Monday, September 15, 2014

Got bombs. What about brains?

The name of Machiavelli comes up in discussions of ISIS and the American response to it.

My view is that it would take someone with at least the skills of a Machiavelli to lead this new American intervention in the Middle East, which will involve attacking ISIS without working (openly) with either Shiite Iran or its Alawite ally Assad; getting Turkey on board while aiding the Kurdish Peshmerga; arming the Peshmerga against ISIS; inducing Saudi Arabia to cooperate with Qatar, though these two are at loggerheads with regard to the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt  (Qatar for the Brotherhood, the Saudis against); getting Egypt’s General Sisi to do something vaguely useful so he can get back more American aide; urging/compelling Iraq's new Prime Minister, Haider al-Abadi, not to be the second coming of Nouri-al-Maliki, whose treatment of Sunnis helped bring ISIS into being. . .

(Haven't even had cause to mention Israel and the Palestinians, have I?)

Jack Beatty has opined that the success of this new military intervention will require three miracles. I've counted more.

This new intervention will require the wiles of a Machiavelli and the fancy footwork of a Fred Astaire.

Such finesse is not the forte of American policy in the Middle East, is it?

And who do we have braying at Obama from the sidelines? John McCain, Dick Cheney, and Hillary Clinton.

Me, I wish Obama could have held off from doing "stupid stuff" just a bit longer. We've done "stupid stuff" a plenty. He might have extended the pause, since it's not clear we can do smart stuff.

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