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« Fredo Hensarling | Main | Hillary--she's stunning »

June 15, 2014

Comments

Peter G

You'll have to excuse me if I see things somewhat differently. Could any intelligence service have predicted how fast a comical excuse for armed forces, the Iraqi army would collapse in the teeth of Hesse few thousand fighters? No. Not really. Historically their conscripted forces did so in the teeth of allied power. Not so some formations, specifically heir guards. But this is almost beside the point.

The more important point is this: can these few fanatics take control of Iraq and set up a state? Hell no. The US couldn't do it with vaster resources and these assholes won't be able to do it either. Witness their bank robbing instincts. That's got to really make friends and influence people. Vandals and pillagers don't really make effective civil servants. I expect that given time they will make themselves every bit as popular as the Taliban did before hey got run out of town in two weeks. It's a shame the whole Iraq thing distracted virtually all effort from following up the rather effective use of air power in that instance.
The ISIS won't be able to set up a state that is capable of delivering services to anybody. They'll just do what religious assholes do and spend their energy telling everyone how to live until they make themselves totally unwelcome.

shsavage

I hope you are correct in your assessment, Peter. ISIS/ISIL has been able to play the Sunni/Shia conflict to its advantage, and will do so as long as the Sunnis who either directly aided them or did not interfere with them continue to do so. And let's make no mistake, they had considerable aid from the indigenous Sunni population--the same ones who helped the U.S. during the "surge". Their aid will continue for as long as ISIS/ISIL can avoid committing atrocities against Sunnis. And the rest of the Sunni community does have experience in governing Iraq, acquired through their earlier alignment with Sadaam. Whether ISIS/ISIL has the sense to reign in their more extreme elements is going to be a major question for the near future.

Charlieford

I really wish George Kennan were here. That guy was smart.

When everyone was running around with their hair on fire thinking we'd need to start World War III and drive the Red Army out of Budapest (because, you know, freedom!), Kennan advised letting them all stew in their own juices till they saw the light. It would be cheaper and safer for all concerned. Eisenhower, if not Dulles, agreed, and even Churchill came around to Kennan's position. Imagine what the 1950s might have been like if they hadn't!

But now Kennan's gone, and we're lost--lost, I tell you! We have no idea at all what he might say about a group of maybe a couple thousand fanatics on the other side of the world who have a) no air force, b) no navy, and c) no chance in hell of achieving anything at all, because they're idiots.

It's a tragedy, really, that we can't have him here. Would he advise "roll-back"? A new crusade? Operation Marrakesh Garden? We can't know. We just can't know. It's sad, really.

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