Greetings and salutations from the sand, sun and surf of Cape Cod, Martha’s Vineyard and the sunny, spectacular and rather chilly island of Nantucket! Great to be with you on this Friday morning, the 13th day of February, 2015, a gorgeous one out on the Hyannis/Hyannis Port Waterfront(s). Calm now, but wait 36 hours and this liberal reporter–you filthy, tree huggin’ fool!–and every other Cape resident will be battening down the hatches once again, as we are under yet another blizzard warning starting sometime Saturday night, extending until Monday, with Boston and parts of downeast Maine expecting upwards of 24 inches; the Cape & Islands, 18 inches with hurricane force wind gusts…
Who said Global Warming wouldn’t be exhilarating?
So here we all are, finishing up another week of work in the good ‘ole US of A. Better than living in the Ukraine though, or anywhere Vladimir Putin sets his sights on next. “Can you say Estonia?” “Sure, I knew that you could…” (credit the late, great Fred Rogers of PBS). The big ‘cease fire’ announced for Sunday in Ukraine is a farce and should noted as such. Russia does not plan to stop it’s offensive invasion of eastern Ukraine, via the ‘rebels’ backed by Moscow, and if we decide to arm them after this conclusion is reached, we may be in for more than we bargained for.
Much like the situation now in Iraq and Syria, with the vicious terrorist group ISIL winning ‘on the ground’, for they can hide amongst Sunni population centers with no fear of being outed, as this truly is an ancient ‘no man’s land’ (northern Syria), a place where no real civilization has flourished in 3000 years. Our entire argument to ‘put boots on the ground’ is insane at ‘this juncture’… it is simply ludicrous and 20th Century warfare tactical thinking, outdated if you please. This millenniums long war between two sects (Sunni & Shiite), of the same religion, Islam, MUST be worked out between themselves and no one else. What good is the CIA doing anyway? Our $561 Billion dollar military budget in the U.S. (dwarfing every other military in the world, in fact, bigger than all the world’s military combined!), must be addressed fairly shortly by our nation as a whole, or it will bankrupt US. Moreover, we can’t seem to win a war with that kind of fire power and longer. Did we ‘win’ Afghanistan? Did we ‘win’ Iraq?
Did we ‘win‘ Vietnam?
No, we did not. Are the Iraqi people better off than they were say, a decade ago? Does the average Iraqi feel liberated? Do they even have electricity? Is Iraq a quasi failed state? Do we really have any control of the situation? President Obama is doing the right thing by punting this dog with fleas back to Congress, asking them to ‘tie his hands’ when it comes to Executive Authority so that he does not make the same mistakes former President George W. Bush made when he tried and failed to rid Iraq of “Al Qaeda in Iraq” (morphing into ISIL), even with 100,000 troops “on the ground”…
All one hundred of them!
So what is the answer? A new AUMF (authorized use of military funds), strategy to ‘degrade and destroy ISIL’ is a good start; especially with limited time (3 years), and that ‘modest’ price tag (billions upon billions more spent in the desert waste land), or, roughly what we spend on OUR military industrial complex year in and year out.
“If we can’t start a war by golly, we WILL buy one!”
And that is the answer to this 64,000 dollar question. WILL. ISIL–no matter how much WE all despise their actions and inhuman “ideology”–have the WILL to move mountains right now, the secret to their success. The ‘coalition’ of ‘willing partners’ seems vague, weak and unorganized, the polar opposite of ISIL, whose focus is laser like and a WILL as strong as steel.
The United States is NOT the world’s police force, we never really were, we just thought we were after WWII. This country simply cannot afford to be that illusion any longer. Lest WE, as a nation of free and intelligent people forget, Osama Bin Laden’s goal (with the 9/11 attacks), was ultimately to draw the West, especially the U.S., into a quagmire; pulling them, one by one, into the dreaded, mysterious and deadly quicksand that IS the Middle East in this early part of the 21st Century. With the hope of bankrupting our coffers vis-a-vis the ‘endless wars’ we are seeing today, all while bringing the constant fog of FEAR to the ‘land of the infidel’…
To a great degree, the late, Saudi elite turned terrorist was successful. How ironic our coalition of willing partners involves the same people who financed that fateful September 2001 morning. Do we really know who the enemy is any more? ISIL got it’s start from somewhere. You can spell that start with the letters m,o,n,e,y, and now we know who that ’someone’ is. That’s right, Saudi Arabia. And although a brutal Syrian civil war and a deep drought that sparked famine in 2011 was the main catalyst for ISIL’s growth and notoriety, let’s be cleat that this new ‘endeavor’ in the most volatile and dangerous place on the planet is flawed at best (with ‘friends’ like this), folly at it’s worst. Most of the common wisdom siding with the latter…
Have a nice week end everybody!
PRESERVE THE WILDERNESS! Peace~M