The Ultimate Enemy of ISIS
By Patrick J. Buchanan
The president's request for
the authorization to use military force
against the Islamic State has landed in a
Congress as divided as the country.
That division was mirrored
in the disparate receptions Obama's
resolution received from The Wall Street
Journal and The New York Times.
To the Times, Obama's AUMF
is "alarmingly broad. It does not limit the
battlefield to Syria and Iraq."
Moreover, Obama "seeks
permission to attack 'associated persons or
forces.'" This would give the White House
"virtually unrestricted power to engage in
attacks around the globe as long as it can
justify a connection, however tenuous, to
the Islamic State."
To the Journal, Obama's
resolution ties America down the way the
Lilliputians tied down Gulliver. It
authorizes war on ISIS for only three years.
It would prevent another U.S. army from
being sent to Iraq or Syria.
"Rather than put shackles
on his generals," says the Journal, "Mr.
Obama should be urging them to mount a
campaign to roll back ISIS as rapidly as
possible from the territory it holds."
But the country seems
nowhere near this hawkish.
Viewing nightly on cable
news the hardships endured by the Wounded
Warriors of our two latest and longest wars
has cooled the arbor for new crusades.
About the character of the
Islamic State, there is no disagreement.
"A brutal, vicious death
cult," Obama called it.
But about whether ISIS is
an "existential threat" to us, or if this
war is really our war, there is no
North of Syria, along 500
miles of border, sits a Turkish army of half
a million with 3,000 tanks that could cross
over and annihilate ISIS in a month. Former
Secretary of State James Baker suggests that
the U.S. offer air, logistics and
intelligence support, if the Turks will go
in and snuff out ISIS.
But not only have the
Turks not done so, for a time they looked
the other way as jihadists crossed their
border to join ISIS.
If the Islamic State, as
Ankara's inaction testifies, is not viewed
as a threat to Turkey's vital interests, how
can it be a threat to ours?
There are reports that the
Saudis and the Gulf Arabs would be more
willing to participate in a war on ISIS if
we would first effect the ouster of Bashar
Everyone in the Middle
East, it appears, wants the United States to
fight their wars for them.
But as they look out for
their interests first, it is time we started
looking out for ours first.
Foremost among those
interests would be to avoid another $1
trillion war, with thousands of U.S. dead
and tens of thousands of wounded, and a
situation, after a decade of fighting, as
exists today in Afghanistan and Iraq, where
those we leave behind in power cannot hold
their own against the enemies we defeated
That an Iraqi army we
equipped and trained at a cost of tens of
billions would disintegrate and desert
Iraq's second city, Mosul, when confronted
by a few thousand fanatics, was a debacle.
Why should Americans have
to recapture Mosul for Baghdad?
And why do these
"democrats" we install in power seem to
perform so poorly?
Under Saddam, Iraq fought
an eight-year war against a nation three
times as large and populous, Iran. Yet,
Saddam's army did not run away as the Iraqi
army we trained and equipped ran away from
What did Saddam Hussein
have to motivate men that we do not?
What is it that makes some
people in the Middle East volunteer and
fight to the death, while others refuse to
fight or run away from battle?
For, as the Journal
writes, "The Associated Press reported
Tuesday that U.S. intelligence officials now
say foreign fighters are joining Islamic
State 'in unprecedented numbers,' including
3,400 from western nations out of 20,000
from around the world."
Why is this?
The Islamic State has
plugged into the most powerful currents of
the Middle East. It is anti-American,
anti-Zionist, anti-West, Islamic and
militantly Islamist. It promises to
overthrow the old order of Sykes-Picot, to
tear up the artificial borders the West
imposed on the Arabs, and to produce a new
unity, a new dispensation where the Quran is
law and Allah rules and all Sunnis are
united in one home whence all infidels —
Jews, Shia, Christians — have been driven
out. Hateful as it is, ISIS has a vision.
Hezbollah, Iran, Assad,
the Houthi rebels, all Shiites, understand
They know they are in a
fight to the death. And they fight.
But it is the Sunni Arabs,
the royals on the Arabian Peninsula and the
sheiks on the Gulf, to whom this should be a
fire bell in the night.
For ISIS is out to
dethrone these perceived royal puppets of a
detested America and to reclaim rightful
custody of Mecca and Medina.
The Shiites are already in
the field. The Sunni are going to have to
fight and win this war against ISIS, or lose
Patrick J. Buchanan is
the author of the new book "The Greatest
Comeback: How Richard Nixon Rose From Defeat
to Create the New Majority." To find out
more about Patrick Buchanan and read
features by other Creators writers and
cartoonists, visit the Creators Web page at
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