The ISIS Crisis: Three Views and a Caveat

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Three days after 9-11, George W. Bush used the occasion of the National Prayer Breakfast to announce his intention to “rid the world of evil.”

Well, we’ve seen how well that worked out. So today, I recommend three columns, each advocating a different approach to the Middle East, and using ISIS as the focal point of their strategic memos.

John Bolton, ever the grim interventionist, insists that the U.S.  reshape Iraq, tame Iran, and destroy ISIS, “this embodiment of evil” (uh-oh — another “another Hitler!)

If Americans do not want war, then ISIS is their fault, claims this genial Manichee.

For Bolton, history begins in 2007, with the glorious, victorious “Surge,” and took a plunge only with Obama’s 2008 victory (our old pal V.D. Hanson joins the chorus, and critical comments are vaporized).

Pat Buchanan wears no such gnostic blinders, so he looks back another hundred years, and soberly checks the box next to key cataclysmic mistakes that soaked the past century with blood, plunder, and power.

Buchanan confronts the fact from which Bolton shrinks – George Bush created ISIS in Iraq, he observes, resonating the Christian leaders of that beleaguered country. Citing the late Gen. Bill Odom, and colliding with the neocon mantra that the evil Obama bears the blame for any and all chaos anywhere, Bush’s decision to invade and occupy Iraq was the most disastrous blunder in American history – putting us right up there with the past century’s other catastrophes.

Angelo Codevilla is willing to take both parties to task, and, like Buchanan, suggest that the U.S. focus on its “allies” who virtually surround ISIS  and thus actually have some skin in the game. They have to come to their senses and, like the U.S., stop enabling ISIS and pull the plug — or pay the price, folks.

It’s curious that, until quite recently, the neocons still peddled Bush’s policies that built and strengthened ISIS. A year ago they led the campaign for US support for ISIS and its anti-Assad allies in the Syrian conflict.

Fortunately, Pope Francis put an end to that fool’s errand, calling for a day of prayer, fasting, and almsgiving for peace on Saturday, September 7. Millions around the world joined in that prayer, and on Monday, the neocon charade famously floundered, then collapsed.

Now we know who is really the world’s greatest superpower.

Finally, a blast from the past: an older and wiser Dan Rather – perhaps reminiscing about the sordid image of Bush’s twins cavorting on the beaches of Argentina during the bloodbath in Iraq –  puts it bluntly to Bolton and the neocon war party: “If You’re Not Prepared To Send Your Son or Daughter, don’t beat the war drums.”

Well, well, well. Miracles do happen. So, to my neocon friends, may I suggest that, this coming September 7, you join Pope Francis in his prayers for peace?

8:15 am on August 26, 2014
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