A friend made the statement that he wondered how the world will react to the U.S. bombing parts of Syria. He asked the question if it was similar to the U.S. bombing Laos and Cambodia during the Vietnam War. I would argue that there is a similarity and a difference.
The similarity is that we really have no idea how the long term bombing will affect the situation. Will it really achieve the results we want of wiping out the terrorists who call themselves IS (or ISIL or ISIS)? Or will it invigorate their hate and viciousness? If all we do is bomb, and our local allies don’t follow up with ground troops and rebuilding the areas IS has occupied and devastated, the end result may well be a greater number of people who hate America. Unfortunately though, we have no choice in my humble opinion.
The difference between our bombings in the 60s and now is that the Vietnam War happened during the Cold War when we were divvying up the world into Soviet and American spheres. North Vietnam had no desire to attack America in America or Europe in Europe. It wanted to unify its country under Communism. Although the “re-education” camps were not pleasant, heads were not being chopped off on a regular basis. Vietnam was an insurgent, guerrilla war. It was not a terrorist attempt to go beyond its natural borders and kill American civilians.
ISIL or IS is a terrorist group that wants to eventually turn the world into a Wahhabi Islamist caliphate where all who disagree with them are to be shot or sold into slavery if you are a female. One can argue IS wouldn’t have gotten as powerful an organization or government (for it is running itself as a government with Ministers and local management of villages, towns, and cities) if the U.S. had stepped into a leadership role much earlier. Unfortunately, that is in the past so we must move on.
The hope is that the White House has truly managed to bring together a real coalition – much like George H.W. Bush did for the invasion.
of Kuwait – and Sunni regional players will be very active and obvious participants on the ground and in the air. The appointment of retired Marine General John Allen as the new coordinator for the effort to eradicate ISIL is an excellent choice but he will have a difficult job. I wish him great success since our safety will depend on his ability to handle this complicated campaign and succeed in eradicating this newest form of militant terrorism.