Blog Credo

The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary.

H.L. Mencken

Saturday, November 14, 2015

Does This Change Things?

I am presuming that last night's attacks in Paris represent an escalation by ISIS against the West.  And the West will respond in turn.  Perhaps Hollande will invoke Article 4 of the NATO agreement.  Perhaps we will go to war in Syria.

Charlie Pierce notes that this is the ongoing cycle of violence between "barbarians" and civilization and after we up the ante, the Islamist fanatics will up the ante again.

Maybe that's true.

Personally, I think a few NATO divisions with an American division or two can make short work of ISIS.  A Toyota pickup with a mortar in the back isn't much match for an M1A1 Abrams tank.  The caliphate - if NATO so chooses - can be wiped from the earth.  And maybe it's time for that.  Syria was sort of our problem, because our invasion of Iraq destabilized the region and created a refugee crisis that led to the Syrian civil war that led to ISIS.

But in a larger sense, Syria was not our problem.  ISIS was a local tragedy, but not a geopolitical concern of NATO, beyond our desire to degrade their ability to do anything.

I suppose the Paris attacks could change that.  And perhaps it is time.  Perhaps after bringing down a Russian airliner and killing Parisians in cafes and concert halls, ISIS has changed what they mean for the rest of the world.

I'm sure the Neo-Cons will crow about being right about ISIS.  No one ever disputed that they weren't violent thugs.  And I'm sure they will say that those Parisians would be alive today if we had just taken action in 2012.

I doubt that.  In fact, if we do move into Syria, I'm sure things will get worse from a terrorism front before they get better.

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