The ISIS Trap: McCain, Warmongers Fall For It (Again)

The biggest reason not to go to war with the militant Islamic group ISIS is simply because they want us to. 

ISIS has been grabbing headlines with its brutal beheadings of three western journalists, and their militant antics have roiled the Mideast. McCain and the rest of the right wing's warmongers (and some of the left, honestly) believe this is enough of a reason to re-engage with ground troops – in Syria, in Iraq, wherever ISIS has set up shop. Disregard the failures of previous military adventures run by the US' own bloodthirsty cabal, this is a bad idea in all sorts of ways. 

Any American should be wary when a militant, religiously-motivated, and violent group shares the same goals as McCain et al. Namely, to put US ground forces in great numbers within shooting distance of an ISIS Kalashnikov.

And unfortunately, it looks more and more like the president is caving to the hawks' demands. Steve Weisman, a journalist and Mideast expert, broke it down in Reader Supported News:

[Obama] plays the role they purposely provoked with their brutal beheadings, summary executions, and sickening use of mass rape to keep their fighters happy. He becomes the foreign, Christian crusader defiling a Muslim land, and he does it in company with Iranian as well as Iraqi Shiites, whom Islamic State despises as heretics, and with the blessing of Sunni Arab leaders it correctly sees as outrageously corrupt.

Permanent war means a permanent recruitment tool, which means more cannon fodder on both sides to feed the machine. The cycle is insustainable, and doesn't solve the underlying, systemic issues the US, quite frankly, has done a piss-poor job of addressing.

The UK's The Guardian is pleading for cooler heads to prevail:

The killing of Mr Haines was not an act of revenge. It was an act of provocation. Like the two murders of the American journalists, it was designed to frighten and to inflame. It seems nothing would please Isis more than for these killings to provoke an intemperate and thoughtless violent reaction from those at whom they are aimed. Such a reaction might, in Isis’s crude and perverse logic, give them public legitimacy as victims rather than as killers. Such things have happened all too often in history. This in itself is a good enough reason for western leaders to have cool reactions.

President Obama, however, is couching his reactions in terms that leave open the possibility for ground troops and all-out war. If only his sometimes lauded, sometimes hated, cautious side would dictate his decisions in this case. The track record of American intervention, however, does not leave much room for hope.

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