Please pardon the frustration that will show in this post–I have been watching Fox news just now!
Tonight they feature retired generals and other “experts,” on the Obama strategy against ISIS. Our President has said there will be no “US boots on the ground.” He is focused on an air war, weapons, advice, and support, from the US and allies, with boots on the ground by local forces who are directly affected by ISIS threats.
Fox and its friends apparently think they are clever to try to put all the focus on whether the “no US boots on the ground” will be effective, with the clear and repeated assertion, “expert” after “expert,” that it will not–i.e., there will definitely need to be US boots on the ground before this war is won–the local boots on the ground will not be sufficient.
What is disingenuous on the part of Fox and friends is this–if all these experts feel we should put US boots on the ground, why are they, each and every one, unwilling to just say that? It’s certainly implied, but never stated. Isn’t it curious to carefully put all the focus on whether Obama is correct in offering a sufficient strategy? But isn’t it cowardly to avoid taking a position on the issue of American boots on the ground? I heard none of these experts say they recommend US boots on the ground! None!
Why, just why, are Fox and friends not willing to take a position? Why are all these critics of the “strategy” not willing to courageously say they each recommend putting US troops on the ground? I argue they are extremely naive to think Americans find criticism of the strategy wins admiration. A proposal of a better strategy is the only way to win true admiration. Too easy, Fox and friends. Same approach you have used for years now with Obamacare–find fault, definitely under no circumstances offer an alternative. A proposal requires courage. There is insufficient courage to put a better plan forward.
I didn’t say they’re not smart. They’re just cowardly. They surely calculate the risks if Fox and friends were to strongly recommend US boots on the ground. First, they might hope to ride a temporary wave of disgust and fear that results in recent polls showing Americans support attacking ISIS. My guess is that they realize the reaction to three beheadings will surely fade when dozens or hundreds of US forces are returned to the US in body bags, just as we have repeatedly found in Vietnam, Iraq, and Afghanistan.
Consider what’s happening in the Ukraine right now. Russia is riding a record high Putin popularity, fueled by intense nationalism, popularity far higher than any US President has enjoyed in a long time. Yet, Russia has avoided admitting to its own people that their youth are directly engaged in the Ukraine conflict, even to the extent that these young soldiers, fighting in civilian clothing, are being denied proper burials and tribute–all for fear of engendering a sharp reduction in government popularity among Russians, as well as heightening Western resolve to stop Russian incursion in Ukraine. See the BBC report: http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-28949582
Isn’t it revealing the the US Congress has been so reluctant to fully debate, discuss, and approve the extent of US engagement in this new war? Why does our Congress seem to hope the President will act unilaterally to decide the extent to which American lives are put at risk?
Yes, indeed–it’s one thing to be on record as saying the Obama strategy will not work, and it’s quite entirely another to be on record as recommending US go to war with American soldiers on the ground. I don’t see any generals, congressmen or other experts anxious to admit they supported a full scale war in Vietnam, Iraq, or Afghanistan.
And, by the way, what is so wrong with a strategy that restrains the danger to young Americans? Why should we offer a nuclear option just because that might be required in the end to win a war? Why shouldn’t we let the strategy evolve? Shouldn’t the locals most directly affected and who understand how to navigate this unfamiliar terrain have a chance to try first?
I thought Bill Maher had made it sufficiently clear that Lindsay Graham and John McCain are off the charts with their fear of ISIS showing up in Arizona: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/09/21/bill-maher-fear-isis-monsanto_n_5857344.html
No matter how many say the current strategy cannot work without US boots on the ground, it’s still far better to start this way.
And, I recognize it isn’t just the Right which enjoys criticizing without recommending an alternative, but wouldn’t it be nice if that was the requirement–no criticism be aired without an accompanying alternative recommendation. It would make television far more educational and meaningful.