Monday, 25 May 2015

Fire and ISIS

So far, the US under Obama has confined its military response to Daesh to the air, backing up the inept and divided Arabs with bombs and pep talks but declining to engage the brutal Islamists directly on the ground. Obama thinks he’s playing it safe and cool, but he may be treading on thin ice.
         Suppose the unthinkable happens: ISIS gets the armament enabling it to take down high-flying aircraft and eventually shoots down and captures an American pilot or two. That in itself would catapult the Panderer in Chieff’s failed  war policies into the heated arena of mass outrage and censure. If he had only attacked what he naively called the JV league earlier, it will be said, then the fateful Caliphate might have been checked before it grew into this fierce and formidable adversary. JayVee? Was that Obama-code for Jihad Victory?
          But suppose, even more unthinkably, that the young American captive is then shown on YouTube getting incinerated in a cage such as saw the screaming immolation of a young Jordanian ace last winter. Such atrocious treatment of one of their own would send America over the top with existential angst, and would spell the end of Obama as a moral leader. Not even his acolytes on the left would dare defend him. He would leave office reviled and vilified. He would be remembered forever after, not as the founder of Obamacare, but as the passive abettor of Daesh. And that one horrific clip on YouTube would become the defining image of his failed presidency.
      As Obama observed in March, much can be done in two years. Much can be done - and undone.