Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Bigger Than President Obama's Legacy

The continuing debate pushed by our Left over who is more responsible for the rise of those butchers of ISIL--Bush for invading Iraq or Obama for prematurely leaving Iraq--really misses the point.

Sure, I think that the fact that under President Bush 43 the pre-ISIL jihadis in Iraq were beaten down and brought under control argues against his responsibility under the narrow focus of Iraq as a cause; and the rise of ISIL on President Obama's watch after failing to defend that victory argues for his responsibility--again on the narrow focus of Iraq (although slightly broader when you throw in Syria).

But as much as the Left likes to paint Iraq as ground zero of all things jihadi-related, that narrow focus is simply not appropriate.

Radical Islamism has plagued the world for centuries. And we have been coping with it for decades--long before we fought Saddam.

The people who are responsible for the rise of ISIL are Moslems.

Mind you, Moslems are also on the frontline of resisting radical Islam, including ISIL, and suffer most from jihadi savagery.

But radical Islamism springs from Islam, and until Islam itself beats down this jihadi effort to define Islam in the sick image of the jihads, we will be at risk of suffering collateral damage in what is really an Islamic Civil War.

If you really want to assign blame for the rise of ISIL, of course, this is what you must conclude, rather than just attacking Bush and rallying around Obama to shape a rather pointless struggle for a presidential legacy.

UPDATE: If you really believe jihadi murderous impulses have not sprung from a tragically persistent strain of Islam but from Western actions, pray tell what did the Belgians do to "deserve" this?

A suicide bomber blew himself up at Brussels airport on Tuesday killing at least 11 people and a further blast tore through a rush-hour metro train in the capital shortly afterwards, claiming 10 lives, according to public broadcaster VRT.

A witness said he heard shouts in Arabic shortly before two blasts struck the packed airport departure lounge.

Why do they hate us (as if we did something to provoke it)?

Why do these bastards hate? Full stop.

UPDATE: Related.

UPDATE: My first update was meant to highlight how little Belgium has done in the war on terror--which if Westerners fighting jihadis causes jihadi anger against Westerners, should mean Belgium is safe from attacks.

But my assumption is wrong. Belgians are surprisingly active in the war on terror--on the other side:

Belgium has just 11 million people, and Pew estimated that about 6 percent of the population was Muslim as of 2010. But Belgian and French nationals make up around a quarter of the Europeans who went to fight in Iraq in the mid-2000s. While the government has acknowledged that hundreds of Belgians have gone to fight with ISIS or for other groups in the Syrian civil war, Pieter Van Ostaeyen, an independent researcher, calculated in October that 516 Belgians had fought in Iraq or Syria, far higher than the government’s figures. Based on his numbers, Belgium has contributed more fighters per capita to the fight in the Levant than any other European country.

Is Belgium a "Western" country if more Belgians fight against the West than for it?

UPDATE: Austin Bay has thoughts:

The war against ISIS, however, won't be won by police forces. ISIS must be defeated in Syria and Iraq. Yes, in the Middle East -- that battleground from which Spain withdrew in 2004. The U.S. withdrew its forces in 2011. Last week ISIS forces killed a U.S. Marine in Iraq. To defend Brussels and New York, U.S. ground forces must go back.

Europeans should realize that refusing to fight jihadis "over there" in the Middle East doesn't insulate them from being targets of jihadi hatred as the war on terror comes to them, instead.

As I read reports of how more US troops than the official ceiling are in Iraq by adjusting definitions for "boots on the ground," as more contractors are hired to serve in Iraq in lieu of countable boots, and as the reminder (to me, anyway) of how we use troops in Kuwait (where a troop rotation of headquarters forces there to command Operation Inherent Resolve) keeps relevant troops from counting against the limit, we see that we have to learn that lesson again, too.

One can wish that we'd remained in Iraq after 2011 to help the Iraqis completely wipe out the jihadi that we nearly eliminated with our Surge offensive/Awakening outreach.

But that was inconvenient for reelection rhetoric. So here we are with a whole new Iraq War 2.0.

Let's win it over there to keep from waging it over here.