I don’t think ISIS can continue to rule over large swaths of the Middle East for long. A distillation of pure evil, the group is too crazed to be stable. But in the meantime, ISIS is doing an enormous amount of damage. The outrages continue to mount: captured Kurdish soldiers paraded in cages, apparently to be burned alive; most recently, the simultaneous beheading of 21 Christians in Libya, a country to which ISIS apparently has now expanded in the wake of the failed Obama/Clinton policy there.
ISIS is technically sophisticated and flush with cash. To many Muslims around the world, it appears to be triumphant. It is indeed on the move; some say that the Iraqi army in Anbar province is on the brink of collapse, and ISIS has pushed to within a few kilometers of American troops there.
Jihadists from around the world are flocking to the ISIS banner, perceiving the group as the most successful of the Islamic purists. Many of these jihadis are now returning to their home countries, where several have already carried out terrorist acts. Other “lone wolf” terrorists have been inspired by ISIS’s success to, as American leftists used to say, bring the war home.
The Obama administration’s response to ISIS, apart from a few half-hearted air sorties, is “strategic patience.” Our president apparently is content to wait until ISIS collapses of its own weight, leaving God knows what in its wake. The bogus authorization for the use of force against ISIS that the administration is pressing on Congress is, as Paul has argued, more a limitation than an authorization, since it specifically excludes “the use of the United States Armed Forces in enduring offensive ground operations.” But, valiant though the Kurds in particular are, the use of US armed forces in offensive ground operations is precisely what is needed to crush ISIS once and for all.
The American public is surprisingly supportive of military action against ISIS. In one poll, 66% of respondents supported use of some ground troops to defeat ISIS. This video clip is interesting; State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki acknowledges that the American people want more aggressive action against the terrorist organization, but says that the Obama administration is unalterably opposed to the use of American ground forces:
Barack Obama’s guiding principle is that he must be as different from George W. Bush as possible, which means, among many other things, no troops in the Middle East. But Obama needs to develop a little flexibility. It is imperative that ISIS be crushed so that it becomes a symbol of Islamic defeat rather than victory. It it takes American troops to accomplish that goal–and it will, unless we are content to wait for years–then American troops should be committed to the fight. Very soon.