Social Question

SquirrelEStuff's avatar

Does America forget that it is currently in several wars?

Asked by SquirrelEStuff (9178points) June 13th, 2016 from iPhone

I am seeing some articles this morning that the US must declare war against ISIS.
Are Americans so disconnected from the fact that the US has been bombing at least 7 Muslim countries and that killing over 1,000 civilians living in Muslim countries may be the best recruitment tool for a group like ISIS?
The Orlando shooter claimed allegiance to ISIS and the Boston Bombers. The Tsaernaev brother who is still alive wrote on the inside of the boat that he was arrested in, that the attacks in Boston were revenge for what America has been doing in Muslim countries and killing innocent civilians. Several other terrorists that were arrested were quoted saying something similar.
Why do we overlook the possibility that our foreign policy is causing blowback, and our involvement in overthrowing dictators and installing American backed leaders may be causing unintended consequences that we are not considering?

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23 Answers

ARE_you_kidding_me's avatar

Because it’s convenient politically for people on both sides to do so.

FireMadeFlesh's avatar

So you’re suggesting that the best way to deal with our enemies is to leave them be, and hope for the best?

Call_Me_Jay's avatar

@FireMadeFlesh Very appropriate answer, because you showed you are unaware the US is already fighting ISIS.

And the Orlando shooter isn’t ISIS. Retaliating against ISIS for Orlando is like attacking Iraq for 9/11. Which cost us a trillion dollars, harmed American interests far more than al Qaeda ever dreamed, and was the direct cause of the rise of ISIS.

kritiper's avatar

“War is hell.” This war we are in will go on for many, many years if not for the rest of Man’s existence. Better get used to it.

rojo's avatar

ISIS claims responsibility @Call_Me_Jay my comment would be if you don’t want retaliatory action taken against you then best to keep your mouth shut.

Call_Me_Jay's avatar

OK, @rojo

Retaliate how? I assume you’ve got your bags packed to go defend freedom, right? Go get ‘em, Sparky.

rojo's avatar

You seem to be in a very confrontational mood @Call_Me_Jay, someone piss in your oatmeal this morning?
No need to be so defensive. I merely pointed out that ISIS is claiming responsibility for the attack, unlike Iraq and 9/11. So, to my mind any retaliatory actions taken against them is justified, again, unlike what we did in Iraq.

Call_Me_Jay's avatar

Family, an ex, an employer and co-workers have all described this guy’s life.

But hey, you can’t pee your pants in fear over a psycho loner story. It’s much more satisfying to trust what ISIS says!

stanleybmanly's avatar

For some 75 years we have dispensed with the niceties around formal declarations of war simply because there are contitutional legalities which counter the requirements of empire and its maintenance. To facilitate those requirements, it is essential that such nuisances as Congressional oversight and involvement be minimized. The result is that war is now the more or less permanent state in which we find ourselves. Things have dovetailed nicely as public trust in its government has plummeted to unimagined levels and heads ever further South. The public accepts the situation because frankly, people will adjust to nearly anything they believe has no close personal effect on them. Thus public discussion is avoided on such topics as: What is the threat requiring the maintenance of so enormous and expensive a war machine?

rojo's avatar

Read into it what you will. I trust not what ISIS says but what they say is upon their own heads.
And again, Iraq at no point claimed to have been involved in 9/11.
But I would hazard a guess that both you and I view the formation and activities of ISIS as blow back from the policies of the US in general.

And back to the original question, I don’t believe we … overlook the possibility that our foreign policy is causing blowback, and our involvement in overthrowing dictators and installing American backed leaders may be causing unintended consequences that we are not considering? I think we choose to ignore it because it does not conform to our own world view or belief systems.

Jaxk's avatar

ISIS has declared war on us. I suppose we could ignore that and hope it goes away but that seems unlikely. ISIS is fighting and winning against the world’s only super power (at least that’s what they say). The time honored underdog story. Unless we crush them, nothing will change and their ranks will continue to grow. Whether you believe ISIS was created by the Ieaq war or whether it was the result of Libya, Egypt, and Syria is irrelevant. They are in charge of large swaths of territory for a ‘safe haven’ and seemingly invincible. Unless we change that perception, we will continue to be the victim for whatever they throw at us. It will get a lot worse if we don’t take action.

SquirrelEStuff's avatar

But is not time to consider that the Islamic State is the consequence of bombing at least seven Muslim countries?
This is a uniting factor amongst Muslims.
If we drop bombs simultaneously in Afghanistan, Iraq, Pakistan, Yemen, Syria, Somalia, Libya, etc, is it not only a matter of time before any Muslims who are personally affected by friends and family being killed come together to fight a common enemy?

Any reading done by what has been said by any terrorist who was caught, or Bin Laden himself, does not talk about a caliphate, they all talk about revenge for our occupation and bombing of Muslim countries.
I have a slew of quotes taken directly from these people through government websites and “main stream” news articles.
I would be more than happy to pass them along should anyone be interested.

SecondHandStoke's avatar

Why America?

An overwhelming majority of other nations are, or have been, involved in at least one international conflict.

stanleybmanly's avatar

It’s America, because the perception is that nothing bad that happens in the Middle East is free of our fingerprints.

stanleybmanly's avatar

Isis must be defeated. True. But there will just be some other outfit that will pop up in its stead. We’re going to have to face the nightmare prospect of permanent war in the middle East with our continued hemorrhaging of money, and tens of millions of refugees pushing at the gates of Europe. If we abandon the region to its own devices, the tens of millions of refugees are coming anyway and the contagion of instability guaranteed to spread. Eventually the real significance of the decision to invade Iraq will be apparent to even the hardest of knuckleheads, as the potential numbers of recruits for Isis and the dozens of other zealot outfits approaches limitless.

Setanta's avatar

I take issue with the assertion that this has been going on for 75 years. In 1941, Europe was embroiled in a war that stretched from the shores of England to Byelorussia (now called Belarus), the Ukraine and Russia, and from Norway to North Africa. Japan had started the Second Sino-Japanese War in 1937. Despite the bombing of U.S.S. Panay in 1937, the United States was not at war in 1941, and only went to war because the Japanese Empire attacked the United States. The current militaristic situation is a result of the so-called cold war, when the United States stayed in arms in order to confront the Soviet Union after May, 1945. American involvement in Korea and Vietnam can reasonably be said to have derived directly from that continuing confrontation, and the geo-political paranoia it fostered.

There is no correlation between the cold war and our miseries in the middle east, however. After the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan in 1978, some Americans looked for ways to exploit the situation. (The cold war, after all, was not over.) Al Qaeda, which means “the base,” was founded by a militant Egyptian army officer who actually despied the U.S. But as usual, the bright boys at Central Intelligence knew none of that, and wouldn’t have cared anyway. Central Intelligence has always left the dirty work to proxies, and that seemed a perfect set-up. We gave them stinger missiles to attack Soviet air craft, and they were originally our buddies.

The United States was not at war from 1973 to 1990, despite provocations by other countries. That began to change with the election of that clown Reagan. The cowboy in the White House couldn’t resist trying his hand at military adventurism. He sent U.S. troops to Lebanon in 1983 and invaded the island of Grenada that same year. He bombed Libya in 1986. That was also the era when we sent aid to Al Qaeda and to the righ-wing Contras in Nicaragua. The neo-conservatives, a movement which began in the 1970s, were prominent in the Reagan administration. Richard Cheney was Secretary of Defense in the administration of the first George Bush, and oversaw the invasion of Panama and the Persian Gulf War. With the election of Clinton in 1992, the neo-cons were out of power. In 1997, several former Reagan administration employees (including Dan Quayle) and Richard Cheney, as well as many others, founded The Project for a New American Century, which advocated global military dominance by the Untied States, among a host of other idiotic ideas. With the election of the second George Bush, they were back in the saddle. In 1997, they had sent an open letter to Bill Clinton calling for the invasion of Iraq. But once in power, they had to move more carefully. The lesson of the coalition the elder Bush had used in the Gulf War was not lost on them, but they were pretty ham-handed. They got their invasion, though.

A barely literate Jordanian jihadi who had fought in Afghanistan soon founded Al Qaeda in Iraq, that was Abu Musab al-Zarqawi. Ironically, although Zarqawi promoted war by Sunnis against Shi’ites, the majority in the Iraqi population, tribal chieftains in Anbar province aided American efforts to get Zarqawi, forming an organization called Sons of Iraq, a Sunni organization. Zarqawi was killed in a targeted bombing of a safe house in 2006. That ought to have been the end of the story. But in 2010, an Iraqi Sunni extremist calling himself Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi took over Al Qaeda in Iraq. He was soon repudiated by Al Qaeda because of his determination to exterminate Shi’ites, even though Al Qaeda is a Sunni fundamentalist organization. That was when he created Islamic State in Iraq, from which ISIS derives. It has been reported just today that al Baghdadi has been killed in a coalition air strike.

History is not as simple as journalists would make it. Journalists are the bottom feeders of the literary world, and are usually the last to know about reliable information. Muslim terrorists are not the all-powerful monsters that the papers would have you believe. Al Qaeda bombed American embassies in East Africa because Clinton and baby Bush left American troops in Saudi Arabia after the Gulf War. There was also an attempt to bring down the world trade center with a truck bomb in 1993, before the September 11th attacks finally succeeded. ISIS has squandered in resources, including men, in an incoherent and ineffective military campaign that has wandered all over Syria and Iraq. There is no doubt that they are very proficient at killing unarmed prisoners as well as women and children. They are far less competent at well-organized military operations. Most of the fighting on the ground against ISIS is carried out by Iraqi security forces, as their army is called and Shi’ite militias—both trained and lead by Revolutionary Guard officers from Iran. But it would be bad press to admit that. Increasingly, analysts are saying that ISIS is less and less able to recruit young Muslims to their cause. I really don’t accept doomsday scenarios about Muslim terrorists. Certainly they’re the source of much misery and strife, but they’re not invincible, and their operations succeed because of poor security or cowardly attacks on civilians. Were the West not addicted to petroleum, none of this would be happening.

Pandora's avatar

Let me start with this is just my opinion. This is how I felt about war since I was a child. I’m not looking to argue with anyone on this. People will always find a reason for war. What did the Jews do during WWII to deserve being massacred? Fanatics will never be content to just live their lives in peace. War mongers will also never be content to live in peace.
Someone smacks you and you punch back, and then they stab you and you shoot at them, and then their family rapes and kills your friends and family and your family does the same. It’s an escalating situation. I mean, if you want to find a reason. Lets go as far back as all the conflicts that started terrorist in the first place.
The problem is that everyone wants to be right instead of living in peace. Minding their own business and moving along.
Think about this for a moment. What would happen if they all suddenly decided to go home? Not bomb anyone. No eye for an eye nonsense. Just go home and live in peace. Join their local politics and try to make change that way. Life is about choices. We couldn’t do anything since we are not officially in war. We would be out of a conflict.

But they can’t go home. They made too many enemies in their own land. They would be hunted down. So they will continue to fight till they are dead. They no longer have any choice but to continue to fight. They also killed many of their citizens. War is simply an easier choice when you have nothing to lose. Anger and hatred fueled their fire. You are looking for a reason where there really isn’t one.
Just look at Isreal. Would it be so horrible if both sides put down their arms and decided to not get revenge and live in peace for the future of all their citizens? Nope. They will continue to refuse. I don’t believe it’s about religion, it’s about land and revenge. It’s about an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth. Ultimately. All wars are about greed and a sense of entitlement and the extreme need to suppress others who are different.

FireMadeFlesh's avatar

@Call_Me_Jay Do you intentionally misinterpret people, or do you just have the comprehension skills of a simpleton?

Of course the US is already bombing ISIL, as well as conducting operations in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Yemen, Somalia, and others. My question was directed at the OP, who seems to think that barbaric people only attack the US because they were supposedly attacked first. What the OP has completely overlooked, is that the perpetrators of terrorist attacks against the West are ideologically motivated. They’re not doing it because they are poor, or because their village got bombed. They’re doing it because they believe that anyone who does not believe as they do must convert or die. That explains why our fabulously wealthy allies in Saudi Arabia are one of the largest sources of revenue for terrorist organisations.

Ceasing war in the countries these people are from would not reduce their hatred of us, or their desire to kill us. This isn’t blowback, this is war, and our adversaries know that being professional victims helps handicap our military and ROEs.

Call_Me_Jay's avatar

@FireMadeFlesh I am guessing you’re too young to remember 2002 and 2003, but you’re making the same arguments that brought us a decade-long losing trillion-dollar war that left the US weaker and led directly to the creation of ISIS.

It was a disaster. It was a disaster for Americans and the world. al Qaeda and ISIS can only dream about reaching the body count racked up by Republican “leaders” and the people who voted for them.

DoNotKnowMuch's avatar

@Call_Me_Jay: “body count racked up by Republican “leaders””


stanleybmanly's avatar

@FireMadeFlesh I wouldn’t be so quick to dismiss those “because they are poor, or because their village got bombed” factors. While the leadership may be ideologically strait jacketed, the cannon fodder rushing to enlist in that shortcut to paradise are probably seriously motivated by such things, and God knows there are certainly no shortage of examples or incidents to fill the bill. The truth is that ISIS is an operation of some 25,000 souls, and is as such by no stretch of the imagination a serious threat to the United States.

FireMadeFlesh's avatar

@Call_Me_Jay The beginning of the Iraq war was bullshit, and from what I can remember everyone knew it at the time. Maybe it was different in your country. At least in my country, there wasn’t a whole lot of support for our joining the US’s war.

I’m also not suggesting a full-scale war against ISIL. That would be counter-productive, since we have already learned from 14 years of war that Western forces are really bad at telling friend from foe there. But by the same token underestimating our enemy or pretending they are just disaffected people “just like us” is foolish.

@stanleybmanly A huge proportion of ISIL’s recruits are foreign. These people did not lose families to drone strikes, nor were they desperately poor. Unless I missed a Western war in Tunisia? The prevalence of Tunisian fighters in ISIL is outright shocking considering Tunisia was the site of the most successful of the “Arab Spring” revolutions. If we were talking about the Taliban, sure, many of them are just desperate people led astray by psychopaths. Same for Northern Pakistan. But desperately poor people can’t afford passage from Tunisia to Syria. Or, for that matter, from Belgium.

stanleybmanly's avatar

By now it should be rather evident that desperate people DO get around, and rather quickly at that. There’s little to compare with desperation as motivation. And I’m willing to bet that a great many of those recruits bolstering ISIS are in fact the frustrated children of formerly desperate people now struggling to subsist in Western lands. The depressing aspect to all of this is that the coming elimination of ISIS as an occupying force will not be the end of it. The template is in place, and ISIS now draws the crowds because it is “the greatest show on earth”. Once the setbacks and inevitable defeat are readily apparent, those volunteers will melt away like snow in August. But there will be plenty of other circuses for those who deem themselves having “nothing left to lose”. Yevgrav Zhivago got it right. “Happy men don’t volunteer”

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