Wednesday, November 18, 2015 at 8:58 AM

Bombing ISIS Smacks of Masturbatory Violence

Posted by Anthony L. Hall

No doubt Russia needed to retaliate after ISIS blew up a Russian plane, killing 224.

No doubt France needed to do the same after ISIS terrorized Paris, killing 129.

fighter-jetsThe problem is that both Russia and France have retaliated in a manner that will do nothing to stop ISIS from launching similar attacks … or war-stricken Syrians from seeking refuge in Europe.

Russia pounds ISIS with biggest bomber raid in decades…

Putin’s air force just used its nuclear bombers to lay waste to the capital of the ‘Islamic State.’

The Tuesday mission, which launched under the cover of darkness from a base in Ossetia in southern Russia, signaled a significant escalation of Moscow’s air war in Syria…

(Daily Beast, November 17, 2015)

Frankly, this retaliation is too cynical, callous, and cowardly for narrative commentary. So here are just a few points to bear in mind, all of which I’ve been proselytizing, like John the Baptist, for years – in such commentaries as “Demystifying ISIS: Case against Obama’s Bush-lite War on Terrorism,” September 10, 2014, and “Obama Amassing a Coalition of the Willing to Do in Syria What Bush Did in Afghanistan/Iraq,” September 30, 2015.

  • Hailing Putin’s bombing of Syria as “shock and awe — on steroids” ignores that it took hundreds of thousands of troops invading (i.e., not hundreds of jets bombing) for Bush to win his pyrrhic victory in Iraq.
  • Criticizing Obama for having little to show after bombing ISIS for over a year ignores that he deems it as unconscionable as it is counterproductive to get off on killing thousands of women and children in a vain attempt to kill a few ISIS combatants.
  • 2000-300x180Presuming to take the fight to Muslim Jihadists by dropping bombs from 50,000 feet is every bit as cowardly as presuming to take the fight to Western infidels by attacking concert halls, sports stadiums, and restaurants. Unfortunately, wannabe-macho leaders like Putin actually get off on broadcasting cockpit videos of the wanton destruction their bombs cause.
  • Bombing ISIS back to the medieval times its cult leaders seem to prefer will not stop followers from blowing up planes and/or opening fire in crowded venues. (If you see something, say something! Of course, you’d have to stop looking at your dumbphone for a second….) The best we can do is to continually kill those who assume leadership of the so-called Caliphate, thereby limiting the organizing and galvanizing role they play in getting others to execute the kinds of attacks we saw in Paris and Beirut last week.
  • Retaliating in this indiscriminate fashion actually serves the interests of ISIS leaders — whose diabolical mission is to provoke a holy war between their followers and, well, everyone else in the world. But it also serves the interests of arms merchants — whose diabolical mission is to profit off the continual waging of war.
  • Staking out safe zones in Syria and Iraq will stem the flow of refugees into Europe. It will also provide a base from which Western ground forces can launch strategic incursions to kill ISIS leaders and enemy combatants, not hapless Syrians unable to flee. Russia and France should join forces with the United States and its coalition partners to implement this strategy. All else is feckless folly, with all due respect to the heroic Kurds.
  • Defending safe zones for these limited purposes should have nothing to do with never-ending sectarian wars for control of Afghanistan, Iraq, or Syria, or with training and equipping any one sect to fight the others. We should leave warring Muslim sects, as well as their affiliated terrorist groups (from al-Qaeda to ISIS and all variations in between), to their own devices, intervening only when necessary to contain their menace. Just as we generally leave warring African tribes to theirs (whether they’re engaged in tribal/religious conflicts or terrorist insurgencies).

Beyond these points, it behooves France to consider what portends for its national character if it becomes to Russia in Syria the poodle Britain became to America in Iraq. All else is folly.

Related commentaries:
Demystifying ISIS
Obama coalition of willing
Paris attacks

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