This Is World War III

This Is World War III


Leonard Zwelling

         San Bernardino, Orlando. Istanbul, Brussels, Paris, Dhaka, Saudi
Arabia et al. It doesn’t seem like it will ever stop. Just Sunday over 150
people died in a blast in Baghdad. As I write this, explosions are reported to
have hit several sites in Saudi Arabia. Many of these places seem far away.
Some don’t. It shouldn’t matter.

         ISIS is waging a war on the West on multiple fronts both in
the Middle East and in our homelands on virtually all continents. Some of the
perpetrators have been radicalized in the Middle East and returned to the West
to wreck havoc. Some have been radicalized right here over the Internet and
perpetrate their chaos without warning. Either way, the toxic ideology of the
Radical Islamists is killing Westerners, Far Easterners and natives of the
Middle East alike. What can we do?

         In the Middle East, the West has upped the ferocity of its
air missions and its drone strikes in Syria and Iraq with some recouping of
previously lost territory. That’s a start. In Europe and North America, things
only seem to be getting worse and the frequency of the attacks greater and the
violence more intense. Better gun control laws might have headed off what
happened in San Bernardino and Orlando. Better surveillance and police work may
have saved some lives in Turkey and Europe, but that is far more questionable.

         The real question is what can be done short of an all out
attack on every aspect of Radical Islam while doing our best to preserve the
American way of life and open borders to the extent possible for the
immigration that has so nurtured America? This is a tall order, but clearly
what we are doing now is not working.

         It is probably time to secure territory for the Syrian
refugees in their own homeland with a no-fly zone and safe havens guaranteed by
the American military and any other force willing to help. This will not only
save lives, but could curtail the flow of immigrants into Europe, something the
Europeans must deal with, but is a huge contributor to the Brexit vote and to
general instability on the continent. Europeans want to be safe at home, too.

         Assad has to go in Syria and if it takes American troops to
clear the way then so be it. It is obvious that the Iraq invasion was a
disaster, but this is worse. We need to finish what we started and make the
Middle East safe for Middle Easterners and if we have to stay for a while, we
do. Better American troops there than Radical Islamists here.

         If Mr. Putin objects to this–tough. If he dares to have his
planes enter a NATO-imposed no-fly zone, shoot them down. The Turks did with
little consequence. Putin, like Trump, is just a bully.  Call his bluff.

spend all this money on defense. What’s the point if we don’t use it to make
the world safer?

         President Obama has a non-policy. He threatened to make
Syria pay for crossing the red line of using chemical weapons and then backed
away. No wonder no one worries about America taking action. We seem incapable
of even protecting ourselves from ISIS attacks in California and Florida.

         It is time to admit that we have been backed into a corner
once again. Where Al Qaeda may not have been a uniformed foreign power in 2001,
ISIS declares itself to be one now. They want a showdown with the West? Perhaps
they need to have it.

         Why what has happened to the West in the past fifteen years is
not the equivalent of Pearl Harbor is beyond me. These guys want us all dead.
The only answer may have to be the reverse.

         It is against all logic and my core beliefs for me to
suggest that an all-out attack ‘round the world is the only solution to ISIS.
Well, if that isn’t it, what is?

2 thoughts on “This Is World War III”

  1. Len. you seem to be suffering from the same messianic delusion that affected George W. Bush: the U.S. can in no way bring peace and safety to the Middle East. We (and our European and Arab "allies") might be able to set up safe zones for refugees in Syria; that might me a good idea for the reasons you suggest, but if the West removes Assad, who or what will replace him? You can't advocate such a thing without a post-removal plan of succession that will avoid empowering ISIS and its ilk. See Iraq and Libya. There is no easy answer (see Donald Trump and Ted Cruz) to what's going on in the Middle East. It is an extremely complex situation that cannot be solved as easily as you imply. Obama's policy recognizes this complexity even if it does not suit you. Let me know when you have a comprehensive plan to remove and replace Assad and defeat ISIS. Then we can talk.

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