I'll call them by their original call letters, ISIS, even though they tend to go by ISIL more nowadays.

This groups is sweeping across Iraq and threatens adjoining countries, using terror tactics that would have made Nazi storm troopers blush. They force conversion with threats of torture and death.Committing war crimes they joyfully document in videos (NSFW or weak stomachs) they gleefully distribute via the Internet. Just google on "isis executions" in google video if you think you can stand to watch.

They arm themselves both with captured weapons (usually high-quality American made weapons) and they purchase more weapons with money obtained by raiding currency and gold and other valuables stolen from banks in their conquered territories.

Should the US stand by and watch ISIS sweep across the Middle East and possibly even Europe, or is it time to nip this thing in the bud before it reaches Madrid, Paris, Rome, London, and the White House?

Should Obama let the chips fall where they may? or should he put American boots on the ground? or did he wait too long?

What will be the price if we go down the road of isolationism?

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Our government created the mess so they own it.

For my part I'm staying out of it.

This must be a peculiarly American attitude. How do you propose the government should solve this without the involvement of the people? If you do not vote for the government, what do you propose that another government should do?

Let me clarify, I am an American I was born here, Baby Bush and his friends invaded Iraq and destroyed the place.  I didn't vote for them and never supported their actions. 

It follows logically that American Military action created the instability in what was left of Iraq, now that most of the American boots-on-the-ground are gone, sectarian violence ensues between Sunni, Shiite and Kurds (Who could have seen that coming? (rhetorical question!)).

The American government's invasion created the mess, which means they own it, but that doesn't mean the American government can fix it.

IMHO it will be a nasty place for decades to come, I'm staying out of it. (For now.)

"They force conversion with threats of torture and death."

I have a link to a video (if it's still up) that shows some ISIS guys converting a guy and then cutting off his head anyway, great group of guys.

The only solution is the complete extermination of the vermin.

Quite. How would you propose this could be done? Are nukes involved?

No, no nukes.  We just summon up the will to go in with an overwhelming force and begin the systematic killing of every ISIS member.

Overwhelming Force? Oh right. In big cities like Mosul this is just a real "Hearts and Mind" operation ...
I want to expand on my comment from this night.

We are supposed to be the good guys, so we should not contemplate solution that mean huge civilian losses and indiscriminate killing. The Western world, and in particular the U.S. has already a bad image in the region because of the botched handling of Iraq, and the association with Israel, that also uses overwhelming force and indiscriminate killings.

The West needs to consider how to stop ISIS without alienating the Muslim world even further, and without turning ISIS into something that can evoke sympathy.

This is a problem that I do not have a solution for.

It is probably best to leave the hardest part of the fighting to local forces. If civilians have to die, let somebody else do the dirty work. Preferably, only few civilians will have to die, but for the moment it is hard to see how it can be avoided. At the very least, the struggle against ISIS should ideally cost less human lives than the killings that ISIS do.

I know it is a pipe dream, but ideally Qatar should be stopped in its role of supporting terrorists all over the world. That would go a long way to secure the peace after ISIS.

Why is alienating Muslim world some sort of "risk"? If we're in a popularity contest, what's at stake?

If you mean the Muslim world is already alienated, so what is the risk? I see the point, but the risk is a renewed interest in terrorism, more attacks on Westerners abroad, and even at home like the Boston bombers.

We are in a popularity contest, and the results are mixed. Our insensitivity towards Muslim feelings has caused a lot of support for extremists, while our consumer culture has caused the city populations to admire us.

Being the good guys is hard. In our own eyes we are their friends, but to the populations of the countries that we occupy, we are just another power player, if not outright the enemy.

We also need to have a good image in order to maintain political support at home. Few people at home or in the Muslim world bat an eyelid if local forces kill and torture, but when Western forces do it, it causes a sensation, rallies our enemies, and make our friends doubt our mission.

In WW2 we bombed the shit out of Germany, and now they are an ally  Ditto for another country we actually dropped two atomic bombs on.

However, Muslims are incapable of reassessing themselves, so the enemy is really Islam and the problem is how to destroy it.


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