And that would be zero American combat
casualties over the past five months
Tikrit appears to be collapsing under the attack/occupation/visitation of Iraqi army forces augmented by Shia militia and (gawd forbid) Iranian "advisors". Amazingly this tremendous rout of ISIL forces was accomplished without any American dead bodies to much consternation on the Right.
Here's a picture of all the dead American soldiers, Marines and airmen who have died since POTUS Barack Obama announced armed action against the rolling tide of the Islamic State arriving at Dover Air Force Base.
Over the past hundred years or so, American Presidents of both political stripe have enjoyed one pastime: fighting wars. Oh, I know that "war is hell" and every President hates "sending our boys in harm's way" and let us not forget that "the worst moment as President is when you have to call the parents of a fallen hero".
But they still keep on sending them, don't they? Proto-neo-con poster boys, the Dulles brothers practically invented anti-Americanism in the Middle East without committing a soldier then Yankee liberal JFK tried to wallpaper over their mistake in Indochina with tens of thousands of teenage American bodies. Conscientious Dixiecrat Johnson multiplied the error leaving Commie witch hunter Dick Nixon to wind us out. Mr "Moderate Republican" GHWB "compassionately" rented out the best military money can buy to bail out the Kuwaitees but "conservatively" stopped short of any action that would improve the lives of actual Iraqi citizens. Finally seriously socio-con W goes all in to make Iraq the 51st state with historically awful results. Hawks come in all iterations. It's not always about being evil, it's usually about being wrong. Thankfully our current President has a golden rule: "Don't do stupid stuff".
Yes, BHO the POTUS has slow walked us out of Iraq and slower walked us out of Afghanistan but the direction has been correct. He couldn't stop Maliki from fracturing Iraq without reinvesting more blood and treasure for results that would last as long as that investment did, not a moment longer.
The most basic tenant of Libertarianism is to not spend our blood and treasure fighting other people's wars. That is the sentiment shared by 65.5 million Americans, the largest block ever, who voted a black man to be President in 2008 primarily to stop these endless wars. While Obama has delivered on his mandate most professional Libertarians seem to have changed their minds. Too bad. If you are really a "libertarian", you are probably register as a "Democrat".
We are lucky to be witnessing a new policy that perhaps should be labeled, LIBERALTARIANISM.
COUNTER-INTUITIVE LEVERAGE: LET THEM FIGHT IT OUT
The real suck in committing to not commit troops overseas is having to watch bad things happen. Every night Anderson Cooper will find some Sunni's, Shia, Yazidi or Kurd suffering or dead to pan over with appalled concern as if their was something obvious to do about it. In some alternate universe Preznit John McCain has been sending an infinite stream of weapons to Sunni rebels in Syria, Kurdish insurgents in Iran, Ukranian rebels who haven't successfully toppled the puppet government in this alt-universe and probably all three sides in Yemen.
With all of those weapons in the hands of millions of displaced militants with a taste for blood and vengeance, what could possibly go wrong Mr President McCain?
The template for a Liberaltarian intervention was Kosavo. Like Obama, President Clinton was savaged by everyone for not doing anything as thousands suffered. Like Obama, Clinton was beat up by the Right for not doing enough and the Left for doing too much. When it was over with no American casualties and an acceptable outcome, the only recourse for the no-nothings was to yell "Wag the Dog" and claim it was an illusion.
Obama used the same plan in Libya to the same effect.
I don't like dead enemy porn so
here's a nice memorial to a despot slain
by his own people in a sewer culvert
Humanitarian slaughter was averted, longtime bad guy neutralized and no coffins flying into Dover. Faced with such success the no-nothings have hammered the word "Benghazi" fifty feet into the rock at Mt Rushmore.
The Islamic State is a far more difficult onion to peel than the relatively protozoaice Libya or Kosovo. IS is a transnational "State" much like the Kurdish "Rojava" in that it transcends borders with a common set of laws, beliefs and ideals. Thanks to infinite Saudi funding since the American occupation and easy recruiting thanks to Mssrs. Maliki and Assad, ISIS/ISIL/IS came out of the box in 2013 with instant ground superiority crashing onto the very beaches of Baghdad by Summer '14. That's when your President went of TeeVee and told us that it was time to time to help.
Here's what he laid out:
-No Americans fighting this on the ground.
Yes, we don't want our youth dying in the desert but strategically, this means no magnet for anti-American sentiment. A war against Muslims fought by Muslims sells better than a war against Muslims by the USA... AGAIN.
-Economic and recruiting strangulation is as important as bombs.
Shuttering electronic money transfers from Wahabi Islamists and torpedoing the worldwide price of oil isn't as easy as it sounds. Neither is holding the Preznit McCain's of the world who want to to dump boatloads of American made munitions to Free Syrian Army bands who are as likely switch sides or lose said armaments to the bad guys as use them in the name of Democracy.
-This is going to take 3 years
It's curious that POTUS put a finite number on this war. Perhaps it's because he really does have this gamed out. Judging by past performance, I would expect that's the case. If you just look at the news you might think the Islamic State is more dangerous than last summer. If you look at facts on the ground you might think they are in free fall and could be finished by summer. If you look at it like a President should however, you could certainly see that 2 and a half more years are required to do the job right.
WHY THREE MORE YEARS?
The news media, the GOP and the Carlyle Group all want you to cringe in terror at each attach by these... well, terrorists. That's what all three have in common with the Islamists. The Osama Bin Laden playbook has as Steps #1,2 and 3 to draw the USA into war on Muslim soil. That is the crucial element to rallying support throughout the Arab world. Whether it is Yazidi children crying from a mountaintop, Kurds clinging to the last city blocks of Kobane or a pour soul being burnt alive in a cage, these optics are designed to pull Americans into "boots on the ground". Islamists want to make it an US versus Islam fight, while neocons just want to sell more tanks.
In fact, IS has not had a significant stategic victories since the Summer. Peshmerga, with Iraqi and Shia militia support have largely rolled back the IS gangs in the east and have Mosul 3/4 surrounded. The Kurdish YPG soldiers with their female YPJ sisters have beaten IS so thoroughly that their progress through the rest of the Kobane Canton (region) is only slowed by logistics and unexploded ordinance.
For some perspective, in November Kurds controlled the area above the letter "O" in KOBANE in the inset view.
These Kurdish badasses also happen to be inclusive with women's equality inshrined in their laws. Many heroes of the siege are women. Many leaders are women. This is the opposite of what the Islamists have imposed within their footprint. This has created a groundswell of support for a more liberal society in the Muslim world. Such a message could not be written by American troops blowing through Muslim gangs.
Unlike FOX news I won't show murder porn in the form of the Jordanian pilot Muath al-Kaseasbeh's immolation but I will show you a man who was affected by it.
Jordan´s King Abdullah, himself a former general, angrily vowed to pursue ISIS until his military runs "out of fuel and bullets," in a closed door meeting with U.S. lawmakers that followed the release Wednesday of a grisly video showing a captured Jordanian airman being burned alive in a cage by the terrorist army. The pledge preceded the hanging of two Al Qaeda terrorists early Wednesday in Jordan, a swift response to the video that could be a mere harbinger of coming retribution from the Arab kingdom in the wake of the sadistic slaughter.
And look what happened after 21 Coptic Egyptians were murdered by Libyan Islamists loyal to the IS.
CAIRO (AP) — Egyptian warplanes struck Islamic State targets in Libya on Monday in swift retribution for the extremists' beheading of a group of Egyptian Christian hostages on a beach, shown in a grisly online video released hours earlier.
The primary victims of Islamic terror have been Muslims. By NOT interviening Barack "Motherfuckin'" Obama has made possible the paradigm shift the middle east has needed since The Great War.
Thank God for my and your President of the United States. Never forget and never fail to remind people that he has, is and will be one of the greatest Presidents EVER.