he Islamic State, you have to acknowledge, is on quite a roll.Over the July 4th weekend, the FBI arrested a northern Virginia neighbor of mine, Mohamed Bailor Jalloh.
Those crimes, Democrats contend (and Donald Trump agrees), cost the lives of 4,497 Americans, killed at least 160,000 Iraqis, offended the Muslim world, destabilized the region, and led to the rise of ISIS.
The problem with this account is that jihadism predated Bush by decades. Bush for attempting to protect the United States and its allies. Name an American war, or any war, that was flawless. By 2009, when Obama took office, the Iraq war was won and the country mostly pacified. But beyond the political point scoring, there is something off about the Blame Bush First syndrome – namely, that we have now had 7 ½ years worth of experience with the opposite policies. Some 4.5 million Syrian refugees have fled to Turkey, Iraq, Lebanon, Jordan, and Egypt, and thousands are streaming into Europe creating a crisis for the EU.
In the 1980s, they struck us in Lebanon, in Berlin (at a disco frequented by American servicemen), on the Achille Lauro, and in the air over Lockerbie. Cole, the embassies in Kenya and Tanzania, and perpetrated the Mogadishu attacks and the first World Trade Center bombing. Barack Obama has withdrawn from Iraq, declined to intervene in the Syrian civil war, kept inadequate forces in Afghanistan, denied defensive arms to Ukraine, sought rapprochement with Cuba and Iran, and stiff-armed Israel. Half of Syria’s population (about 11 million people) is internally displaced and in need of humanitarian assistance, which is difficult to deliver in a war zone.
You might suppose that in the mighty nations of the west, debate would be ongoing about how to destroy ISIS and rescue the desperate people – one thinks particularly of the religious minorities like the Yazidis – who’ve come under its control.
You’d even suppose that people who style themselves human rights crusaders on the left would be condemning our inaction as a form of racism or xenophobia, since the overwhelming majority of ISIS’s victims are Muslim and/or dark skinned. In our counsels, the great issue we’re relitigating is whether Tony Blair should be tried for war crimes at the International Criminal Court and just how responsible George W. In the wake of a just-released prolix exercise in second-guessing by Sir John Chilcot, a sneering BBC host interviewed Blair and demanded to know whether “even now” he had the nerve to pray about his actions.
(Blair, unlike most BBC types, is religious.) Progressives, like those who run the BBC and the Democratic party here, have concocted an imagined history of the past quarter century in which everything was fine until George W.Bush lied us into war in Iraq and opened the prison in Guantanamo.The list doesn’t count the horrific beheadings, sex slavery, forced labor, crucifixions, and other murders ISIS has committed in territory it controls in Iraq and Syria.That such an orgy of viciousness attracts as well as repels is one of the mysteries of the human condition.There is little question though, that despite President Obama’s claims that “ISIL is contained,” the perception worldwide is that ISIS is successfully holding territory and expanding – thus earning the right to call itself a caliphate.For Muslims of a radical turn of mind, that is intoxicating.