Reported of late is that 50 fighters join ISIL every day, including an unknown number of Americans. It’s surmised that the fighter ranks of ISIL total 30,000. Anyone can do the math to determine how many will be added to the ISIL ranks in a year’s time the 50-per-day rate continues, but it’s rather doubtful that the number will ever exceed anything like the number of personnel in the military forces of the United States.
Nevertheless, it’s been reported many a time that ISIL is mainly doing the horrible things it has done so the U.S. will be provoked into a land war with them throughout Iraq and Syria. It strikes one like me that the lopsided numbers and U.S. weapons of war alone would probably doom the ISIL fighting force. So, why do those maniacs seek land war battles with a U.S. force alone—a force that, with its allies, was able to destroy the indomitable Nazi war machine that formerly had a death-grip on virtually all of Western Europe and some of the U.S.S.R., too?
Well, those ISIL madmen may believe they have Allah on their side and he will take care of those Americans and their coalition friends. Sure, possibly, but our troops have always implored the help of the Lord. So, that factor may be discounted as favoring them over us. Then, too, are they not the same God?
However, the Iraqi army that we spent literally billions of dollars training and arming threw their weapons down and fled the scene when confronted by ISIL fighters. They were Shiite fighters under Iraq’s former knothead president who, under U.S. control and with our emphatic demand, had disbanded Saddam Hussein’s army of Sunnis who in huge numbers joined the ISIL movement while those who didn’t (also trained by Americans) said “No!” when asked to defend their nation from ISIL.
The ISIL forces have taken over a number of Iraqi and Syrian cities and have provided a measure of civil order and city services to the people still living there. Yet, they are harsh custodians and make demands on the inhabitants that are certain over time to give way from the initial acceptance to more and more disillusionments. This could mean that in time the people will rise up and throw out their oppressors. This consequence may occur sooner than later if there is a war between ISIL and a coalition of nations that are, like France and the U.K., ready by ISIL atrocities and acts of murder, most recently in the French homeland.
A new president of the U.S. may be much more inclined to use ground troops than President Obama has been, mainly because Obama promised to get us out of foreign wars. However, the warring accomplished by Bush 43, Cheney and their always-ready-to-go-to-war-first cabinet members and GOP hawks resulted in the release of many an Iraqi who had been under Saddam’s control as well as his large Sunni army that was disbanded by U.S. demands, that went from where they were in a totalitarian society, such as Iraq was, to make an attempt to establish a new caliphate and force every Arab there and nearby into being governed by it. Now they also want to settle old scores with the U.S. from our taking over their country by arms and drive us by war with ISIL troops to leave the Middle East forever to which they are bid a ‘Well, Good Luck!’
We could set up an invasion force in our sometimes-ally and NATO member, Turkey. If permitted to do so, the invasion force could be built up until it resembled in men and machines a quantity of each equal to that which was put together to cross the channel and invade Nazi-held Europe on June 6, 1944. Nevertheless, the U.S. will no doubt sustain casualties as our expeditionary force moves through Iraq and Syria with intent to destroy ISIL. So, whose kids will be sacrificed for a Bush-Cheney mistake? Not their kids, it’s certain, as their children have never donned a uniform. Hillary’s Chelsea? Trump’s offspring? Are you kidding? That brief summary pretty well sums it up as whose kids will go this time to be shot up and killed or maimed for life.
I would not want to go myself and would be surprised if any of my friends would want to go or offer up their children. So, do we wait for ISIL to collapse (which would take years to happen) or do we take action now? It’s a dilemma that will be predictably faced by deteriorating conditions in the person of our next commander-in-chief and a dilemma I’m sure no one who’s sane wants to own, which does not include, in my humble opinion, everyone running now to be president of the United States.
(Gene H. McIntyre’s column appears weekly in the Keizertimes.)