Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Post-Paris: ISIS 1, GOP 0

House Speaker Paul Ryan, getting ready to take on ISIS.

Watching all the unhelpful mish-mash of cowardly, un-American offerings by Republicans up and down the food chain, it's hard to assess them without coming to the conclusion that ISIS, in essence, has them pissing their pants.

Dana Milbank of WaPo has a brilliant exposé this morning of what government-by-cliché looks like.

What has emerged in the past couple of days is an ever-clearer image of Republican fraidy cats who want to close our borders to the very people who have been displaced by George W. Bush's misguided war of choice in Iraq. Yes, the Bush/Cheney cabal destroyed the balance of power in Iraq, alienating the Sunnis -- already the branch of Islam from whence al Qaeda came -- and driving the creation of al Qaeda in Iraq in Anbar province that has since morphed into ISIS.

And yes, the civil war in Syria was the result of Bashir al-Assad's violent reaction to the peaceful protests generated by the Arab Spring, which lies at the feet of no one in particular, other than an embrace across the Arab world of the peaceful transition to democracy in Tunisia inspired by the suicide of one brave soul. There was hope that the movement might spawn more good outcomes, but Egypt, Libya, Bahrain, Yemen, and Syria put an end to that.

ISIS is only a part of why there is a mass exit from Syria. Most of those fleeing are running from the violent cruelty of Assad. But the Republicans' xenophobic reaction is primarily spawned by ISIS's actions in Paris. The rest is conflation on an unparalleled scale.

The actions of the Republican Party, from its state governors' refusal of refugees on to the pronouncements of its 2016 presidential candidates and its congressional leadership, has left me feeling more embarrassed and disgusted to be an American at any time since I was a college student protesting the Vietnam War.

That was almost fifty years ago. Is the span of my life going to encompass yet more American warmongering? Are we such a weak people that we need to turn our country into one giant bunker?

That, my friends, is what the current Republican Party thinks is the correct response to terrorism.

ISIS 1, GOP 0.

Update. As a stark rebuke to GOP cowardice, President Hollande of France has just announced that the French won't cancel plans to admit 30,000 Syrian refugees:
While American politicians compete in the wake of the Paris terror attacks to see who can most hysterically denounce the possibility of accepting Syrian refugees, French president François Hollande said today that his country will follow through on its pre-attack commitment to take in 30,000 Syrians fleeing that country's conflict.
Yep, them's some real freedom fries, don't you think?

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