8/11/14

The president obviously read my previous blog of the same name from few days ago, or at the very least saw the movie. However, he only internalized half of what I was saying.

His decision to assist probably saved the Yazidis and came not a moment too soon (a-la Bruce Willis in the movie turning back to save the refugees). But he needs to understand that without boots on the ground, airstrikes alone, this time, will not do the trick. Airstrikes alone can be effective against countries—see Clinton’s Serbia victory or to a large extent Schwarzkopf’s first Gulf War, which was clearly won by air strikes, even if then ground troops were needed to mop-up. But they cannot be effective against a terror group or army, which ISIS is. You MUST have ground operation to tackle them, otherwise they simply hide in their rat holes and come up every time you cease the aerial bombings.

So what can the U.S. do? PUT boots on the ground! Luckily it does not have to be U.S. boots. Or not more than are ALREADY there! If the president will take his foot off the break for ONCE in his life and actually decide to arm and equip the Kurds, they can be a very effective “boots on the ground” solution against ISIS and with the help of serious air support, can do a real job at fighting ISIS back.

Let’s be clear here—the choices facing the U.S. are between terrible and horrible. I normally say that decisions are always between two bad options but here—these are really terrible options. That is ENTIRELY the president’s fault. It was his decision to do nothing in Iraq in 2009–2010, exasperated by his decision to do nothing in Syria from 2011 till now, that brought ISIS about. There can be no serious argument to refute that.

This president is fond of coining all kinds of new linguistic terms such as “pivot,” “calculus,” etc.

When will he understand that leading from behind (another one of his rhetorical “pearls”) is NOT an option?

He is also legendary for his reluctance to DO anything. Whenever he decides to do anything it is already too little too late. Throwing one bomb or two on ISIS here and there is NOT going to get the job done.

Even to do that he waited until the very last minute, and I have a sneaky suspicion that if he was not about to go on vacation he would not have made even this decision as fast as he made it. But in this case it was: Let them throw a bomb or two and I better make the decision now before I go to Martha’s Vineyard. Better make the decision now, otherwise G-d forbid his vacation is interrupted by a massacre of 40,000 innocent people.

Someone wise already said:

The best decision you can take is the right decision.

The second best decision is the wrong decision.

The worst decision is no decision.

Get on with it—do something meaningful for ONCE in your presidency!

P.S. If I were Putin, I would invade Ukraine in the next few days when the U.S. is focused on ISIS and the president is on vacation. Perfect timing.