Saturday, November 14, 2015
You (almost) read it here first
Yesterday I read in the news that Jihadi John, the public face (eyes?) of ISIS, the nut case who was their designated beheader, was killed in a US airstrike. Good riddance!
Then the news went on to say that our strikes have been responsible for a mid-to-upper level ISIS leader being killed every few days since the summer. And how anti-ISIS forces in Syria / Iraq have inflicted on them recent battlefield setbacks, and how ISIS recruiting is beginning to fall short of replacing their losses. Again, no tears from me.
But then a little light bulb went on in my brain that reminded me of the old saying, "Desperate people do desperate things". The one thing a military cannot do is lose momentum. Once momentum is lost, supporters stop jumping on their bandwagon. It seemed logical to me that ISIS would need to do something soon, something game changing, to regain the momentum.
Since the only thing ISIS is good at is killing, I expected to see them commit a major atrocity somewhere. My thoughts were they could attack the US, but really, there were targets softer and easier to get to elsewhere that could be attacked and help get ISIS back on the offensive. Logically, that would be somewhere in Europe.
Before I could put my thoughts on the internet, it happened. As we saw last evening, they chose Paris. Over a hundred souls are dead, with another 300 injured, many critically. French President Francois Holland has now said "This is war. We are going to be ruthless!" And I just heard a French commentator say "No boots on the ground there (Syria / Iraq) will mean more blood on the streets here."
This is going to be big. Really BIG! Where many countries, many different political persuasions, have been holding back, the pressure to get involved in a more substantial way may now be too much for them to resist. For a western country to agree to contribute a mere handful of aircraft to the anti-ISIS cause will no longer be considered enough. And after the Rooskies lost a passenger aircraft to ISIS, you know they are going to ramp up their kick-ass-and-take-name offensive. Strange bedfellows, huh?
Now I'm wondering what is going to happen to / towards the millions of Muslims who live in western nations? It's hard to not look at them with suspicion, but to do anything overtly discriminatory against them could backfire in a big way. And it's already started. I just heard a Republican presidential candidate say "Our president needs to do more to protect the American people instead of trying to protect the image of Muslims." I get that, but still, it's a slippery slope we're walking.
IMHO, the big winners: Political hawks (read: Republicans), the pro-gun movement in the US (yes, we tend to over react), and the western world's military / industrial complex.
Doesn't the fact that we will likely soon be spending more of our human and national treasure fighting ISIS mean that they win, even if they lose?
Maybe I should stop thinking.