Wednesday, September 09, 2015

ISIS is the worst threat to American Interests, but the only acceptable way to fight them is to give weapons to a small number of ineffective fighters with no real hope of success

This really is bizarre. For the past year, the American line has been that the Islamic State is the greatest threat to everything and is our new public enemy #1. Russia is now boosting its aid to the Assad regime to fight ISIS. But that is terrible, because they are aiding the internationally recognized government of Syria rather than the very small group of "moderate" fighters that U.S. likes better? If the Islamic State were the worst threat to the U.S. why would that distinction even matter?

On one level I get it. The U.S. does not like Assad, Iran, or the Putin government. There are good reasons to dislike each. It's just that if American officials really believed their own rhetoric about the unique evil of the Islamic State, you would think those concerns about Syria, Russia, and Iran could be put aside for sake of the larger cause. The Soviet Union was an ally against the Nazis, after all. And that wasn't the softer Brezhnev-era USSR. It was Stalin, Stalin ferchristssake!

The only explanation is that the powers that be in the U.S. don't care as much about the Islamic State as they pretend to. Maybe this is the problem of portraying everyone who the U.S. doesn't like as the next Hitler. How many Hitlers have we had by now anyway? Is anyone keeping track?