Now...let me get this straight. Congress has voted to have the prez select 5,000 “moderate” insurrectionists in Syria, transport them to Saudi Arabia and require U.S. troops on the ground to train them for a year, give them lots of hardware, and transport them back to Syria (or what's left of it) to take down ISIS. These “moderate rebels” (quintessential oxymorons) will promise not to use their new mean machine against Syrian President Bashir Assad, whom they've been battling since the Arab Spring blood-lettings of 2011 in order to take over the country.
BUT, the ISIS meat-cutters (Sunni by persuasion) in Iraq are an immediate threat...or so the propaganda says. One supposes the Iraqi army, trained for years by U.S. troops into a vaunted “formidable fighting force” before Obama's grand pullout of 2011, could easily have taken care of the be-headers, who take especial delight in also bodily dismembering Muslims of the wrong persuasion (Shi'tes) or—even more fun—Christians, Jews, and homosexuals with or without religion. Unfortunately/predictably, the Iraqi troops have taken a pass and even handed over their weapons (American issue) to their “brothers” in ISIS. Since virtually all international leaders are shocked and appalled at this outrageous conduct, gathering a large force should be easy.
Naturally—and because he claims George Bush started the whole mess back in 2003 anyway—Obama, as commander-in-chief (never lets anyone forget it, either), would be expected to already have troops on the way while State Secretary Kerry signs up the rest of the world. Fuggedaboutit! Both Prexy and Kerry have stated constantly and unequivocally that U.S. boots will not tread Iraqi soil, though U.S. planes and drones have been ordered to bomb ISIS back to its historical time-frame, the Stone Age.
Both Joint Chiefs Chairman Dempsey and VPOTUS Biden haven't caught that nuance, Dempsey claiming before a Senate committee that he would recommend sending American GIs in the event ISIS can't be annihilated. Biden agreed, saying in Des Moines recently that the decision would be based on how things go. Whether or not he meant that depends on his potential 2016 presidential aspirations, especially if he says the Benghazi massacre, refuting Queen Hillary, DOES make a difference and promises not to lie and be ready for a 3:00 a.m. international 911-call.
Since Assad is fighting both the “moderate rebels” and ISIS in Syria, this puts Obama on the spot. Obama told Assad in 2011 to “get outta Dodge” and turn Syria over to whichever “moderate rebels” could grab it and set up a government. Ergo, POTUS may be pulling a fast one. Since Assad told Obama to take a hike in 2011, the newly U.S.-trained-moderate-revolutionaries may have an understanding that its fight a year or so from now will not be against ISIS until it has upended Assad, though if it's trained like the Iraqi army, it will turn its weapons over to Assad or ISIS at the first scent of blood and run for the desert, leaving POTUS reconsidering red-lines.
Saddam was Sunni and kicked the Shi'ites whenever and wherever. The Shi'ites own the government (such as it is) now and have kicked out the Sunnis while totally degrading the Iraqi army. The largest Shi'ite population in the world is in Iran. Sunnis and Shi'ites have been killing each other for 14 or so centuries, so Iran would likely be Iraq's only ally, with its active troop-strength of 523,000, the largest military in the Middle East.
Syria has borders with Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Jordan and Iran, which have troops numbering respectively, 233,500; 510,600; 100,500; and 523,000...for a total of 1,367,600 boots that can be put on the ground immediately to stop evil ISIS. But ISIS is Sunni, so the first three are not about to kill their Sharia buddies and Iran might incur the wrath of the first three if it got in the fight and risk being whacked by them. So...what to do? Just as the Saudi king said recently—make the Americans do the dirty work.
The Congressional insanity is pathetic. ISIS, contrary to the “line,” is no immediate threat to this country and not one American should be put in harm's way by either training the non-trainable Muslim cowards or actually fighting in somebody else's civil/religious war. U.S. citizens are being jerked around. Let the Muslims settle each other's hash, and stay clear.
And so it goes.