Tonight, President Obama will be doing a televised address to the country wherein it sounds like he’ll be sending us off to war in Iraq. Again. Yes, twice wasn’t enough; apparently third try’s the charm or something.
I’m really not happy about this. Yes, it’s going to be targeted airstrikes in Iraq and, apparently, Syria, and that’s better than actually invading again. But…well, it’s still us getting involved in a situation that is perhaps best left for those actually affected by it (Iraq, Turkey, Syria, the Kurds), to deal with; something which, you will notice, they aren’t generally concerned enough to do. Instead, we’re just going to muscle in and bomb shit.
And why? Because two Americans were killed.
Let me emphasize this: we’re about to begin airstrikes that will likely kill thousands, if not tens of thousands, of people, some of them civilians, because two Americans were killed.
ISIS/ISIL does not currently pose a threat to us. They may at some point in the future, but the same can be said for various religious terrorist groups around the world, from places like Sri Lanka to Ireland.
By attacking ISIS/ISIL, all we’re doing is playing into their hands. All we’re doing is being everything they accuse us of being. We might well wipe them out, it is true, though we haven’t managed that with Al Qaeda after thirteen years of effort, but if we do wipe them out, what do you think will happen? A new terrorist group will spring up in their place. Well, I say “a” up there. More likely it’ll be a few dozen, and it will be made up of young Syrians and Iraqis who will say, “Those Americans killed my mother when they bombed us! They will pay!”
We’re also sending a message to the world about how easy it is to make us dance to their tune, and about how we’re willing to act based on emotion, especially fear, rather than what’s logical and best. This is not something that I had expected from our President, and I’m quite disappointed in him right now.
I also really hope Congress continues to step up in this case and demand that the President come to them for approval on this plan. I’d frankly like to see severe restrictions on the President’s ability to send our military around the world and engage in combat. The Constitution says only Congress can declare war. Happy day, that means we haven’t been at war since 1945.
This whole thing strikes me as a bad, stupid idea that will do nothing but backfire spectacularly. I hope I’m wrong, but I think I’m not.