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Friday, August 22, 2014

On ISIS: Can More Mideast War Be Avoided?

My most recent prior post's title, "Democrat Presidents Start Wars", is in quotation marks for a reason: that is what my mother said to me in 1964.  Of course, she was not literally correct, and I am sure she knew that fact.  She was speaking as a mother about the risk to her draft-age sons, two of whom, soon thereafter, were to serve in (and survive, thank God) the war in Vietnam.

During the past 100 years, in no case of which I am aware, save the invasion of Iraq, did the U.S. actually start a war.  Carol's point was that the wars overseas had become our wars during years when we had Democrats in The White House. Here is a topic ripe for debate: is America more likely to be drawn into war when militarily strong (and thus threatening), or when less well-prepared to fight (and in a conciliatory posture)?  And what sorts of wars have been the results of those contrasting postures on the part of America?

Whether we needed to go into all our military engagements is, of course, debatable. The Vietnam War and The Second Gulf War (the invasion of Iraq) are the most controversial, though some still question the necessity of our participation in that horrific geopolitical blunder that became World War I.

I have no doubt that World War II had to be fought. The Korean War and the First Gulf War were responses to aggression unlawful under the United Nations Charter.  They were thus justifiable.

Today, barbaric ideologically radical Islamic terrorists are running amok in the world.  ISIS, the most virulent manifestation at present, have declared themselves a state.  Someone must stand up to them.  If President Obama should decide, no doubt with great personal regret and anguish, that today's war needs to be fought with American forces, and if he goes to Congress requesting a declaration of war against ISIS/ISIL, he will have my support in that decision.  But, I also hope that Obama would prosecute that war with a will to win it quickly, applying overwhelming might, thus minimizing the loss for our own and allied soldiers and for civilians.

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