ISIS is a group of really bad actors. It’s hard to overstate how truly Satanic this organization is. Their strength has been brewing for years in a cauldron of real and imagined grievances, fueled by the messianic aspects of Islamic theology. I note that Obama has been asleep at the switch, hoping against hope the Middle East did not need much tending after we left Iraq, and that we could declare victory over al Qaeda. He should have known better. Since 1979, there is almost always something of moment there that we cannot easily ignore.
Regardless of the trajectory of any particular organization, Islamic extremism is the problem for our friends in the region and for the broader Western concern of anti-terrorism. So, while I’d rather the Iraqis stand up and do their job and not become a welfare basket case, I don’t have a philosophical opposition to the US helping Iraq push them back, or bombing ISIS when we find them, and the like. I view all organized militant Islam as something that it is in our national interest to eradicate. Of course, I’m reluctant to take sides in any Shia-Sunni War where extremists on both side are fighting to exterminate the other, where there is no principle involved. That said, ISIS appears to have graduated into the looming global threat category unlike, say, al Shabab in Somalia.
I do, however, have a philosophical problem with Obama, McCain, Lindsey Graham, and all of the morons who gave us Libya, Egypt, and nearly Syria last year. All were conceived as operations against secular strongmen–the proven antidote to Islamic extremism–in favor of unreliable democracy among a radicalized, pro-Islamist group of people. In two out of three of those countries we actually put Islamists in power or set the conditions for them to do so. In Syria, we have opposed the one force that is fighting against Islamic extremism. That anti-secular-strongman policy, our policy as recently as 2013, is not serving our interests at all. The inherent lunacy of that position reaches its apotheosis in this piece by a neoconservative author who argues we should fight both Assad and ISIS. My God, these are truly defective people.