I for one am very happy to see both Jeb Bush and John McCain
come out against the GOP's anti-refugee rhetoric. Whatever happened to the "Home of the Brave?" When we have Chris Christie saying he won't take in a "five year old orphan," when did cowardice become the Republican Party's electoral strategy? In even more simplistic terms; isn't running screaming from orphans and widows quite literally giving in to "terror?" If we're too frightened by terrorism to even cast out the most basic lifelines to those in need - those actually fleeing that same terrorism in their home countries - then how can we talk about fighting a war on terror?
America and Europe should institute a new rule - politicians who refuse to take in refugees should not be allowed discuss military solutions to ISIS. We wouldn't want to frighten them any further.
In good news, though, the Wall Street Journal
is reporting that high-level talks are taking place between France, the United States and Russia
to form a "grand coalition" against ISIS.
The single biggest problem with the war effort against ISIS was contradictory mission statements; up until now the West has been rabidly transfixed on removing Assad from power, going so far as (before the emergence of ISIS as a serious terrorist threat, if you can cast your mind back that far) arming Jihadist groups in Syria and, after the emergence of ISIS, not having a clear objective in the fight - for PR purposes, they had to be seen to be targetting ISIS, but at the same time ISIS was helping push back against Assad so they didn't exactly want to go too
far in the beating.
A few weeks ago US policy suddenly changed tack (curiously, almost immediately following the publication of an article in the Wall Street Journal by none other than Henry Kissinger, who suggested that cooperation with, not opposition to, Russia's own strategic objectives in Syria might be the best way forwards for the United States in containing ISIS)
when the White House signalled that it may be willing to let Assad remain in power long enough to deal comprehensively with the Islamic State. After Paris, they expanded on this by agreeing on a formal timetable for a Syrian ceasefire (from January of next year) as well the road to actual elections
which may, or may not, see Assad stand down from power.
The implication is very much that Syria's fragmented militia groups and government forces, as well as the world powers playing one side off against the other, are coalescing now in the face of ISIS as a mutual threat. While it's probably little consolation to Syrians themselves, who've already had nearly 4-5 years of nonstop war, it means ISIS may at last be driven out for good. As for the Syrians caught in the middle...well, that's why it's imperative we absolutely DO NOT close our borders to refugees. They have just as much right to live in peace as we do.