What to Do About ISIL?

At a recent conference, I found myself bemoaning the ineffectiveness of Western military action against the Islamic State (ISIL). We in the West had decided to attack ISIL, but seemed to be pulling our punches. Why were their banking, propaganda and other facilities that support their terrorist operations not being blown to bits?

Imagine the surprise when a senior U.S. expert on these issues replied that by far the best thing to do with ISIL was precisely nothing: the Middle East and wider “Muslim world” was doomed to a massive revolting civil war, so let them get on with it and take stock of the situation once it clarified.

That, perhaps, is rather easier for an American to say. European leaders stare aghast at the rising death toll among refugees (“migrants”) in boats in the Mediterranean. Is it moral to do Nothing? But does doing Something simply encourage more terrified people to try to cross to Europe and stay there? Where does such a process end? Whose continent is Europe anyway?


I say let em have at it. We should not be involved in Islam’s civil war.

  • favill

    To justify the cost of having a standing Navy…those European countries on the Med should use them to dissuade the African boat people from landing on European soil. “Dissuade” should run to whole gamut from signage telling them to turn around right up to torpedoes and machine-guns deployed to maximum effect.

    • Australia has the right approach, send em straight back where they came from. Give em a better boat if need be.

    • tom_billesley

      One way is to destroy or jam the cellphone network in Libya. Most boats don’t have a satellite phone. They get only a few miles into the Mediterranean and then call the Italian Coast Guard HQ on their cellphone.

  • Hard Little Machine

    Arm everyone and stand back.

  • k

    Charles Crawford (writer of article) = not getting it
    point 1) joining ISIL = put on a register of war criminals (=time consuming and a waste of experts time and tax payer $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$0
    2)no state or Caliphate created by ISIL be admitted to an international organization (= after peace exists =that state gathers legitimacy=trade will then start, then the cocktails invitations, then the invite to international organizations begins)
    3)Western Companies doing trade with ISIL & others will be blocked from Western markets (= Western markets are FULL of GLOBAL product! + too mammoth and too many business interests, too many Western philosophical probs like freedom of the individual to make business, too much POLICING needed for THIS and not enough money in the bank to pay for it)
    4)Diplomatic and trading relations severed if do trade with ISIL (well you had better have another financial plan then because there will be A LOT doing trade eventually)

    The senior US expert is RIGHT
    …also we need a RE-THINK on allowing people in from countries where there is no discernible RIGHT GUY vs WRONG GUY (that means …IT HAS TO BE EASY for everyone too see right off the bat! …. no commercial options for the taking heads of Western societies)

  • SDMatt

    but seemed to be pulling our punches.

    Ya think?

    The only effective force aside from ground troops – which the West for a variety of reasons will not use – is old stockpiles of napalm. And that’s not going to happen either.

    So, more people will be gruesomely killed but once a year we’ll tell ourselves “never again,” and we’ll know that’s bullshit.

  • David

    OT: where is Mark Steyn?

  • Hard Little Machine

    The Schengen Area Agreement was just extended to the United Arab Emirates (UAE). Now UAE passport holders can travel w/o restriction throughout the Schengen Area. I suspect in 2 years the EU and the US will ‘extend an olive branch (assuming the icon of an olive representing peace isn’t too Judeo-Christian) to ISIS begging them to open ‘free and frank negotiations’ including the recognition of ISIS as a bona fide country with trade relations with the west.

  • Norman_In_New_York

    Arm the Kurds and any Christian, Yazidi or Druze militias willing to fight back. Otherwise, do nothing.

  • Nick Fisher

    Disturbing echoes of the 1950s nuclear debate – Americans sitting secure in their bunkers while we Europeans hold the front line: last time against the Soviets, this time against the Savages…

    Come on, middle America – get behind your best and oldest ally !! We are hurting here !!!

    • dance…dancetotheradio

      Sorry, Europeans have been living rent free in their socialist welfare states for years while the Americans paid for their defense.

  • dance…dancetotheradio

    It’s not isil.
    It’s islamic state.
    The first is a contortion of language that gets obama off the hook.
    Iffen he had to say islamic state in public he’d have to concede to the truth.
    What is isil but an abstraction to obscure reality?

    • Everyone Else


      ISIL stands for Islamic State In the Levant. The “Levant” refers to the rising sun. In order to see the sun rising over the “Levantine” countries at the eastern end of the Mediterranean, one had to be west of them, basically in southern Europe.

      Another way of saying this is that Asian countries such as India would see these self same countries to their west, in the setting sun, rather than the rising sun.

      In other words, the terminology is Eurocentric and not representative of all the other powers and populations in the world. It’s fancy wording that obscures rather than illuminates.

      • dance…dancetotheradio

        That’s bullshit EE.
        If you look far enough west you will see the back of your head.
        As you would in any direction.

        • Everyone Else

          In case my facts weren’t clear, here’s the etymology of Levant:

          “In the 13th and 14th centuries CE the term levante was used for Italian maritime commerce in the eastern Mediterranean, including Greece, Anatolia,Syria-Palestine, and Egypt, that is, the lands east of Venice … The term Levant entered English in the late 15th century from French. It derives from the Italian levante, meaning “rising,” implying the rising of the sun in the east.”