It's a new year, and a new chance for everyone to get ISIS wrong. While Republicans can't wait to send someone else's kids to die in Syria and/or bomb the place into a sheet of glass, cable news analysts like CNN's Bobby Ghosh are nearly as clueless from the other side of the fence. On New Day Friday morning, Chris Cuomo asked Ghosh of we could expect countries like Saudi Arabia to step up and take the fight to ISIS, and while Ghosh's conclusion (not bloody likely) was correct, his reasoning sounded like the love child of Capptain Obvious and a Sarah Palin word salad:
"I don't think that's a realistic expectation because the enemy is not a traditional nation state. Even though ISIS controls territory, it's not as if a Muslim country can say, we are going to go and send our troops there and fight those people. These guys are everywhere. Turkey is dealing, you mentioned Turkey, they're dealing with extremism within their own country. ISIS is already, you know -- there's been landfall in Turkey, there have been events of, been killings within Turkey."
Actually, it is as if a Muslim country can say we are going to go and send our troops there and fight those people, because they are in Syria. That's how they're "making landfall" in Turkey. They're not falling out of the sky. The degree to which ISIS is spreading to other countries is no more a rationale for these countries to stay out of the fight than it is for us, who have suffered a single attack by operationally unconnected sympathizers. Ghosh seems to just be saying words so he can get to his real point, which is, essentially, that Muslim activists and scholars are already doing stuff, and they'll be doing more stuff, to root out extremism. "I would pay less attention to political leaders in the Muslim world and more attention to -- to civil groups, I mean, sort of activists, religious figures, and I think if you focus your attention there you'll see there's a lot of struggle already going on about how to deal with extremism alarmists," he went on to say.
For whatever reason, Ghosh doesn't want to get into the real reasons, which are complicated and involve competing interests like the Turks' animosity with the Kurds, or the very simple thing that allows Mideast nations the luxury of those competing interests. That would be the United States, through our current containment efforts, and through the prospect of further military escalation. Our next president will favor a no-fly zone at a minimum, and maybe a whole lot more. Why would Saudi Arabia push in any more chips when the rest of the table is about to raise?