‘Boots on the ground’: Saigon on the Euphrates, on steroids

Vietnam was just a warm-up.

Brain trust. (Image: AP, Pablo Martinez Monsivais via nola.com)
Brain trust. (Image: AP, Pablo Martinez Monsivais via nola.com)

Regular correspondents of this space may have wondered why I haven’t been writing more recently about the events in Iraq and Syria.  (Or Afghanistan, for that matter.)

The short answer is: because it’s too depressing to watch the Obama administration repeating every mistake of Kennedy and Johnson in Vietnam, but from a posture of greater weakness, greater foolishness, and – bonus! – apparent hatred for the United States.

Who wants to write about that?

We’ve reached the point at which there is nothing positive or hopeful to say.  I think most readers realize that, even if they can’t fully articulate what the problems seem to be.  Obama is quite literally doing nothing right, in his political-military approach to these hot spots of the Middle East.  There’s nothing in his policy to work with.

The recent raid on the Islamic State prison, in which Master Sergeant Joshua L. Wheeler, a member of the Army’s Delta Force, was killed, is an illustrative case.  It cross-cuts two major concerns: the purpose of U.S. involvement (the most important), and the extent of U.S. involvement, including whether we’re “in combat” or not.

Obama has been backing into the situation from the second perspective, which is what we call a bass-ackward approach.  Are we in combat yet?  Are we in combat yet?  Are we in combat yet?  The administration has allowed the proposition to be framed with that question, which the media are obediently asking.  It’s all very passive-aggressive, like this administration’s approach to so many things.

But the important question is what we’re seeking to accomplish.  What’s our purpose, our goal, our objective?

It sure ain’t degrading and defeating ISIS.

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4 thoughts on “‘Boots on the ground’: Saigon on the Euphrates, on steroids”

  1. Sifting out the complexities of the current state of affairs in Syria, and secondarily, the greater region, is daunting.

    But, of one thing I am certain. If we’re going the whole nine yards, and have chosen to throw in our lot with the Turks, either as a vehicle to further our interests, or to base an overt, direct, American military ground intervention in Syria from Turkish territory, we will have committed a terrible blunder. And, have done a tremendous service to both Russia and Iran.

    I’m curious to see how we plan on reconciling support for the Syrian Kurds and their diametrically opposing interests vis-a-vis the Turkish state, while we’re simultaneously flying support missions for the YPG (a PKK offshoot) out of Incirlik. Something’s gotta give…

    I’m getting a total blank on comments over at LU. Up until a few days ago I could read the regular posted comments. Now nothing. I even used (gasp) Internet Explorer 🙂 to no avail. Any help on that ?


  2. Ali Khamenei (wily old Azeri, born in Medea, current occupation “Supreme Leader” of Iran) sounding more ‘Persian” by the day.

    ” “Death to America” is death to US policies, not American nation ”

    I’m wondering if, or how long it’ll be, before our special operations forces come into contact, or liaise, with the Pasdaran in Upper Mesopotamia now.

    and all this time I thought we were supposed to beware Danaans bearing gifts….

  3. Kuweires AFB siege lifted. Will make an excellent FOB for Mi-24’s once secured. Yet another supply line to al-Raqqah from the west is now effectively cut. Things looking good in Aleppo city as well, so far. YPG Kurds playing it smart. Maybe, they’ll make their dash across the Euphrates just south enough of the Turkish border to not give the Turks a pretext to cut them off.
    Wondering whether it’s time to cause more trouble for Daesh on the Tigris corridor to Mosul yet. The KRG will have to be bribed with something to make that possible, I assume. But, if it does happen, that would be just grand.

    Sultan Recep Tayyip the first, and the tent dwellers masquerading as royalty in the sand dunes of Arabia, must be furious.

    I’m happy, hope it keeps up.

  4. Must be a real bad day at the office for the loonies in charge of ‘Caliphate’ capital Raqqah. They’re getting hit big, on multiple fronts, by both American and Russian backed coalitions (bout time), and their supply lines from Aleppo to Mosul are being cut to shreds.

    Keep it up lads.

    Looking ahead, let me know when you think the time is ripe to start divvying up the spoils. No squabbling, ok? 🙂

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