The Obamization of the military, pt. 243
It appears that the New Military is using the campaign against ISIS as an opportunity to rewrite the rules of war – and not in favor of the West.
According to Bridget Johnson of PJ Media, actions taken by U.S. forces in the wake of the Paris massacre include an effort to interdict ISIS oil tanker traffic. U.S. aerial assets carried this out by bombarding the trucks with leaflets warning drivers that an air strike would follow within forty-five minutes. What followed was, evidently, not air strikes at all, but low-level buzzing by U.S. Navy fighter-bombers. (Consider for a minute what the pilots must have thought.)
It’s difficult to know what’s more astonishing about this: the fact that it’s taken over a year for the Central Command to move against ISIS’s major source of revenue, or the delight that military spokesmen have taken in this ineffectual, empty operation.
You see, the important thing isn’t hurting ISIS. No – the important thing is not hurting civilians. This is how it was put by Col. Steve Warren, in a passage of pure Obamese that would be hard to beat by the master himself:
So we had to go through that whole process of one, determining whether or not we felt it was in our best interest to strike these trucks. And then once we determined that, yes, it is in our interest to strike these trucks, how do we go about ensuring that we're able to mitigate the potential of civilian casualties? And these things take time[.]
Uh-huh. Memo to Col. Warren, Central Command, and the Pentagon: they’re all civilians. Every member of ISIS, every supporter, every collaborator, is a civilian. That’s one of the defining points of what a terrorist is. ISIS is not a nation; it does not possess a military. They’re all civilians, from Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi on down, and they’re all legitimate targets. Because anybody supporting ISIS, whether a direct member or not, is a functioning terrorist and deserves whatever he gets.
But the liberal left, as we all know, like to slice things fine, so now we’ve got the distinction between “terrorist” and “civilian,” with a civilian being somebody who evidently does everything but actually shoot or blow up innocents. (Note that this is simply an expansion of the international media’s treatment of Palestinian killers.)
Well, it happens that history covers that aspect as well, and, ironically, involving France. As was at one time widely known, France was occupied by the Nazis from 1940 to 1944. During that time, thousands of Frenchmen aligned themselves with their conquerors, sharpening the concept of the “collaborator.” In 1944, these traitors were subject to the épuration sauvage (savage purge). In villages and towns throughout France, tribunals were seated and the collaborators brought before them to be tried and in many cases executed immediately. At least 10,000 traitors were killed. Some estimates range as high as 100,000. The doctrine was established that anyone who collaborates with a conqueror is subject to death. That extends to anybody working to fund ISIS.
(Note that we’re not appealing to traditional “Just War” theory, which covers this situation as well, through the doctrine of “double effect.” A military operation against a legitimate target is allowed to cause limited civilian casualties so long as the intent is to destroy the target rather than kill civilians. This is how strategic bombing that killed thousands of civilians during WWII was justified. It can certainly be extended to a few corrupt Iraqi truck drivers.)
What this represents is the extension of unicorn and butterfly morality to the military. As Col. Warren puts it, “[w]e're not in this business to kill civilians, we're in this business to stop ISIL – to defeat ISIL."
Actually, they’re not in the business of doing either. It’s unclear whether any driver in fact abandoned his rig. It’s unclear whether air strikes were actually carried out. It’s unclear whether a single shipment was stopped. It’s unclear whether ISIS was deprived of one thin dime of oil revenue.
What is clear is that nothing effective is going to be done to destroy ISIS and curtail jihadi terror until this administration and its sycophants in the military and elsewhere are ejected.