Contributors

Showing posts with label ISIL. Show all posts
Showing posts with label ISIL. Show all posts

Friday, August 12, 2016

Obama is the Founder of...ISIL?

Like an adolescent who desperately needs attention, Donald Trump is now at the point where he will say pretty much anything to keep the media spotlight upon him. His latest statement, repeated over and over again yesterday, posits that Barack Hussein Obama is the founder of ISIL.

The BBC has a great piece up about the origin of ISIL. Skip past the Trump drivel for the solid and insightful reporting on who the real founders of ISIL are and how exactly they were allowed to flourish.

Tuesday, July 05, 2016

Representing Whom, Exactly?


Thursday, March 24, 2016

Did We Miss Anything?


Sunday, November 15, 2015

Strategy Shift

Here's an interesting piece from today's Times regarding the strategy shift of ISIL. I find most of it to be on the mark save for one glaring omission: wasn't this always going to be their strategy?

Like Al Qaeda before it, ISIL is an organization that wants the world returned to the year 700 with old style Islamic values. They don't just want their little corner to rule over. They want the whole thing and want to eradicate anyone that stands in their way.

So, now the question becomes how do we stop them? We area already bombing them so that's good. If we decide to put boots on the ground, we could take out their main force of 20,000 guys and 1970s pickup trucks. Neither of these actions, however, would defeat them because we're talking about a worldwide ideology. This, of course, brings us back to the problem we had with Al Qaeda. How do you stop an idea?

At the core of the solution to this problem lies free trade and free markets. When people get a taste of the wealth and prosperity that capitalism brings, they tend to not want to shoot each other or blow themselves up anymore. That's why Muslims in the United States aren't radicalized. They love their lives here and are comfortable.

No doubt there will still be Islamic groups that will not go gently into that good night but that's where international crime fighting efforts have to be massively increased. Intelligence...human intelligence...is where we can really take the fight to ISIL.

Friday, August 28, 2015

Wednesday, May 06, 2015

The Good Guy With A Gun Lie Debunked Again

In the past couple of days, there have been two violent incidents that illustrate, once again, the whole good guy with a gun myth. Recall that this lie started when Wayne LaPierre noted after Sandy Hook that "the only thing the stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun." Most of us living in the real world knows that this really isn't true. Remember Antoinette Tuff?  So, no, not the "only" thing.

But what about the deterrence factor element of this myth? The Gun Cult likes to lie by shoveling out the "gun full zones make criminals think twice" pile of shit every other day. Yet reality says otherwise.

Minnesota farm couple fatally shot during burglary; home torched next day

The suspected gunman lived on a neighboring piece of property to the Hivelys. He was captured after a police officer stopped an alleged accomplice and found guns stolen from the Hively home in the car’s trunk.

Wait...what? I thought if you had guns in your house, they protected you from bad guys. What happened?

Continuing on with reality...

Two shot dead after they open fire at Mohammed cartoon event in Texas.

Two men who opened fire outside a contest for Prophet Mohammed cartoons in a Dallas suburb were shot dead by police Sunday night, authorities said. The men drove up to the Culwell Event Center in North Garland, got out of their car and began shooting just as the "Muhammad Art Exhibit and Cartoon Contest" inside was coming to an end, Garland police spokesman Joe Harn said. An unarmed security guard was shot in the leg. He was later treated and released from a hospital. Police who were helping with security at the event fired back, killing both gunmen.

So, the cops were there with guns and they...still attacked?  Hmm...I wonder why...? And how on EARTH did they get those assault rifles so easily in Texas?

Nikto or myself might have a post coming soon about the "free speech" event that was attacked but for now I'm betting some heads are awfully 'splodey right now considering the lax gun laws of our nation basically are helping out ISIL.

What ever will the Gun Cult do now?

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Adolescent Babies

When have the Democrats ever done anything like this?

GOP Tries to Undercut Nuclear Deal With Warning to Iran

Seriously, what a bunch of fucking adolescent babies!

Barack Obama must fail at everything he does regardless of the cost to the United States' standing in the world. Like the adolescent that wants to destroy the roof over his head and the table that feeds him, Republicans have honestly gone way over the line on this one. Imagine what would happen if Democrats did something like this. The right wing bubble would be screaming about treason and traitors!

Worse, the Republicans who signed this letter are completely failing (as usual) to think in a forward fashion. Iran is likely going to be a future ally in the region (see also: the real reason Bibi Netanyahu is blowing a bowel) because of the threat of ISIL. We are going to need Iran if we want to stop these guys. Don't they understand this?

Ah, right...understand...a word that is eternally absent from their vocabulary.

Saturday, February 21, 2015

What's In A Name?

As the adolescents in the political world snipe at President Obama for not calling ISIL "Islamic Terrorists, I think it's important to take a step back from this latest in a far too lengthy and nauseating series of "Gotcha, Mr. President" childish games and realize that it's actually a very smart idea not to tie them to Islam at all. Why?

First, that's exactly what they want. If the president did this, they would gain more recruits and funding, making it easier to frame the war as an Islam v Christianity battle. Second, there are Islamic extremists in the Middle East, specifically Saudi Arabia, whose help we need to fight ISIL. Bringing Islam into the battle more prominently would alienate some of our allies. Third, the last thing in the world that we need here at home is Christian Conservatives (our own nutball extremists) on our fucking side. Their emotions about their belief system and ideology makes them incapable of rational and logical thinking.

I will, however, disagree with the president on why ISIL is ISIL. It has absolutely nothing to do with poverty and everything to do with ideology. We win this battle, not with financial aid or guns, but with our hegemonic force. Our economic, soft power is what ISIL fears the most. Their stated end game is the apocalypse and a return to good ol' 7th century values so we beat them by illustrating the power of free markets combined with 21st century technology.

After all, they are using social media to spread their insanity. We need to meet them on that battlefield and pummel them into submission. We invented this technology so let's use it to our advantage and lure away those angry young men from potential ISIL recruits towards the reality of real freedom and ideological prosperity.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

ISIS or ISIL?

As the country prepares to take on the Islamic State extremists currently located in Syria and Iraq, we still have a lingering quandary that needs to be solved. What the hell are they called?

The Washington Post has a piece explaining why our government and the UN calls them ISIL or the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant.

In Arabic, the group is known as Al-Dawla Al-Islamiya fi al-Iraq wa al-Sham, or the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham. The term “al-Sham” refers to a region stretching from southern Turkey through Syria to Egypt (also including Lebanon, Israel, the Palestinian territories and Jordan). The group’s stated goal is to restore an Islamic state, or caliphate, in this entire area. The standard English term for this broad territory is “the Levant.” Therefore, AP’s translation of the group’s name is the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, or ISIL.

To be certain, this is something only social studies teachers like me geek out to but I think it's important nonetheless because they geography explains why ISIL is who they are. This is where they believe the next Islamic state should be located. Of course, as the rest of the article notes, even this acronym is up for debate.

The president will address the nation tonight at 9pm Eastern regarding ISIL.

Friday, September 05, 2014

Thursday, August 21, 2014

A Cold-Hearted Bastard

The press has been having a field day with the president golfing after delivering remarks on the execution of journalist James Foley by the ISIL. Doesn't he have any feelings!!???!! I suppose if I were advising the president I would have suggested some quiet time with his family...perhaps reading a book.

Yet his golfing and laughing with friends, not giving in to their demands for cash as EU nations do, and continuing to bomb the crap out of ISIL positions in northern Iraq completely decimates the idea that he is weak. In fact, he looks pretty much like he is a cold-hearted bastard.

What sort of a message does that send to ISIL?


Monday, August 11, 2014

Until There Is Plurality...

The political world is all in a tizzy today as Hillary Clinton described the president's decision not to support the Syrian rebels early on as a "failure." Let's set aside the fact that her motivations were purely political and likely planned far ahead of time by both her and the White House. What I'm wondering today is this: what action would have been better and why?

The issue here is the massive growth of ISIS (the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, also known as ISIL, Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant) in both Syria and Iraq. Many of the president's critics seem to think we could have prevented this from occurring. How, exactly? We tried taking over Iraq and staying there for years and that didn't work. We've been nation building in Afghanistan for nearly 13 years and that hasn't worked. In Libya, we helped the rebels get rid of Gaddafi and that didn't work.

And who exactly we were supposed to arm in Syria? The rebels weren't even soldiers and were made up of doctors, lawyers and ordinary citizens. They wouldn't be able to fight against the power of a state run military. Further, the various factions in Syria (as in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Libya) all hate each other and are mostly enemies of the United States, the one exception being the Kurds in Northern Iraq whom we are now arming and assisting with an air campaign.

In looking at all of this information, a pattern emerges. These turbulent countries are filled with people who don't like each other. Juxtapose this simple fact with the two Arab Spring countries that haven't had any of these issues-Kurdistan and Tunisia. These two countries contain citizens that do like each other and thus, have a desire for plurality. They are also two nations that have zero involvement from the United States which likely also contributes to their sunny disposition.

Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan and Libya are never going to be stable countries until there is a desire for plurality in each nation. No sole power on earth (especially the United States) can force that on people. We can, of course, protect the innocent and our interests as we are right now in Iraq but until we get the buy in from the world community, there is nothing to be done.

Blaming President Obama for all these problems and calling his policies a failure is ludicrous.