Friday, July 15, 2016

Nice & Newt: Should Muslims wear the Yellow Star?

It need hardly be stated that what happened in Nice was horrible. Beyond that, it feels like part of a game-changer. I don't know how the game will change, and am not even sure how it should. But it already has, what with Gingrich's fascistic — yes, utterly fascistic — call to test Muslims to see if they believe in Sharia law.

Should they hesitate, submit them to lie defectors. If they fail to pass, waterboard them until they confess. Rebuild Abu Ghraib right here, on American soil. (Disregard the fact that many of us will refer to it as Mordor.)

Maybe Muslims should all wear the yellow star. Great idea! Wrong ethnic group. 

So that's not the way the game should change. What's the right way? Going in with force to rout ISIS from its strongholds and decisively defeat it? The appeal of the boots on the ground response is hard to discount at this point. And it's within the scope of American and allied arms. I can actually hear myself considering it, until I remember how badly all our interventions in the area go, how ignorant, how self-defeating, we turn out to be.

Jack Beatty, on OnPoint today, put it well, when he pointed to the downside of American military interventions, starting with arming the resistance to the Soviets in Afghanistan. That, on the face of it, unimpeachably decent thing to do, spawned al Qaeda. Otoh, it has been cited as the single greatest reason for the disintegration of the Soviet Union and the fall of Communism, which, despite the advent of Putin, remains an upside. (Jack, in the interests of historical complexity, you might have alluded to that particular upside.)

There was no such upside to our invasion of Iraq, which Beatty did not shy away from decrying as having created exactly the Petri dish required for the growth of ISIS.

Suppose Nice was not in the south of France. We sympathize with the French, and the victims of that attack, but the Atlantic Ocean provides a certain welcome distance. What would happen if the next Nice, and there will be one, was in the United States?

Let's start from basic principles: deport New Gingrich, delete fascistic responses.

That done, what next?

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