Who Will Fill the Void After ISIS?

Yesterday, Secretary of Defense Ash Carter was on Capital Hill testifying before the Senate Armed Services Committee. Among his many dimwitted quips was: “We won’t hesitate to confront ISIS.”

Now, if I were on the Senate panel, I may have fallen out of chair in both laughter and disbelief over what I had just heard. All the Obama administration has done since the formation of ISIS is hesitate to confront. Leading from behind is hardly confronting them.

“The United States is prepared to assist the Iraqi army with additional unique capabilities to help them finish the job, including attack helicopters and accompanying advisers” if circumstances dictate the extra assistance and if requested by Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi, Carter said.

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His statement was regarding the Iraqi army’s attempt to retake to the city of Ramadi, the capital of Anbar Province. And why does Ramadi need to be retaken? That’s right – back in May, ISIS overran the Iraqi forces and took the capital, as we “hesitated to confront them.” And, frankly, if I were the Iraqi leader, I might approach Putin for support, figuring he would not cut and run at the first sign of “confrontation.” Maybe Ash Carter can order the all new, all female Delta or SEAL Team PINK to assist. That will put the fear of Allah into those ISIS fighters! But that’s a rant for another time.

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Carter also said the United States would provide more weapons and munitions, which has worked so well in the past, as they eventually end up in the hands of ISIS fighters.

This current Middle Eastern mess once again begs the obvious question. Retake the city for whom? If we somehow do “assist” in retaking Ramadi, or any territory in the Middle East, to whom do we relinquish it? The Iraqi army? The Iraqi government – the people – who? Many don’t realize the reason the Iraqi army can even think of retaking any territory isn’t because of us. It’s because the army is now being led by the Iranian Quds force.

Haven’t we been down this road before? Is this not how ISIS came to be in the first place – created by the vast void left as the West blindly and foolishly assisted in the toppling of one strong-arm dictator after another – the devils we knew? And now, because the West’s short-sighted populous arrogance, we are stuck with the devil we didn’t know. I’d like to blame Obama entirely for this mess, but recall that many of the establishment right joined in the Arab Spring freedom chorus.

Recall this from genius and soothsayer of the establishment right, Bill Kristol: “The Middle East had produced a waste land of brutal authoritarianism, Islamic extremism, and corrosive anti-Americanism. Some sophisticates rationalized that the status quo was better than any likely alternative.” Or Charles Krauthammer, who wrote: “Who doesn’t love a democratic revolution? Who is not moved by the renunciation of fear and the reclamation of dignity…?” Wow! I didn’t realize we who warned of this very outcome were sophisticates!

So what do you think now, Bill and Charles and the rest? Yes, the devils we knew (Hussein, Gadhafi, Mubarak) were all what you said they were, but they at least they kept the Islamists in check, to a great extent.

So we now have the new devil in ISIS, which everyone agrees must go. And when they’re extinguished (relatively) – what then? What then is what we predicted after the Arab Spring and before the rise of ISIS. What then will be a Middle Eastern arms race (we predicted) involving Iran (Russia), Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Turkey, Jordan, and possibly others. And I’m sure that will also turn out great.

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