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Thursday, September 4, 2014

Politicians Chasing ISIS "To the Gates of Hell"




What about U.S. armed forces and the President's promise of "no boots on the ground" in Iraq?

Vice President Biden vowed Wednesday to chase ISIS "to the gates of Hell!" This is the toughest statement to date from the administration, declaring, after another U.S. journalist was beheaded by the Islamic State, "we will follow them to the gates of Hell until they are brought to justice."

Is Biden using rhetoric to shore up some new factors for a Presidential campaign?

In the meantime, President Obama said that while his administration's goal is to "destroy" ISIS -- it also is to "shrink" it to a "manageable problem." Obama and British Prime Minister David Cameron will use this week's NATO summit to press for a multi-national coalition to carry out military action against the Islamic State militant group.

Administration officials still said Wednesday that that the U.S. will not launch a ground war against the Islamic State militants. But they stopped short of ruling out airstrikes against the group in its safe haven in Syria, as the U.S. has resisted for years.

So, is it going to be "crush" or "contain" or "shrink"? Or, will it eventually become "step aside" and "spectate"?

The administration is sending mixed, confusing messages about just what the United States intends to do to stop ISIS. Special operators in Iraq told Fox News that "frustration and confusion reign" among Americans on the ground there. The source relayed the complaint of an unnamed special operator: "Chase them to the Gates of Hell? How the [f---] are we going to do that when we can't even leave the front gate of our base!?"

According to the government, U.S. the vast majority of personnel presently on the ground in Iraq are there to defend U.S. facilities. The president earlier this week deployed an additional 350 personnel to Baghdad to provide security at the U.S. Embassy and related facilities. The decision brings the additional U.S. diplomatic security contingent to 820.

Defense officials say that when the additional Marines arrive, they will bring the total number of U.S. troops in Iraq to 1,213. Evidently some troops in Iraq are involved in training and advising missions.

Everyone is aware that U.S. military personnel also are engaged in airstrikes against the Islamic State in northern Iraq and helping with humanitarian missions to aid ethnic minorities who have been besieged by the militant group.

The big question is "How aggressively will the U.S. expand the fight against ISIS?"




Rattling Sabres

The recent beheadings of U.S. journalists are barbaric, horrendous war crimes. These actions represent the unforgivable brutality and the evil killing of innocents. I abhor ISIS. I do hope all of their followers meet a violent end.

But ...

The killings are effective terrorist actions in that they are highly selective and discriminate acts of violence perpetrated to achieve a specific political aim. As these terrorist acts produce widespread fear in their enemies, they also allow the terrorist group to obtain worldwide, national, or local recognition for their cause by attracting the attention of the media. Revenge drives many such terrorist atrocities.

The terrorists want to use violence to harass, weaken, and embarrass government security forces so that a government immediately reacts to the shock and the horror. They seek to create doubt that a government can provide for and protect its citizens, so their deadly missions seek to intimidate the populace through dread and high anxiety.

Acts of terrorism influence government decisions, legislation, or other critical decisions. In the case of ISIS and the recent assault on Iraq, their ungodly terrorism is fueling distrust in consistent, effective actions to control an enemy the populace wants to fight on foreign soil before incurring widespread terrorism in America.

The terrorists understand that the violent executions of American journalists will eventually force the hand of the United States government to react. The real problem is that after decades of fighting in the Middle East, Americans are sick of war that only leads to enemy occupation. What gains do we have for the tremendous sacrifices.

After all, one military death (And since 2001, the War on Terror has claimed 6,717 lives and wounded another 50,897.) is horrendous. If we do put more troops on the ground in Iraq, we will surely lose many American service personnel. And, will we be playing into the hands of an enemy that desires full-scale American intervention?

Vice-President Biden sounds like a scary, war-hardened, Rambo of a warrior when he vows to go to storm the gates of Hades to destroy ISIS. Maybe Obama, Biden, and the other politicians and military officials will commit to crushing these heinous terrorists with an overwhelming ground campaign. I think the present bombing missions have a limited effect in fighting a guerrilla war, and history can attest to that fact.

What is the real plan? What does America intend to do? How will ISIS react to an increased presence? I don't know. Do you? We grieve senseless deaths of innocents, yet the war waged by terrorists requires so many more buckets of blood to appease the situation and effect a standstill, and even then, we can not be assured that more senseless slaughters won't follow.

We swear we never war because of money, power, geography, revenge, and politics. It is something you could ask a group of Americans once considered savages by our European ancestors -- the Native Americans. I wonder what they say about true warriors?

I wish we could just get our citizens safely out of harm's way and learn to strengthen our own defenses.


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