In this week's edition of The Daily Banter Mail Bag, Bob, Ben and Chez discuss Obama's strategy for ISIS, Ray Rice and the NFL and the one genre of music we'd ban forever.
1. I have only one reservation about President Obama's plan to combat ISIS and it's that I don't think it will work. I actually feel like we might be really over our heads on this because we're never going to do what it takes to beat a group like ISIS and airstrikes just won't be enough. Moreover I'll bet even Obama doesn't believe in this plan. Do you think so?
Ben: I think Obama knows full well the plan won't work. It genuinely is a next to impossible situation, but he HAS to be seen doing something given two Americans just got their heads sawed off off in a very public way. There needs to be some very serious thinking about the long term approach to all of this, and of course that means changing US foreign policy towards the region in a very substantial way. As Colin Powell told George Bush before going into Iraq, "You break it, you own it". Well, the US broke Iraq, and now it owns the colossal mess it created. The emergence of something like ISIL was sadly entirely predictable given the power vacuum left after Saddam was deposed. This isn't to say that ISIL shouldn't be stopped, but as we should now understand, for every action there is a reaction and eliminating the Jihadist lunatics sweeping the Middle East just means more will pop up under a different guise. Unfortunately, the US is uniquely unqualified to fix any of this given its history of fucking things up, so I don't know why anyone thinks it will go any better this time round.
Chez: I think this is a crap situation all the way around and Obama's doing the best he can with it. I have a feeling Bob's going to say the same thing, but he basically can't win here politically -- nobody's gonna be happy -- and while we need to crush ISIS entirely I don't think anyone's going to go for what that would take. Can we degrade them from the air? Absolutely. Can we wipe them out completely without civilian casualties or American ones? Probably not. I'm hoping for the best here, though.
Bob: At the end of the day, it's really not about whether it'll work. They killed Americans, so we have no choice but to retaliate. All that really needs to "work" is the killing of as many ISIS members as possible. The part that'll be more difficult is the aftermath. Take ISIS out of Syria, and al-Qaeda or Assad gain strength. That's what'll be bad.
2. Do you think Ray Rice deserved to be dropped from the Ravens and kicked out of the NFL?
Chez: For all I know Rice had never hit his wife before that incident and never will again. If he got counseling or something in the wake of it then I guess that's admirable and if Janay Rice chooses to stay with him I can't argue because it isn't my decision. But that hardly matters. That one incident that was caught on camera -- that one act of violence -- is inexcusable and so I think he deserves to pay a steep price and losing his job with the NFL is the least that can be done. It also sends a strong message to the rest of the players that this kind of thing won't be tolerated.
Bob: Yes. I'm sick and tired of the NFL getting a free pass when it comes to abuse (and that includes Vick's unforgivable animal abuse) and performance enhancing drugs. The entire league is filled with people far worse than Lance Armstrong, but who are considered royalty by the left, the right and all points in between. Enough already.
Ben: Yes. Rice should also be serving jail time in my opinion. I'm not saying he shouldn't be allowed back into the NFL at some point, but a two game suspension was beyond ridiculous. Floyd Mayweather, another prominent athlete and notorious women beater, did jail time for assaulting his former partner and paid his debt to society, and that seems about right. I obviously don't know the ins and outs of Rice and his wife's relationship, but he's a professional athlete and knocked her out cold without thinking twice. The footage is horrifying, and Rice deserves absolutely everything he gets.
3. If you could eradicate one kind of music from the face of the earth what would it be?
Bob: That dooge-dooge-dooge thumpy repetitive house music played at raves and douchebag dance clubs, etc. It's irredeemably bad.
Chez: Country music post-1979. We'd lose a couple of great artists, but honestly it'd be worth it.
Ben: Either country or metal. I'd probably lean towards getting rid of metal because pretty much all of it is crap. Tough call.