Friday, August 29, 2014

Hysteria over ISIS

Yo! I looked at the homepage of Spiegel Online this morning and I saw: 43 UN soldiers have been taken hostage by "extremists" on the Golan Heights; there's increasing pressure from "Western politicians" to intensify sanctions on Russia; our latest New Hitler ISIS/ISIL/Islamic State has set fire to an oil well.

American politicians and commentators really need to dial back the hysteria over ISIS. Jim Lobe reports on the latest plans from professional neocon warmongers to escalate direct US military involvement in Iraq, Project for a New American Imbroglio LobeLog Foreign Policy 08/28/2014:

We are supposed to be reassured that the objective of deploying so many US ground forces in both countries is limited, presumably to ISIS’s military defeat. "...[T]his is not a plan for a new American ground war in Iraq seeking to reconstitute a failed state," argue Pletka and Keane. "It is a mission to help Iraqis and Syrians on the ground help themselves." To which one must ask, what does that mean?

After all, the aim of the Surge, which has long been extolled as a great success by these same commentators (who have never been shy about taking credit for it), was not just to isolate and defeat ISIS's predecessor, Al Qaeda in Iraq (AQI). Its strategic objective was to achieve national reconciliation precisely to preserve and rebuild the Iraqi state. It seems now that the neocons are implicitly conceding that the Surge, despite its tactical success, was a strategic failure.

Does [Danielle] Pletka and [Jack] Keane's reference to Iraq as a "failed state" mean the neocons are giving up on the unity and territorial integrity of Iraq (especially now that Netanyahu has endorsed Kurdish independence) or Syria? Under their plan, the objective seems limited to defeating ISIS by arming and fighting with whatever buyable or "moderate" groups are willing to join the effort. But what happens when those groups’ broader strategic aims are found to be mutually incompatible? (It bears recalling that the Kurds took advantage of ISIS's rout of the Iraqi army in the north to send the peshmerga forces into Kirkuk.) Then again, the neocons have never excelled at providing persuasive answers to Gen. David Petraeus's legendary challenge during the first days of the Iraq invasion: "Tell me how this ends."
Angela Merkel is using the opportunity to promote her goal of making Germany a more active military power by sending a few (so far!) troops to Iraq, too.

Jakob Augstein observes (Vormarsch der Islamisten: Im Nebel des Krieges Spiegel Online 28.08.2014):

Außenminister Steinmeier hat die IS-Dschihadisten eine "mit größter Brutalität, mit Zynismus, mit barbarischen Methoden voranschreitende terroristische Organisation" genannt. Das sind große Worte, und das bedeutet: IS-Chef Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi hat sein Ziel erreicht. Je schrecklicher sein Ruf im Westen, desto größer der Ruhm unter seinesgleichen. Baghdadi folgt da den Tipps und Hinweisen aus dem Qaida-Manual "Die Verwaltung des Schreckens", das im Jahr 2004 veröffentlicht wurde.

[Foreign Minister {Frank-Walter} Steinmeier {SPD} called the IS-jihadists a "terrorist organization forging ahead with the greatest brutality, with cynicism, with barbaric methods." Those are big words, and that means: IS Chief Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi has achieved his goal. The more fearful his reputation in the West, the greater his regard among his own. Baghdadi there is following the tips and hints from the [al-] Qaida manual, "The Management of Terror," that was published in the year 2004.]
It sounds like Angela Merkel and her SPD allies need to dial down their hysteria over ISIS, just as our American warmongers do.


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