I am surprised and disappointed that Senator John McCain, among others, is seeking to breathe new life into former Secretary Hillary Clinton's initiative to save ISIS from military defeat in Syria.
I realize that Senator McCain would object vehemently to my using the term "ISIS" to describe the rebels in Syria. Indeed, both Democrats and Republicans have sought to be "poliltically correct." They ask us to NOT to say "Radical Islam" nor "Islamic Terrorists" nor ISIS (Islamic State in Iraq and Syria), nor ISIL (Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant). In fact I heard somebody from the State Department chide the Trump Administration for not knowing the that there is no Islamic State presence in Syria. Instead, they should be referred to as "civilians." So, Russia and the Syrian government are attacking "civilians" in Syria, not ISIS.
Okay, so what DO we call the people with rocket launchers and guns who are shooting government forces. How about "The Assholes Formerly Known As Terrorists (TAFKAT)? Like the musician Prince, they are ultra-particular about what they are called, but we all know who is being spoken of.
Years ago, the Obama administration decided that it was in America's best interest that a Sunni government emerge to take the place of President Assad's Shiite regime in Syria. This is not totally irrational since Sunnis are a majority in Syria. President Obama famously proclaimed "Assad Must Go!" abandoning all pretenses of neutrality. But ISIS engaged in poor public relations by chopping off the heads of its hostages, making it impossible for the West to support them.
Hence the plan became to defeat ISIS with some third power, but not supporting Assad. The pretense is that there were viable Sunni groups that enjoyed popular support that could supplant the leadership of ISIS.
Senator McCain is incensed that President Elect Trump plans to work with Russia to whale on ISIS. Instead, he longs for ISIS (actually TAFKAT) to be saved so that they can present a unified alliance against Russia. This is actually an amplified version of the same idea presented by President Obama and former Secretary Clinton.
My challenge to my friends, is that if indeed there is a group worth of our support and worth directing our military to kill for, can you name one person that we are helping? Who is that just, pro-American leader that we are bringing forward as our ally? If you can not name one person fitting that description, it seems to me that the US should have no business supporting any one of these groups or creating a pro-American government in Syria. We should not indulge the Cold War fantasy and hope to oppose Russia with a pro-American Sunni Islamic fundamentalist government in Syria. If we must face the unfortunate truth, none of the groups in Syria is our ally. I'm not sure that we have a vested interest in promoting either the Shiite or Sunni side in the Syrian Civil War. However, saving ISIS, or one of its re-named successors, is one of the dumbest ideas in modern history. To date hundreds of thousands have died in Syria during the Obama Administration's term, and the thought of prolonging that by seeking to defeat the Syrian Government and picking a confrontation with Russia is the worst idea yet. There is nobody in Syria worth expending one American life for.