Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Obama Won't Bomb ISIS Propaganda Centers

by JASmius

More depressing proof of The One's anti-ISIS Sitzkrieg:

Intelligence officials are secretly mapping Islamic State media centers where the jihadists' toxic propaganda is churned out — but with most operating in civilian neighborhoods, they're off-limits to U.S.-led airstrikes, the Washington Times reports....

But one analyst was aghast that any hot spots, if known, are not being destroyed.

"Obviously, if we know where they're producing the propaganda, we should be doing everything we can to destroy their facilities," William McCants, a Brookings Institution scholar and former State Department senior adviser for countering [Islamic jihadism], tells the Times.

Obvious to everybody but the Islamophile and jihadi-symp in the White House, that is, who is loathe to both take decisive, unilateral action and be seen as doing so, for fear that it would look way too much like American leadership.  Given the global reach of ISIS's grisly and all too effective in recruitment terms online propaganda, one would think that the eradication of their media infrastructure would be a no-brainer.

And it would have been - in any other time but this one:

One unnamed source tells the Times the debate over whether or not to authorize U.S. military strikes against the media centers is heated within the Obama administration — because leaving them online allows officials to continue studying them.

Too clever by half, as the British used to say.  Haven't they had enough time to study ISIS's media savvy and techniques by now?  It's not like they're at all subtle or nuanced; they're pretty much damn the torpedoes, full speed ahead, just like the rest of their organization.  Like the old Green Bay Packers power sweep: We know they're coming, but we still can't stop them, as far as they're concerned.  And The One is doing absolutely nothing to disabuse them of that conviction.

"There's always this balance between needing to take action and needing to study how they operate," this sources tells the Times, insisting that "bombing is absolutely not the only way to take a communications product offline."

Perhaps; but it sure appears to be the only way to take their communications product offline successfully.  The alternative methods have quite clearly been ineffective.

The fact, however, that many ISIS media centers are smack in the middle of civilian neighborhoods is a big problem for the administration, the Times reports, noting the administration has taken particular pride that U.S.-led airstrikes have been the most precise campaign in history in terms of minimizing civilian casualties.

Sure - by not actually dropping many, or any, bombs.  Which only encourages ISIS to put all their assets and infrastructure in civilian areas.  Because that's what jihadists do.  You want to convince them that that tactic won't work?  Bomb the hell out of those civilian areas.  Is that what we would prefer not to do?  Obviously.  But there's no such thing as clean, antiseptic war.  There will always be collateral damage and civilian casualties, especially when fighting an enemy like ISIS that blurs the distinction between combatant and non-combatant, and that fights illegally and dishonorably.  The way to minimize them overall is to win the war you're fighting and crush the enemy as quickly and efficiently as possible in order to bring the conflict to a quicker, and successful, conclusion.

This, of course, cannot be done without significant land forces to go with the airstrikes, which guarantees a long and inconclusive stalemate at best - an outcome we're choosing, not having forced upon us.  But if we're also going to choose to neuter even what airstrikes we do purport to carry out, what the hell is the point?

That brings us back to what I've been saying for the past year-plus: This is not a real war from our side of it.

Redundant case in point:

According to the Times, the Obama administration is aiming to counter the ISIS online messaging with international partners — and by pressuring U.S. social media companies to block [Muslim] content and links. [emphasis added]

Once again, American companies are the REAL enemies in the White House's mind, not ISIS.   And, once again, it is another tactic that is guaranteed to fail, as it is akin to opening an umbrella on the ocean floor:

But critics, including lawmakers on Capitol Hill and those familiar with the mapping project, say the effort is badly mismanaged and underfunded, the Times reports.

Citing an October report by a U.K.-based, counterterrorism think tank, the Quilliam Foundation, the Times reports there are thirty-five media organizational outfits that produce propaganda material from "all corners of the Islamic State 'caliphate.'"

"This is an exceptionally sophisticated information operation campaign, the success of which lies in the twin pillars of quantity and quality," the report said, the Times reports. "Given this scale and dedication, negative measures like censorship are bound to fail." [emphasis added]

There's another big reason for that failure: In Islamic culture, actions speak louder than words.  ISIS's actions are self-evident: They've conquered eastern Syria and northern and western Iraq, they've set up the first Muslim Caliphate in almost a century, they control more territory than Great Britain, they have emirates in Afghanistan and northern and eastern Africa, they're sending their operatives and recruits on killing sprees through the cities of Western "Crusader" countries at will, they are attracting fresh fighters by the tens of thousands, and they have, at the very least, fought the "mighty" United States to a standstill.  And what have we done and what are we doing?  For all intents and purposes....nothing.  Which means that ISIS's words are credible and powerfully influential, while ours are empty and risible.  The only way we can change that perception is by backing them up with fearsome actions.  Which Barack Obama will not do.

And since no situation ever remains static, and the Islamic State is ascendant and has all the momentum behind it....well, draw your own conclusions.

But I guarantee you, they will not be pretty.

Take my words for it.

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