We are sitting by and watching the spectacle of the fall of Kobani, a Syrian Kurdish town on the Turkish border, to ISIS. The fall of Kobani will be succeeded by a massacre.
Speaking of the coming slaughter (it may be taking place by the time you read this), whatever the numbers (and they are growing), ISIS is a particularly fearsome enemy because of its sheer bloodlust:
The terrorist army of Islamic State has missiles, tanks and bombs, but the potent weapon that allows a relatively small force to keep much of Iraq and Syria in its grip is bloodlust – in the form of beheadings, crucifixions and mass executions.
The defenders of Kobani, the Kurds, famously warlike Muslim people and U.S. allies (whatever that means in the Age of Obama), can’t hold out much longer. Photos raise the disturbing possibility that chemical weapons may already have been used against the Kurds.
The United States is not doing much to help our ally against ISIS, whom President Obama says must be defeated or managed–or something. Indeed, Benny Avni writes in today’s New York Post that the U.S. owes an apology to our Kurdish allies (this may be the one apology President Obama is loathe to make).
Andrew Peek writes in National Review:
The U.S. isn’t taking this lying down, of course. It’s taking it reclining, with a half-dozen nightly air strikes that the Pentagon concedes are unlikely to be enough to save the town. So the main focus of the U.S. plan to do more hinges on nagging Turkey to do more.
Peek suggests that, given the U.S. fecklessness, we can’t really expect the Turks, who fear the Kurds within their own borders, to step up. Added to this, National Security Advisor Susan Rice, who appears on Sunday news shows at peril to our nation, announced on Sunday TV that the Turks already have agreed to let us use their airbases. The Turks responded by saying: no such thing. This is likely a matter under negotiation; if so, the U.S. will have to spend valuable time apologizing for Ms. Rice’s misstep. Ms. Rice also said that the Obama administration is not reassessing its clearly failing ISIS policy.
President Obama is not a reluctant warrior. He is not a warrior. Whatever happens, even if Congress were to declare war, President Obama, advised by the likes of Susan Rice, will be in charge of overseeing the fight against ISIS.
I can’t help but believe we are living in a historic moment. That is not always a very pleasant thing. The president’s vanity—he likes to see himself as the bringer of peace—and vacillation may get a lot of people killed. And the president's beloved "arc of history" doesn't always bend towards a peaceable kingdom. Thus for two years, we will not be able to do much to hinder the advance of ISIS and the slaughter of people such as the valiant Kurds.