The events in the Middle East are never far from us. As another horrific act of ISIS is presented to the world we are hearing again those same strident voices of ignorance that got us into the quagmire that became Iraq because of Dubya and Darth Vader his grouchy Vice-President decided to take out Saddam Hussein and lied about the reasons to gain acceptance from America and the world. That war is over and we are still feeling the effects upon our economy and our people, especially our forgotten veterans who they pushed into the fray because we all know politicians love to start wars they just have the guts to go fight them. They would much rather send our youth to their deaths.

The act by ISIS the second one in a matter of weeks is a horribly horrific travesty but sending American troops back to Iraq won’t solve the problem and destroying ISIS, although an event devoutly to be wished, isn’t going to happen by sending thousands of our military veterans back into harm’s way. We have to go to the root cause of why ISIS is gaining ground in the Middle East and there is enough blame to go around and we as a people and a nation aren’t blameless in all of this.

We are not and we should never be the deciders for the world. We certainly can’t stand by and condone these kinds of acts but we also can’t solve the problems that have caused them on our own either. Blindly sending more troops to strike out at ISIS isn’t going to change things, in fact it would likely make things worse for those who are in the clutches of ISIS, not better.

We have to have a coherent, coordinated and intelligent response to their horrific acts and it is going to take the will of a collection of nations not some John Wayne ride the man down kind of response that will only enflame and acerbate the problem not solve it. These people have no consciences nor any feelings for the life of anyone, probably not even themselves. They are a product of the ongoing chaos that is the Middle East. They can’t be dealt with in the traditional sense because they have nothing to lose and have absolutely no concern for human life.

You can’t eradicate those kinds of people in the traditional way. They are quite prepared to die for what they purport to believe in. As horrific as the images they have broadcast to the world are, getting more people killed by acting in rash rush to respond will not solve the problem nor will it likely prevent them murdering more people. As a veteran who has served my country in time of crisis making dumb statements and pronouncements makes no sense. As much as I would gladly take out the person who is committing these horrific acts I know that solving the problem will take more than a sound bite of stupid.

Bob Bearden


One thought on “ISIS

  1. ISIS is a crisis
    According to the media
    Alarmists on the right
    Emerging from the woodwork
    (Actually from right-wing think tanks)
    Predict doom if we don’t bomb Iraq
    To save the al-Maliki government
    From its own blunders
    Their mistakes and Bush’s mistakes
    Two wrongs don’t make it right
    Let the Iraqis settle it
    We tried and failed
    It’s their turn now.

    Paying for more war(s) in the Middle East. Continuing to wage war(s) on borrowed money will lead eventually to inflation. The Vietnam War is a good example.

    To help pay for that war, in 1968 LBJ instituted with the consent of Congress a 10% surtax on Federal income taxes for a period of one year. It helped but was not sufficient. Richard Nixon opposed the surtax, and it was repealed. In 1971, Nixon imposed wage and price controls to fight inflation while the Vietnam War continued. The controls were not effective.

    To combat the continuing mild inflation, in 1974 President Ford introduced a voluntary program, Whip Inflation Now (WIN) with WIN buttons. That program was not effective. During the Carter administration, inflation accelerated to new heights because of the lingering effects of Vietnam and two oil price shocks. Carter was defeated by Reagan who broke the back of inflation by means of a short and sharp recession.

    Today some argue for further involvement in the Middle East to protect us from ISIS or for other reasons. If the proponents of war offer no methods of paying for intervention, then they can be safely ignored. If we are to fight again, I suggest a surtax, modeled on LBJ’s Vietnam era tax. Federal income taxes are computed as they are now. Then a 10% additional amount is added to the total tax. I would add a 10% surtax to the 95% of tax payers at the bottom of the income scale. I would divide the top 5% into two categories, with the group in the top 95 to 99% paying a surtax of 15% and the top 1% paying an additional 20%.

    The purpose of the surtax would be to reduce the deficit and pay for the war(s), not leaving payment for future generations and possibly causing inflation, which hurts people on fixed income the most. I actually wrote to President Nixon in 1971 arguing in support of a renewed surtax. He passed my letter to Treasury who responded that a different method of combating inflation had been selected. A surtax now would have the additional benefit of deterring some of the war proponents from speaking in favor of a war that they might be required to help pay for.

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