Sunday, November 15, 2015

Fighting Daesh: From Paris to Raqqa.

Place de La Republique, November 14, 2015 (AP/Christophe Ena)
World leaders are having a hard time coming together on a strategy for ending the bloodshed in Syria and Iraq, so horribly spilling over into Paris this weekend. For now, the watchword surely has to be "no stupid stuff!"

Diane Feinstein says we must do more.  The Daily Beast reports speaking with a brusque talking anonymous ex-CIA person who is agitating for an assemblage of 6,000 to 7,000 special operations troops to invade and take Raqqa, the quasi capital of Daesh. But American spokespersons say Obama remains staunchly opposed to an American ground war in Syria.

Today French planes have dropped 20 bombs on Raqqa.

Clinton, Sanders, and O'Malley sounded anemic on how to bring the fight to ISIS in their debate Saturday night. Clinton was clear enough: "(ISIS) cannot be contained; it must be defeated," she said, adding "but this cannot be an American fight, although American leadership is essential."  She did not sound compelling.

Max Fisher summed up his disappointment in a tweet during the debate Saturday night:
I share the sentiment, although I can understand the reticence of candidates to commit too boldly on an issue where it is devilishly hard to be certain about what to do. The fact that this contains great potential for providing a campaign soundbite to the opposition does not help. Still, Hillary will have to do better in the general election.

In Vienna, Secretary of State John Kerry and Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov gave a joint news conference suggesting that they are working on joint targeting of Daesh. The plan they are working on is reported (NYT) to be based on a Russian proposal that envisions negotiations involving Bashar Al Assad and opposition forces, starting in January.

In the meantime Peter Beinart reports that Republican candidates Rubio and Cruz are apparently not troubled by the concern about adverse soundbites. Rubio is referring to a "clash of civilizations," suggesting an all out war with all of Islam, and Cruz is suggesting only Christians be allowed to enter as refugees.Vox has tallied all of the Republican candidate responses.

God preserve us from the Republicans; but remember that God helps those who vote.

Follow me on Twitter @RolandNikles


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