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Thanks ISIS ! Vol 56

November 5, 2014

If you have a library card, you must be a Boomer !

ISIS remains in the news, and for that we should be very thankful.

First, its election season in the US, and ISIS has kept a lot of the political news way down the media cycle. I know some states are inundated with ads as big money tried to buy some elections, but there does not seem to be the usual outcry against this, or the attack ads, or reproductive rights, or civil liberties being threatened. The Republicans will control the Senate, after many years, and really stick it to Obama. Any hope of getting tax reform, immigration reform, an Iranian nuclear deal, or a Palestinian solution seems lost, but there has not been an outcry about these important issues. Thanks ISIS !

Next, the quagmire that is the Middle East seems to be getting clearer, as many tribes and governments work, slowly, to fight ISIS. Many Muslim states are joining the coalition against these marauders. We may even see Shiite and Sunni tribes realize that they have something in common, at least in Iraq. ISIS is essentially an organized crime family, allowing all types of people to join. I understand that they are Sunni at the core, but they are recruiting from all over. Remember, ISIS is assassinating Sunni tribesmen if they fought against them. Many reports out of Iraq and Syria tell of Sunni towns resisting ISIS, and once ISIS takes the area, they kill everyone who resisted them, regardless of their faith, and publish pictures of the slaughter, to terrorize other towns that might resist. That does not sound like a religious jihad to me !

Interestingly, no one is talking about the Muslim Street lately, You remember, all of our actions were disturbing the regular people in the Middle East, the Street. It was an acronym for public opinion that was used by many commentators to signal whether our actions were being well received. Mostly, the Street hates the West, wanted the West to leave the area, and blamed all the bad stuff on us. Civilian causalities, refugee treatment, and no future were all blamed on the West. If only we would leave ! Well, how is that working for you now ? From Gaza and the Palestinian struggle, to Pakistan and the Taliban, to Libya and the clan wars, the Street got what they wanted, and now have to be silent as they can no longer blame someone else besides themselves for their predicament. Thanks ISIS !

Speaking of the Palestinians, they may have received some international recognition and funding, but Gaza was bombed back to the stone age. It will take generations to rebuild and recover. Even Egypt is blowing up homes and buildings near their border, to inhibit tunnelling and smuggling. Jerusalem is slowly being built over by Jewish settlements, and the current peace initiative is dead. We even have the US and Israeli governments calling each other names, dropping any pretence that there will be consequences if Israel continues on its current path. Yes, Bibi thinks he has cover for treatment of his enemies, but he is wrong. He is over-reaching. He is missing out on a perfect time to reconcile the Jewish state with its neighbours, and take the whole issue off the table. Someone else will realize this soon, and replace Bibi and his blind ambition. Thanks ISIS.

One must also be thankful that Obama was able to piece together a coalition of countries, both Christian and Muslim, to fight these Sunni gangsters. Not since Bush I has anyone else pulled this type of multi-national force together. This coalition even has Canada sending 3 jets to join the fight. I suppose the Ukrainian government is looking on grudgingly, and they would love for NATO or the UN to come to their rescue.

Speaking of worldwide recruitment, ISIS is getting its fighters from everywhere. There has been a Western worry about radicalized citizens causing damage at home, like the Canadians just saw with two solders being killed, and Parliament under attack. Now, with all these crazies going to the Middle East, they are outing themselves. Like a strip of flypaper attracting pests, ISIS is putting all the crazies in one place. Perfect for target practice, eh ? Now all that the intelligence agencies have to do is watch returnees, rather than worry about home grown cells causing trouble. Thanks ISIS !

Lastly, we must deal with the Shiite and Sunni reality on the ground, and recognize that it is the Shiite populated areas that are in turmoil. Syria, Iraq, Lebanon, all are Shiite led governments that are failing their peoples. There is no way Iran can take their focus off their own backyard, and they really need the Western sanctions lifted, so they can help their comrades. All in all, a better chance of us getting a good nuclear deal from the Ayatollah. So, thanks ISIS !

I suppose that ISIS could turn its teeth on our western freedoms, striking in our countries, but we need to resist any attempt to get involved in the fray. If anyone tells you that we need to fight in the middle east, remind them of Iraq, and ask them if more proof is needed to stay out, especially now that we do not need the oil !

Contrary to the above, I am a long term optimist when it comes to the Middle East. Their peoples will get their act together, although it will take a while.

Next on Boomers – WTF !, why you should not trust your gut ?

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