The Council has spoken, the votes have been cast, and the results are in for this week's Watcher's Council match up.
If you will not fight for right when you can easily win without blood shed; if you will not fight when your victory is sure and not too costly; you may come to the moment when you will have to fight with all the odds against you and only a precarious chance of survival. There may even be a worse case. You may have to fight when there is no hope of victory, because it is better to perish than to live as slaves. - Sir Winston Churchill
"There is no substitute for victory....It is fatal to enter any war without the will to win it." - General Douglas MacArthur
"Sons of Islam everywhere, the jihad is a duty - to establish the rule of Allah on earth and to liberate your countries and yourselves from America's domination and its Zionist allies, it is your battle - either victory or martyrdom." - Ahmed Yassin, AKA The Blind Sheik
"We do not worship Iran, we worship Allah. For patriotism is another name for paganism. I say let this land [Iran] burn. I say let this land go up in smoke, provided Islam emerges triumphant in the rest of the world." - Ayatollah Rouhollah Khomeini
"My aim then was to whip the rebels, to humble their pride, to follow them to their inmost recesses, and make them fear and dread us. War is cruelty. There is no use trying to reform it. The crueler it is, the sooner it will be over." - General William Tecumseh Sherman
A lot has been said about The Islamic State, not least by our president who laid out last night what he considers a strategy...although of course, as our Secretary of State John Kerry told CNN, we're not, you know, actually at war. The day before, I finished a piece I'd been working on for a while at at Joshuapundit, Defeating The Islamic State that puts forth the proposition that we are very much at war and have been for some time as our leaders continue to deny it - and how to go about winning it.
Here's a slice:
President Obama has revealed - surprise! - that he has no strategy for even combating, let alone defeating Islamic State. His excuse is that he's ordered his military advisers to give him “a range of options,” which is another confession of how inept this president is.
He's known about Islamic State (formerly ISIS) for a long time now now, and even had a significant part in Islamic State's growth, arming and training them with the assistance of Turkey and Qatar.The mess with Islamic State is very much of Barack Obama's making. And let's not forget that his illegal intervention in Libya to save the jihadis and al-Qaeda militias in Benghazi, that allowed all of Khaddaffi's arsenal fall into jihadi hands and created a failed state now known as 'jihadi central' where groups like Islamic State's allies al Nusrah, al-Qaeda in the Maghreb (AQIM) and others now have a base to arm and train.
Yet, after all that, this president never bothered to have our military put together a contingency plan to deal with any possible blowback, and is just now consulting with the military and 'waiting for options!'
In the president's actual statement, he of course substituted 'we' rather then 'he', because as you know, nothing is ever his fault.I actually know children who are more responsible when they're confronted by an error.
But the problem of defeating Islamic State is not as simple as it seems. The president's dysfunctional buffoonery aside, there are a lot of considerations here that need to be looked at.
The first part of making any decision is actually having definable foreign policy goals, something this president seems to lack except for his fetish for empowering and protecting Islamists.
So job one, the way I see it, is to formulate such goals. I think eliminating imminent security risks to America is a good one. And if that's the goal, simply bombing the hummus out of Islamic State, something I've heard a lot of people push for, won't do it. The reverse in fact.
It has apparently never occurred to them that odious as Islamic State is, they are a counterbalance to an almost equally odious Iranian regime. Taking out Islamic State only helps Iran and the likes of Hezbollah consolidate their goal of a nuclear armed Shi'ite bloc.
That, by the way, is one of the main reasons why taking out Saddam Hussein was such a dumb idea, and why old hands like Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld tried to talk George W. Bush out of it.
Iran has been gulling the West on their rogue nuclear weapons program for almost a decade now, and here has been no progress in terms of diplomacy in getting them to stop, while the centrifuges keep spinning. Nor will there be. Iran is the key to this situation, and a much more serious threat than Islamic State.
So, how to accomplish the goal of eliminating these security threats to America?
The first thing, of course, is to be honest at long last and finally let the peoples of the West know what we're fighting. Call it Islamism, Islamic fascism, Radical Islam, jihad, whatever you will. But identifying it without tiptoeing around it and letting the peoples of the West know what's at stake is key. We are fighting an ideology. And it's an ideology that has to be shamed, demonized and ridiculed, especially in the West, with no false notions about political correctness. Propaganda works both ways:
The West need to understand what characterizes jihad, and that while Islamic State is a Sunni organization, the same applies to Iran, the other, Shi'ite side of the same coin. We are not dealing with rational actors as we understand the term, and we need to understand the dedication and fanaticism of our enemies, just as we did in WWII. And we need to also understand that this needs to be a war, not an 'operation' or a few desultory airstrikes. This video, from Islamic State about the taking of Mosul and surrounding areas is valuable in achieving that perspective:
The simplest and best first step is the old one of arming and strengthening our friends while destroying our enemies. To me, that means a strong and independent Kurdistan that's a US ally, while leaving the Shi'ites to hold their line in the south near Baghdad. There's no sense whatsoever in giving the Shi'ite regime in Iraq much more in money and support. They've already had over $25 billion in arms, training and logistics lavished on them and have performed with all the martial fervor and expertise of the majority of the ARVN troops in South Vietnam. All those shiny American arms and supplies ended up in Islamic State's hands. But the Iraqi army can can probably manage to hold a line at Baghdad and points south, especially if The Islamic State has other fronts to worry about.
The Kurds, on the other hand have already proven that in anything like an equal fight they can hold their own and win. And they would also have the incentive of fighting for an independent Kurdistan, a dream they've had for years. Kurdistan is where we should have made out base and our stand in the beginning, a naturally democratic,pro-American enclave that begged us to do so. At least they were pro-American until they were betrayed by President Bush and President Obama, but I think the relationship with the Kurds is salvageable, although perhaps not with President Obama in power.
The next step would be a much improved relationship with Israel. This would include a joint project for a pre-emptive strike to take out Iran's nukes and Iran's capacity to cause mischief to anyone for some time. Tactical nukes might unfortunately be necessary. At this point, it would almost certainly be necessary to take out Iran's oil and gas infrastructure and refineries as well to make sure their nuclear ambitions stay dormant, something that could have been avoided had the job been done a lot earlier.
I would also leave the carnage and destruction intact,certainly as long as any semblance of the present regime is in power.Some monuments are built of stone, others of rubble. But both fulfill a similar function, that of remembrance. Just ask the Germans and the Japanese.
I repeat, Iran is the key to the region, not Islamic State. And Iran can be dealt with, more or less swiftly and decisively because of its systemic vulnerabilities, its fixed address and its lack of sufficient air and sea power. This is not to say that a strike on Iran would be without cost, but the cost will be infinitely less if it is done now before Iran achieves nuclear weapons capability than later.President Obama's thoughts about strategy to the contrary, a nuclear amred Shi'ite block is not going to be something that can be worked with or 'contained.' Iran's demographics and plunging birthrate doesn't give Iran much time to put the Shi'ite hegemony they want together, and the Ayatollahs know it.
It is our failure to deal effectively with Iran, it's fomenting of terrorism and its rogue nuclear program that has caused the present crisis.If not for that, the Russians would not be a factor and Basher Assad would have had to come to terms with Syria’s Sunni majority. Instead, he had the means to expel millions of them.
Without the war in Syria, ISIS would never have received arms and training covertly from the Obama Administration, with the help of Turkey and Qatar. Without Iran, Iraq’s Shi'ites would have had to compromise with the Sunnis and Kurds and disaffected Sunnis would not have allied themselves with ISIS,Islamic State's former identity.
There is no victory possible in this war without taking Iran off the board.
The destruction of Islamic State and its affiliated jihadis is going to be more difficult, but again not beyond our capabilities. Again, let's remember that we are fighting an ideology. To start, were I president, I would insist on a formal declaration of war by Congress. To get that, I would have to make the case of Islamic State and it's allied militias constituting an imminent security risk to America, and then put forth the clear goal of its defeat and exactly what that would look like.
A Declaration of War clarifies exactly what a war is about, who the enemy is and gives a commander-in-chief certain powers that can come in handy where sedition, espionage and sabotage are concerned. And it puts congress on board in a much more decisive and straight forward way then foggy 'resolutions.' It says volumes about President Obama's arrogance and unsuitability as commander-in-chief that his plans reportedly include not consulting congress at all. But moving on...
Much more at the link.
In our non-Council category, the winner was Victor Davis Hanson with Obama's Untruth, Inc. submitted by Joshuapundit, a classic recounting and cataloging of the many lies this president has told the American people...and quite possibly, himself as well.
Here are this week’s full results. The Colossus of Rhodey, Ask Marion, Simply Jews and Rhymes with Right were unable to vote this week. None were affected by the mandatory 2/3 vote penalty:
- *First place with 3 2/3 votes!– Obama's Untruth, Inc. submitted by Joshuapundit
- Second place *t* with 1 1/3 votes –The Noisy Room – Cuba Trolls America’s Left for Spies
- Second place *t* with 1 1/3 votes –The Independent Sentinel – Your child's school might be pushing Zinn's Marxist view of US history
- Third place with 1 vote –The Razor – It's Jews All The Way Down
- Fourth place *t* with 2/3 vote – The Right Planet – The Immigration Nightmare
- Fourth place *t* with 2/3 vote – VA Right! - Bob McDonnell Guilty on 11 Counts, Maureen Guilty on 9 Counts
- Fifth place *t* with 1/3 vote – Bookworm Room – Book Review — Bing West’s “One Million Steps : A Marine Platoon at War”
- Fifth place *t* with 1/3 vote – The Glittering Eye -Second Term Foreign Policy
- Fifth place *t* with 1/3 vote –Nice Deb – Ward Churchill Still Crazy After All These Years (Video)
- Fifth place *t* with 1/3 vote – The Colossus of Rhodey – As a life-long Rams fan, I say this is patently ridiculous
- First place with 2 1/3 votes! – Victor Davis Hanson-Obama's Untruth, Inc. submitted by Joshuapundit
- Second place with 1 2/3 votes – Danny Lemieux/American Thinker-Our Defining Crisis submitted by Bookworm Room
- Third place *t* with 1 1/3 votes -Daniel Greenfield/FrontPage Mag –It’s Time to Kick ISIS Members Out of America submitted by The Noisy Room
- Third place *t* with 1 1/3 votes -Michael Totten – Don't Cooperate with Assad submitted by The Watcher
- Fourth place *t* with 1 vote -The Other McCain – Is Rachel @Maddow's Haircut Waging War Against Heteronormative Patriarchy? submitted by The Glittering Eye
- Fourth place *t* with 1 vote -Quin Hillyer/NRO -Obama Outed: If Only submitted by Nice Deb
- Fifth place with 2/3 vote -Doug Ross –National Labor Relations Board Ruling to Destroy Franchised Businesses... For the Children submitted by The Independent Sentinel
- Sixth place *t* with 1/3 vote -Stuart Rothenberg – I am now expecting a substantial Republican Senate wave submitted by The Watcher
- Sixth place *t* with 1/3 vote -Stephen Hayes/Weekly Standard – Al Qaeda Wasn’t ‘on the Run’ submitted by The Watcher
See you next week!
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