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Air strikes won’t defeat an ideology

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Bravo, President Obama. Air strikes in Iraq and Syria, combined with military advisors on the ground are sure to destroy ISIS. Aren’t they?

No, of course not. Because ISIS, like al Qaeda before it, is an ideology, not a finite army or nation. And an ideology cannot be crushed with air strikes. We can play whack-a-mole with them for years — and no doubt we will — but we will not destroy them. If even a handful of them survive, so will their ideology. And like a few cancer cells left after surgery, their numbers will eventually grow, metastasize, and reappear in the future. If not as ISIS, then in some new form.

Have we not learned this yet? Why are we going back into the Middle East in any way, shape, or form when even the nations in the immediate vicinity have not raised a hand against ISIS?

A threat to the US? What kind of threat do 30,000 or so radicals in the Middle East pose to a nation of more than 300 million, half a world away? No plots against the US have been reported, and we are in a post-9/11 state of alertness. Perhaps that’s why they’ve tried so hard to goad us into returning to the Middle East — so they can fight us on their own turf.

ISIS killed two American reporters, captured after they chose to put themselves in harm’s way. Two. For that we’re going to war — again?

 

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