Earlier this year, various public opinion polls noted that Americans were sick and tired of fighting other peoples’ wars for them. I have been watching American politics for five decades, and this was the first time in all those years I saw politicians begin to ask questions about the ongoing costs of running an Empire. (I am not going to argue about terminology. If a nation maintains hundreds of thousand of soldiers in over a hundred other places around the planet, that nation is an Empire, whatever it chooses to call itself.) There have been anti-imperialists on the Left forever, and a few small R republicans on the Right forever, but it really did look as if a majority of Americans were about to begin discussing Minding Our Own Damn Business For Once and scaling back our enormous Armed Forces.
And then, out of nowhere, came the Orcs, driving US made tanks, riding on US built trucks, shooting US made guns and demonstrating a mastery of tactics that somebody must have taught them. The story is that the Orcs acquired the weaponry and other gear from the fleeing soldiers of our puppet government in Iraq. I no longer believe the Story.
Sorry. I have been lied to too many goddam times by our government.
What I think is that we made ISIS, and have no desire at all to eliminate ISIS. If we really thought that these goat-bangers were an existential threat, we would be dealing with Iran, who has powerful reasons to hate and fear Sunni crazies with tanks, just as we dealt with Joe Stalin when it came time to fight the Nazis. Instead, we see President Lame authorizing air strikes and begging to send more money and more guns to more Sunni crazies whom the State Department shall properly check out this time. Sure they will. And, of course, Iran is far too Evil and Scary to talk with about a common threat, because they’re working on The Bomb. (Israel, of course, already has The Bomb, but we are only supposed to fear Iran.) My BS meter is pegged, and nothing I hear from our government moves the needle. Nothing. My default position is that I am being lied to, again and again.
I conclude that ISIS is yet more sound and fury signifying that the CIA still knows how to whip up diversions. And divisions. It’s gonna be a great little war. I predict boots on the ground back in The Sandbox within a year, all to Keep Us Safe.