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elbanditoroso's avatar

What makes Obama and Cameron (and for that matter, most of the West) think that ISIS in Iraq/Syria can be defeated?

Asked by elbanditoroso (22421points) September 3rd, 2014

The West has been fighting against various flavors of Islamic terror groups since the 1940s, and it got worse with the Palestinian hijackings and murders in the 1970s.

Then there was Fatah, PFLP, al-Qaeda in the 1990s and 2001, and various offshoots of al-Qaeda since. Now the enemy of the week is ISIS in Iraq and Syria.

Basically during the last 50 years, the West has been utterly unsuccessful at eradicating Islamic terrorist groups. Sure, al-Qaeda was weakened, but they’re still there beheading people in Egypt.

So what makes Obama and Cameron and Merkel and the other Western leaders confident that ISIS can be defeated? let’s be clear – I am no fan of ISIS, but are the politicians being remotely realistic?

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18 Answers

ARE_you_kidding_me's avatar

I don’t think they believe groups like isis can be erased from the planet. They are like cockroaches, you can’t ever get rid of them all but you can make life very hard for them. You can at least eliminate them from your home.

ucme's avatar

They’re politicians, expert liars, what did you expect?

Bill1939's avatar

It seems to me that the only way to “defeat” terrorists (religious or political) is to end poverty. Who would want to kill and risk being killed when they have the means to support their family and live “normal” lives? However, the economies of too many nations are dependent upon the production and sales of military materials, and too many enjoy the wealth that wars generate for this very small percentage of the population.

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

A lot of it is ignorance of Islam, and the culture and history of the region. Mother of god, these guys hold grudges like no other people I’ve seen. But don’t dis the people, they are amazing when you gain their trust. And it goes back to long before the 1940’s.

ARE_you_kidding_me's avatar

It seems to me that groups like this gain members a couple of ways. The first is they recruit straight up psychopaths. The second is they recruit new islamic converts who are gullible, don’t actually understand the religion and are not so bright. The third is they recruit through intimidation.

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

Question is flawed, presuming our leaders think they can, or even want to end the conflict.

I’m with @Bill1939. Poverty is the big motivator for joining ISIS. Not opportunity. Not religious conviction. It’s a self perpetuating machine. The West oppresses and creates the poverty which feeds the conflict.

We citizens see it as a problem. But the military industrial complex considers it a successful campaign, to continue the cycle. It’s an inside job man. The biggest hoax. The joke’s on us.

Aster's avatar

Obama ” thinks that ISIS in Iraq/Syria can be defeated?” I have not heard him say that at all. He said something like we’ll “seek justice.”

mazingerz88's avatar

Yes, not sure if these politicians think or believe ISIS and some future variation of it can be defeated. If one is in power, and only when one is in that exact position of power will one ever know the limits of expectation and optimism in addressing huge impactful issues like this.

As leaders, it’s part of their job to rally their people to certain causes they think is integral to the future of their respective countries. Just up to the people to know the difference between reality and daydreaming.

flutherother's avatar

They only hope ISIS can be defeated they have no strategy for doing it and no idea what would replace ISIS either.

stanleybmanly's avatar

What else are either of them going to say out loud? And of course Isis can be defeated, depending of course on one’s definition of defeat. In truth, the forces arrayed against them already should be more than adequate to liquidate the organization and ruthlessly run to ground its leadership. Iran alone has the sophistication and tactical know how to topple Isis, and Saudi Arabia has the money. In the meantime, the unraveling of the region and the threat to our petroleum jugular vein necessitates noises from Obama and Cameron. While Obama has committed air assets openly against Isis, he has so far resisted the calls to toss further American lives and treasure into the toilet erected by his predecessor. The taunts abound about his being weak and indecisive, but 13 years of being mired in shit has expended the political feasibility of massive troop commitments until skyrocketing gasoline prices are well under way. In other words, until it’s too late.

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

Has anyone heard any information about who funds ISIS? I haven’t. Where do they get their money to wage war? I mean, this literally sounds like some 1980’s Roger Moore Bond flick where the rich evil genius creates an army out of brainwashed tech school flunkies.

I thought the US killed everything over there. Then killed it again. The greatest most expensive war machine ever gathered plus private Black Water gangs reaping profits to make the Pharaoh’s jealous.

Yet another well funded highly organized counter group arises out of nowhere? And the US is acting afraid of it? AFRAID OF IT?

Does ISIS have satellites? Do they have an air force? Any battleships? Where is the ISIS NSA headquarters located? Does it spy on ISIS citizens without their consent? How much did it cost compared to ours?

The idea that such a threat could arise so quickly and fierce-fully is nothing short of 911 proportions. The concept astounds and confounds me completely.

stanleybmanly's avatar

@RealEyesRealizeRealLies It now appears that a considerable portion of their funding is raised from holding Westerners hostage.

KNOWITALL's avatar

WEll we could defeat them. Remember Hiroshima? It’s only a matter of our own interests that keeps them alive.

johnpowell's avatar

@KNOWITALL :: Are you saying nuking is the answer? People all over the world are sympathetic to their goals. Nuking would just make it worse since we would lose the moral high ground.

Hypocrisy_Central's avatar

^ Nuking would just make it worse since we would lose the moral high ground.
Uncle Sam has not had a moral high ground in a long, long time, in spite of what it looks like,

KNOWITALL's avatar

@Johnpowell I’m not saying we should, I’m saying we could.

stanleybmanly's avatar

@KNOWITALL interesting thought. Nuclear detonations in the world’s petroleum breadbasket.

gorillapaws's avatar

I think the goal should be to support local forces from the air, only when requested. Iraq doesn’t want to be conquered, and there are plenty of people willing to fight against ISIS on the ground. If they can take advantage of our air superiority, ISIS can be snuffed out with teamwork, diplomacy, intelligence, and coordinated support from multiple countries.

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