Friday, September 12, 2014


September 12, 2014
It’s 9/11 the 13th, and these United States have never been closer to losing the last vestiges of their foundational identity.
Long ago, our first president, George Washington, prophetically warned against “attachments and entanglements in foreign affairs.” In the last century, such sentiments, tragically (as I increasingly believe), fell into disrepute. In our time, Washington’s 21st-century successors, George W. Bush and Barack Hussein Obama, have no such compunction. On the contrary, their response to the Islamic assault of 9/11 and the aftermath of continuing jihad have been to link the fortunes of this great nation with those of warring tribes and factions in the Islamic world. That’s about as attached and entangled in foreign affairs as it is possible to get.

For the past 13 years, it has been the flawed crux of U.S. foreign policy to micromanage “moderates” in the Islamic world by waging “counterinsurgencies” as a means of defusing the “extremism” of Islam. This failed effort has had the disastrous effect of calibrating America’s fate – as well as exhausting our military and emptying our treasury – according to the rise and fall of Islamic strongmen and blocs.

It gets worse. Now, President Obama plans to fight against ISIS in Iraq and to support ISIS-allied forces in Syria. This makes no American sense. Repel ISIS (or al-Qaida, or Hezbollah, etc.) at our borders, but don’t pretend there is an American “side” in Iraq or Syria. The United States’ fate is not Iraq’s fate, not Syria’s fate, not Afghanistan’s fate. Entangled, however, we have grown used to thinking in such terms. Maliki is causing gridlock in Iraq? An American problem. Abdullah is threatening to bug out of elections in Afghanistan? An American problem.

Why? Who cares? Cut the apron strings and the funding streams and learn from our leaders’ mistakes. Acknowledge publicly that “moderates” in the Islamic world are as common and/or as reliable as unicorns, and “extremism” is the basis of Islam, and formulate new policy.

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