From Those Who Know ISIS Best: “No Thanks”
September 15, 2014 § 6 Comments
I just got around to reading yesterday’s New York Times. I just read two stories that made me angry.
One reports that, when Secretary of State Kerry asked Mr. Sameh Shoukry, the Prime Minister of the Military Government of Egypt, to join the effort to stop the growth and spread of ISIS, he responded, ‘Egypt believes it is very important for the world to continue their efforts strongly to fight this extremism.’ But Egyptian officials declined to specify what help they would provide in the campaign against ISIS, and Mr. Shoukry made it clear that he also had in mind fighting Islamist militants at home and in neighboring Libya.”
Translation: “Oh, you mean those crazy ISIS people? Oh no, we wouldn’t be interested in becoming involved in that problem. After all, they’re in Iraq and Syria, aren’t they? We’re too busy with our own issues to help you out over there. Good luck, though!”
The other story reveals how ISIS picks up over a million dollars a day by selling oil they steal from Syria and Iraq and selling it on the black market in Turkey. When President Obama asked Turkey’s president, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, to crack down on that illegal avenue of funding, a Turkey “senior official” described the talks as “sensitive”. The real response came a few days later. Here is how it went:
“Turkey declined to sign a communiqué on Thursday in Saudi Arabia that committed Persian Gulf states in the region to counter ISIS, even limited to the extent each nation considered ‘appropriate.‘ Turkish officials told their American counterparts that with 49 Turkish diplomats being held as hostages in Iraq, they could not risk taking a public stance against the terror group.”
Translation: “We are grateful you guys decided to send your pilots over here to stop ISIS. They’re real scary dudes. We hope not too many of your young people are shot down. It would be terrible if they are captured by ISIS. But we think we may be able to make deal to save our diplomats. And besides, our people really like the bargain prices for that black market oil. Good luck!”
Yesterday I posted my reaction to Obama’s pledge to stop ISIS. I think he allowed himself to be bullied into making an unwise promise and violated the Constitution. After further thought, and after these two stories confirm what I expected to be the reaction of the countries located in the Levant [see yesterday’s post to find out what “Levant” means.], I have a sort of “Plan B” reaction.
If President Obama intended to declare war on ISIS, he, at least, should have negotiated with Middle Eastern countries who face more imminent threats from ISIS than we do, before announcing his decision. That would have given Secretary some leverage. By making the commitment first and recruiting allies second, he left his negotiator nothing with which to negotiate. Why should Turkey, Egypt, Syria or Saudi Arabia become involved in an expensive and dangerous conflict with ISIS when all they have to do is make encouraging but meaningless noises while American men, women and taxpayers do the all the fighting and bill paying?
Here is a link to the Egypt story: Egypt
Here is a link to the Turkey story: Turkey
To paraphrase President Obama, this was a dumb way to start a war.