Well, okay then!
I know I was advocating using the USAF to act as the Iranian-Iraqi airforce a couple of months ago. I still think that the offer of CAS might have opened up a way for my country to slowly regain some sort of diplomatic re-entry into a region where it has done everything possible to help create geopolitical conditions as fucked up as a football bat but was largely convinced by my commentors here that it was a bad idea then and I don't see anything to suggest that this is any better an idea now that it's being proposed as some sort of regional U.S. aerial fun-fair.
The rabid Sunni theocrats and 8th Century wannabes that run the so-called "Islamic State" are some real sonsofbitches alright and like all theocrats of every variety the notion of their controlling anything more than the local soup kitchen gives me the giggy. But - and, admittedly, he writes purely for the comic effect - Gary Brecher has a damn good point:
"What the jihadis have accomplished is grim enough, but their showoff videos of beheadings and mass executions are minor surges in what is, like it or not, a rational process: The partition of Iraq into three, rather than the previous two, ethnic/sectarian enclaves. Before I.S.I.S made its big move, Iraq was an unstable, immiscible column divided into Kurdistan and “everything else,” with “everything else” ruled by a weak Shia army.Um. Oh, yeah, that. Oops.
Now the natural three-term partition is in place again, with the Sunni of the center, Saddam’s tribe, back to doing what they do best. I don’t mean to minimize the brutality of the operation, but this is a fairly bloody part of the world, and we contributed rather significantly to that blood-mush ourselves."
I have never had much of an opinion of people in general. The Public IS an ass, by and large. But this is more than usually asinine. Something like 61% of the U.S. public thinks that more rubble = less trouble in the Sunni portions of Iraq and Syria. And that's because...John McCain says so?
What the fuck, people?
The bottom line is that in the zero-sum game of Middle Eastern politics it was always going to be difficult to resolve the issues inherent in the multi-sectarian post-Ottoman, post-colonial "states" like Iraq and Syria. There was the "old" way to play it - where the ruling faction (Tikritis in pre-2003 Iraq, Iranian-Shia clients in post-2008 Iraq, Alawite Shiites in pre-rebellion Syria) butchered the non-ruling factions if they ever got uppity. But we largely helped break that mold when we rampaged into the region killing people, breaking shit, proving that the old post-colonial secular governments were useless other than for being corrupt and weak, knocking groups around and throwing arms and anger all over the place. After that, and given that we ensured that the Sunnis in Iraq were dealt a bloody losing hand, it was nearly inevitable that if they didn't just roll over and die that they would choose to fight. And the more bloody and worse losing hand they were dealt ensured that the fighters they'd throw out would be the most ruthless they could find. The "Free Syrian Army" isn't a loser because they can't fight; they can't fight because they're the losers, the "moderates", who still see options other than red-handed war. The IS guys aren't that stupid. They know that the best in life is to crush your enemies, to see them driven before you and to hear the lamentations of their women.
And we think a couple of GBU-28's is gonna change that?
The Sunni in the region are going to be horribly, bloodily crushed. Or they will find leaders and fight and will, eventually, establish some sort of polity that will probably be led by someone and look like something the U.S. isn't going to "like". If the U.S. is going to get involved in this hot mess - which I'm not sure we need - we need to start from there. Anything else, any other "policy" is based on complete foolishness, as is this. IF we're going to spend blood and treasure, we should at least understand what we're spending it on and what it might buy. This nonsense tells me we haven't the slightest fucking clue other than to play some idiot game for the morons in the U.S. public and the courtier press.
Honestly, people. Can't anybody here play this goddamn game?