The “Simplification” Of The Issues

“What Osma bin Laden wanted, it seems to me, was to bait the West into a direct fight on Muslim soil. That immediately elevated the cause of jihad, internationalized it, galvanized a generation of religious fanatics, and, even better for the radicals, broke a country in the heart of the Middle East so that sectarian violence could be exploited for further radicalization. Obama’s great achievement has been to steer the US, so far as possible, away from taking that poisoned bait. Cheney’s achievement was to fall for it, hook, line and sinker. I say this as someone who also took the bait – with good intentions and in good faith, but blinded by trauma and ignorance. The choice we face is really between those two long-term strategies for surviving the Islamist wave. I favor Obama’s. I favor the future over the past.”

The Dish

Refugees Fleeing ISIS Offensive Pour Into Kurdistan

Every now and then, a blast of cold sanity greets the world. At least that was my reaction reading Tom Ricks respond to the idea that if Obama had somehow been able to leave 10,000 troops in Iraq, all would now be well. Au contraire:

That’s nonsense. If we had the force there, what we’d be doing now is facing this question: Do we retreat ignominiously and get the troops out of the country, or do we use them in a wayor do we find ourselves forced to use themin a way we don’t want to, supporting Maliki without reservation? Or do they just sit there inside their camp gates and everybody mocks the Americans for doing nothing? So I think by not having troops on the ground there it greatly simplified the issues for the United States and actually gave the United States more…

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