The House of David

"dawnbreak in the west"

Saturday, April 02, 2016

Fighting the last war again

NBC write under a headline, how the CIA could have stopped the Islamic State. Except, the actual text isn't about that. It's about how some 30 year old wonk at the CIA was planning to oust Assad. Getting from there to preventing the caliphate requires Underpants Gnome logic.

As I've reminded people continually, here and at AOSHQ, I was against intervention in Syria (and in Libya) from the start. I was so against intervention that I abstained from the 2012 Most Important Ever election over nothing (and took some fair amount of sh!t for that at the HQ). My reason wasn't ISI(S); ISI at the time was going nowhere. I thought that if we invaded western Syria, al-Nusra would win the east of it; they'd've been the ones to set up an emirate there, which would be just as bad as ISIS is now. And then we'd have to occupy at least that part of Syria too.

Contrafactuals are just a wank-off anyway. This barely-thirty dweeb at CIA has dreamt up one scenario; Obama and I had another. Obama won and duly implemented the policy I preferred, at least as far as Syria went, which was no policy. A mess did ensue. At least it was the Syrians' mess. Loudly announcing how everything could have been so much better is idle virtue-signalling.

Glenn Reynolds at Instapundit disagrees... sort of. At any rate he takes NBC at its word (which is odd, given Reynolds' opinion on NBC). An ethical pro-NBC position would have been to take NBC's position and to argue NBC's point. I'd respect someone for doing that; I'd be unlikely to change my mind, but I'd respect the guy for making the case. But making the case is hard. Parroting NBC's headline and commenting It’s almost as if Obama has never really wanted to stop ISIS. is easier.

Fortunately not all of Reynolds' commenters are buying it.

posted by Zimri on 17:36 | link | 0 comments

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