Fighter jets and jails are the problem that shattered the modern Arab world, and they cannot be its solution. Quick military actions will certainly slow down and roll back ISIS in many areas, and the immediate danger is likely to be blunted. But if history since the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan in 1979 and the U.S. in the Gulf and Iraq since 1991 is any guide, chaos looms again.
Today, on the thirteenth anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, it is clear to me that the cowardice evinced by the president is directly proportional to the never-ending 9/11 fear mongering that continues to paralyze and retard this country.
Obama defeated Hillary Clinton in the Democratic presidential primaries and took office on the premise that he would wind down America's role in Middle Eastern and Central Asian conflicts. But his legacy will be the contrary.
Is it just me, or does the stock market seem to be tiptoeing through the tulips while all hell's breaking loose around us?
Obama is trying to walk a very fine line between doing nothing and all-out war. He will be counting on others to do the ground fighting, which may depend on how much support America gets from regional allies. The end game of this limited warfare is going to be hard to see, however.
The Western interest in dismantling the Syrian regime was motivated by two factors. First, the Syrian regime had proven to be a sustained source of discomfort for Israel. Containing Syria meant additional operational space for Israel. The second factor had to do with the Arab regimes' interest in containing Iran's rising influence in the region.
We can't forget that the security interests of Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Jordan, Turkey and our NATO allies are threatened by ISIS to a much greater extent than our own. We should insist that they step forward, provide people and resources to the fight, and, most importantly, publicly align with the emerging anti-ISIS coalition.
I worried about when and where my daughter would choose to wear the dress. I feared women from the Middle East might assume my daughter viewed the gown as a kind of costume that appropriated their culture. But for my child, I think the dress just symbolized selfhood.