What to do in the Middle East

What do you think about President Obama’s decision to start a new round of bombing in Syria and Iraq?


Most US citizens support the President, but there are a few quavery hands raised, a few voices saying, wait a minute. Scribbler’s hand is waving.

Every military intervention since 9/11 has failed. Not one Jihadist group has been wiped out. That at least should cool everyone’s jets. No doubt about it, a new, bigger-than-ever iteration of extremist jihadists is scary. Something must be done. But by whom? And how? Here’s Scribbler’s admittedly superficial summary of how we got here.

Photo credit: Vice News

IS is a shaky coalition, and it is facing a lot of pressure. What IS needs is a badass from somewhere else to threaten them, a David vs. Goliath template to unify their barely-holding coalition.


IS needs US to intervene, and with thirteen years of lessons, IS leaders have a pretty good idea of how to push our buttons. Beheadings! Makes us look like wusses. Bombs away.

Once IS starts posting videos of dead babies next to US shells, there will be a lot, they hope, more than 15,000 fighters for their cause.

And look what’s coming in the US in November? Elections. Politicians who start wars go up in the polls. All aboard! Finally, something the Democrats and Republicans can shake hands on.

But wait. The countries that are threatened by IS, Iran and Saudi Arabia — are refusing to help. Worse, they funded the extremists that are causing the crisis (Iran backed the Shia and Saudi Arabia the Sunnis). Won’t it muck things up if we take the lead? Aren’t we going at this backwards? Shouldn’t our beheading-happy friends the Saudis be begging us for assistance, not the other way around?

Photo credit: Headline Politics

OK, OK, it looks like a done deal.

Given what looks like the inevitability of war, Scribbler reluctantly agrees that parceling out bombs to “moderate” Syrian rebels, forcing them to YouTube the use of those bombs and return the empty cannisters; pretending to set up another Iraqi army — is better than sending more US soldiers to Iraq for another goose egg war.

Hopefully though, the quavery hands will keep waving.



  • I don’t have answers either, and have no business sounding off — but still. I agree. Support from other Middle Easterners would help. I guess France threw their hat in the ring today. Here we go.


  • I believe someone who understand the culture will have an idea of what will work. Our cultures (I’m Canadian) are worlds apart. North American thinking will not work. It hasn’t worked yet. Stop doing the same old, same old. The Russians failed in Afganistan after how many years, then the U.S. I don’t want to spew because I don’t usually get all political as if I knew what I was talking about. I mostly shake my head.


    • Just keep saying no I guess, even if it doesn’t seem to be heard. A surprising number of people I’ve talked to are just as uneasy as you and I are, but seem to be reluctant to say it out loud. Maybe for fear of looking like they sanction beheadings?


  • A brilliant post, Scribbler. You raise all the questions/points that some in Australia are very concerned about. Our involvement in Iraq in the past hasn’t helped, in fact some argue it’s exacerbated things. Our Prime Minister at the time led us to war against Sadam Hussein under the pretext of “weapons of mass destruction”, which turned out to be a lie…and ten years down the track the situation in Iraq is much worse.

    Our current PM is working the media into a frenzy but he’s not calling it a war, it’s a “mission”… All I know is it raises our level of a terrorist attack here in Australia ten-fold, the outcome in annihilating IS is nebulous and it most likely results in further radicalisation of disaffected young muslims.


    • Agree. The news media, which is now plays 24 hours and has to fill those hours with something, say the same inciting words over and over — terrorists, beheadings, atrocities, etc. Osama bin Laden must be smiling up there with his thousand virgins.

      Liked by 1 person

  • My hands, which are man-hands, seem to be ignored even with their fresh manicure and large size. These groups absolutely know how to push our buttons and we constantly react as expected. We are impatient and predictable and in my opinion, that is our biggest fault. I have to say one thing all of these terror groups have in common … patience. My hope is for Peace, but I am optimistically naive.
    Great Post!


  • Thank you Life. Honestly, I almost took it down this morning. OK to be completely honest, it was another “publish” instead of “preview” accident, where the original idea was to rant and then tone down but my fingers have a mind of their own.

    Man hands! Ha ha. Me too. And feet. My beloved says I’m steady in a high wind.


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