Mosul is falling to Iraqi insurgents


#381

Pretty much this. Of course we shouldn’t have gone there in the first place, but we did and we have a responsibility to stick around for the long term regardless of how unpopular the war becomes at home. This doesn’t mean doing all their policing and governing for them, there’s clearly a level of involvement between that and pulling out entirely. And as Soapyfrog notes, IS is an external threat. If there was any situation that could arise where we were obligated to go back, even temporarily, this would be it. Instead we waited until the last minute.

And war, especially modern war, is a long and messy process. I don’t know why anyone thought we’d be out of Iraq in a handful of months. When has that been true? Maybe we’ll finally learn not to make these decisions so lightly.


#382

What the actual f**k.


#383

I understand what he is saying in the sense that our modern conflicts tend to involve engaging irregular forces who blend in with the general population and make their prosecution especially tricky, long and drawn out.


#384

Hey, WWI and WWII haven’t lasted nearly as long as Iraq or Afghanistan.


#385

Bah nobody but the enemy is dying in our wars these days, less dead from ALL the wars since 2001 including 9/11 than half a year in traffic in US …


#386

I keep expecting to see Amnesty International whenever I’m on 495 around DC.


#387

To be fair, they’d be there if not for the fender-bender at the Mixing Bowl.


#388

LOL - too true


#389

I’m generally fairly pragmatic, if not happily so, about a lot of this, but there’s a definite part of me that simply wants to bomb these IS fucks into the Pleistocene. Except, of course, their ideology is still mired somewhere between their and the Jurassic I guess. And, are there even real targets that are susceptible to bombing? And, well, is it exactly moral to level huge swathes of territory filled with largely unwilling schmucks, just to get the bad guys?

But still, at some reptilian brain level, when you see and hear about things like this, there’s a definite urge to help them all become martyrs.


#390

Thanks for the laugh. My wife just spent almost 2 hours going from downtown to Alexandria – 10 miles – because of the rain. sigh


#391

Do these ISIS people seriously not remember what happened to the last fanatical Islamic cult that pissed America off? Do they actually believe that executing a noncombatant civilian is going to make America go, “Oh okay, nevermind then”?


#392

Like I said, not very bright.


#393

I do read your posts. Objectively though, whatever influence Christianity has on government, the world over, but especially in the USA, is waning. Gay marriage is here to stay. Its in how many states now? In 10 years, probably less, it will be in all of them. If old testament thumping Christians were in charge, it would not be legal anywhere.

Why would you even mention abortion clinic bombings and murders? There are more murders in the name of allah in a month than there have been EVER in the name of christianity with respect to abortion clinic bombings and murders.

A weekend in Chicago is more violent than that Dave, surely this is not news to you?

Serb on Bosnia…I can not speak to that though I would be shocked if that genocide was one way.

Irish conflicts? Again we are concerned with the present. How often are Catholics killing Protestants these days, in Ireland?

Violence against gays happens in a lot of places and if you think islam is innocent there and christianity is more to blame…well it would not surprise me at this point. But you would be wrong.

The ‘list’ is not endless, islam, today, is a true force for evil in the world. Christianity is not even worth a comparison.

Radical islam the world over is not waning. Its becoming more of a threat. ISIS makes Al Q look like the JV (thanks Obama!), they almost control two whole countries, AlQ never controlled shit. They have way more money than AlQ and while I would not say they are a threat to a modern western power on a conventional battlefield, they have way more than AlQ had there too.

Churchill called it over a 100 years ago. Islam is the pre-eminent threat to civilization. When will the world wake up to that?


#394

No, [I]fanatics[/I] are the threat.

To paraphrase what I said after 9/11 - “The enemy is not one race, ideology or religion. It is an idea. The idea that it is acceptable to attack civilians simply for not believing as you do”

IS? Fail that basic test, and I’m quite happy to call them the enemy.
My Muslim friends, here in London? No, not my enemies. One of my housemates is a nominally Muslim Iranian, for frick sake!

(Nice way you ignore the blood-soaked history of Christianity and about 1500 years of European history, which are largely one and the same)


#395

I think it’s plateaued for now, myself. I don’t see evidence of either waning or waxing strength at the present time. And I never said Christian extremists are in charge, just that they’re pushing hard on many fronts. Some battles they are losing (gay marriage), some they are winning (climate change), and some are mixed depending on where you live (teaching evolution or other scientific concepts).

Why would you even mention abortion clinic bombings and murders?

Because they are one of many examples of fanatic followers of the Prince of Peace engaging in murder in His name, obviously.

Serb on Bosnia…I can not speak to that though I would be shocked if that genocide was one way.

Of course the Bosniak Muslims fought back to defend their homes and families from genocidal Christians. But they didn’t start the violence, and they got their asses kicked until NATO intervened:

If a narrow definition of genocide is used, as favoured by the international courts, then during the Srebrenica massacre, 8,000 Bosnian Muslim men and boys were murdered and the remainder of the population (between 25,000 and 30,000 Bosniak women, children and elderly people) was forced to leave the area. If a wider definition is used, then the number is much larger. According to the ICTY Demographic Unit, an estimated 69.8% or 25,609 of the civilians killed in the war were Bosniak (with 42,501 military deaths), with the Bosnian Serbs suffering 7,480 civilian casualties (15,299 military deaths), the Bosnian Croats suffering 1,675 civilian casualties (7,183 military deaths), amounting to a total of 104,732 casualties, spread between the Bosnian Croats (8.5%), Bosnian Serbs (21.7%), Bosniaks (65%), and others (4.8%).[72]

In January 2013, the Sarajevo-based Research and Documentation Center (RDC) published its final results on the most comprehensive research into Bosnia-Herzegovina’s war casualties: The Bosnian Book of the Dead – a database that reveals “a minimum of” 97,207 names of Bosnia and Herzegovina’s citizens killed and missing during the 1992–1995 war. The head of the ICTY Demographic Unit, Ewa Tabeu, has called it “the largest existing database on Bosnian war victims”.[73][74] More than 240,000 pieces of data have been collected, processed, checked, compared and evaluated by an international team of experts to produce the final number of over 97,000 victim’s names of all nationalities. According to the RDC, 82 percent or 33,071 of the civilians killed in the war were Bosniak, with a minimum of 97,207 casualties, military and civilian, for all sides involved: Bosniaks (66.2%), Serbs (25,4%) and Croats (7,8%), as well as others (0,5%).[74][75][76]

Irish conflicts? Again we are concerned with the present. How often are Catholics killing Protestants these days, in Ireland?

Oh, so only the last few years count? I think events that dominated the news during my lifetime are worthy of consideration.

Violence against gays happens in a lot of places and if you think islam is innocent there and christianity is more to blame…well it would not surprise me at this point.

I don’t think either is innocent. Fanatical believers in both religions behave like fanatics everywhere. They’re identical, which is my whole point. I oppose them all.

The ‘list’ is not endless, islam, today, is a true force for evil in the world. Christianity is not even worth a comparison.

And here you make your bias abundantly clear. If you said radical or fanatic Islam “is a true force for evil in the world”, I’d nod my head and agree. If you said radical or fanatic Christianity is a true force for evil in the world, I’d agree with that, too. Stop trying to whitewash the sins of your own religion while pointing fingers at one you loathe.

Churchill called it over a 100 years ago. Islam is the pre-eminent threat to civilization. When will the world wake up to that?

Never, because he was 100% wrong about that, like he was on many other issues.

So, quoting Churchill in support of your cause isn’t doing you any favors.


#396

There are all sorts of factors here.

First, it was a (tiny) chance at deterrence. The US is bombing them already; it’s not like we’re going to stop if they did nothing to him, and their holding four Americans wasn’t deterring the bombing. They must know that we’re going to start running drone sorties out of Kurdistan at an industrial pace here pretty soon - they might have figured that killing a guy brutally was worth a shot at stopping the bombing, even if it was almost certainly futile.

Second, it was a shot at getting “street cred”. Yeah, everyone knew that they are religious zealots and murdering crazies already, but most of their violence has been against other Arabs, and even that has been confined to a pretty small (relatively) area of the Middle East. This killing might move them up the ladder from “regional lunatics” to “global lunatics” and attract more foreign fighters to their cause.

But mostly, I reckon it was an economic move. The US and the UK refuse to pay ransom for their citizens (though sometimes the companies that employ them do… through back channels), and the IS guys knew that they were very unlikely to get any money or prisoners for Foley. However, they do get a vast amount of money (some say almost all their non-looted income) from ransoms paid by other European and Eurasian countries like France and Germany. So I figure that the primary motivation for loudly and visibly killing Foley was to send a message to everyone other than the US: “We’re not screwing around here, pay up.”


#397

Still waiting for that like button.


#398

This is the textbookiest of textbook false equivalences, and calling fanatical Christianity as bad as fanatical Islam does more to reveal your own biases than olaf’s.


#399

It seems infinitely more likely that the message they just sent is, “We’re not screwing around here, wipe us from the face of the planet.”

Though I suppose I shouldn’t be surprised that fanaticism is incompatible with rational thought.


#400

So if I have a criticism on Islam today, I need to be prepared to defend Christianity from as far back as Abraham. That’s stupid.