I’d thought about doing a post about this right after it happened. Then thought I’d do it over the weekend as more facts became clear. Then I thought I’d wait a little longer.
To say it was a horrible event would be an understatement. To say it was a shock to the system is also an understatement. Here people were going about their lives and suddenly the most horrible of things happened. Going to a concert and suddenly gun fire breaks out. I’d been to the Jon McLaughlin concert at the Hamilton in DC the night before. I would never think that a terrorist attack could happen there. I’m sure the people at the venue in Paris thought the same thing. More likely they didn’t think of it at all. They were just looking forward to having a good time.
ISIS of ISIL or Daesh whatever the hell it’s called needs to be stopped. It needs to be destroyed. The territory it controls must be taken back, conquered whatever term you like to use. Militarily they can be defeated. The question is what will the military force look like that leads that fight. Will US ground forces be sent in to do the fighting. To me that’s a win for ISIS. The evil West trying to destroy Islam. What a great recruiting tool. Also the suggestion by some that this wouldn’t take many troops and be over quickly well gosh gee wasn’t that what was suppose to be how things would work in Iraq. As I recall we weren’t greeted as liberators as promised. And the Mission Accomplished banner was more than just a little premature. So the military option is possible but is fraught with huge potential pit falls which have to be thought through there is action. Once again militarily they can be defeated.
But it is much harder to defeat an idea. There is going to have to be some long hard thinking on how to go about doing that. What needs to be done to defeat their ideas? Economic aid to the region? Some sort of political settlement or power sharing so groups feel they have a chance in the political process? What needs to be done to counter their propaganda machine? What needs to be done to defeat their presence on the web which seems to be massive and a way they recruit people. What needs to be done to dry up their money. What needs to be done to find the countries that are supporting these guys. I don’t hear much about any of those questions. Until some or most of them questions are answered ISIS will be a problem. And right now I don’t hear a great deal of discussion about that. Anonymous is supposedly attack ISIS’ presence on the web. But I’m not sure how to verify that one way or the other.
It’s a list of hard questions. I don’t see much attempt by anyone to answer them at all. And they need to be answered while we are in the process of figuring out the best military option to defeat them. None of this seat of your pants, make it up as things blow up around you like what happened in Iraq.
This is what we face in the wake of the attacks on Paris.