Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

President Obama will address the nation Wednesday, September 10th, outlining his plans to fight Islamic terrorists.

Islamic terrorists have hit America twice on September 11th. If they have something lined up and hit us again on Thursday, right after President Obama tells the world his grand plan to fight Islamic terror, the entire world will him revealed as a clueless but arrogant poseur. No Greek playwright would have written a character with that much hubris, the audience wouldn’t have believed it.

Do I want to see American interests hit by terrorists just to see Barack Obama humiliated? As Jack Benny used to say: “I’m thinking.”

Joe Doakes

I get Joe’s point – but I’m not thinking about it.  Of course not. 

The problem, of course, is that the questions “to attack or not to attack?”, and “where and when?”, are questions that belong to those who are on the offensive; those who have what in strategic and tactical circles is called “the initiative”, or in sports circles “momentum”. 

Say what you will about the US’s actions between 2002 and 2008 – the human, financial and moral costs, the politics, the morals of the tactics and methods and the whole enterprise – but we were on the offensive.  We, largely, chose when and where the war would be fought. 

We’re on defensive now.  We – Barack Obama – lost the initiative; squandered the “momentum”. 

The other side chooses whether Barack Obama spends tomorrow in the Situation Room or on the Golf Course. 

I’m praying for Golf. 

The problem is, they’ll choose it the next day, and the week after that, and the month after that…

…and “ensuring that we’re the ones who make that choice – and make it a moot one through sheer force of diplomatic, moral and if necessary military power” is one of precious few legitimate reasons to have a government.

6 thoughts on “Defense

  1. An interesting question might be: does the new-found support by Americans for action against ISIS tie the president’s hands…or does it free him to act?

  2. That would depend on what his true motives are, and where his alliances lie. And in my opinion, what those motives are where those alliances lie will not be known until he acts (or doesn’t). Because I don’t trust a single word coming out of his or this administration’s mouth.

    And if something DOES happen today or in the future, my money is on “tie his hands”.

  3. Imagine we use air strikes to weaken ISIS on the ground. The Shi’ites, Iranian and Iraqi, move in and slaughter them, men, women and children. Now we have a humanitarian crisis on our hands that we created, and we have tangibly changed the balance of power in the ME.
    When you don’t have boots on the ground, you can’t control events on the ground. Our president is an idiot.

  4. The US military can’t defeat ISIS any more than it can defeat the Taliban; only a different, more legitimate Sunni force or coalition can do so.

  5. The US military can’t defeat ISIS any more than it can defeat the Taliban; only a different, more legitimate Sunni force or coalition can do so.

    The two aren’t mutually exclusive.

  6. Not sure anyone is suggesting that one shove their hands in our pockets. But we have been through this before and even doubters about the efficacy of Obama’s ‘new’ strategy accept that stuff needs to be done.

    It is just that the posturing and promise of military action is always greater than the actual results obtained. We create an image of success only to turn around and realize nothing has changed and if it has it is usually for the worse.

    Actually, I doubt very much that ISIS is the least bit intimidated by anything we do any more than Japanese kamikaze pilots were discouraged by swarms of our CAP’s and a hail of anti-aircraft fire from drilling their aircraft into the flight deck of a carrier.

    When you are fighting a people who fight with their hearts then self-destruction is often not a deterrence but a reward.

    So yeah, go ahead and fire away that’s fine with me. We couldn’t have more deserving bunch of Jihadis to blow up.

    Just keep the ‘Mission Accomplished’ banners in the closet for the time being.

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