I've just finished reading Atkinson's extensively written trilogy concerning the North African and European theaters in World War II, probably close to 2,000 pages, not counting the voluminous notes, a detailed and often graphic depiction of the awfulness of armed conflict. In the latter part of the third book are descriptions of what the allies discovered in liberating the Nazi concentration camps, absolute chambers of horrors incomprehensible in imagination much less actuality.
Concomitantly, I've been watching the TV news outlets for a year now vis-a-vis ISIS, the nearest outfit I can imagine that's comparable to Hitler's nazis, absolute butchers and torturers without peer. These monsters are marching on Baghdad now and absent any help from the Saudis, Jordanians, Egyptians and Turks the Iraqi government will fold...or not, depending on help from the Iranians.
I watched via C-Span the other day a hearing before Senator McCain's committee regarding the ISIS problem. There was a panel of four headed by retired general John Keane, former Joint Chiefs vice chairman, to make statements and answer questions. The consensus was that the U.S. must “do something” short of sending in the marines, though military folks have a vested interest in making war. One of the panelists even suggested sending in up to 20,000 boots to ostensibly do everything short of fighting, which, of course, made no sense.
President Obama is right in sending in virtually nothing. The Iraqis are asking for more weaponry but anyone who saw the latest fiasco in Ramadi understands that anything given the Iraqis goes automatically to ISIS when the fighting starts because the Iraqi soldiers are not fighters, though supposedly well-trained for years by U.S. troops. They desert their equipment and would run for the hills if there were any. As it is, they just run for dear life. Defense Secretary Ashton Carter indicated that the Iraqis outnumbered ISIS forces in Ramadi but would not fight.
Obama learned a lesson in Libya, on which he waged unprovoked war for seven months in 2011 with nothing to show for it but the dissolution of the Libyan government and a nation torn to shreds, with U.S. weapons winding up in the hands of terrorists in Syria and ISIS. McCain was for that little war, as well as a war on Syria but, thankfully, Obama didn't listen. McCain had photo-ops in both places (though the latter location might have been Lebanon).
In the hearing, the usual things were discussed, even the use of special forces for specific missions as if that would solve the problem. A big deal was made for having more Americans on the ground to get intelligence and direct fire on proper targets, a near impossibility since ISIS operates in towns full of women and children, who are supposed to be spared from what bombs do—kill and maim. The latest news is that top dogs in Iraq have been moving their families out of the country for some time and that a gaggle of top officers were rounded up at the airport the other day just in time to keep them from fleeing the country, presumably to join their families.
McCain seems not to understand the difference between the U.S. killing Muslims and Muslims killing Muslims, which they do with great success every day, egged on by their religious honchos, who are perfectly willing for anyone other than themselves to carry out homicides or suicide/homicides, the latter—through imam-brainwashing—supposedly inducting them into paradise and the 72 virgins.
Supposedly, the U.S. is in the process of training 5,000 Syrians a year for three years to fight ISIS at various locations (Jordan, Qatar, Saudi Arabia). Anyone heard anything about that lately? Al jazeera reported in February that the U.S. and Turkey have made a deal to jointly train and equip moderate Syrian opposition fighters, whoever they might be, presumably to fight Syria's Assad since they're “opposition” folks. Who knows?
McCain worries that Arabs are being brutally abused and killed by Arabs as if that hasn't been the case since Mohammad the caravan-bandit (Saudi Jesse James) pulled off his first raid a thousand or so years ago. ISIS thugs decapitate Christians and Jews, too. Saudi Arabia has just advertised for more be-headers because public convictions (such as they are) are on the uptick this year – 80 this year compared to only 88 all of last year. Everyone grieves for the innocent but the lesson of the last 12 years is obvious, to wit, Islam is a monstrous cult in which the sanctity of life is nonexistent and the Muslims have no conception of democracy. Enough American blood has been shed.
And so it goes.