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Old 02-28-2015, 12:14 PM   #1
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Isis

Hi everyone, long time no talk!

I've been lurking on and off for a while, and I see that there is no ISIS thread. I'm a little surprised, given all the crap ISIS is doing. But I also take it that no one knows what to say because this group/state/situation/whatever seems so overwhelming, and difficult to both comprehend and tackle. I find it very depressing and overwhelming myself, especially as I read more about ISIS.

Here's the basics: 9 Biggest Myths About ISIS - Vox.com

Here's a great article from The Atlantic that gives a different, yet scary, perspective of ISIS: What ISIS really wants

And a good Reuters piece on extremism and oppressive, dysfunctional governments: One (difficult) Step to Curbing Extremism

So, there you have it. Supposedly, ISIS is losing on the battlefield in Syria/Iraq, but that won't stop this kind of extremism. Especially since ISIS is in Libya, and most likely anywhere else. There's a lot of factors: religion, corrupt governments, the racism Muslims experience in Europe, North America and Australia which I hear drives plenty to radicalism, and who knows what else.

Sadly, even if ISIS falls, Islamic extremism isn't going anywhere anytime soon. I really hate feeling helpless like this.

So, thoughts?
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Old 02-28-2015, 02:41 PM   #2
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The Muslim world is the only hope at defeating this ideology. More Muslims are killed or suffer at the hands of extremist Islam than anyone else.

We can bomb, bomb, bomb and it won't stop them.

Islam needs a moderate voice, an enlightenment period. It won't happen unless we can support those voices who do not wish to harm everyone.

It's extremely tricky situation. Christianity went thru it but they also didn't have access to the kind of weaponry that is available now. Who knows, maybe the extremists in Christianity wouldn't have gone secular so easily....


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Old 03-01-2015, 03:03 PM   #3
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from The Atlantic "What ISIS Really Wants"

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The Islamic State has attached great importance to the Syrian city of Dabiq, near Aleppo. It named its propaganda magazine after the town, and celebrated madly when (at great cost) it conquered Dabiq’s strategically unimportant plains. It is here, the Prophet reportedly said, that the armies of Rome will set up their camp. The armies of Islam will meet them, and Dabiq will be Rome’s Waterloo or its Antietam.
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“The spark has been lit here in Iraq, and its heat will continue to intensify … until it burns the crusader armies in Dabiq.”
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Now that it has taken Dabiq, the Islamic State awaits the arrival of an enemy army there, whose defeat will initiate the countdown to the apocalypse.
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The Prophetic narration that foretells the Dabiq battle refers to the enemy as Rome. Who “Rome” is, now that the pope has no army, remains a matter of debate. But Cerantonio makes a case that Rome meant the Eastern Roman empire, which had its capital in what is now Istanbul. We should think of Rome as the Republic of Turkey—the same republic that ended the last self-identified caliphate, 90 years ago. Other Islamic State sources suggest that Rome might mean any infidel army, and the Americans will do nicely.
Great. Certainly makes one long for the "good old days" of Saddam's rule in Iraq.
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Old 03-01-2015, 08:06 PM   #4
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I agree that they're doing a lot of crap, and they should knock it the hell off.
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Old 03-01-2015, 09:28 PM   #5
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^to the next to last post above, Rome almost certainly refers to the Eastern Roman Empire with its capital in Constantinople. That Rome was the one which first encountered the Islamic expansion out of the Arabian peninsula, and which in various forms engaged with the various Islamic empires for a good 700 years after.
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Old 03-01-2015, 09:56 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by BEAL View Post
The Muslim world is the only hope at defeating this ideology. More Muslims are killed or suffer at the hands of extremist Islam than anyone else.

We can bomb, bomb, bomb and it won't stop them.

Islam needs a moderate voice, an enlightenment period. It won't happen unless we can support those voices who do not wish to harm everyone.

It's extremely tricky situation. Christianity went thru it but they also didn't have access to the kind of weaponry that is available now. Who knows, maybe the extremists in Christianity wouldn't have gone secular so easily....
I agree. But who should we support? Moderate Muslims are/could face the same danger as any non-Muslim criticizing extremists. Perhaps that is why moderates are afraid to be more vocal.



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I agree that they're doing a lot of crap, and they should knock it the hell off.
How, exactly?

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^to the next to last post above, Rome almost certainly refers to the Eastern Roman Empire with its capital in Constantinople. That Rome was the one which first encountered the Islamic expansion out of the Arabian peninsula, and which in various forms engaged with the various Islamic empires for a good 700 years after.
Unfortunately, when ISIS in Libya beheaded those 21 Egyptian Christians, they pointed to Rome - as in Rome, Italy:

Quote:
The video threat, released with images of 21 Coptic Christians from Egypt who were beheaded this month, warned that Islamic State forces were "south of Rome," in Libya. At its closest point, Libya is little more than 100 miles from the Italian islands of Sicily and Sardinia.
This comes four months after the Islamic State's propaganda magazine Dabiq ran a cover photo of the militant group's flag flying above the obelisk in St. Peter's Square in the Vatican with the headline: "The failed crusade."
Italy and Vatican on guard after ISIL threat
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Old 03-03-2015, 07:47 PM   #7
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"Moderate Muslims are/could face the same danger as any non-Muslim criticizing extremists. Perhaps that is why moderates are afraid to be more vocal."

I agree Pearl that is part of the problem.


Several weeks ago Egypt's leader gave a speech and called for a reformation of Islam.
It was practically ignored by most of the U.S. media.

Here's a good report from a South Carolina paper:

CAIRO: Egypts leader calls for reform in Islam | World | The State
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Old 03-03-2015, 07:50 PM   #8
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I agree Pearl that is part of the problem.
I totally read that as "I agree that Pearl is part of the problem."

Here endeth my (questionably) intelligent contribution to the thread.
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Old 03-05-2015, 09:37 PM   #9
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I totally read that as "I agree that Pearl is part of the problem."

Here endeth my (questionably) intelligent contribution to the thread.
So did I!
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Old 03-09-2015, 08:02 PM   #10
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I doubt many here will share my viewpoint, but here it is:

We should go back and fucking kill them.

No more restrictive ROE's, no politics, nothing from the past two wars that severely handicapped the ability of the guys on the ground to get shit done. Just let em do what they need to do. After the Islamic State has been decimated, leave. No more nation building. That is their responsibility. If they fail to do so and we have to go back a decade down the road and repeat the process, so be it.

I do not understand how anyone can sit back and watch the atrocities unfolding, on such a horrifying large scale and not step in. What the Islamic State has done in Syria and Iraq is nothing short of crimes against humanity and genocide.

Here is a piece from OAF Nation, a website run by former and current military operators, which sums up my feelings on the White House's pathetic lack of leadership, as well as the apathy of the American public:

Quote:
Terror And Leadership


The other day, I awoke with nothing but an aspiration to enjoy the warmth of my climate-controlled apartment overlooking my city. It started off wonderfully, with b-list DVRed television and an omelet that made my toes curl. It all came crashing down when I saw that the President was hosting yet another summit, this time on “violent extremism.” This was of course being performed in the shadow of the Copenhagen shootings and the executions of twenty-one Coptic Christians in Egypt. Once I finished rolling my eyes at the academic farce, I decided to see what the big deal was. So I watched 21 Egyptians have their heads sawed off. This was not my first beheading video, which is unfortunate. But to tame all fears, I don’t watch them for the entertainment; I watch them for the reality check. It is clear that this video represents an entirely different situation, a transition even, from the previous videos. These guys turned it up to eleven and then raised it ten. It is biblical brutality of the highest order that ends with (spoiler alert) a Tarantino-like finale with crimson waves crashing upon the beach. I think those assholes were trying to imply something, but like a good Tarantino movie, it’s lost in the ether. I finished that day spinning everything over in my head. I came to two conclusions: One, our country has zero leadership, only clever administrators with talking points, looking for camera time; and two, we (Americans) are better off in life because we collectively have a weaker stomach for that type of violence. Let me explain…second point first.

I know – I know, executions by decapitation have been happening for millennia or at least since the invention of sharp-things. So when put into the Presidential perspective of the Crusades, a contemporary knife is somewhat more humane than having a stone-chipped blade cut through your soft tissue and spine. “This kind of stuff isn’t new! Right?” No, it isn’t. It was considered honorable by the Romans, and was the most typical way to be executed in Medieval England, if you were a citizen. Beheadings were also considered the most humane way to be knocked off since it was the quickest and cleanest method at the time. So yes, when put into the context of the middle ages, death by decapitation is pretty humane. That is, though, if you consider the alternative for the day: being drawn, hung (for fun, not death), disemboweled, and then finally beheaded. Hell yeah, give me the sword!

What about today? What is it like presently? Thanks to the Internet, you can find out. You can observe hundreds of videos where barbarians with cast iron stomachs do their worst to people they hate, for no other reason than they are part of a tribe, sect, country, or religion they don’t like. So if you are in the mood to hear grown men cry and scream in agony and horror, be my guest. I promise it will change you. I don’t care who you are, it will.

We witness the “violent extremism” so much now that it required me to conduct careful thought and introspection. Not like the histrionics currently being exercised in Washington D.C., but a personal one, based on my own, albeit limited, perception.

Today, society goes apoplectic (I believe correctly) over an adverse reaction to the chemicals of a lethal injection and yet so many, though not all, dismiss the brutality of beheadings in other countries, because we are separated by a world of water. Curiously, it is gaining a renewed intrigue with the public due to the wonders of social media and a twenty-four hour news cycle. When we do seem to care, it’s only at the margins by people with a lot of bark but no bite. It is interesting how we never really talk about the actions of (extremist) cartel thugs in Mexico or on the Mexican border. Why? Well, the people are nameless, and their last seconds on planet Earth are not posted on the Internet like a VEVO music video, in fashionable camera angles and Adobe Premier quality editing. Some Cartel executions are recorded mind you, but the media will not touch it. And most of the victims are part of the drug trade anyway. So who cares…eh? Their heads, to be fair, are put on display, which is horrible no less, but it’s not as sexy. And let’s be real here, the music on all of the Islamic videos have that ominous prayer music that is scary as shit. The cartels can’t play their own music…we all know what it would sound like. Table for two.

Back on point, the only reason a botched lethal injection is so awful, is because as a modern society we know we can take care of our bad-guys in a better way. This is simply because we are better. Even as modern war fighters, we know of quicker, cleaner ways to end someone’s life that do not require two bags, though, given the right circumstances, a mason jar could work. We no longer view suffering in the way animals do, as an unchanging certainty. Which, not too long ago, even in modern society, men once accepted as the natural state of things. That kind of thinking today is called “Third World.” Death no longer requires men to feel the other’s life end. Death has become impersonal. It is typified when modern governments paying millions upon billions of dollars to make smart bombs that can hit a terrorist’s doorknob and miss the ever-present elementary school next door.
We all have undergone a massive change in mindset. It took the societal recognition of any individual’s rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness for such a change to take place. Once this was accepted we had to turn away from acts of cruelty and to progress past the ways of savages, the ways of ISIS (ISIL?). All to get to the point where we debate persnickety matters involving the value of men on death row and what constitutes “moral” warfare.

ISIS is the most current rendering of Islamic savages (terrorists) today. Yet unlike Al Qaida, these guys can pair their savvy with their blood lust. ISIS is driven by ideology and faith; and more importantly, they know what GWAM stands for (not just the Urban Dictionary version). So basically, you cannot reason with them, but you can admire their witty Tweets. Which brings me back to the head shaker: the ‘Summit on Countering Violent Extremism.’ What are President Obama and the 60 other countries really trying to figure out? The President said on February 19th:

… we have to confront the warped ideologies espoused by terrorists like al Qaeda and ISIL, especially their attempt to use Islam to justify their violence…These terrorists are desperate for legitimacy. And all of us have a responsibility to refute the notion that groups like ISIL somehow represent Islam, because that is a falsehood that embraces the terrorist narrative.

Confront the warped ideologies? Really? I agree to a point. But can anyone reason with a barbarian who stands on a beach with his fellow assholes and celebrates Islam by beheading 21 CHRISTIANS in a MUSLIM country? Please sir, tell me you are kidding. I agree, go at them intellectually in public, and fight for their hearts and minds, but find out where they live afterwards… I cannot be the only veteran who is constantly doing a palm slap to the forehead when our leadership says these things.

As a veteran who served in Iraq, I watched in disgust, its deterioration. It resembled the last scene of Titanic: too long, very tragic, and probably preventable. Believe it or not, though, I am not one to say we should go back in and take over the country; I think we are all pretty tired of fighting in that region. We know the President is, which is understandable. I was there – I get it. What I am saying is that ISIS has turned terrorism into a Chicago street fight and we are trying to convert them like Evangelists. It’s a hollow attempt to change their perception. We are bringing books to a bomb fight and everyone knows it won’t work, so stop with the preaching and the pillow-fight language. These guys are cutting heads off and laughing at us. It’s okay to say that it’s pissing you off. You’re not giving them legitimacy; you’re talking shit before you step in the ring. And for our leaders, it might get you a little respect among the 1%ers who legitimately earned our precious fire-watch ribbon. I remember back in ’06, an old Commanding Officer brought my platoon into a school circle for a quick moto-speech and he said, “Men, if people aren’t dying, we are in the wrong spot.” Those were sobering words that stabbed the heart. That is leadership. He carried the weight of our command on his shoulders, accepted what his decisions may cause, and said the words required for combat Marines’ mindset to do their job.

So as a final thought experiment, imagine if the President said the following: “ISIL, and all who are associate with them, are Islamic-Extremists, they murder innocent people, they suck, so we are going to kill them.” Full Stop. *He walks off the stage with cameras clicking and reporters screaming questions* That would take balls… Not even big ones. But balls are mysteriously in short supply among America’s leaders today. So I’m afraid ISIS will continue to get bolder; so more videos, worse than the one above, will become more frequent.
Terror and Leadership | OAF Nation
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Old 03-09-2015, 08:13 PM   #11
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I doubt many here will share my viewpoint, but here it is:

We should go back and fucking kill them.

No more restrictive ROE's, no politics, nothing from the past two wars that severely handicapped the ability of the guys on the ground to get shit done. Just let em do what they need to do. After the Islamic State has been decimated, leave. No more nation building. That is their responsibility. If they fail to do so and we have to go back a decade down the road and repeat the process, so be it.

I do not understand how anyone can sit back and watch the atrocities unfolding, on such a horrifying large scale and not step in. What the Islamic State has done in Syria and Iraq is nothing short of crimes against humanity and genocide.

Here is a piece from OAF Nation, a website run by former and current military operators, which sums up my feelings on the White House's pathetic lack of leadership, as well as the apathy of the American public:



Terror and Leadership | OAF Nation

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Awesome post!


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Old 03-09-2015, 09:03 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by The_Pac_Mule View Post
I doubt many here will share my viewpoint, but here it is:

We should go back and fucking kill them.

No more restrictive ROE's, no politics, nothing from the past two wars that severely handicapped the ability of the guys on the ground to get shit done. Just let em do what they need to do. After the Islamic State has been decimated, leave. No more nation building. That is their responsibility. If they fail to do so and we have to go back a decade down the road and repeat the process, so be it.

I do not understand how anyone can sit back and watch the atrocities unfolding, on such a horrifying large scale and not step in. What the Islamic State has done in Syria and Iraq is nothing short of crimes against humanity and genocide.

And your solution is to commit more atrocities and crimes against humanity?

That's seriously fucked up. I'm not saying this in any kind of dismissive or condescending way. It's seriously, sociopathically, barbarically fucked up. I hope you didn't really mean exactly what you just said.

Solving the problem of ISIS and more broadly terrorism (of all kinds, not just Islamic) is going to be an overarching thread through the story of the 21st century and probably even beyond. Confronting this with "kill them all" is going to be like playing a giant game of global whack a mole. Even if you turn all of eastern Syria and northern Iraq to glass, another group is just going to pop up in Libya/Pakistan/Yemen/Lebanon/the jungles of Indonesia.

The only way to truly defeat terrorism will be some complex solution that will likely require some wholesale changes in the way western society is structured, along with the cooperation of the Middle East of course. I don't know what that solution could possibly be, but whatever it is it's going to be very difficult and very transformative.

I know a lot of people are terrified of that idea, and reject it outright. The easy solution is "kill them all". Thats risky enough in the short term but in the long term picture, answering death with more death has never been beneficial to humanity.
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Old 03-09-2015, 09:41 PM   #13
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Isis

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Originally Posted by The_Pac_Mule View Post
I doubt many here will share my viewpoint, but here it is:

We should go back and fucking kill them.

No more restrictive ROE's, no politics, nothing from the past two wars that severely handicapped the ability of the guys on the ground to get shit done. Just let em do what they need to do. After the Islamic State has been decimated, leave. No more nation building. That is their responsibility. If they fail to do so and we have to go back a decade down the road and repeat the process, so be it.

I do not understand how anyone can sit back and watch the atrocities unfolding, on such a horrifying large scale and not step in. What the Islamic State has done in Syria and Iraq is nothing short of crimes against humanity and genocide.

Here is a piece from OAF Nation, a website run by former and current military operators, which sums up my feelings on the White House's pathetic lack of leadership, as well as the apathy of the American public:



Terror and Leadership | OAF Nation



I don't want to live in Israel. I don't want to have to "mow the lawn" like the Israelis seem to do every few years in Gaza.

I am as outraged as you are about ISIS. But I don't think the "wipe them out, all of them" strategy is a strategy. What went wrong in Iraq was nothing to do with holding the military back, that's some Vietnam rationalization right there. It was ALWAYS a bad idea, it was NEVER going to work. Why? Because we cannot solve problems for people.

I do appreciate your viewpoint and thank you for sharing it.
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Old 03-09-2015, 11:00 PM   #14
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And your solution is to commit more atrocities and crimes against humanity?

That's seriously fucked up. I'm not saying this in any kind of dismissive or condescending way. It's seriously, sociopathically, barbarically fucked up. I hope you didn't really mean exactly what you just said.

Solving the problem of ISIS and more broadly terrorism (of all kinds, not just Islamic) is going to be an overarching thread through the story of the 21st century and probably even beyond. Confronting this with "kill them all" is going to be like playing a giant game of global whack a mole. Even if you turn all of eastern Syria and northern Iraq to glass, another group is just going to pop up in Libya/Pakistan/Yemen/Lebanon/the jungles of Indonesia.
Gonna have to make things deader! Hur hur hur.

In all seriousness, further intervention will never have a positive outcome. The ideal (but obviously least likely) case is that the US provide the Kurds in Northern Syria with more arms and support, given they are comfortably the most progressive force in the region (hell, try the whole world) but as it stands they have a shitload of enemies themselves.

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I do appreciate your viewpoint and thank you for sharing it.
Irvine, sometimes I do think you are somewhat too civil.
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Old 03-09-2015, 11:45 PM   #15
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ISIS is winning when the people that oppose them want to replicate their behavior.
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Old 03-10-2015, 12:04 AM   #16
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Not a very libertarian stance is this?

Beal nailed this, the only way this truly gets defeated is from within the Muslim world, PERIOD
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Old 03-10-2015, 12:24 AM   #17
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Not a very libertarian stance is this?



Beal nailed this, the only way this truly gets defeated is from within the Muslim world, PERIOD

Just because I'm libertarian doesn't mean that I don't support a strong military.
I think going into Iraq was a total and pointless mistake. Saddam was a horrible man, but we needed to stay out of that mess. I think Bush Sr. was definitely pulling strings in that mess; the whole trying to connect it to 9/11, etc. That was awful.
Afghanistan was poorly executed, but the original intentions were good.
I think we need to approach ISIS much differently than we did Al Qaeda. Non stop bombing and nuking is clearly a horrible idea, but serious military intervention at some capacity is necessary. I'm not a military expert and I'm not gonna act like I am either, but using strategic bombing and raids will probably be more effective.
I hate ISIS passionately and seeing the egregious attacks on people of all ways of life is beyond sickening. Clearly the public targeting of Christians is to rile up the Americans, but something has to be done immediately.
I'm not doubting that there are good Muslim people in this world, but it seems like the radicals have such a stranglehold I don't see them fixing this problem. It would certainly be much easier for the long term, but I just don't see it happening.

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Old 03-10-2015, 12:52 AM   #18
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Just because I'm libertarian doesn't mean that I don't support a strong military.
I think going into Iraq was a total and pointless mistake. Saddam was a horrible man, but we needed to stay out of that mess. I think Bush Sr. was definitely pulling strings in that mess; the whole trying to connect it to 9/11, etc. That was awful.
Afghanistan was poorly executed, but the original intentions were good.
I think we need to approach ISIS much differently than we did Al Qaeda. Non stop bombing and nuking is clearly a horrible idea, but serious military intervention at some capacity is necessary. I'm not a military expert and I'm not gonna act like I am either, but using strategic bombing and raids will probably be more effective.
I hate ISIS passionately and seeing the egregious attacks on people of all ways of life is beyond sickening. Clearly the public targeting of Christians is to rile up the Americans, but something has to be done immediately.
I'm not doubting that there are good Muslim people in this world, but it seems like the radicals have such a stranglehold I don't see them fixing this problem. It would certainly be much easier for the long term, but I just don't see it happening.

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My point with the libertarian comment, is that the party has an issue with grayness, most fundamental libertarians would not agree with your stance. And this is what I was trying to communicate with you earlier.

As far as ISIS, yes it's beyond sickening, and it's easy to react with emotion and call for more killing, but that is not the answer here. ISIS is a result of how we approached Al Qaeda, even Fox News of all sources is admitting that, so going in there as Mule suggests would be bigger recruiting tool and just kicking the can down the sidewalk. Even Mule admits we would have to go back in a decade, holy shit that is not how you deal with foreign policy issues.
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Old 03-10-2015, 06:21 PM   #19
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I have Middle East fatigue.

Don't think it's an uncommon feeling.
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Old 03-10-2015, 10:27 PM   #20
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To clear some things up, my post was very blunt, and came from an angry emotional place. I do actually have a bit more nuanced opinion, and agree with a lot of you guys. Change definitely needs to come from the Muslim world. I just don't see that happening anytime soon. Any intervention on the US/NATO/EU's part must be part of a broader coalition of other Middle Eastern states (looking at Jordan especially, props to King Abdullah).

Another point I'd like to make is that IS is way more of a conventional military force than Al-Qaeda ever was. I can't think of a time when foreign policy or social changes ever defeated a conventional force. While those changes do need to happen, ultimately IS will have to be dealt with militarily. From a homeland security perspective, they also pose way more of a threat to Americans at home than Al-Qaeda did post 9/11.

I'm also not okay with the targeting and killing of Americans abroad (and at home) going (relatively) unpunished.

Quote:
I have Middle East fatigue.

Don't think it's an uncommon feeling.
I do too, however contradictory that may sound to what I've said.

Quote:
And your solution is to commit more atrocities and crimes against humanity?

That's seriously fucked up. I'm not saying this in any kind of dismissive or condescending way. It's seriously, sociopathically, barbarically fucked up. I hope you didn't really mean exactly what you just said.
Not what I said. There would be absolutely no moral equivalency to military force against IS. When its warranted and justified, war =/= atrocities and crimes against humanity. I'm assuming you interpreted my bluntness as the ignorant "nuke em and let God sort em out" crap I hear rednecks spew. Not what I meant at all.

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ISIS is winning when the people that oppose them want to replicate their behavior.
Like I said, no moral equivalency. Plus I never said anything about beheading people with dull knives or dousing them in petrol and tossing a match on them.

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I am as outraged as you are about ISIS. But I don't think the "wipe them out, all of them" strategy is a strategy. What went wrong in Iraq was nothing to do with holding the military back, that's some Vietnam rationalization right there. It was ALWAYS a bad idea, it was NEVER going to work. Why? Because we cannot solve problems for people.
Restrictive ROE's, and generally piss poor strategy did play a role in Iraq, though I was referring more to Afghanistan. That is one of the biggest problems with the way that war went. That being said, I agree going into Iraq originally was a colossal mistake.

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I do appreciate your viewpoint and thank you for sharing it


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ISIS is a result of how we approached Al Qaeda
That's only a piece of the puzzle. Fighting Americans in Iraq certainly gave them some street credit, but the civil war in Syria is what caused their rise to power and popularity.

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The ideal (but obviously least likely) case is that the US provide the Kurds in Northern Syria with more arms and support, given they are comfortably the most progressive force in the region (hell, try the whole world) but as it stands they have a shitload of enemies themselves.
I agree with this. I'm a big supporter of Kurdistan, and hope they get their own state soon. If anything, I believe the Kurds deserve all the help and support we can give them. Though it seems that we're just going to let them down again.

On a personal note, joining the fight with the Kurds has been something that's weighed heavy on my mind the past few months, especially as I see more and more veterans doing so. If it wasn't for school and my significant other, I'd already be there. It's still something I've been thinking about though.
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