September 10, 2014

OK. The Speech

It was not actually an egregiously bad speech

However, I was somewhat perplexed that he wants to use Yemen and Somalia as templates for action against ISIS. Both countries are nightmarish Hobbesian jihadi generators and Somalia is not so much a country as a no-mans land. I suppose that recent successes in killing terrorist leaders there was the point, but neither country has any hope right now of being free of the jihadists in the foreseeable future. I'm a little concerned with the notion of arming "vetted" insurgents in Syria. Our vetting of insurgents has been singularly unimpressive historically, and over the last 5 years in particular. 

It is good that he recognizes the threat, but the proposed actions seems to risk making the same error as Rumsfield's "light footprint" model did. However, close air support and giving those who are fighting against ISIS weapons might have a better than even chance of working in this case. I suspect that ISIS is not adept at winning hearts and minds. If their religious appeal is such that they are, then this is a far greater problem than even the most concerned analysts have supposed.   

I do note that Bush, who already had what some describe as a troublingly broad Authorization of Military Force giving him legal justification, still felt the need to go before the Congress to get approval for going into Iraq. This president does not and I await with bated breath to hear the intense indignation at this factoid from those who considered  Bush's actions to be beyond the pale. 

One last criticism. 
We currently have over 1300 troops in Iraq. Can we PLEASE issue them some boots? Fighting in Birkenstocks cannot be good for morale. 

Finally it should be noted that this is one of the most grave decisions a President can be faced with. While there are legitimate criticisms galore regards the decisions that led us here and the manner in which they were relayed, it is not necessarily a dreadful thing that after previous debacles the president has been very deliberative in coming to this conclusion.  War is sometimes necessary, but it is always a wretched enterprise. That the President has sought to avoid this may not have been wise, but it should not elicit contempt.

I am no fan of the policies of this President,  but I ask that people of faith keep him in their prayers this evening. 

Posted by: The Brickmuppet at 10:28 PM | No Comments | Add Comment
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