Friday, September 12, 2014

The ISIS Speech

I suppose, as someone who has repeatedly criticized President Obama and has an interest in current affairs, I should have watched the speech so I could excoriate it regardless of its merits. Meh. Too predictable. I've been pondering something else.

While it's a good thing that we're going to continue air strikes against ISIS, I'm wondering how prepared we are for this thing to escalate. Eventually, ISIS, or someone else, is going to realize that it's a lot easier to fight California aqueducts and Texas power transmission lines over here than AC-130 gunships over there. If they're willing to behead and crucify people, they're not going to sweat hauling small SAMs across the border and camping out at the end of the ORD runway to pop airliners.

Seriously, would you take on one of these brutes?

Looking at the problem from the ISIS point of view, it would be silly to fight us where we're strongest. From what I can tell, the speech didn't go into that aspect of the problem. At some point in time, some speech will.


tim eisele said...

I disagree that it will make more sense for them to attack sites in the US that to have us come to fight them in the middle east. If it did, they would have been putting a lot more effort into doing that over the past 13 years than they have been.

If they were trying to persuade us to leave the Middle East and let them do as they liked there, they didn't need to do anything. We were already leaving. If they want us to leave, the current spate of beheadings makes zero sense, because they know from experience that beheadings just rouse up a desire for vengeance and raises support for the US to attack them.

But, if what they want is to encourage us to come back and fight them some more, the beheadings make perfect sense. And given that they want to fight us at all, then persuading us to come fight them, instead of them coming to fight us, still makes sense. That way, we spend all the money on travel expenses, and all they have to do is wait in the areas where they've already prepared tunnels, escape routes, ambush points, and weapons stockpiles. And they can hand a rifle, or a rocket launcher, or a bomb to their guys and just send them out to fight, without mucking around with travel arrangements, border security, or keeping them from drawing attention once they reach the US.

The point is that they want to fight us. Having us as an enemy is exactly what they need to keep recruiting new soldiers, soliciting more funds, and generally keeping their whole operation going. And the most cost-effective way for them to fight us, is to persuade us to shoulder the vast majority of the cost.

tom said...

Hack the telepromptr and you can get whatever speech you want. And you'll probably get just as much honesty and commitment.

As for fight-them-there or fight-them-here, why not both? Create a completely chaotic two-front war that's available to all wannabe-jihadis, foreign and domestic.

I'm just waiting for some car bombs at WalMarts in flyover country. As long as terrorism is confined to big cities, most of the country will get upset, and not much more. Start blowing up lower- and middle-class fixtures and suddenly it gets real.

K T Cat said...

Tim, I'd say the journalist beheadings were a strategic blunder. Had they kept to killing Iraqis, we probably wouldn't have done all that much. I don't think they wanted us to come back over there because we're going to cost them vehicles and personnel.

I'm with Tom on this one - why not do both? How much damage can the soft parts of the US take before we decide the Yazidis aren't worth the cost. In the meantime, they keep us busy in both places.

As for travel and infiltration efforts, why bother? Since they recruit from all over the world, all they have to do is tell the recruits to stay put and supply them with weapons to carry out attacks at home.

Trigger Warning said...

Even if ISIS were to create a "man-caused disaster" here, it would likely not be terrorism unless it rose to epic proportions.

The Nidal Hassan Ft Hood massacre was "workplace violence".

The Treasury Dept so far refuses to classify the Boston bombing as a terror event.

Move along. Nothing to see here.

Foxfier said...

It is massively more sound to attack us here.

However, the reason they haven't, so far, is the same reason that they're horrifically killing little kids instead of "relocating" them so they're a living, eating humanitarian weight on other areas. Their thought process simply doesn't work like that.

Cutting off a head on video: psychos go "ooh, that could be ME!"

Sneaking up and blowing up a dam? No glory. Horrific damage, but no gore.

I can't predict what specifically they'll do, but we can see a sort of pattern in what they don't do.

K T Cat said...

Foxie, I agree. I would suggest that operating a small, tracked robot armed with .50 cal machine guns in a shopping mall doesn't buy you Allah's rewards, either.


tim eisele said...

I still think you all are misunderstanding what it is that they are trying to do. They want to unite all the Sunnis, kill all the Shiites, and take over the whole area with their own dictatorship. I don't think that they actually give a damn about us, as such. We just make a convenient external enemy to goad into attacking them, so that they can unite all their fellow Sunnis together to fight us off. Without us, they would just be squabbling among themselves like usual. And after the World Trade Center attacks, we are all pre-primed so that we can be re-goaded at will without any great effort on their part. The Russians or the Chinese or the Europeans or the Indians would have served their needs just as well if they were willing to play along.

Rose said...

We're a country in the process of committing suicide. Electing Obama was the equivalent of downing the bottle of pills. Did we leave ourselves an out, so that we'll wake up time to save the day? Or is it going to be fatal.

Nothing in his speech - this man who will call Sandra Fluke, but goes golfing after a perfunctory speech about the victim of a televised beheading - nothing, from this man who brought us the 'Arab Spring' - nothing at all about energy independence for us, which would cut off their money supply. Nothing.

We should already have accomplished this, it should have been task #1 since 9/11.

What's wrong with the US.