Thursday, December 17, 2015

You Tell Me, Corporal.

Deferring to the experts doesn't seem to be an option.
The dominant theme of Tuesday's Republican debate was the strategy to defeat ISIS, and measures to keep Americans safe. All the candidates, bar Rand Paul, basically stated he'd employ any militaristic means to defeat terrorism, short of rowing across the Atlantic Ocean in a canoe and personally, with bare hands, snapping the necks of each Jihadist one-by-one.
"Obama's ISIS strategy is a failure," each candidate bemoaned. "Obama is feckless…he's soft…he's empowering the terrorists." The criticisms spewed from the stage for two hours.
What of the candidate's strategies? "Elect me, and ISIS will rue the day they declared Jihad…20,000 troupes on the ground…A no fly zone." Never ending ground war and a tussle with Russia be damned.
And the people cheered, because the candidates answered firmly and with gusto.

Why can't one candidate, regardless of affiliation, when asked about ISIS, simply say, "Although I have ideas, I don't conclusively know yet what I'd do about defeating ISIS. I'd sit down with my military tacticians first, learn what I don't know because I'm likely not privy to vast amounts of information and scenarios, and THEN map out a strategy."?
Surely, President Obama has a perspective on the extremely nuanced Middle East quagmire that the current presidential candidates do not. Surely, he's briefed daily about what's what. Most likely, he's a yes man, of sorts, to his military and political advisors. He should be. The presidential candidates don't know what they don't know. But they do know their base will whoop and fist bump whenever they promise to "Bomb the hell outta' them."
Concerning the debate, most notable were the issues not raised: climate change, infrastructure repair, and gun control, for instance. Moreover, nor was there a single mention of the most prevalent terror threat – the domestic gun owner with a Facebook manifesto and an itchy trigger finger.
Unless the solution is a rousing, "Bomb the hell outta' them," perhaps those issues, too, are best left to those in the know.

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