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October 09, 2014

ISIS is About to Overrun a Kurdish Town on the Syria/Turkey Border, and We're Not Doing Anything About That

Smart power seems to mean, in practice, impotency.

As these lines are being written, some 400,000 Kurds in and around the town of Kobane in northern Syria, on the Turkish border, are being besieged and assaulted by massed legions of Islamic State killers armed with scores of tanks, armored personnel carriers, and heavy artillery. Against these, the Kurdish defenders have only AK-47s and rocket-propelled grenades. The Kurds have called on the U.S. to send in air strikes to take out the jihadist forces. In response, the administration sent in two fighter jets Saturday, which destroyed two Islamic State tanks and then flew away. The Kurds are begging for arms. The administration has not only refused to send arms, but is exerting pressure both on our NATO allies and on Israel not to send any either. Over 150,000 Kurds have fled their homes to try to escape to Turkey, but they are being blocked at the border by Turkish troops. Meanwhile, Turkey is allowing Islamist reinforcements to enter Syria to join the Islamic State, while Islamist elements of the Free Syrian Army, funded and armed by the United States, have joined forces with the group in the genocidal assault on the Kurdish enclave.

According to Kurdish sources, the Turks are massing troops on their own side of the border, with the apparent plan being to sit in place and allow the Kurds to be exterminated, and then move in to take over the region once they are gone...For an American administration to collude in such a mass atrocity is infamous.

The writer (Robert Zubrin) says ground troops are needed, but I disagree.

There is no easier prey for the United States military than massed troops, or tanks and trucks and artillery pieces. Where the US military has a problem is house-to-house infantry fighting, where our advantages in technology are at their absolute minimum -- there is, after all, a limit to how much equipment you can hang on a 21-year-old man-shaped weapons platform. Our troops have better training, but this is not an overwhelming advantage.

But as to destroying masses of ground troops, tanks, APCs, cargo trucks, and so forth -- we can do this easily, and at little risk to our own pilots. (Some risk, yes, but fairly little risk.)

Obama says he intends to "degrade and destroy" IS. Well, IS has done the one thing an enemy of the US should never, ever do: they brought a tank to a fighter/bomber fight.

There are masses of IS killers, terrorists, crucifiers, and rapists virtually holding up signs that say "Drop Bombs Here." They have brought all the heavy equipment that gives them advantage when they fight the peshmurga and virtually painted it themselves with bomb-directing laser-targeting light.

So here's Obama's chance to do some degradin' and destoyin'.

But instead we're just letting them destroy this town of Kobane.


Obama won't send in ground troops. That's an understandable call. But even when the enemy masses in such a way as to make them a turkey shoot for air power, he still stays his hand.

Obama's right -- this is not a war.

This is PR war, directed at the American people, to convince them he's doing something about the terrorist army rampaging across the Middle East.

But he's not.

Update: Just saw this, moments ago, on Twitter.

So... nine airstrikes. Nine bombs on IS positions north and south of Kobane.

Not exactly shock and awe, is it?

He's literally reluctant to kill our sworn enemies (and enemies of decency, generally). He wants to just scuff them up a bit so they'll decide on their own to give peace a chance.

Jesus Christ.

OUT: Degrade and destroy

IN: Dissuade and discourage

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posted by Ace at 05:24 PM

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