Confronting ISIS

Thursday, August 21, 2014

As President Obama commits the U.S. to a "relentless" response to ISIS after the killing of photojournalist James Foley, George Packer, staff writer for The New Yorker, talks about what's ahead and to what extent we're back where we started.


George Packer

Comments [12]

The Europeans have always competed w/ Russia for oil (start'g w/ invasion dur'g Their Civil War). The U.S. can +will cynically ride any coattails as we did in Asia. The self-delud'g nature of dipp'g a toe w/ airpower + shadow war should be obvious after how that worked out (think Marines in Australia).

Aug. 22 2014 11:41 AM
Salvatore Principato from Greenwich Village

By now it is painfully obvious that military action doesn't fight terrorism it instead recruits terrorists and gives oxygen to the fires of extremism. Seems like your guest is painfully oblivious to that fact and is a sucker for an invasion and bombing campaign each and every time.....

Aug. 21 2014 02:13 PM

Are there any "moderate" Sunnis? Let's be honest, look at the world as a whole. Most of all Terrorism and/or Militant activity from Asia, to Africa, to Europe, to Trinidad, and here is all Sunni Muslims and their apologists. I think we need to rethink our classification of Muslims as Moderate or Secular. The difference between the Islams is Sunni Islam is overtly (or covertly by "moderates") not as tolerant and increasingly fundamentalist compared to Shiites, Ismaelis, Alevi's, etc...

Aug. 21 2014 11:09 AM

ISISs ,is the result of our installing a Shia government in Iraq hell bent on oppressing the Sunnis of Iraq. When they peacefully protested ,we labeled them all Alquada. In Syria ISIS emerged as the world stood by and allowed a holocaust of Sunni people by Assad's regime. "Let Allah sort it" out was the mantra on the right here. Anyone who dared say otherwise was labeled a war monger and a fool[McCain, Graham].The right and the left opposed stopping the Assad regime from his horrific genocidal campaign against Sunnis Syrians who peacefully initially rose up to topple a regime we labeled part of the axis of evil. Since the world or at least the US took such glee in seeing Muslims killing Muslim, [pass the popcorn][said often in US media ] the Sunnis from the world over, mostly young ignorant fanatics and converts, converged on Syria to try to topple Assad. The moderate Sunnis in Iraq and in Syria ,though not vicious fanatics, jumped on their bandwagon out of fear of ISIS tactics and because no one else was defending them from the Assad regime or the Baghdad Government regimes, both of which oppress them and engage in atrocities against Sunnis. We in our turning our back on the Syrian uprisings against a brutal dictator and by installing a malicious government in Baghdad, created and empowered these horrific ISIS thugs and fanatics.

Aug. 21 2014 10:58 AM

I think we need a new relationship with Bashar's regime. The Free Syria Army, caused this, we know many of them are in ISIS. The FSA was just the public relations arm of ISIS. For the sake of everyone, we should support the only secular actor in that region which is the Syrian Government. We need to sanction their helpers Turkey- who is deliberately letting anyone into Syria, and Qatar and other Gulf states who fund ISIS. Look at our track record so far: Libya-run by extremist militias, Iraq- run by extremist militias, Afghanistan- run by extremist militias.

Aug. 21 2014 10:56 AM
RLF from Yonkers

This guy is the same idiot he was when he approved of the first invasion! Haven't these guys realized that as long as the people of that region want a caliphate, there is nothing we can do but wait it out. Iran was moderating when we went into Iraq and then it turned around. The only reason we are getting this push for military occupation is we need the OIL!!! If Obama was serious about changing the situation he would be doing everything he could to conserve making big moron SUVs illegal!

Aug. 21 2014 10:29 AM
Bob Joyce from UWS

NOT TO MINIMIZE THE EVIL OF ISL but I wonder if Mr. Packer sees the combo of Shadow + Psych Wars as similar to LBJ's initial attack against Comm.SEA? Doesn't this operationally necessitate a similar role again for the U.S?

Aug. 21 2014 10:27 AM
jgarbuz from Queens

ISIS is developing a Sunni Islamic Arab Caliphate (The Islamic State) with great ambitions, with the Kurds and the USAF the only thing that can inhibit it to a degree. I doubt the Turks, Iranians or Jordanians are going to send in troops to fight them. The Kurds will defend their territory with arms that the Germans will now be sending them. The Iraqi Arab army is worthless, so nothing can be expected from them. Half of it sympathizes with the Islamic State. I think this Caliphate may be around for a while.

Aug. 21 2014 10:18 AM
kc from Long Island

In addition to confronting those countries that pay ransom and thus helping to fund ISIS, what about confronting arms makers and sellers?

Aug. 21 2014 10:15 AM
jgarbuz from Queens

Jewish heads were being cut off in Khaybar by The Prophet nearly 1400 years ago. SO what else is new?

Aug. 21 2014 10:10 AM
fuva from harlemworld

Are Al Qaida and IS playing Machiavellian good cop bad cop?

Aug. 21 2014 10:09 AM

So, Obama is "SHOCKED(!)" at the inhumanity of ISIS. LOL, they were cutting off heads 10 years ago. (I was against the Iraq war, but once we were there, a much easier "relentless" response was to leave 10,000 troops in Iraq.)

Every important decision this guy has made has been wrong. Afghanistan will be the next debacle. He is a disaster. (No wonder he could never show us his academic records.)

883 days 2hours and 23 minutes until we are rid of this ALL-SIZZLE-NO-STEAK bungler.

Aug. 21 2014 09:39 AM

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