he is a cautious man who fears his rhetoric running away from him. This happened once before, when he issued his “red line” warning to Syria — and then, upon consideration, said never mind.
He defends his policy of minimalism with an off-putting petulance: “If folks want to pop off and have opinions . . . .” He talked of seeing at Walter Reed hospital “a 25-year-old kid who’s paralyzed or has lost his limbs. . . . And so I can’t afford to play some of the political games that others may.” Yes, some of the Republican presidential candidates are playing games, but Obama’s critics in think tanks and elsewhere are dead - serious. Besides, life presents mean choices. Limbs were lost in Paris, too.
Richard Cohen opinion piece on the Obama policy in Syria:
Paul Mcleary reports:
Concerns about the use of chemical weapons inside Syria began to surface in 2012 following reports that the regime was targeting civilians with a variety of the armaments. In August of that year, President Barack Obama warned that hard evidence of more attacks would constitute a “red line,” after which he would order military strikes. But after a flood of video and physical evidence emerged by August 2013 that Assad’s forces continued to use sarin gas on civilians, Obama instead struck a deal, brokered by Moscow, requiring Damascus to document and hand over all of its chemical weapons stocks for destruction in exchange for a reprieve from the potential strikes.
Opinion piece by Natalie Nougayrède
In 2012, when Assad’s military onslaught on civilians intensified, I was waiting for a “Srebrenica moment” – when a crime of horrendous proportions would finally lead to international action. In May that year more than 100 people were massacred in the Sunni village of Houla by pro-Assad militias. But nothing happened. What did happen was that the Obama administration started leaking to the press that it was preparing a “hub” in Turkey to train Syrian rebels.
Some voices including voices both on the left and right in America have been calling for more Tyranny in the Middle East. They imagine the Tyrants keep things under control when in reality they are part of the poison. The Tyrants often rule by sectarianism and condition the society with brutality. Opinion piece by Kahina Bouagache:
The European Union finds itself locked in a confrontation with ‘radical Islam’ when ISIS and Al-Qaeda are just two facets of a much deeper problem: tacit Western support for regimes such as Bashar Assad’s, Saddam Hussein’s, Hosni Mubarak’s, Ayatollah Khamenei’s and many others across the Muslim world, from Pakistan to Saudi Arabia. For decades, an enormous citizenry has been persecuted for being secular, for being female, for being gay or for being activists, dissidents and journalists.
Rolf Mowatt-Larssen senior fellow at the Harvard Kennedy School’s Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs:
They seek to impose an aberrant ideology on the world. For Daesh and their allies, coexistence with their enemies is unimaginable. Compromise is impossible. Daesh has adopted the mindset of an apocalyptic cult group. For Daesh, the Quranic End of Days has already begun. The battle of all battles looms — Armageddon in Dabiq, Syria. Daesh is not a rational actor in the western tradition. Their actions cannot be fully understood the application of western logic and reason. Our enemy believes they are in an existential struggle
"I’ll see you guys in New York." Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, quoted when leaving a US detention camp in 2009.
Gates of Nineveh on The Endless War:
In a review of the philosophy of Jihadist political theorist Sayyid Qutb as part of his 2001 book Knights Under the Prophet’s Banner [translated and abridged here], Al-Qaida leader Ayman al-Zawahiri argued that Qutb’s great contribution was to show that the fundamental issue at stake was whether legitimate authority is derived from God or from men. The will of God as revealed through the Qur’an and the Sharia was for all the world to become Muslim and live according to God’s will. Qutb’s views were deeply rooted in his conception of monotheism and the essential unity of God. God is perfection and truth, and divine revelation in the Qur’an and Sharia are therefore also perfect and true. God is one, so the Ummah must also be one...
Murtaza Hussain writes about the strategy of Daesh to create division:
It is tempting to view such violence as senseless and nihilistic. However, taking into account the Islamic State’s history, it is clear that such a determination would be a mistake. By launching increasingly shocking attacks against Western targets, the Islamic State is pursuing a specific goal — generating hostility between domestic Muslim populations and the broader societies that they live in.
Michael Weiss on ISIS recruit Jake Bilardi:
In the wide world outside al-Dawla al-Islamiya, the Islamic State, we have caught occasional glimpses of these incendiary young zealots. There was, for instance, Jake Bilardi, a disaffected Australian 18-year-old, who, judging by the blog he left while still in Melbourne, made a rather seamless transition from Chomskyism to takfirism, before detonating himself at a checkpoint in Iraq.