“You may not be interested in war,” Comrade Trotsky supposedly said (but probably didn’t), “but war is interested in you.” And right he was, as Barack Hussein Obama, the American president least interested in war in most of our lifetimes, possibly ever, has found himself plunged half-heartedly in the middle of it, going to war, bombing Islamic State territories within Syria, a country he at first warned would itself be bombed for its use of chemical weapons.
Now he’s bombing on that Syrian regime’s side and also acting in behalf of the Islamic Republic of Iran, a nation we are supposedly trying to prevent from obtaining nuclear weapons, but there you have it. The brutalities of ISIS, ISIL, the Islamic State, call it what you will, trumped all.
Quelle ironie, mon vieux.
No doubt Obama would have rather been marching with “climate” demonstrators in New York, but that’s the way things turned out. Trotsky’s curse prevailed.
So what happened and what’s going to happen? In the short run, America will come together in time of war as so many of us do, get behind our president and hope for the best. (Obama’s poll numbers will go up.) Giving the man his due, or his frequently absurd secretary of State, he was able to obtain cooperation from several Sunni Islamic states who have joined the attack — the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Jordan and Qatar. The presence of Qatar, frequent enablers and funders of some of the most repellent terror organizations like Hamas, is surprising. Perhaps they have been reading their bad press. The absence of Turkey, led by Obama’s former friend, the execrable Recip Erdogan, is less of a surprise. It’s definitely time to reconsider Turkey’s presence in NATO — or even in the modern world. Because what a war with ISIS is about is war between modernity and the seventh century and if you’re on the side of the seventh century, you’re definitely against us. (It’s worth noting the odd absence, for now, of our traditional European allies Britain and France.)
But as the world well knows, or at least that part of the world that is semi-awake, we will soon be confronting the question of whether air power — no matter from how many countries are involved — is sufficient to change the situation on the ground. Our military has made it very clear that it isn’t. Obama, in part to assuage his leftwing supporters, but also probably from his own reluctance and confusion (aren’t we supposed to be the imperialists?), has insisted that no ground troops will be involved. We shall see. The old cliche of the rubber meeting the road is at play. We are now at war, no matter what any “progressive” politician or MSNBC pundit wishes to call it. Comrade Trotsky was right all along, even if he didn’t say it . You may not be not be interested in war, but unless you want to abandon western civilization — and I don’t know about you, but I don’t — war is interested in you.