The Democratic debate Saturday focused as advertised on how to deal with ISIS and the growing threat of Islamic terrorism, but absolutely no new ground was broken.
Although there were minor difference between the candidates, it came down to this: foreign — build a coalition of Muslim states to fight ISIS; domestic — work with our Muslim community to weed out the potential radicals. (That latter hasn’t been working too well lately.)
In other words, no change from the Obama policy that has gone nowhere for years.
The candidates were most allergic to “boots on the ground.” America wasn’t going to be drawn again into a ground war in the Middle East. Yet there was no explanation how we could possibly win without troops. Nor was there an explanation of why the Muslim armies would suddenly coalesce against ISIS without us, without, in Lee Smith’s famous words, “the strong horse” — that is, without real U.S. on the ground participation.
The fact is they won’t. And there will be no American victory, no defeat of ISIS, without our troops on the ground. Without the strong horse, nobody fights. Ask bin Laden. He knew. He was their strong horse, now it’s al Baghdadi.
Bernie Sanders and Martin O’Malley looked clueless about how the Middle East works and they probably are. I would doubt they had read Smith’s book or know much about that theory or anyone else’s for that matter. I doubt too they would be able to answer serious questions about the roots of the Sunni-Shia conflict. The whole Islamic uprising is an inconvenience to them. They’d rather be talking about how bad Wall Street is.
For Hillary it’s an embarrassment — or should be. She’s the woman who refused as head of the State Department to name Boko Haram (now pledged to ISIS) a terrorist organization at the very time they were raping and kidnapping girls in the name of Allah. Now she’s telling us we have ISIS where we want it — or something like that. Her remarks to that effect during the debate are being explained away or placed “in context”by Democrats, but that she could even claim something close to that is reprehensible. She and Obama are, if not the mother and father of ISIS, at least their aunt and uncle.
Hillary, during the debate, accused Donald Trump of being ISIS’s best recruiter, specifically that they had already used him in a propaganda video. That turned out not to be true. You will be amazed to hear that Hillary lied.
Closer to home, the beleaguered Isis pharmaceuticals of San Diego has finally decided to change its name. (Wouldn’t you?)
All of this is in the last twelve hours or so. During the same time frame, that would-be strong horse Bernie Sanders was assuring us this was the Muslims’ business and they should be going to war against ISIS. It’s probably just as well he didn’t offer himself as commander-in-chief.