There are apparently two different federal government views of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, that of the White House and that of the intelligence departments:
The Obama administration’s Iraq policy seems premised on the idea that the terrorist Islamic State is so toxic that it will be self-limiting and ultimately self-defeating. But that’s not the view of U.S. intelligence officials.
In a briefing for journalists Thursday, a panel of five U.S. intelligence officials summed up their assessment of an organization that has shown a remarkable durability because it is “patient,” “well-organized,” “opportunistic” and “flexible.” Under the leadership of Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the group has rebounded from about 1,500 fighters in 2010 to more than 10,000 today — becoming a global jihadist organization that communicates in many languages.
Given the Islamic State’s stated intentions we had better hope that the White House is right and, indeed, our intelligence services’ track records in the region haven’t been particularly good for some time.
My own view, as I’ve mentioned any number of times before, is that as long as we’re content with security theater rather than security and are unwilling to disrupt the critical success factors that lead to the attacks on 9/11 we’ll continue to be as vulnerable as we were on 9/10/2001. As we learned it doesn’t take a lot of people or money to launch a disruptive, punishing attack and ISIS has both.
The thoughtng with ISIS is this: are they willing and able to divert time, effort and money from their current task of carving out a state for themselves to work on a serious terrorist attack on the US proper?
And yeah, that question is pretty hard to answer in the negative with any certainty.
We don’t get to have absolute security. That path takes us places we don’t want to go. So, the first question is do they have any real interest in attacking us? Probably not much. The capability? Pretty limited. Of course they can smuggle in a couple of guys who would buy AKs and shoot up some people, but we already do that to ourselves. I see no reason to live in fear of that. Since we learned to put locks on our plane doors, that is fairly safe. Odds of other stuff is pretty low. Weighed against the risks of loss of life, money and we screw something up by invading again? Given our track record? I say we stay out.
I’d say they can walk right across the US – Mexican border. Tell us how you feel, steve, when your hospital or office…..or perhaps the school your kids or grandkids attend or maybe the local mall – has a couple suicide bombers yelling Allah Akbar right before they blow themselves and a few dozen others to pieces.
Wouldn’t a cyber attack be most effective? Less bloodshed, and would disrupt the network.
They don’t give a fuck about privacy.
The most interesting people in the world are hackers.
Like my buddy, here.
Take out the communications network, and you’ve got a bunch of stupid men with a lot of bitchy women on their hands. They don’t stand a chance.
I mean, these lard assed American white boys don’t even eat brown bread.
Ain’t “Michelle” a pretentious name for a n****r.
Need to take a break now, Charlie. Bird is the word:
I do keep myself well-amused.
Such a ’60’s child. Make love and not war and all that sh*t.
Now I forget the year I saw him in concert in Dallas, and the year. He had just switched from acoustic to electric.
OK. Now can I go and see what’s happening at OTB, Mr. Dave?
A parting thought. KEDM just reminded me:
Wasn’t that fun?
You can just call me “Auntie Mame.”
I can’t get a decent note out of a guitar, but I have studied it. That’s why I’m so disappointed in my stepson. He has it.
Runs around like a 14-year-old twit, but can play a beautiful version of “Stairway to Heaven.”
Now do you know why I am insane?
Wouldn’t that be fun to play?
Damned drama queen.
But no, he’ll be pig-headed.
Boy’s got half a million dollars. Sh*t! What more can you do?
“I don’t have enough. You’re living on my money.”
These are real words from that child.
When his father was sick unto death.
Hell, yeah. I’m pissed off.
Idiot little mothers, aren’t they?
The important question to ponder is what is left of the USSA worth defending? Smart Amerikans are renouncing their citizenship in droves.
Damn right I’m fucking furious.
Yeah, I’m a war journalist.
We gonna call it the civil war.
Get your boots on, kids.
I’m French Empire and Mission.
Must be that percent or so of Sardinian.
Do know, though, that I’m 2.6 Neanderthal.
Is that OK, Mr. Dave?
Can I see what’s going on at OTB now?
I promise to behave.
Are we having fun yet?
My roommate at Reed was from Berkeley. Her father was a noted Proust scholar.
Yo di do, yo di do.
Sweet girl. A little intimidated, I must admit. I have a picture of the two of us together. In the Reed newspaper.
Nini, nini, boo.
Russell and I spent a couple of nights with her family. Nice people.
A million different people from one day to the next.
The damned Rolling Stones took their money. Some obscure intellectual property rights. Fuckers.
They’re wealthy beyond reason. Give it back, you jerks.
I understand Drew likes them just the way they are.
What do you think, Drew? What should you do?
Don’t forget. We are your overlords.
If you do the right thing you can go the California Peninsula.
Otherwise, you will go to Arizona. Where you will, burn, burn, burn. And get dust storms.
Flagstaff is nice, though. Really pretty.
Me, I like Albuquerque, New Mexico. But I was 15 when I went there. I was with my parents. We drove across the country to see my brother in Oregon.
Do you have any idea how long it takes to get across Texas?
Daddy planned that trip with AAA. At Albuquerque we turned north. Went through Colorado, spent a night in Laramie, Wyoming, spent a night in Provo, Utah, then went on into Portland.
It was a hell of a trip, but we had fun.
My daddy was Joseph the carpenter.
It’s just possible that the New Testament should be read as parable.
Now this ole boy, who I thought I loved, was a Harvard Divinity student. Came from Ft. Davis, Texas.
It takes a long damn time to get across Texas.
You, Drew, are just playing games. It destroyed the bad Hunts when they tried to play the silver market.
So don’t mess with Texas.
Me, I a oil heiress.
Yo, the Beverly Hillbillies.
The Hunt bros tried to corner the market the same year John Lennon was shot dead outside the Dakota. I was there.
A born journalist, God help me.
Well, I wasn’t really THERE. I was on 42nd Street.
Janet Flanner is the name I’m trying to come up with, bitch.
I was assigned her at SMU.
Absolutely off the wall. I agree.
Time to watch the show. Love you both.
PS The militarization of the US police was started by Bill Clinton. He wanted to shore up his “Law and Order” credentials without spending any money. He should suffer for that, too.
“Venal” was your adjective, I think, Mr. Dave.
Night, night, sleep tight. No, not that way.
Isn’t that pretty?
Radley Balko likes this group:
I do inventory:
Goodness, I’m full of dinner. (Thanks.)
Let’s see now: