut off, which is a punishment right out of the Middle Ages.

This is one aspect of the old ways I agree with. Efficient and effective.

jukin3 on August 28, 2014 at 7:03 PM

A sarkly different version of a national “hands off” policy to local crime.

KW64 on August 28, 2014 at 7:13 PM

Nuke islam.

Ronnie on August 28, 2014 at 7:14 PM

What do you think? Should the U.S. be declaring war on ISIL, even a limited war of airstrikes?
=============================

I would like to see SAS/US Special Ops,
with Laser pointers and Intell, for
around the clock, co-ordinated Iraq and
Syrian Airstrikes!!

Similar to Gulf War One!
========================

Operation Desert Storm

Evaluation of The Air War 1996
******************************

B-271993
The air campaign involved nearly every type of fixed-wing aircraft in the
U.S. inventory, flying about 40,000 air-to-ground and 50,000 support
sorties.

2
Approximately 1,600 U.S. combat aircraft were deployed by the
end of the war. By historical standards, the intensity of the air campaign
was substantial. The U.S. bomb tonnage dropped per day was equivalent
to 85 percent of the average daily bomb tonnage dropped by the United
States on Germany and Japan during the course of World War II

https://www.hsdl.org/?view&did=446206

canopfor on August 28, 2014 at 7:15 PM

http://www.zonu.com/images/0X0/2010-01-03-11587/Muslim-conquests-up-to-850-AD.jpg

RBMN on August 28, 2014 at 6:59 PM

Think invasion of Spain might be a “Red Line”?

KW64 on August 28, 2014 at 7:21 PM

Will Nobel Peace Prize awardee Obama have the stones to ask Congress for a war authorization? I’m not holding my breath, which means you might as well get used to thinking of Raqqah as the ISIL capital city.

How do you make an eunuch possess stones?

What do you think? Should the U.S. be declaring war on ISIL, even a limited war of airstrikes?

No. Just make glass out of Raqqah.

Schadenfreude on August 28, 2014 at 7:22 PM

A few weeks ago it seemed like Obama was the only one calling them “ISIL”.

forest on August 28, 2014 at 7:23 PM

obama should have bombed them when they first left, in convoys, from Syria. He fully owns IS.

Don’t forget that both his daddies were Sunni. He fancies himself their ‘peaceful’ caliph.

500 Canadians joined IS. They have passports.

The open borders, on all sides, and IS are now obama’s legacy.

Quit calling them ISIL, fools. Only obama is that stupid.

Schadenfreude on August 28, 2014 at 7:24 PM

The Tabqa airbase would make a good target for heavy bombing. Nobody there except bad guys and severed heads.

forest on August 28, 2014 at 7:25 PM

Sounds like a waste of rockets.

The problem of terrorism in the middle east is worse than when this began in 2001. More of the same won’t work.

Trust me. I’ve done business in the Mediterranean area for thirty years. All they understand is force and strength. One missile at 100 M-TON would end all of this. Never would rise its head again for a hundred + years. You apply western values when you should apply 7th century values.

islam. Only. Understands. Brute. Force.

Where Bush failed in Iraq was not being more Sherman and then rebuilding. We should have bombed Iraq into the stone age, like Tokyo. Then and only then come in. Fallajuh eliminated. it would have ended there. Iran would have come right in line like Libya. The Russians understand this. We do not. Now Afghanistan is too spread out too tough to have ever gone in other than carpet bombing and of course leaving.

No muslims should ever be allowed into the USA. Ever. All of CAIR should have their hands cut off and sent back to countries of origin. This $hit would be over.

jukin3 on August 28, 2014 at 7:32 PM

And meanwhile Mexico is busy building even more colonies in the American Southwest.

VorDaj on August 28, 2014 at 7:33 PM

Think invasion of Spain might be a “Red Line”?

KW64 on August 28, 2014 at 7:21 PM

Judging by the Spanish response to the Madrid bombings, I think they’re about ready to cede their country to ISIS without a fight.

TaraMaclay on August 28, 2014 at 7:34 PM

What do you think? Should the U.S. be declaring war on ISIL, even a limited war of airstrikes?

1. Find them

2. Kill them

3. Come home.

myiq2xu on August 28, 2014 at 7:41 PM

David Burge ‏@iowahawkblog 1h

Strategy? Hell, we don’t even have a hashtag yet.

Resist We Much on August 28, 2014 at 7:42 PM

David Burge ‏@iowahawkblog 1m

DERPCON 1

Bmore on August 28, 2014 at 7:50 PM

Resist We Much on August 28, 2014 at 7:42 PM

A fav of the day to be sure. ; )

Bmore on August 28, 2014 at 7:51 PM

Think invasion of Spain might be a “Red Line”?

KW64 on August 28, 2014 at 7:21 PM

You’re darn right! Don’t want to lose the Hispanish vote! That would be a big f’in’ deal! -Shotgun Joey Biden

Wisdom_of_Homer on August 28, 2014 at 7:55 PM

The fact that they’ve made Raqqah, in Syria, their new capital tells me they know history even if The One never bothered to study it.

They’re setting Syria up as a “safe haven” they can retire to if and when things get too hot for them in Iraq. In effect, doing exactly what the Viet Cong and NVA did in Laos and Cambodia. Except this time, they’ve put Hanoi in the “no-fly zone” for our air forces.

I don’t think the Kurds should expect help from us, or accept it if The One offers. Instead, they should be encouraged to learn about what happened to the Montagnards when American progressives got their wish, and South Vietnam and Cambodia fell to the Reds. The Kurds aren’t fools; they’ll understand that they’re being set up, with the endgame being their extermination. (First rule of progressivism; No Witnesses.)

I thought The One was going to settle for a “last helicopter out” humiliation of the U.S. military in Iraq and AFPAK. I was wrong.

He wants the whole “Fall of Saigon/Fall of Phnom Penh/Killing Fields” spectacle. He wants all those people who have fallen from the True Faith of Enlightened Eastern Primitivist Mysticism destroyed- and he wants us blamed for it.

He wants to be the True Messiah of the Enlightened, Mystical Primitive Utopia, here and everywhere.

With a side order of being President Edward M. Kennedy.

clear ether

eon

eon on August 28, 2014 at 7:57 PM

Maybe he’ll dither as DC burns.

formwiz on August 28, 2014 at 8:03 PM

Obama clearly stated in one of his books, he would stand with Islam in a conflict. Why is anyone surprised when he does little to oppose them?

Zelsdorf Ragshaft on August 28, 2014 at 8:17 PM

Judging by the Spanish response to the Madrid bombings, I think they’re about ready to cede their country to ISIS without a fight.

TaraMaclay on August 28, 2014 at 7:34 PM

Watch closely for the big “tell” – when Barky refers to it as “Al Andalus” rather than “Spain”…

bofh on August 28, 2014 at 8:29 PM

Last one. Tab closing.

David Burge ‏@iowahawkblog 9m

Operation We’re Working On A Cool Name For This Operation

Bmore on August 28, 2014 at 8:56 PM

Tab Not Closed. Error. Error.

Tard on August 28, 2014 at 9:03 PM

ISIS will be one of Obama’s greatest successes.
Choo Choo

Sadly Choo Choo is correct but not for our side.

jukin3 on August 28, 2014 at 9:04 PM

Noah Rothman ‏@NoahCRothman 13s

“… in which he seemed to dramatically underestimate the ISIL threat.” http://www.politico.com/story/2014/08/obama-no-strategy-isil-110435.html

Noah Rothman ‏@NoahCRothman 34s

“The impact and the danger of the no-strategy remark could be exacerbated by earlier Obama comments…”

Bmore on August 28, 2014 at 9:11 PM

So who will fill the American leadership vacuum?

diogenes on August 28, 2014 at 9:14 PM

Is this the only Gabe post we have to deal with or is he going to concern-troll us every morning?

bernverdnardo1 on August 28, 2014 at 9:37 PM

So who will fill the American leadership vacuum?

diogenes on August 28, 2014 at 9:14 PM

Chaos and Evil.

forest on August 28, 2014 at 10:00 PM

Better start refurbishing our neutron bombs.

They leave no residual radiation, but kill jihadis dead.

profitsbeard on August 29, 2014 at 4:04 AM

Please don’t call them ISIL and use the original term of ISIS instead, because those who use the term ISIL are just pandering to the terrorist who kept changing the name of their organization. I know Obama started to use this term to appease the terrorist but that does not mean you have to also.

JeffinSac on August 29, 2014 at 11:17 AM

What do you think? Should the U.S. be declaring war on ISIL, even a limited war of airstrikes?

Actually, yes. Sure, the current resolutions can cover our actions (if any…). But to make it official, and past arguing about “illegal wars”, then we must Officially Declare War on ISIS and its allies.

Think invasion of Spain might be a “Red Line”?

KW64 on August 28, 2014 at 7:21 PM

We’ll have to first insist that the Spanish Government include the Muslim invaders in a “Unity Government”; then after we get a favorable “Status of Forces” agreement, invite us in.

Of course, after all that, we’ll… um…
Well, all heck will break loose! Yeah, that’s the ticket.

ReggieA on August 29, 2014 at 2:02 PM