I read with great satisfaction that Vermont’s Independent Senator Bernie Sanders would vote against arming the so-called “moderate” Syrian rebels.
“This is not just a question of whether young men and women in Vermont and across America should be putting their lives on the line in another Mideast war. It is not just about whether the taxpayers of our country should once again pay for a war in the Middle East. It is about the reality that, long term, this struggle will never be won by the United States alone. It must be won with the active participation of the Muslim countries in the region,” Sanders said.
Exactly right. We can’t keep reprising John Wayne movies in our international relations. It isn’t working; and it isn’t working worse and worse all the time.
At the root of ISIS’s power to gain recruits is sectarian conflict within the Muslim states. Repeated U.S. efforts at intervention have made us no better than pawns in a deadly game we do not really understand and are fundamentally barred from winning.
The same old arguments are being trotted out concerning the threat to homeland security as seduced us into shadow boxing in Iraq for a decade while a new generation of hate and menace was incubating in the heat from our own fires.
Every time we are drawn back into the web of violence and war on which jihadi extremists feed, the 9/11 bombers succeed once again in undermining the cultural and institutional values that have made us who we were as a nation prior to the attack.
We are repeating the same strategic errors that countless formerly great nations have made before us.
Churchill said something about how we should fear fear itself. It is fear (with a little help from defense lobbyists) that has lured us over and over again into a campaign of folly.
Bernie says he agrees with the President’s plan for airstrikes.
Personally, I would like to see the U.S. withhold even airstrikes until a sufficient body of interested regional nations agree to prosecute a ground war against ISIS by themselves under U.S. air support. The immediate threat is at their doors. This should not be our war.