The West isn't the solution in Iraq. It's the problem

No doubt the 'Islamic State' poses some danger. Direct western intervention will only make it more dangerous

16 August 2014

9:00 AM

16 August 2014

9:00 AM

To hawkish right-wingers, but also to many militant liberals, the antidote to the problem of Isis is clear: the application of military power to defeat the jihadists and lay the foundation for a humane and stable political order, beginning in Iraq but eventually extending across the Islamic world.

There are several problems with this analysis. For starters, it glosses over the fact that military power in the form of the 2003 Anglo-American invasion created the opening for the jihadists in the first place. Where there had been stability, US and British forces sowed the seeds of anarchy. The so-called ‘Islamic State’ whose forces in recent weeks have spread havoc across Iraq represents the most recent manifestation of this phenomenon. In short, as far as violent Islamic radicalism was concerned, the putative American solution has exacerbated rather than reduced the problem.

When he ascended to the presidency, Barack Obama seemed to get that. Yet even as he fulfilled his promise to withdraw US forces from Iraq, his efforts to devise a policy toward the Islamic world based on something other than invasion and occupation came up short.

Obama’s failure stemmed from myriad causes, not least of them developments in the region that his administration did not anticipate and could not control. In Syria, Libya, Egypt, and now in Iraq itself, events and their consequences have time and again caught Washington by surprise.

So now Obama is back for another bite at the Iraqi apple. Twenty-three years after Operation Desert Storm laid the basis for George H.W. Bush’s ‘new world order’ and 11 years after George W. Bush went his father one better by capturing Baghdad itself — ‘Mission Accomplished’ — the Iraq war has resumed in the form of a small-scale but apparently open-ended air campaign.

Militarists take a certain satisfaction in the evident collapse of Obama’s efforts to end the Iraq war. If they have any complaint, it’s that the President was too slow to pull the trigger and ought to widen the US target array. Even former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, now positioning herself for a presidential run, is signalling her appetite for more vigorous action, for example against Syria’s Assad regime.

To what end? Apart from mounting resistance to the ‘Islamic State’ — a force of perhaps 10,000 fighters lacking either an air force or a navy yet said to threaten the world’s only superpower — what is America’s strategic objective? The answer is that there is none. For the US, military action has become a substitute for strategy, indeed, for acknowledging the fact that nearly a quarter-century of military involvement in Iraq and in the Middle East more generally has produced next to nothing of value. Only the naive, the obtuse or the dishonest will believe (or profess to believe) that trying harder has the slightest chance of producing a different and more favourable outcome.

The United States and its European allies do not possess the wit nor the will nor the might to fix whatever it is that ails much of the Islamic world. This is the principal lesson that the long Iraq war has to teach. The beginning of wisdom lies in recognising that fact.

So yes, to address the plight of innocent people at immediate risk, let us airdrop lifesaving bundles. If nothing else, doing so allows fatuous pundits like Richard Cohen of the Washington Post to preen about the United States doing ‘the right thing’, thereby ‘saving many lives and our honour as well’. But let us not confuse moral imperatives with the obligations and complexities inherent in national security policy.

No doubt the ‘Islamic State’ poses a danger of sorts. But for the United States and for Europe, that danger is negligible. Regional powers such as Saudi Arabia, Turkey and Iran are both more directly threatened and far better positioned to deal with it. Offering whatever indirect assistance might be helpful, the United States would be better served simply to butt out. We’ve done enough damage.

Got something to add? Join the discussion and comment below.

Andrew J. Bacevich is a professor of history and international relations at Boston University’s Pardee School of Global Studies.

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Show comments
  • Sean Lamb

    Given we pumped ISIS up by supervising the flow of arms via Turkey into Northern Syria (lets remember ISIS’s territory is landlocked – the only way they get arms and ammunition is via Turkey, Jordan or Lebanon) I don’t see why we shouldn’t shoulder some responsibility for getting rid of the pestilence.

    The air campaigns that worked so well for the pocket armies of Misrata, the Northern Alliance or the KLA should work so much better for the Iraqi army.
    Why not give close air and drone support to Iraqi ground troops as they chop off the heads of the hydra we ourselves let loose on them?
    Is just one of those loud mouths who talked up the Syrian uprising for so long going to come out and say: “I was wrong”?

    • Terry Field

      Like the baldie from Yorkshire????????????????????

      • Sean Lamb

        In fairness to the gentleman I believe you are referring to, he is noted for having unusual bedfellows to save the taxpayer money, so jumping into bed with Al Qaeda to do regime change in Syria on the cheap must have seemed an excellent idea.
        Then again perhaps he just drank 16 pints before making foreign policy decisions?

      • Ne11y

        Really, one question mark is sufficient, ffs.

        • Terry Field

          You are no lady.
          Ladies do not swear.
          Only rough women swear. You are a rough old bird.
          A rancid Hen.
          Time for processing into woofie-food.
          How did you escape from the Old Boiler’s henhouse?

          • Ne11y

            What on earth does my gender have to do with it? Or in your book are there certain things that it’s not acceptable for women to do? If it’s not acceptable for women to swear, how’s that different to it not being acceptable for women to show their hair or faces in public, or pray in the same spaces as men, or drive, or marry who they want. How does the vile sexism you’ve just posted make you any different to the Muslims you think yourself so much better than. If you want to live in a society where women are restricted in what they can and cannot say, go move to Saudi Arabia. You’ll like it there. And your butchery of the English language is so horrific, it’d drive anyone to swear.

          • Terry Field

            There is no logical relationship between your face being on show and whether or not you are ill-mannered The fact hat you use your emancipation – won over a century – to behave with neither grace nor elegance simply shows you for what you are; an un-charming economic unit, exploitable from birth to death, and fully persuaded by the incessant propaganda that your worth is greater than it is. You are really quite a degraded character when contrasted to the manners and behaviour of ladies from prior generations.
            You are stupid in suggesting the alternative to your hard-swearing ‘man-with-tits’ behaviour is Saudi Arabia.
            The real alternative is, mercifully, nearly every other state on Earth, where the repulsive and at the same time funny British gender-wafare is barely found.
            I do not butcher the English language. I am vastly more educated and capable of creative thought than you show yourself to be. Plainly you are ill-educated; probably the product of a bog-standard comp, replete with antique socialist propaganda input.
            Take your stupid comments to the Virago Press or some similar polemical horror.

          • Ne11y

            Most of what you have just written is barely intelligible, so how you can claim to be vastly educated is a joke. As to my education, you have absolutely no idea where, and to what extent I have been educated, and any attempt to make a guess is the equivalent of looking into a crystal ball, unless you fall into the trap that many small minded people do, that if someone expresses a difference of opinion to themselves, they must surely be less intelligent than they are. You will note that throughout this interaction, I have made no personal attacks on you, and stuck wholly to the issues at hand, whereas you have descended into personally insulting me, making wild suppositions about me that you have absolutely no way of supporting, and puffing yourself up, asserting how much cleverer you are than I, like some testosterone-fueled peacock. Those who are truly ‘vastly’ educated and wise have no need to tell everyone about it, for it is clear to everyone how clever and wise they are through their conduct. Those who have to announce to the world how clever they are tend to be the least intelligent of all. It is hard for the vain, the boastful and the bullies to have any intellect of any real value.

          • Terry Field

            What I write is well and clearly expressed- your inadequate comprehension may require a program of medication. No you attacked me directly and abused me with a slur. You are therefore a simple liar as well.
            You are full of wind. No content. Just a giant mental fart.
            And verbose.

          • Ne11y

            I have made not one personal comment, I have simply dealt with the many arguments you have put forward and defeated each one. It is because you cannot debate with me on this level that you descend to the level of personal insult. If you were to behave like this at any respectable university debating society, you would be thrown out. I have not abused you with any slur. This is in your imagination. If you cannot see where the grammatical errors are in your previous diatribe, I suggest you print it off and take it down to your local college for an English teacher to look at. You can also ask them about the usage of multiple question marks and whether or not this is usually an indicator of a ‘vastly’ educated person. Also, if they are an English language specialist, you might ask them, and be interested to know, about the historical usage of the f word, and how this has been widespread in this country by both men and women for centuries. I know that the only response I will get to this post is more personal attacks, as previously stated, you do not seem to be capable of anything else. So don’t bother to reply. I have nothing more to say to you.

          • Terry Field

            Calling my reasonable and justifiable observations vile sexism is offensive, untrue, hysterical, pathetically ‘of-the-moment’ and entirely diagnostic of a thin-skinned over-sensitive looking-for-advantage female urban warrior type.
            You have defeated nothing.
            You have said nothing. You are all slush and posture.
            I will expostulate as I wish. I can do as I wish in these amusing columns.
            I these columns, It is like going to the zoo – around the corner comes yet another strange creature form bongo bongo land.
            People have defecated in the woods for centuries, but in general it is better that we no longer do it.
            Your infantile justification of the use of the f word is the sort of thing a naughty little teenager would stoop to.
            Third rate.
            Piss off.

          • Jules Wright

            Oi. You two. Would you behave like this face-to-face over a table or in a bar? No. It’s ugly, unseemly and childish – and is symptomatic of the distance that this form of communication produces if so permitted. It’s the sort of responsibility-free personal bile you see spilt in the CiF asylum.

            So enough. Please.

          • Terry Field

            Yes, these altercations are the result of the fun of being able to be direct and receive no consequences as would occur were we face to face.
            I will try to be better behaved.
            I BET THAT OLD BOILER WON’T THOUGH!!!!!!!!!
            (only joking – I am sure she is really very pleasant indeed.)

        • TheBusterMan

          Indeed,but you used that annoying acronym,plus you have numbers instead of letters in your name,a crime nearly as bad as the over use of question marks and exclamation marks!

  • Mike

    The problem with Peter Hichens is he concentrates on the past too much rather than looking forward.

    We can argue about who was responsible for the regions problems until we’re blue in the face but it wont change the current situation one bit. At least Douglas Murray is a realist who can confront the facts of where we are today and make the best suggestions for a possible way forward. Mr. Hichens unfortunately has a tired political agenda based on previous events that are not the main issues today.

  • Jeongu

    Talk about missing the obvious. The problem isn’t the West, the problem is Islam. The Koran and Hadith say Muslims should conquer the world and oppress and kill non-Muslims. Then when some Muslims do what their book explicitly says, journalists and politicians and left-wing-liberals act all surprised and search for the reason why it could be. (Or they do see the truth but lie incessantly about the real state of things)

    (it should be noted – a Moderate Muslim is someone who is not actually doing what their books say, and is therefore not actually a Muslim – in the Koran’s own definition of a Muslim)

    The West has failed to acknowledge the blatantly self-stated purpose of Islam and so has made things much worse. What we should have learnt from Iraq and Afghanistan is that you can’t help Muslims, because Muslims are the sole problem: if we fight one barbaric group, then we simply make room for another barbaric group to step into.

    There is only one coherent strategy for the West to take: be honest about Islam, fight it at home in terms of educating people about what the Koran says, to actively try and destroy Islamic communities and stop youngsters growing up in the murderous faith; and abroad by protecting and supporting Christians and Jews and other non-Muslims, and by bombing Islamic countries and armies when they wage war on non-Muslims. Over time, (several generations) it would be possible to shrink Islam on the world stage and educate about the monstrous thing it really is, or at least pen it in and deprive it of weaponry.

    The only alternative is to let Islam do what it has already told us in advance it will do, in which case we’ll be fighting civil wars within Europe and America against the colonising Muslim population. Because you can be sure that what we hear about happening in the Middle East will be happening here too, if demographics allow for it.

    Fight against Islam now, or fight against it later in a much more desperate situation (when millions of westerners will die) – those are the options.

    • Terry Field

      How can this be achieved in Britain now????????

      • Jeongu

        Yes, it’s a long way off happening. But I know that had I posted the above comment 5 years ago it would have been deleted straight away from the Spectator, the Telegraph, everywhere… Where as now enough of us have been pointing out the obvious for long enough (and the continuing barbarism of Islam around the world keeps proving the point so completely) that there’s been a slight change of perception.

        What is really needed for the next step is some of these ‘journalists’ to dare to do their job and start saying the truth – because the UK government basically follows the MSN media line. However at the moment even the better journalists (Ed West, James Delingpole etc) steer clear of Islam most of the time – and I suppose when they know they and their families could be in the firing line it’s hard to blame them.

        Then when the MSN contains a bit more truth about Islam in the mainstream, we’d need the schools to start changing syllabuses and over time become anti-Islam. The slight hurdle of teaching unions and the entire left wing educational establishment to win over first!

        Basically it’s an all-out culture war against the liberal-left, which like all war will involve nasty fights. And as there are a lot of Muslims in the UK there would be riots and fighting etc – but better sooner rather than later, when their numbers would ensure full blown civil war.

        No easy answers to say the least. But I’d say the best way to avoid all out war is for it to be done gradually (the way the liberal-left turned Britain Socialist in a few decades without most people noticing – but in reverse).

        • Kennybhoy

          “The slight hurdle of teaching unions and the entire left wing educational establishment to win over first!

          Basically it’s an all-out culture war against the liberal-left..”

          “This England never did, nor never shall,Lie at the proud foot of a conqueror,
          But when it first did help to wound itself.
          Now these her princes are come home again,
          Come the three corners of the world in arms,
          And we shall shock them. Nought shall make us rue,
          If England to itself do rest but true.”

          • Lynley

            I was an extreme “progressive” but not because I was an apologist for these filthy theocracies but rather because the right-wing refuses to move into the modern era with regard to women’s rights, gay rights, equal pay for equal work, et cetera. If you right-leaners pulled your fingers out and made 21st century reforms to your social policy, you’d have anti-Islamic left-leaners banging down your doors to join. As it is, I have no party to represent me. You in England fair better than us in the U.S. because your Tory and UKIP parties are left of our absurd Tea Party nitwits. I agree fully with Shakespeare’s sentiments.

    • Tom M

      “…….be honest about Islam, fight it at home in terms of educating people
      about what the Koran says, to actively try and destroy Islamic
      communities and stop youngsters growing up in the murderous faith…..”
      So you think you are going to overturn 1300 years of Imams refining the Koran’s message do you? I don’t know if you have ever watched any of those programmes where they have interrogated some Muslim leader. There are adept. They can give you an answer for anything that has happened in the name of Islam and the fault is usually the West. This plan of yours would be seen as another plot against Islam (which it would be). You already assume, do you not, that the Wahhabi mosques preach hate for the West and it’s culture. This would just give them more ammunition.
      One of the difficulties we have in the West is this culture arrogance. We invite immigrants here because we assume that they aspire to be like us. They don’t.
      Similarly we have this conceit that our foreign policies are correct and their’s are driven by malign influences. They aren’t. The Imams do not sit at night fretting that they are doing things wrong. They are more committed to their way of thinking than you are to yours.
      That some conflict with Islam is coming is I think inevitable. The unacceptable aspect at the moment is that we in the West seem to be doing the same as what Neville Chamberlain did in 1939 but we don’t have the piece of paper to show for it.
      We can agree however that many Westerners will die.

      • Tom Servo

        i say we nuke them all from orbit.

        It’s the only way to be sure.

        • masterblaster


        • John Vince

          fuckin A Tom

      • Jeongu

        “So you think you are going to overturn 1300 years of Imams refining the Koran’s message do you? I don’t know if you have ever watched any of those programmes where they have interrogated some Muslim leader. There are adept. They can give you an answer for anything that has happened in the name of Islam and the fault is usually the West.”

        Yeah you’re right about that. The Islamic insanity is so entrenched in ghettos throughout England that it’s most likely immovable by education and sanity. Islam doesn’t ask itself the difficult questions after all, because Mohammad said the Koran can’t be questioned.

        I suppose what I wrote went into wishful thinking when it’s talking about education. In truth I really don’t expect it to happen at all. Islam will be Islam in its response.

        “They are more committed to their way of thinking than you are to yours.”

        That I disagree with. I know what I think and believe, but I take your point that Muslims are committed to their butchery and world view.

        • falcons1988

          Surah 6:112-118 is the passage that prevents reinterpretation and questioning the theology. Mainly Ayah 115.

    • M P Jones

      Well written – this is far more serious than any politician admits to understanding. Islam is an existential threat to civilisation.

      People with influence need to study and understand the Koran and the Hadiths, understand jihad, taquiyya and the Koran-dictated relationship between Muslims and civilised humans. Islam is not a religion in the sense we understand the word, namely a mainly spiritual and peaceful philosophy. Islam is a vile belligerent political ideology preaching the superiority of its members above all others and seeking global dominance through violence – it shares a lot of characteristics with Nazism and similar totalitarian war-mad ideologies.

      It should not be recognised as a religion and its propaganda machinery, especially as directed towards young people, should be dismantled. It is also important to understand that from the perspective of the civilized world ‘islamophobia’ is a rational and fully justified response. In this country, and in Europe in general, we have the stark choice of either fighting Islam with education and legislation now or leaving it to our children to fight this ideology with weapons twenty or thirty years from now.

      This is not to say at all that all people calling themselves Muslims are evil people. By far the majority are either ignorant of the religion and its consequences, or too scared to confront them. We in the civilized world need to continue to apply constant and hard pressure on the Islamic clergy and scholars to persuade them to re-examine the dogmas preventing Islamic reformation, the idea that the Koran is God’s word and the supremacy of Muslims above others.

    • parker rds

      I totally agree

    • kaney

      oh i’m sorry have u read the whole koran and the translations, the hadiths, the dua’s, have you actually takent he time to listen and understand the faith of islam. No, then shut the fuck up

  • thomasaikenhead

    Afghanistan, Iraq and Libya, can anyone see where all the blood and treasure spent by the West had done anything to improve matters in these states?

    Huge numbers of deaths, hundreds of thousands wounded, millions of refugees an to what purpose.

    The West very nearly added Syria to the list of states where it tried to intervene, only for the true nature of the rebels to subsequently be revealed.

    The West is indeed the problem, the only question is why it has taken people so long to realise this fact.

    • Pootles

      I would agree with much of this. However, there is clearly an appalling situation re IS and real genocide of people (as opposed to mass murder). Given that western intervention is responsible for opening the door to this, should the west not stop IS in its tracks, and, indeed, destroy it? Like the man said, I wouldn’t start from here, but that’s where we are.

      • Treebrain


        The West attacked Iraq twice and occupied it after the second attack and did not make Iraq safe or secure, democratic, liberal or anything but a failed state.

        What can the West do this time that will be any different?

        • Pootles

          I agree with you, and I thought, and still think, that Blair was wrong and a total swine. But, having made such an almighty mess, how can the West sit and watch while the mad, rag-head Islamists kill everyone they can lay their hands on ? Frankly, I’d be happy to swop our Islamists for the Christians of Iraq and the other minorities, like the Yazidis. Maybe I’m wrong, but the real wrong-uns are the ‘leaders’ of this country.

          • Terry Field

            Your last sentence is entirely correct.

        • Tani J

          What can be done? Neutron Bomb. It’s that simple. Infrastructure would be fine. People would be GONE for good.

      • Terry Field

        How would you do that????

        • Pootles

          Well, not that long ago, most Middle Eastern states had large Jewish minorities, for example in cities like Baghdad, Aden etc. You won’t find Jews there now – they moved, with Israel’s help, to Israel. In fact, I think I’m right in saying that similar numbers of Jews left (forced out?) Arab dominated countries, as Palestinians were forced out of Palestine-Israel. Similarly, the Pieds Noirs were forced out, en masse, and moved to France, even though plenty of Pieds Noirs were not of French descent. So, there are precedents. But, I can’t imagine how one could get the UK based Islamists to pop over to places they might find a little more congenial. But, of course, it won’t happen. Not here.

        • Tom M

          The first thing to do is unconditionally support Israel in it’s fight against these psychopathic religious lunatics.

    • Terry Field

      Because they are ignorant. Blind. Parochial.

    • Tom M

      “The West is indeed the problem……”
      What are you talking about? It could be argued that today’s problem is the West but since the beginning of recorded history there has been conflict in the area. They have been at it since the Epic of Gilgamesh was written and that was something like 4000 years ago. This was way before Islam and the West was ever heard of.

  • BoiledCabbage

    Bacevich does not seem to have the bandwidth to recognise that IS is a viral movement which has been spawned by Wahhabi belief. It can penetrate other Sunni states and become a danger within them – recruitment is already taking place in Saudi – there is the risk the ‘infection’ takes hold in the Saudi armed forces – what then? The limited focus of academics seems to be part of the problem.

    • Terry Field

      Those outside do not know what happens within.

    • Right-Minded

      Exactly right, and on your point of recruitment I’d go further, if they have the ability to recruit ‘British’ jihadis and other ‘western’ muslims, then the scope for recruitment in impoverished and oppressed countries like Saudi is unlimited – especially with the funding available to them.

    • Kennybhoy

      “The limited focus of academics seems to be part of the problem.”

      The greatest part of the problem rather. One Bacevich is worse than any number of Jihadis…

    • sebastian2

      There has always been a susceptible element in the Saudi armed forces. ISIS could easily appeal to that. My guess is that the Saudi establishment has grown more wary than ever – fences have now been erected along their most vulnerable borders. One fence to deter ISIS; the other against Yemen Shi’as.

      But ISIS, being Sunni, presents a particular difficulty since the cult they follow is closely allied to the Sauds’ wahabbism – also Sunni – even though senior Saudi clerics have denounced it as “unislamic”. A convenient denunciation. It clearly won’t wash except to expose – yet again – the acrimonious divisions and violent hostilities this whole so-called “religion” gives rise to. Even Sunnis cannot agree among themselves. Add to this the ever restless Shi’ia population in KSA’s Easter Province and who’ll be watching events in Yemen, and the ingredients for total regional instability are off the shelf and on the table.

      After all that said, who could convincingly deny (though some continue to) that this fissiparious moon cult isn’t dangerous, confrontational and violent? The evidence is all around. Sensible people will look candidly at it and draw the almost inevitable conclusion. Not all mohammedans are violent and threatening, but the cult endorses those that are; and those that are not are ideologically (doctrinally) ill-equipped to refute the divine suras. Why? Because those that live the cult (salafists; wahhabists; ISIS) are the “real islam” and the murmuring or hushed “peaceful” majority who only grudgingly demur, know it.

      We have to fight this ideology and beat it. We can. It can be thrashed. The first step is to drop our obligatory “respect” for it. It can get stuffed.

  • Terence Hale

    Isis was married to Osiris, with whom she conceived Horus . Osiris was murdered by Set who cut things up and spread them out. As Mr. Cameron can tell you from his holiday place, this is why the eye of Osiris is on all boats

  • falcons1988

    This problem with ISIS, Al Queada, Hezbollah, Hamas, Taliban, Al Nusra…. right across the Middle-East and North Africa all have one thing in common; they are all slaves to Muhammad. This problem is not a new problem, it has been around for 1400 centuries. The cycle of vengeance and hatred remains unbroken. In Iraq where ISIS have been killing Christians and forcing those who surrender to pay a tax are following Surah 9:29 and all the evil passages to the letter. Bombing Iraq, will just strengthen their resolve. I do think we, as a nation, need to take radical measures, what those are, is certainly up for debate.

    • southerner

      I agree, radical measures are what’s called for. I think whatever we do will outrage those involved anyway so we might as well get on with it. If only we had politicians with the guts to stand up and do what’s right.

      • Terry Field

        Be tough with the fuzzy wuzzies.
        Pink gin, anyone?

    • saffrin

      I’ll tell you something else they all have in common. They’ve all been supplied with arms from those Western countries now gearing-up to fight them off.

      • falcons1988

        Bonkers! The best thing for the west to do is to implement a complete arms, trade and humanitarian aid embargo. Bomb the airfields, bomb the ports and ring-fence the area. Cut-off all supply! Without arms, it makes killing each other that little bit more difficult without funds they can’t purchase anything and without food they can’t fight or survive.

        • Terry Field

          send a gunship.
          Time for tiffin.

        • monsieur_charlie

          It would be more effective to ring fence the area and then supply them all with enough arms to sort themselves out (an American general suggested this when they were driven out of Somalia a few years ago). If it worked we would then have only one group to deal with.

    • Terry Field

      no, 1400 years.

      • falcons1988

        thank you!

    • John Vince

      well said Falcon

  • Jackthesmilingblack

    The acid test is “is Iraq better off because of US intervention”? I think not.

  • Liberty

    The 2003 error was to attack the wrong enemy although we didn’t know it the time. The enemy is Islamism. Saddam was a brute but he was our brute in that he contained Islamism both in Iraq and Iran. He had no WMDs, that was a concocted excuse to invade. We should have confined ourselves with protecting the Kurds, marsh Arabs, et al that he sought to destroy.

    The real enemy showed up as soon as they could get at us, Iran and Syria. With the great Satan in Iraq with it’s wooly minded idealism they were easy meat. No trouble for them bombing infrastructure, the UN, markets, policemen, at al. They care nothing for human life, they are utterly ruthless. Israel cautioned against going in because of certain subversion from Iran and Syria so told the US to build a fence – whatever the cost – or else fail. And so it proved.

    Now we know the enemy but taking our time to decide what to do. Confronting IS is a good start but we are riven by colonial guilt about confronting their offshoots in Hamas, Hezbollah, Boko Haram, et al. and their backers Iran, Turkey and Qatar. Even when their offshoots in Holland, the UK and France slaughter on the streets we indulge, appease, do not confront. We need to realise that this is an existential threat. We are infinitely more powerful than them. We have to crush them will all means or else a new dark age will fall.

    We aetc. We don’t want a fight so we appease and push Israel to do likecan’t decide whether to just be nice adn they will come round like a at any costetcthat had their real enemy at their mercy,

  • saffrin

    I knew it would all end bad when Iraqi’ civilians were robbing their own local local hospitals and government buildings of beds, furniture, computers and anything they could carry. The reasoning being, as there was no longer a government, those items no longer belonged to anybody.
    The conclusion being, evidence of their heads being screwed on wrong and if they don’t think like us, how can we expect them to act civilised like us?

  • whs1954

    How to miss the completely obvious.

    1) ISIS if it wins in Iraq and Syria and succeeds in forming a Caliphate, however ludicrous and made out of miles of nothing but sand and Christian corpses, poses a threat to the entire stability of the Middle East and consequently the world. Do you want a rogue state set up from which a new Al-Qaeda could launch forth against anyone it liked?

    2) America, and Britain, both have a moral right and a moral duty to act as the world’s policeman. Iraq isn’t going to sort out ISIS on its own; Syria isn’t, either. Whether we like it or not (and I know most people don’t and would prefer to think of non-tourist-location foreign countries as “a far off land of which we know little”) it is our, the West’s, job to sort these matters out.

    • Terry Field

      No Britoland has no further responsibiliy. The risks you describe are unquantified – what do you actually think they are.
      Be specific; do not waffle.

    • pnkearns

      How to miss the completely obvious…?

      1. Nothing will stop a Sunni state, ISIS or otherwise, from forming in the region of the caliphate. The dominance of Sunni tribes and Sunni population of the region make sure of that.

      2. America is not the world’s cop. We were asked to leave Iraq. We left. Syria has never been an ally or national interest of the U.S. I repeat, the U.S. is not the world’s cop.

    • Tom M

      America and Britian have a right to act in our own self interest. At the moment we have religious psychopaths running amok in the Middle East. If they get hold and create anything like a state out of Iraq and or Syria someone somewhere will support and arm them. They could then be strengthened in their expansionist resolve sufficiently to take on a bigger prize, say Pakistan. Pakistan is not a stable country and could easily go rogue to extremists. Pakistan the nuclear jewel in the crown of Islamists. Once nuclear armed they can go toe to toe with Israel. If Israel falls then they will seek other targets. No prizes for guessing how this will effect the West. It’s all quite possible with
      faint sounds of the communist ” Domino Theory ” here. And for quite a while and quite a few Western lives that theory worked too.

    • Terry Field

      They are without financial capacity so to do. YOU ARE A PRIGGISH DREAMER.
      You are generous with Anglo-Amerivcan lives.
      I bet you would be scared shit*ess in any sort of fight.

  • Richard Wiser

    I agree, radical measures are what’s called for. For the sake of these people suffering lets stand for something honorable again. Destroy ISIS before its to late.

  • Bonkim

    Solutions will have to come from within the region to take root – not shock and awe from outside.

  • Augustus

    “So now Obama is back for another bite at the Iraqi apple”

    Is he? it’s not a very big apple so far, is it? Because what exactly is his mission? With him defending the Muslim religion whenever he can, and even standing in front of the UN telling the world he will defend the Muslim religion, what is his mission? Perhaps it’s to turn the United States into a Muslim State. Who knows? Mission on it’s way to being accomplished, perhaps?

  • mahatmacoatmabag

    ”The West isn’t the solution in Iraq. It’s the problem”

    In order to solve a problem you have to recognize what the problem actually is.

    The problem is Iraq.

    Iraq is a fiction created by Great Britain to reward the Arabs for helping Col. T.E. Lawrence blow up a few Turkish civilian trains which had absolutely no effect on the outcome of the campaign waged by Gen. Allenby against the main Turkish army in the Levant.

    No such country ever existed before in the mid-east & lumping together Kurdistan , northern Levant & Mesopotamia together to reward the Arab bandit chieftain Feisal , is the core of the problem .

    Iraq has no logical basis for its existence , it needs to be made into a Kurdish state , a Sunni northern Levant state & a Shiite Mesopotamian state , with a fair division of the regions only resource – Oil

  • MissDemeanor

    without the evil west, and especially Israel, the peaceful Muslims would skip around the world, flowers in hand, braiding each other’s beards and singing kumbaya in a brotherly circle

    you know, instead of beheading and bombing the chit out of one another…

    oh yeah, and I’d love to know how anything in the world, could be worse and more extreme than Islamist terrorism, ISIS included

    • BoiledCabbage

      commercials for coke cola?

  • pnkearns

    I have to agree with the author. Any intervention by the West, other than humanitarian aid, will just be seen as the newest “crusader” by all sects/tribes/groups to jointly use for daily target practice and an easy political punching bag for any and all grievances and short comings.

    Let the “peaceful” Muslims settle their differences, even if that means they happily kill each other “in peace”.

  • Augustus

    In reality the Islamic State is a ragtag army that has managed to defeat the weak and anaemic Iraqi army. The only armed force that is working to repel it is the militiamen who comprise the Kurdish Peshmerga who are desperately pleading for American assistance. The rape of Yazidi and Christian women, mass graves where people have also been buried alive, and even decapitation, are all par for the course in their war against the infidels. There may be a few small differences, but the various radical Islamist organizations in the region: the Islamic State, the al-Nusra Front, Islamic Jihad and Hamas are all predicated on the same ideas and religious precepts; a worldwide Islamic caliphate that will arise through violent means and will eliminate its enemies, the Christians and the Jews, religions that are irrelevant in the eyes of Islam. Until now, these terrorist organizations were limited by prevailing circumstances and powerful counterforces, but today they are able to re-enact the methods employed by Mohammed in his defeats of Arab infidels – massacres, expulsions, rape, mass graves. The Yazidis and the Christians of today are experiencing first-hand what the Jews of the Arabian peninsula experienced in the seventh century. The world is now filled with raging Islamist fires, and it’s a blaze with many epicentres enabling Islamic terrorism to hit numerous countries all over the Middle East, Africa, and even European cities that are home to Islamic communities that grow ever larger. Some people have even given up hope ever one day extinguishing those fires.

    • Terry Field

      Ragtag armies achieve success by belief by brotherly terror and togetherness.
      As in Ho Chi MInh in North Vietnam, Alexander the Great, The Great Khan, etc.
      Tinpot military capacity, but fearless warriors, with belief and absolutely no fear of death, in contrast to the nodding heads the US armed after they destroyed the Baath Party in Iraq.
      Belief is everything. Britain has no belief. It is ripe for Islamic colonisation because it has no self-drive, no self-awareness, no desire to keep its civilisation going. Indeed, since 1945 the left has comprehensively smashed the pride in a great past that our forbears quite properly had to sustain their heroic endeavours.
      If Britain believes in nothing except continued consumption of goods, does it even matter if it dis-appears into a new Caliphate in the next half-century?????

      • Augustus

        Seen in that light, of course, the success of the Islamic State and their crusade of death is not surprising. But perhaps, before it is too late, a new crusader alliance will emerge to prevent these 21st Century Islamists from realizing their worldwide goal of spreading Islam by force, rather than only by ‘dawah’ or proselytizing.

        • Terry Field

          There may be a reaction by their near neighbours, but their societies are riven and weak, so may be less than effective against this searing centre of belief.
          What ISIS is doing is prosecuting the clearly stated third stage of Jihad as expostulated in the Koran. They are removing by conversion or death the unbelievers in their Caliphate.
          Dawah is an earlier stage where the moslems do not constitute a majority in an unbelieving state.
          That is why your description of Islamists is too complacent, and comes from the school of ‘most are ‘moderate’, small numbers are ‘radicalised’ thinking.
          They are moslem.
          Nothing more or less.
          They have read it.
          They believe it.
          And if you consider such a written political document to be more than dangerous for non-Islamic states, because you amend your view about ‘islamists’ as compared to the pleasantly reasonable ‘others’, you would at least be opening your eyes a little.
          And the word ‘crusade’ needs to be never uttered again. For everyone’s sake.

      • Kennybhoy

        “If Britain believes in nothing except continued consumption of goods, does it even matter if it dis-appears into a new Caliphate in the next half-century?????”

        Wise words.

      • MikeF

        Nothing ragtag about the army of Alexander of Macedon – it was the supreme fighting force of its age, thanks to the efforts of his father. But you are right that nothing is possible without self-belief and pride in your own culture.

        • Terry Field

          Yes, the dodgy bit of my note, correctly picked up by you.
          I assume you had two boiled eggs for breakfast this morning in order to achieve suck penetrating acuity.

          • MikeF

            Thanks but there is one parallel between ISIS and Alexander of Macedon specifically – a state of mind comprising a mix of obsessional belief, utter ruthlessness and indifference to the consequences of your own actions on others. The difference is that ISIS believe in nothing but Islam and Alexander believed in nothing but himself.

          • Terry Field

            I asume nobody serious will confront this new local power. The supply of arms to surrogates will cause more real Moslems to join the ISIS centre. The upside would be the depopulation of most of Bradford and inner Birmingham.

  • mahatmacoatmabag

    the Middle-East was having trouble
    What a sad, sad story
    Needed a new leader to restore
    Its former glory
    Where, oh, where was he?
    Where could that man be?
    We looked around and then we found
    The man for you and me
    Where, oh, where was he?
    Where could that man be?
    We looked around and then we found
    The man for you and me!
    And now it’s…
    Arab Springtime for Obama and Arabia
    Mesopotamia is happy and gay!
    We’re beheading to a faster pace
    Look out, here comes the master race!
    Arab Springtime for Obama and Arabia
    Mesopotamia in a fine mess once more!
    Arab Springtime for Obama and Arabia
    Watch out, Europe
    ISIS is going on tour!

    • MissDemeanor

      wait a minute

      is this supposed to sung with the Mel Brook’s Melody of ‘Springtime for Hitler’ in the background?

      you’re a genius!

      • mahatmacoatmabag

        Exactly , you win the prize – bragging rights , for being the first reader to figure out it was a spoof on the lyrics of ‘Springtime for Hitler’

        I saw the ‘Producers’ in the West End at the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane, back in 2006 & have the American version with Zero Mostel and Gene Wilder on DVD

  • Trofim

    So you think ISIS begins and ends in Iraq do you? Come to Birmingham UK, for instance postal district B10 where every day you will rubbing shoulders with jihadis in waiting, and where, if looks could kill, every infidel in the area would be dead after Friday prayers. Europe has a massive fifth column within it, and the government has not a clue what to do about it, apart from telling us it’s just a few bad apples, and nothing to do with real Islam. Islam is Europe’s most massive social problem, and growing. The ISIS black flag was briefly flown in East London and recruiters have been handing out leaflets on Oxford Street. Islam is a cancer. I wouldn’t mind if it was just a cancer in the Middle East, but it’s everywhere, and none of our leaders knows what to do. We shouldn’t be squabbling with Putin – we should working and fighting together against our common enemy.

    • Terry Field

      Nothing will be done. The country is utterly ruined.
      Cameron converted last week he is now AlHenleyki.

    • sebastian2

      You are, I fear, correct. Certainly the Government seems clueless. If they act, the mythical moderate majority (whoever they are – the Warsis; the so called Lord Ahmeds: these failed experiments in inclusiveness) will rebel in “defence” of their poisonous cult. If they don’t act, the jihadis-in-waiting (and there are many) will spread hate and terror – as they already do. Either way, there will be trouble. If the Home Office thinks this will all go away as jobs, welfare, democracy, medical services and education work like vanishing cream on disgruntled mohammedan triumphalism, dormant or otherwise, then they delude themselves.

      Faced with this prospect, nothing we do will be perfect. But standing up to this now and denouncing the cult that incites and justifies this slow segregation of communities and the seeding of jihad against the otherwise remarkably tolerant “host” society, seems the lesser of two evils. The greater? The greater is to do nothing – or almost nothing – until matters worsen. So, make a choice before a choice is made for you.

    • BoiledCabbage

      You should be writing the article, not Andrew Bacevitch, who seems a little adrift on these pages.

  • JEK68

    Stopped reading at the point where he says that Saddam Hussein’s Iraq was stable, he clearly doesn’t know what he is talking about.

    • Mike

      Its all relative, it was stable compared to today.

      • JEK68

        American and British planes flying over Iraq for 12 years preventing a genocide of the Kurds, with sectarianism being kept bubbling under the surface, while Iraq corrupted the UN and a regime that desperately wanted to acquire WMD does not sound like stability to me.

  • cartimandua

    There are 100 million in the youth bulge of the MENA region and that is NOT down to the West but to primitive cultures mostly Muslim who treat women like livestock.
    That’s the reason for the “Arab Spring” and conflict in every Muslim and tribal country.
    Saddam killed 2 million people so “stability” came at a huge cost.

    • Mike

      I understand your sentiments but remember, they don’t consider us the good guys. Christianity had to work it out for itself during its genocidal phase and just like childen have to learn from bitter experience whats right or wrong, these countries need to do likewise.

      Its patronising of western leaders to think they can ‘tame’ these rogues states just as many parents think they can control their kids. We all have to learn the hard way for ourselves and unfortunately for people of the Islamic faith, it will be much harder for them than our kids growing up in the west. When Muslims wake up and disown the barbaric parts of Islam as Christians did with the excess’s of Christianity, perhaps the blood letting will abate.

      • cartimandua

        Meanwhile the West is overwhelmed by fleeing millions (who don’t go to Russia China or Iran), poorer countries struggle to help those millions (Lebanon Turkey Jordan.), and the oil price will rise starving millions and crashing economies.
        We would need to wall off globalism in one way while keeping oil and trade flowing (or we don’t eat).
        We can refuse refugees but we would have to man up and leave the EU. There are a lot of people just waiting at Calais.

        • Mike

          I’ve long advocated ‘walling’ the west from dangerous countries and it worked against the USSR although it was they who walled themselves in and destroyed themselves in the process.

          There’s no reason why it shouldn’t work here either. The only thing of some importance is oil but that is reducing year on year. The USA is not dependant on the middle east for oil and neither is the west. Sure it will cost more compared to the relatively cheaper oil in the Middle East but balance that against the costs in lives and money in launching wars in the area, I’m convinced that not buying more expensive oil is cheaper than going to war.

          Create a DMZ buffer zone around the middle east, no trade with them, ensure no one gets out and within 100 years, their genocidal wars and no access to money or arms will purge the area of Islamic psychos, turn Islam into a benign religion and the main issues will be solved. That will be the quickest way to make them implement some form of democracy and it wont cost us any lives on our side.

        • sebastian2

          Good point. Most (perhaps all) of those seeking entry are males. Males who will be looking for females and a “right to family life”, muslim style. I’ll just add that once in Britain, there’s a strong risk that they will replicate the very societies they’ve fled from – but at our expense. Can we not see signs of this now? This has to be halted.

  • Mike

    I agree with the headlines, the west is not the solution to Iraq or anywhere else in Islamic controlled countries. The solution is in their own hands and until they’ve spilled enough blood and killed millions more of their own, they wont let up from genocidal tendencies. They need a serious blood letting to get it out of their system and change Islam to a more benign religion and that will take a long time.

  • FedUpWithWelfareStates

    The Solution? Go home, secure your own borders, deport ALL Illegal Aliens, Outlaw violent gangs, get rid of any & all restrictive gun laws, establish a Home Guard (state run militias 16-60 years old), restrict visas to properly vetted travelers, trade equally with partners, only have Mutual Defense Treaties with countries who can actually come to your aid, close the majority of overseas bases but maintain a very robust & active deployment & training calendar, establish a very robust naval presence w/an appropriate number of MEUs, do not be afraid of deploying Army & SOF on naval platforms, perform surgical strikes anywhere/time that is needed or the opportunity arises…Let the Mid-east Burn!

  • Jackthesmilingblack

    If you’re not part of the solution you’re part of the problem.

    “11 years after George W. Bush went his father one better”

    Shouldn’t that be … went one better than his father …?

  • wyseeit

    and what his answer to stand by and let things sort themselves out. What a pompous ass. easy to say from the comfort of his house.

    • Bacevich is an Anti American loon

      • “Bacevich is an Anti American loon”

        If only you knew the true identities of anti-Americans, they’re not anti-American, they’re anti-bou…. fill in the missing letters, so I’ll know you get it.

      • abgood

        Bacevich is a U.S. Army colonel (armored). He’s hardly anti-American.
        His prescription — let our strongest regional allies take care of the situation — is one that UK and U.S. governments of an earlier generation would have considered a no-brainer. The apocalyptic tenor of the anti-Muslim, anti-immigration rhetoric pervading many of these comments is frightening.

  • Daniel W Kauffman Jr

    “he 2003 Anglo-American invasion created the opening for the jihadists in the first place. Where there had been stability, US and British forces sowed the seeds of anarchy” And getting rid of Hitler and the Nazis left the field free for Stalin and the Marxists

    • abgood

      It’s always tempting to see the world through a single historical prism: Sarajevo, Munich, Yalta, Vietnam, Iraq, take your pick. In 1956, Eden looked at the Middle East and saw central Europe in 1938. It was easier than adjusting his vision to encompass reality. LBJ used to say that Vietnam was “just like the Alamo.” Turned out he was right. Just not in a good way.

  • PoliticalScience101

    Hundreds of thousands of deaths in Iraq–according to some estimates there have been over a milliion lives lost if you take into account the last 25 years. There are countless more refugees and displacements, people fled their homes on a large scale for safety–the country is in violent shambles, and most Americans are completely blind to the US contribution to this. MSM mentions Saddam’s use of chemical weapons–well what about ruthless US firing squads, house-to-house raids, illegal imprisonment, indiscriminate bombing, and the aftermath of birth-defect-inducing and cancer-causing depleted uranium from our “targeted” weapons which will haunt the Iraqi people for lifetimes? Unfortunately most people do not understand the wreckage caused by American forces. If U.S government really wanted to get rid of Saddam then it could have been accomplished with a few million bucks and a targeted assassination. But, No, assassination is against our policy–we have to invade the whole country with a massive army instead and destroy the lives and basic infrastructure of the common people while we incite long-standing hatred..

    • cartimandua

      Saddam killed 2 million people. Iraqis kept on killing each other post Saddam. It is what Muslims do.

  • PoliticalScience101

    Every single Mid-East country that we trade with is run by dictators, and Neo- Cons just didn’t like Saddam Hussein for some reason while having very little issues with the Saudi government or similar ones in Qatar, Kuwait, the UAE and so on.. United States gave chemical weapons to Saddam to use against his own..

    As Iraq descends into chaos again, more than a decade after “Mission Accomplished,” media commentators and politicians have mostly agreed upon calling the war a “mistake.” But the “mistake” rhetoric is the language of denial, not contrition: it
    minimizes the Iraq War’s disastrous consequences, removes blame, and deprives
    Americans of any chance to learn from our generation’s foreign policy disaster.
    The Iraq War was not a “mistake” — it resulted from calculated
    deception. The painful, unvarnished fact is that we were lied to by our president and congress. Now is the time to have the willingness to say that. In fact, the truth about Iraq was widely available, but it was ignored. There were no WMD. Saddam Hussein had nothing to do with 9/11. The war wasn’t about liberating the Iraqi people nithere..

    • BS. Kuwait and UAE and Saudi do not mass murder their own citizens.

    • “and Neo- Cons just didn’t like Saddam Hussein for some reason”

      Oh, it was nothing personnel. The 1990 Iraq War was to remove Iraq’s oil supplies from the world market, because soon the USSR would fake its collapse and economy, but needed oil prices not to tank, so Iraq’s oil was closed off to export. Then by 2000 the worlds oil supplies were becoming tight (especially for China) with prices rising too much due to India’s emergence on the economic scene, so Moscow ordered Washington, DC to open up Iraq’s oil to world export, hence the illegal 2003 Gulf War, and why China is the major winner thanks to the war, winning most of the Iraqi government oil contracts.

  • “The West isn’t the solution in Iraq. It’s the problem”

    In fact, it’s the USSR & allies that’s tasking the West’s foreign policy.

    “No doubt the ‘Islamic State’ poses some danger. Direct western intervention will only make it more dangerous”

    Islamic State was prepped inside Turkey; where do you think IS and all those hundreds of trucks it has came from?

    For those not in the know yet, the West was co-opted decades before the fake collapse of the USSR in late 1991, that’s why the West refused to (1) verify the collapse, even though the survival of the West depends on verification; (2) refused to de-Communize the Soviet Armed Forces officer corps (90% so officered); and (3) refused to de-mobilize the six-million vigilantes that assisted the Soviet Ministry of Interior and police in controlling the populations in the larger Soviet cities.

    What is needed in the West are new political parties where candidates are screened, including polygraphed. It’s incredulous that the West allows unscreened politicians to hold the fate of the West in their hands.

  • Anti American Leftists like the author are why the world is a mess. For decades they protected mad men like Saddam and Assad.

    • Saddam is still alive! I thought Canadians payed attention to the news. Didn’t you notice the Saddam “captured” wasn’t the Saddam we all knew and loved!

      • I hope you are high and joking. Or maybe you’re being sarcastic?

        • “I hope you are high and joking.”

          I’m deadly serious, Canadian! And you’re supposed to already know this! What’s the use of being Canadian and also uninformed? Being uninformed is for us Americans!

          Anyway, now you know, so do some research…the research you’ll end up doing will be quick, by the way!

    • PoliticalScience101

      Unfortunately it’s individuals like you are why sociopaths / psychopaths have managed to run this country for decades..
      Sounds like you “drank the Kook Aid” of right vs. left paradigm, I no personal gain in any of this but a selfless act intended to wake up and assist my fellow countryman as to the illegal and despotic actions of this government. You must be a paid hack or and dulitided or maybe both?

      • Take your meds and stop listening to Alex Jones. You’ll be fine.

    • abgood

      Bacevich is neither anti-American nor a leftist. He simply believes after decades of military experience that the U.S. long ago overshot the limits of what military power can do. The proof is that we keep doing the same things and getting worse results.

    • abgood

      That comment is very ill-informed.

    • EvidenceBase

      Uhm, The right wing neocon Americans protected Saddam for years. He was a staunch ally before, during and after the atrocities for which he was finally convicted and hung. Or don’t you remember Rumsfeld going there to brown-nose him and shore up deals when he was an ally’? Leftists didn’t protect Saddam. Bush #1 even let him stay in power after Iraq war 1 to keep the oil flowing and prevent uprising that would have overthrown Saddam 20 years earlier. Your statement is one of the dumbest I’ve ever heard and shows a staggering lack of recollection of the historical facts

      • Michel Starker

        Historical facts, you say? I believe Bush Sr went as far as the UN did in Desert Storm by removing the Iraqi forces from Kuwait. Regime change, though desired by the US was not voted for by the UN. Thus Bush 41 stopped at the Kuwait Iraqi border in Desert Storm.

  • PoliticalScience101

    Never existed a more stupid, apathetic, brainwashed and manipulated class of people who support the evil in US “elected” office. Nothing will get the couch potatoes off of their asses in masses and into the streets to put an end to their planned destruction. As the bible tells us, unimaginable oppression that the world has never seen before, is coming our way and will be supported by the brainwashed American men in uniform, as they have been told by their master the State….
    Things will get much, much worse before they will ever get better.
    Ironically, our only hope is that the US and it’s funded intergalactic killing machine “MIC” will run out of money before they eliminate all humanity..
    God Help Us..

    • Feel free to move to Iran or North Korea. I am sure you’ll love their brand of ‘democracy’

      • PoliticalScience101

        Based on your elementary comments sounds like you are a Metrosexual Urbanite lover of Bush & Barack and of state power over the individual and natural law..

    • EvidenceBase

      If you’re turning to the Bible and ‘God help us’ for answers and solutions, you are part of the problem. Religion solves zero, yet creates conflict the world-over. There is no god. Jesus probably did not even exist and the entire god industry is a multilevel marketing scam of untold proportion that has most of the world enslaved due to stupidity. Like people who ‘pray’ when they have cancer, they are wasting their energy. We live with brains and free will and action for a reason. Remember, as fervently as you believe in your god there are others who believe in theirs just as much if not more. What makes your god so special? Just the one you were taught to believe like Santa and the Easter bunny since you were a kid and stopped being an inquisitive scientific being asking logical questions because the answer was always ‘god’. The world needs less of that and more solutions. Example: idiot doctor thanks ‘god for saving him after getting experimental ebola serum. So I guess god just hates and kills african people in massive quantities and elided to save one guy because he was a white american who prayed? People use god to explain everything but never carry out their thoughts to logical extensions. Religion is all baloney. Read ‘The God Delusion’ and you will se that every Jesus story existed a 1000 years before jesus – we’re even recycling gods and their miracles… In this day an age with smartphones and computers and science and medication why we waste our lives believing that crap is totally beyond me.

  • HS2

    No, it is not. Turkey above all is the problem.

  • jesseventura2

    Can islam and fantasy allah keeping huge numbers in poverty and breeding like dogs really succeed?
    Tell us about muslim inventions like motor cars airplanes technology?

  • tim watts

    so we should follow the bible? yes?

  • sebastian2

    An interesting 20:20 hindsight view. We got it wrong. Things might have been more stable – better – if we’d left well alone. Forget Saddam’s megalomania; sweep Assad’s brutality under the carpet; close your eyes to Hezbollah, Hamas, the ikhwan muslimin; turn politely aside from the Mullahs’ shi’ia fantasies; and so forth.

    But who can really say things would’ve been calmer, more controlled, less inflammable had we indulged in this comprehensive disregard? A hard question to answer. Easier, is to speculate quite accurately on what the Middle East’s most notorious and destructive Dodgy Dossier compels its readers to do with lavish promises of paradise if they obey and gruesome assurances of punishment and retribution if they don’t. And so the difficulty seems to me not to be what various tyrants did or didn’t do with our involvement or interference or not, or how things might have been otherwise, but what this bloody creed – to which the majority variously subscribes (or appear to from whatever motives) – requires of them. The issue is not our incompetent foreign policy – even though it might be utterly so – but religious madness. The madness of a totalitarian and uncompromising medieval cult that is intrinsically bellicose and committed to struggle (jihad) until all opposition is destroyed: unbelievers either converted or dead.

    This tendency – ever present – transcends anything the west may have caused. My sense is that until the ideology – which prohibits criticism, by the way – is dismantled and shown up for the nonsense it is, we will never be rid of the savagery and strife it incites or inspires. The cure is not quarantine but antidote.

    • cartimandua

      You cannot take from people the only thing which makes them feel loved.
      You sure can wind back the fundy customs though.

    • Michel Starker

      You sir have struck the nail quite squarely. And, cartimandua added just what was needed to just about describe the entire problem. All that said. what is the solution? Hope for a Gandhi to be born into the cult? S/He would not make it to an age of double digits before having an “Honor Killing” such a ridiculous combining of words.

      Engaged in asymmetrical warfare, they strike where they choose making the entire world a potential battlefield and if not them it is their copycats and mindless murders nonetheless. They can operate without a central command authority and use whatever documents they choose to determine their rules of engagement. Their “Law of Land Warfare” is whatever they say it is and can twist centuries old lines which have been interpreted a few times to display themselves on the “moral high ground” with every reprehensible act of savagery. They have no central government to pass laws they must obey or to vote for the funds needed when they can just strike a city with banks full of cash. Their leadership never have to worry about a grandmother writing to a member of congress to complain about little Johnny having to run until he was exhausted and their forces have no Inspectors General to act as Ombudsmen. Each cell is a fully independently operated force that may not even qualify to rise to the level of a franchise. And the good news for the rest of us, at least for now, is we can be glad that every little scout troop of Jihadists has several members who aspire to one day lead all of the unified scout troops and be the leader of the entire world.
      Over history, thousands of years is enough to establish a pattern; they rise up for many different reasons and decide yet again that it is finally their turn to rule the world. We can talk about Western expansionism, various imbroglios, military adventures, acts of retribution over the thousands of years, along with more advanced colonial powers sitting in clubs with dodgy maps drawing lines and declaring where foreign borders would be, usually establishing an easily defined topographically significant landmark. These lines were drawn through the middle of probably hundreds of cultures thus dividing the tribal enclaves so when nations began to centralize; the various cultures found themselves divided and suddenly aligned with dominant cultures of the brand new nations and now being instructed to turn their backs on their relatives and tribal customs. Just look at the beginnings of wars in Africa, Kashmir, the Balkans, Southeast Asia, Persia, South, Central and North America and another fifty more detailed locations you can name. There have been many ethnic cleansings, another quite unfortunate pairing of words.

      Jihadists have never been fully successful and never will be. for very long at least as the morally corrupt leaders begin to let it be known that some followers are more equal than others. It was always interesting to me when I flew between European countries and Middle Eastern countries how everyone boarded in decidedly western wear and landed with the majority of the passengers in traditional garb. The beautiful women with the cleavages, nice legs and a huge assortment of bling, were now just part of a face peering out of a laundry bag, albeit a very nicely stitched silk laundry bag.

      Though Ideologues are fierce fighters, their emotions can be their worst enemy and no one recently has played that stratagem very well. Psychological Operations work very well with an undereducated foe. I’m not sure the rote memorizations of the most inflammatory parts of their cult manual will ward off the cleverly made ruses most modern forces have cultivated for this important part of warfare.
      I just cannot see a leader rising among them to lead them away from 72 virgins (they may be earthworms, but still virgins) and the lure of bagging a bunch of infidels.
      I am sorry to report, but one sad fact of warfare I have learned, whether it is on an international scale or combatant against combatant – The war or fight is never over until the loser says it is or is unable to continue. A wannabe victor can never just draw a line in the carpet and say, “Its over. We WON!” if a single foe continues to fight. Some might remind me about holdouts in just about every war ever fought who continued to fight even though their national government had surrendered. With, ISIS or ISIL, Al Qaeda, Hezbollah, the PLO, they are fighting for an Ideology and not a national government. For their Ideology to surrender, they would have to step away from their entire culture and everything they have ever learned about the elephant so many blind religious scholars have been describing a small part of and calling it their “Higher Power” and in many religions, any other part of the elephant just another infidel.
      I am afraid their cultural design has set them all up to be “suicide bombers”.

      Many other religions have been hijacked by despoilers and tyrants who were marginalized by the rational thinkers left in the religion. I’m thinking particularly about the Ku Klux Klan and the picture of thousands of them marching in their sheets through the streets of Washington D.C.. They must have seemed unstoppable to many Christians, and yet cooler minds prevailed. We are still a largely bigoted country as bigots come in all sizes, ethnicities, cultures and races, but the Christians took back their religion and marginalized the few who used the most inflammatory parts to justify their horrendous acts.
      I hope Muslims can take the parts written centuries ago and put them in historical perspective as almost all Christians have done and begin to marginalize the destroyers in their religion and make tolerance for those with different beliefs a cornerstone of the modern Muslim. In the nuclear age, I think this may be their last chance. There may be millions or billions who will die, but they will not prevail.

      • sebastian2

        A comprehensive and very interesting post. Thank you.

  • cartimandua

    Saddam would have had nukes in months after sanctions were lifted. He would have had access to the largest WMD stocks the world has known, the Soviet arsenal . Since 2001 it has been made safer thanks to Russia and help from the G20.
    So a Saddam with nukes hmmn well genocides with impunity to women and minorities and oh yes he would have kicked off at Iran because they already encroached into Iraqi oil fields.

    • EvidenceBase

      Would seem to fly in the face of everything learned during the invasion when no WMD or capabilities were found. Saddam *did* actually have some WMDs – the leftovers that US gave him or knew he had when he was an ally, gassing people and such (he was a full ally before, during and after the atrocities which he was convicted of and hung form). It was only when he defied the US in Kuwait that he became an enemy. His scientists were invited to the US for nuclear and other projects until then. We created that monster that we subsequently but inelegantly destroyed. Now the chaos, weapons, money and power-vacuum we’ve left has lead to ISIS. ISIS is an unintentional US creation and I understand the rest of the world wanting to stay out of it. The conflict with religious Islam is coming to a head and the US will get sucked into it somehow – either by ongoing attacks on allies or if we wait there will eventually be a mass-scale terrorist action. The question is how to respond. My contention is that full scale drone warfare and recon be used as well as a ‘repositioning’ of all that useless NSA activity directed towards real hacking against real enemies like ISIS, not watching people on Facebook and hacking people’s home PCs. We have to gear up for war with ISIS and I hope Obama is doing so, even if silently to avoid the appearance of action which might upset this up and coming threat.

  • cartimandua

    Bottom line there are 100 million in the youth bulge of the MENA region. There are not enough jobs. Arab and Muslim institutions are too corrupt and inadequate to produce
    jobs for the young.
    So they migrate or fight.

  • cartimandua


    “Over the past half-century, the MENA region has undergone a demographic transition that is still unfolding. Although overall fertility rates are declining, there is a distinct bulge in the youth population. Over the coming decade, approximately 65% of the population of the region will be less than 24 years old. This will decline over time and the trend varies somewhat from country to country, but this demographic profile has major implications for the future of MENA societies and the broader region.

    3. A large youth cohort places major strains on educational facilities, the labour market and social services which, if unmet, often lead to social instability and radicalisation. It may at the same time reduce pressures in other areas such as health care because a younger population is generally healthier. This report examines the nature of the youth bulge, its implications for the economic, political and social future of countries in the region, and the impact these realities can have on NATO member countries.”

    • Terry Field

      This anticipated capacity for mass industrial warfare is the reason European powers have developed major anti-personnel weaponry, including , in Britain, low blast, low heat neutron bombs.
      The changed population relationship between Christian Europe and Moslem Middle East over the last two centuries further persuades that Islam is the future for Europe. Unless they all kill each other. Why, therefore, interfere in Iraq???

      • cartimandua

        One answer to a youth bulge conflict is stand off and let them kill each other… as long as they don’t export it via mass travel or mass communications which transmit the virus.
        We cannot stomach knowing that for instance tiny girls are chained to a fence and then have their hearts cut out ( A shia child in Syria).
        We cannot stomach knowing Christian women are sold as slaves and their menfolk tortured and beheaded, the children shot.
        Its not just us though. The entire world needs to react with justice to genocides first militarily and then later supporting war crimes trials.

        • Terry Field

          How do you try people who see right through you, and consider your religion, your culture, your life, an abomination?

  • Mike

    I would recommend everyone watch this video with Brigitte Gabriel for a history lesson in what happens to a predominantly Christian Lebanon that was taken over by Islamic terrorism. Its a salutary and frightening warning of what is happening in the west today not by by stealth, but by a clearly stated objective from Islamic militants aided by the left wing progressives in the west.


    • Terry Field

      It is happening in Britain today. Vis Birmingham, Oldham, London, Manchester, the old northern mill-towns, the margins of the cities, and the sheds of Slough.

  • lookout

    Make, yes make, the Muslim Arab terrorists leave Gaza and the West Bank, increase Israel’s borders to the Balfour declaration, get those countries who are democratic to aid Israel militarily and stand our ground on education, immigration and enticing terrorism.

  • tomgreaves

    The UK is facing a frightening scenario in which the identity and nature of the culture we have inherited from our history is under threat from within. There is no way that Muslims, no matter how enlightened and pacifist, can adopt our way of life. Our traditions are mutually exclusive and nothing, including the efforts of the politically correct, can integrate them. Neither logic nor a shared sense of reason can weave together cultural and historical differences that have been conflicted for over a thousand years. The idealism that inspired the European project of political integration spread to include integrating immigrants from societies that simple do not mix with our way of life. The intellectuals, idealists and the plain naive who sanctioned the mass immigration of Muslims have created a nightmare scenario that has already alienated many of the indigenous population. Muslims have laws, traditions, taboos, ethics and a philosophical vision of life that is utterly different from Christianity. It is not a matter of which religion is better but that the followers simply do not see the world in like minded ways. So called British Muslims are not British in the cultural sense, but have British identity papers. What happens when British cultural interests clash with the indigenous Muslim’s religious doctrines? Such a vision is not pleasant to envisage.

  • MountainousIpswich

    Huge problem with this analysis – ignore ISIS and they’ll take over half the Middle East and grow stronger all the time. No one here in the West wants another war – that’s why we’re arming the Peshmerga.

    What we have to do however is destroy ISIS heavy Weapons. Their weapons are stolen, they cannot replace them, but if we leave them then they will destroy the Peshmerga and Iraqi forces.

    We are pursuing the correct policy.

  • William_Brown

    It does rather seem that Assad and Saddam had something of a better understanding of how to deal with ISIS and other, similar radical Islamic outfits than we do in the west. Am I allowed to suggest this?

    • Lamia

      Yes, you are allowed to suggest that. Unfortunately there is a good deal to suggest that Assad has turned a blind eye to ISIS in the hope of discrediting his other civil war opponents by association, and has made a complete pig’s ear of doing anything to stop ISIS – i.e. he hasn’t dealt with them properly at all and failed to attack them when he could have before they grew too large. If anything, his cynical inaction has provided an illustration of how dangerous it is not to intervene against ISIS. You may not have noticed, but in recent days ISIS have seized two army bases and an airforce base in North Eastern Syria. For months, people in Syria have been demanding Assad use airpower against ISIS, to relieve isolated government forces in the north. Sound familiar?

      But in any case, let’s presume you are right. What do you propose? Building a time machine and going back to 2003?

  • evad666

    The west is doomed unless it addresses the ISIS recruiters, fundraisers and supporters our leaders allowed to take up residence here.

  • mikewaller

    Basevich missed his time in history, circa 1938 and Munich he would have been flavour of the month. At the very least, the USA has a clear moral obligation to smash all the high-tech American kit the radicals seized from the craven Iraqi army that ran away. Beyond that, contra much of the nonsense spouted below, what Western countries need to do is produce a very user friendly history of the Thirty Years War and make it a mandatory element of all history syllabuses. The benefit is that it could not be rubbished as a typical Western attack on Islam whilst making it transparently clear that their deeply repellent internal and external rivalries are nothing new and have great deal more to say about the deeply flawed human condition than they do about the wishes of any putative god.

  • Lynley

    Islam cured me of entrenched pacifism. Where would the world, especially the West, be now without the brass balls of Winston Churchill 70 years ago? We need the same thing today. Cowering in the corner whilst these thugs rampage through the world is morally bankrupt and will lead to defeat and humiliation.

  • Lynley

    To equate Professor Dawkins with a religious cult leader shows how far from any semblance of professional journalism the media has become. Dawkins speaks out against the horror of religion (ISIS, Christian paedophilia, et cetera). It seems anyone can call themselves “journalists” these days.

  • Bonkim

    The story goes back to early 20th century and the British mandate when shia/Sunni wars raged on the land and the British tried unsuccessfully to bring order – discovery oil made this a battleground for Western influence. I suppose the story will continue wit much action and reaction and no long term strategy.

  • BoiledCabbage

    Andrew J. Bacevich is adrift. Maybe he sees the world from a small room in America with the curtains closed?

    IS is a cancer within the Levant and throughout Europe because of the islamic diaspora who are embedded in every city. Europe, at least, has to act – there is no other option. The destruction of IS would take the engine out of the violent jihadi vehicle. The balance sheet of the misguided Iraq and Afghan campaigns has to be ignored – this is different.

    As for the US, the bombing of IS holding the Mosul dam, and the consequent recovery of the dam, took a WMD out of IS hands. Only the US has the skills and reach to do this. So rather than butting out, the US needs to butt in. IS has to be destroyed before they acquire real WMD. Even Obama gets this

  • Terry Field

    The post 1918 dispensation, including the secularisation of Turkey under Attaturk, and the de-theocratising of the middle east in general is falling away.The people in Iraq asking for intervention are like Bhutto in Pakistan – a tiny westernised rump in a sea of local islamic belief.
    The forces of renewal are recovery of the Islamic past are beginning to express themselves. This is happening – obviously – in Persia also.
    The evacuation of American power and reduced American concern allows this process to accelerate.
    Sending huns and warplanes is the same as the actions Rome took to prop up Britain in the decades before it through i the towel and evacuated the legions.
    The supply of hydromcarbons will fuel the murder, and accentuate the differences between local tribes – for that is what the region is composed of. Except for Persia, which is racially different (not according to the ‘we are all one race comedians’) and which will re-establish its Eastern suzerainty. West and north-west of the Gulf, and The Arab Sunnis will try to recover dominance. America can not stop that. It has applied the absurdity of popular democracy in the lands where Sunni and Shia cohabit in a manufactured state (Iraq) and that has failed utterly.
    Western policy is a catastrophe.
    The United States has no answers, and will not continue on this current path, simply because it will enflame all Arabs as it is seen to promote the Persian power, and bring forward the day of the Persian bomb.
    The continuity of supply of hydrocarbons in all forms from the Gulf is in great danger, and threatens Europe directly.
    If Russia backs Iran, then what choice does the West (in he form of Europe) have????
    If the USA continues to withdraw from the ‘region’, who will stop the theocratic majority overtaking the powers on the western side of the Gulf???
    No policy is applied to deal with these matters which are the stuff of survival for Europe, and particularly for Britain.
    We have infants n authority. Cameron and British ‘prowess’.
    If you are a Prime Minister and you crow like that, somebody is very likely to test your statement to destruction.
    Our finances are already a catastrophe.
    What have we to offer????

  • herbcaen

    Can anyone name a time when Mr Bacevich has been right about anything?

  • Matthew Meadow

    The great hope of restoration

    All humanity aches. Deep Within the core of human existence dwells a secret pain that continuously cries out that something has been lost.

    This message of full restoration is found everywhere in the word of God. It is the ‘current’ which is moving and inspiring the children of God in a clear direction through all our pains and ‘troubled waters’.

    The offer and plan of full restoration:


    The deceptive power of Islam:


  • Augustus

    Is there anything worse than Isis?

    No, because when they do come into Europe with 50,000 men, and start raiding streets, districts, cities and counties, and kill everyone who doesn’t agree with them, who’s going to stop them? The police? The army? Within no time ISIS could grow to millions of fighters by collecting followers wherever they go. Only perhaps Russia could resist them, but now we’re not friendly with them well just have to……

  • bengeo

    Sanctions on Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Turkey, now!

  • Turbojacket

    Religion poisons everything. Christians did it thousands of years ago. This is no different. Religion trumps rational thinking. Without it, the world would be a more sensible, logical, peaceful place as a whole.

  • Charlieford

    A couple of days after this was published
    people of Iraq, who with our support are taking the fight to ISIL, must
    continue coming together to expel these terrorists from their
    community…. From governments and peoples across the Middle East, there
    has to be a common effort to extract this cancer so that it does not
    spread. – See more at:
    http://pmcarpenter.blogs.com/#sthash.FfwQwmFO.dpuf, the president expained his actions in these terms of Iraqis, and peoples and governments across the Middle East, taking the fight to IS (with our help). He also refused to describe IS in theological terms, calling them a “cancer” rather than “evil.” In all this, I’d say Obama is closer to Professor Bacevich than he is to his predecessor in the White House. Can this work, without US boots on the ground? History doesn’t lead one to be optimistic, but time will tell. Andrew is absolutely right–if we make this our war and go all in, we’re guaranteed to lose. Obama knows that, but as president, he doesn’t have the option of doing absolutely nothing.

    people of Iraq, who with our support are taking the fight to ISIL, must
    continue coming together to expel these terrorists from their
    community…. From governments and peoples across the Middle East, there
    has to be a common effort to extract this cancer so that it does not
    spread. – See more at:

  • Lamia

    The antidote to the problem of Isis is clear: the application of
    military power to defeat the jihadists and lay the foundation for a
    humane and stable political order, beginning in Iraq but eventually
    extending across the Islamic world.

    That is a poor strawman. At the moment, the objective of those favouring intervention is simply to stop ISIS and prevent it expanding the territory in which it can commit atrocitirs. To this end, jeer all you like, thousands of innocent men, women and children have already actually been saved. Few people at this point are planning some glorious future for the Middle East, because few see one. Plenty, however, can see an imminent far worse one if ISIS are allowed to carry on unchecked.

    You would do well to at least represent your opponent’s arguments fairly, Mr Bacevich.

    Then you offer this as an argument against intervention:

    For starters, it glosses over the fact that military power in the form
    of the 2003 Anglo-American invasion created the opening for the
    jihadists in the first place. Where there had been stability, US and
    British forces sowed the seeds of anarchy. The so-called ‘Islamic State’
    whose forces in recent weeks have spread havoc across Iraq represents
    the most recent manifestation of this phenomenon. In short, as far as
    violent Islamic radicalism was concerned, the putative American solution
    has exacerbated rather than reduced the problem.

    That is an argument against the deposing of Saddam Hussein’s regime in 2003. It’s not a logical argument of any kind against the feasibility or indeed necessity of stopping ISIS in 2014. indeed, you might as well cite it as prior evidence that the US is capable of militarily defeating territory-holding enemies in Iraq.

    Now it doesn’t by any means follow that ‘those who broke it ought to be the ones to mend it’. That is poor logic and there is no compelling case for intervention solely on those grounds. But neither that view nor your own of US responsibility for what followed 2003 has any bearing on whether or not the US will be a necessary part of stopping ISIS in 2014. It will be. It can’t do it alone, but as things stand ISIS cannot be stopped without the US, in Iraq or beyond. Nor is the US responsible for the rise of ISIS in Syria. That was fostered by Assad’s regime and others and has now turned into something that no Arab country can control.

    And that’s without going beyond your limited understanding of where ISIS come from, how they have been allowed to thrive and who else has fostered them. You can tell yourself it’s all the USA’s fault, fold your arms and feel virtuous about feeling angry about it, but that won’t mean spit to the hundreds of thousands of innocent people at imminent risk from ISIS today.

    Nor is the above an argument for a full scale, boots on ground US invasion force. that would be madness. The US should, however, give all necessary aid to the Iraqi Kurds and that way at least preserve a safe haven for minorities and refugees, and also a western ally who have shown they are willing to pull their weight. It should also be prepared to assist other nations with air power and intelligence in order to help them stop ISIS. The main fighting must be done by Arab countries, including some enemies of the US.

    It is unthinkable to allow ISIS to continue unchecked. If you are opposed to the US being involved, fine, but then suggest a credible and likely alternative. At the moment I do not believe there is one. It is 2014, we are where we are, and it does no good to anyone but a bunch of headchoppers to sulk and insist that we should not be where we are.

  • Joker Davis

    Well, always keep in mind that defeating the foul and cankerous blight of marxism requires serious knowledge firepower. Arm yourself: http://amzn.to/1ozN3tC

  • parker rds

    I am sick of hearing about isis and Hamas I think Britain and the USA should jest nuke them and end it all

  • charlesrwilliams

    The main issue with our interventions in the Middle East was to get trapped in nation-building fantasies. There was no need to stay in Afghanistan or in Iraq after accomplishing limited objectives. The intervention in Libya was utterly foolish. In syria there was no serious opposition to Assad that would have been an improvement, as Syria’s Christians clearly understood. Now airstrikes against ISIS can weaken them because of the geography and ISIS is universally condemned. They are our enemies. We can damage them and let regional players pick up the pieces at little risk. We cannot fix the Middle East but we can defend ourselves against those who threaten us and commit crimes against humanity at little cost.

  • Stacie Stevens Markham

    And here lies the problem with the UK, Has there ever been a bigger bunch of sniveling cowards? Imagine allowing Hitler to carry forth his plans for taking over the entire world….This fantasy world that you seem to live in, all puppies and rainbows
    all the time, your outright refusal to believe that evil exists in this world….isnt this what has gotten your country into trouble to begin with? The UK will cease to exist as a christian or even sectarian nation very, very soon. I wonder if you will rethink your do nothing plan when a sword is held to your neck, with instruction to convert to Islam or die, and the Islamic flag is flying high over Windsor Castle?

  • Stacie Stevens Markham

    Trofim, first of all your citizens should be fighting for the right to arm themselves. We know very well that a bomb is very easy to make and very effective for committing mass murder…instead law abiding citizens have been denied the right to bear arms. It cerftainly gives me peace of mind…

  • BillFromGoldenHill

    Isis won’t last because they are too evil and iran and Shiites love this as they will be taking over soon——the west should stop bombing and make iran do their own dirty work——-Also any group of muslims whom don’t like their non muslim countries will be deported to a muslim country of their choice—-perid

  • Andrew, still stand behind your idiotic liberal position now? Professor of history, seriously? What in the HELL is wrong in your moronic brain that you can’t see what these idiots are? Have you studied the history of Islam? ISIS is *the* model of fundamentalist Islam. They are what the Koran says to the letter.

    You think we should leave them alone? Yeah, good idea. Tell that to Northern Africa that used to be predominately Christian. Not once Islam swept in. They murdered almost all of them and those that didn’t were forced to convert to Islam. How about Nigeria? You think Boko Haram is just some random band of idiots? You think we should leave them alone too? You know, they’ve only murdered tens of thousands of people, but, hey, who cares, they’re not “enlightened” professors of history and international relations like you, so, their lives must not matter.

    How about you grow a freaking spine and for once follow the lead of men like Churchill, who recognized a threat and confronted it head-on.

  • Steve

    Here’s some thoughts and numbers to crunch:

    Isis in iraq and syria is on par to equal the genocide of the holocaust within the 12
    years of the nazi reign or ~6 million lives based on a comparable scale. If you
    take the definition of genocide, the deliberate killing of a large group of
    people especially those of a particular ethnic group/nation, and compare the sq
    miles of isis control vs the nazi control at their height of power over 12
    years (length nazi control) then isis is easily as bad.

    isis controls 35,000 sq miles in iraq and syria curr

    germany controlled 1389967 sq miles at its height

    genocide comparison if isis were as big as germany:

    1389967/35000= 39.7 * 12,000 per yr (isis curr rate killing)* 12 yrs= ~5.7

    I’d say its a pretty good comparison by looking at the numbers that isis is comparable to the nazis when it comes to genocide. Its also pretty obvious just by comparing the pictures of the atrocities committed (e.g. murdering prisoners by mass graves, and raping, burning, beheading, etc etc; all those things islama jihadists do in the name of freedom fighting).

    Since isis has already had isolated terrorism to their “credit” in other parts of the world including the u.s. it is without a doubt a fool to think we do not have to put an end to isis. Even other muslims who have been sitting back are starting to get rattled because they might soon be targeted. The u.s. has a vested interest in its own survival now or later and preferably now holds the advantage.

  • Tani J

    Indeed, we need to eradicate political correctness and “white” guilt and rid western societies of ALL Muslims. We need to use the neutron bomb on Islamic states and be finally DONE with them for good. Eradicate them. It’s the ONLY way.

  • janon

    Curious how many more Paris incidents need to occur before the smug author of this piece is forced to acknowledge that pretending something isn’t there, and comparing bombing deaths to drunk driving statistics as if all that matters is absolute numbers of dead, doesn’t make it go away. Likewise pretending radical Islam isn’t real, or doesn’t exist independent of western “aggression”, and isn’t intent on mass death is demonstrably naive.

    Bombing may not be the answer, but allowing all of Syria to relocate to the EU and then telling people that the “new normal” is a couple of hundred Europeans being massacred at cafes every few months (and after all is “only fair” given the past transgressions of evil white imperialists) is pure cultural suicide.

    Normal people are reaching the point where they’re tired of hand wringing elites who sit in the safety of bullet proof Bentleys

  • Joe Harrington

    Excuse me, but the “smug author” of this piece is a U.S. Army veteran of Vietnam who lost his own son in the latest Iraq war. As someone who has been in combat and lost a child in the fight, Dr. Bacevich understands very well the costs of intervening in the politics of regions for which we have precious little knowledge or understanding of their political cultures.
    No one is suggesting that we “allow all of Syria to relocated to the EU” and accept periodic massacres. Sadly but surely, vigilant surveillance, aggressive police action, and military retaliation are the order of the day. But while NATO forces rely on tens of thousands of Muslims to operate, it is foolish and deadly to mouth off about Islam.
    The “normal people” janon invokes can take the step the Dr. Bacevich’s son took and volunteer for military service.

  • Steve

    Could we not just use small neutron bombs on these creeps and basically give them all cancer? It is the best of all nuclear weapons because we can go in later and retrieve things of value, which this type of bomb does not destroy.

    I say this, of course, hypothetically and with the utmost reserve. I do not condone murder, but if murder is already the name of the game, should we not choose the most efficient way to neutralize the blade that is about to cut our throats?