Tom Friedman Is Just Sayin': Why Don't We Arm ISIS?
Is the world flat enough for you yet? Do you require more flattening? 'Cause it can be arranged. Nay, it should be, according to Tom Friedman, who—and he's just spitballing here—wonders, in the New York Times, where he is paid to spitball for Pulitzers: "Should we be arming ISIS?"
Everybody phones it in at work sometimes. Some people work on geopolitics. Sometimes, geopolitical strategy gets phoned in. Here's Tom Friedman holding for you on line one:
As the saying goes, "to err is human, to forgive is divine," to which I'd add: "to ignore" is even more human, and the results rarely divine. None of us would be human if we didn't occasionally get so wedded to our wishes that we failed to notice — or outright ignored — the facts on the ground that make a laughingstock of our hopes.
Fortunately, there is a curative for this myopia: Facts On The Ground, as related to you in the newspaper by Tom Friedman in a column he cobbled together this morning after scanning other parts of the newspaper:
Only when the gap gets too wide to ignore does policy change. This is where a lot of U.S. policy is heading these days in the Middle East. Mind the gaps — on Iran, Israel and Iraq.
Let's skip ahead, shall we?
Let's start with Israel...
Just... a bit further.
It would be wrong, though, to put all of this on Netanyahu...
It is a more simple fact: In the brutal Middle East, the only thing that gets anyone's attention is the threat of regime-toppling force. Obama has no such leverage on Iran.
It was used up in Afghanistan and Iraq... Had those wars succeeded, the public today might feel differently. But they didn't. Geopolitics is all about leverage...
Have I ruined your morning yet? No? Give me a couple more paragraphs.
Now I despise ISIS as much as anyone, but let me just toss out a different question: Should we be arming ISIS?
Um. Come again?
Obviously, I abhor ISIS and don't want to see it spread or take over Iraq. I simply raise this question rhetorically because no one else is: Why is it in our interest to destroy the last Sunni bulwark to a total Iranian takeover of Iraq?
Why, indeed, should we not tolerate a murderous neo-medievalist regime of dead-end theology dropouts with global ambitions in the hopes that it might slow down an antagonistic but largely rational regional power? Doesn't it make sense for the U.S. to prop up a gross totalitarian Sunni regime in Iraq that can bleed the Iranians dry? Hasn't that idea ever occurred to anyone before?
Hey, we're just asking questions here.
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