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Reich writes: "We are ineluctably moving toward a world war against the Islamic State. Whether you support such a war or not, the signs are ubiquitous."

Robert Reich. (photo: Perian Flaherty)
Robert Reich. (photo: Perian Flaherty)

We Are Moving Towards a World War With ISIS

By Robert Reich, Robert Reich's Facebook Page

22 November 15


e are ineluctably moving toward a world war against the Islamic State. Whether you support such a war or not, the signs are ubiquitous. No sane person welcomes war. America’s record in Afghanistan and Iraq does not reassure. Yet if we do go to war we need to keep a watchful eye on 5 things:

1. Who does the fighting? To date, America’s “volunteer” army is made up mainly of lower-income men and women for whom army pay and perks provide the best options. But if we go into a larger war on the ground, we can’t rely solely on volunteers from low-income families. How do we spread the burden and sacrifice? Are we ready to reinstitute the draft?

2. What if any civil liberties are we prepared to sacrifice? The debate over NSA/CIA spying on Americans is still fresh and the more imminent possibility of terrorism on U.S. soil will revive it. War can also lead to internments of suspects and suspensions of constitutional rights. We must be vigilant that we maintain the freedoms we are fighting for.

3. How many more innocent civilians in Syria and Iraq will be killed or injured by such a war? The bombing raids have already claimed a terrible civilian toll, contributing to a mass exodus of refugees. We must demand that civilian casualties be minimized. And we must do our part to take in a fair portion of those refugees.

4. How do we prevent the spread of anti-Muslim bigotry in the United States? Some Republicans are already suggesting Muslims should not be admitted as refugees. Ben Carson argues no Muslim should ever be president. Marco Rubio wants to close down mosques. Donald Trump refuses to rule out requiring all Muslims to carry special religious identification, and warrantless searches of their homes and places of worship. Says Trump, "We’re going to have to do things that we never did before….we’re going to have to do certain things that were frankly unthinkable a year ago." We must do everything we can to stop the hate-mongering.

5. How do we pay for such a war without raising taxes or cutting vital public services? We must not let Republicans use the war as a pretext to cut Social Security and Medicare, or programs for the poor. It should be paid for the way we used to pay for wars – with higher taxes, especially on the wealthy.

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-55 # indian weaver 2015-11-22 12:59
The war is now, already, between Christians and Muslims, worldwide. The Muslims will win, for obvious reasons.
+126 # Eldon J. Bloedorn 2015-11-22 14:50
There is another option-those of us who are sick of wars-just leave the country.

I'm sure I'll get some red ink on my comment.

Since my youth, the U S has engaged in war after war after war. What we got-a jobs program for the military/indust rial complex: Fought by the poor while the military contractors, the wealthy, got further enriched.

Remember the 8 billion dollars which was sent to Iraq during the Iraqi war? Just "disappeared." Was loaded on pallets. wrapped in cellophane and placed in "storage." Reported as "disappeared" but not investigated.

Stephan Hawking:"We, as humans, are just advanced primates living in a world of primates."
+23 # Khidr 2015-11-22 17:18
I believe it was 12 Billion dollars
+20 # Eldon J. Bloedorn 2015-11-22 22:15
Good post. I'm sure the $ was counted and someone has the exact figure. Minus a little "shrinkage."
+19 # ritawalpoleague 2015-11-23 09:18
Look what happened, Eldon J. Bloedorn - lots and lots of thumbs up, including mine. Yours is the most liked and approved comment made.

Must confess, I could not ignore the call(s) for help for Kimberly Rivera, the only woman ever deported from Canada, along with her husband and four children, for having 'gone over the hill' to Canada, when about to be re-deployed to war in Afghanistan. Kim was about to be fired from her low paying job at WalMart, and her husband could not find employment, following the contrived 'economy collapse' in 2008. She had no other option but to enlist, did so, was then deployed to Afghanistan, and then found she could in no way, in good conscience, do what she had been ordered to do while on guard duty - kill all, including civilians and children. Pull up: KRDO Kimberly Rivera Press Conference for what she, then pregnant with child number 5, suffered when forced back into the U.S. - this no longer a democracy, but rather now a 'corruptcracy'. Kim had never been advised, as is the military's obligation to do, of her right to apply for 'conscientious objector' status.

Pres. Ike warned us/U.S. of this MIC power grab that was coming, and which, no big surprise, the 1% are totally involved in and profiting from. Time to revolt it is - with a Bernie Sanders political revolution first. Many will "...leave the country." if this evil plus mess continues.
+4 # Karlus58 2015-11-23 11:29
Oh my friend...where are you going to go? It's a world war. Stay home with your family and friends and try to do your part to promote peace.
-1 # Eldon J. Bloedorn 2015-11-26 18:57
Canada is (was) a good choice. I spoke with an immigration lawyer. His comment:"you are too old and you do not have enough wealth to pass the immigration test"
+8 # jazzman633 2015-11-23 16:22
Eldon, Yes, withdrawal is an option that will never be considered. Nobody in govt. seems to understand that terrorism stems partly from our constant bombing and invading their countries.
+44 # Madmedic 2015-11-22 15:26
Quoting indian weaver:
The war is now, already, between Christians and Muslims, worldwide. The Muslims will win, for obvious reasons.

Indian Weaver, You are right on the money, even more right than the author of this article who I thought was, by the title of the article, going to warn us that we are on the verge of a world war of "Christians" against Muslims.

We, the US and it's "Christian" (which the US hasn't been for along, long time, if ever) allies, let Osama Bin Laden's attacks drive us to war in Afghanistan and then in innocent (with regard to 9/11) Iraq. Saddam may have been a tyrant, but he had nothing to do with 9/11.

The Muslim extremists know exactly what they are doing. They have provoked us into overreacting time and time again. We will continue to overreact in a "whackamole" fashion until we offend so many Muslims that many heretofore unaligned Muslims will side with the radicals. We can't kill our way out of this situation, unless we want to kill tens or hundreds of millions of formerly moderate Muslims around the world when they eventually tire of seeing their innocent families and friends slaughtered as "collateral damage" by us and our allies.

The game will change drastically against us when the world of Islam develops biological warfare weapons, or pops its first black market nuke in London, Washington, DC, Moscow or Beijing.

Remember, desperate people do desperate things and desperation is rife in the Muslim world.
+41 # wantrealdemocracy 2015-11-22 22:04
You are correct to say that this nation has not been Christian for a long long time (if ever was),
but you are wrong to say that this mess we are in now is due to the actions of the Muslims. They have not provoked us into war time after time---all this 'terrorist' stuff is MADE IN THE USA, WITH LOTS OF HELP FROM OUR DEAR ALLY ISRAEL.

We are the terrorists! We are the bad guys--well, not really we, the people of this sorry nation, but our 'leaders' the corrupt creatures in Congress. They pay absolutely NO ATTENTION to the voice of the people. They vote as directed by the greedy bastards that give them 'donations', better known as BRIBES.

It is past time for we, the people , to rise up in rebellion to STOP THE MADNESS OF ENDLESS WAR. We must not send ANYONE in Congress back to screw us worse in the future. Kick the bums out!!!
+19 # ronjazz 2015-11-22 18:32
Quoting indian weaver:
The war is now, already, between Christians and Muslims, worldwide. The Muslims will win, for obvious reasons.

Muslims have nothing to do with this.
+1 # Caliban 2015-11-24 01:29
indian weaver--I think your premise is over-stated but am curious about your "obvious reasons" Muslims "will win".

Care to be more specific ?
+11 # 2015-11-22 13:16
The recent attacks on Paris seem to have brought the 2 parties together, at least for the time being. I fail to see how the U.S. could fight a war, even an undeclared war, without the support of the entire Congress. If ISIL manages to successfully attack a site in D.C., as they have threatened to do, surely that will raise the dander of even the most stubborn Republicans. As for the spread of bigotry, I can't think of a war that hasn't or won't cause bigotry. The Battenburgs of England successfully changed their name to Windsor around the time of WWI just because the name sounds so German. I suspect there will be some bigotry associated with Muslims as long as there are brutal attacks associated with Islam. Many people become stupid with fear when they feel threatened; that includes members of Congress as well as the local joe who shouts threats against Muslims at a local town hall meeting. As for civilians, they always pay a price in war; and we HAVE BEEN AT WAR for a long time, declared or not. Civilians will continue to pay a high price esp. as terrorists truly don't care whom they attack or kill. We may truly see just how brave are we Americans in the coming months. If we DO make war on ISIL I suspect taxes will not remain an issue with our lives at stake.
+41 # jamander4 2015-11-22 14:25
I came to this web page by a link that left the with ISIS part of the title out. I expected to see a discussion about a World War with Russia.The world is a very scary place right now and we all need to think about where our future lies. There are more than a few within the US that seek every opportunity to jam up Russia. This is very bad for the US, Russia and the world.
+38 # goodsensecynic 2015-11-22 15:22
Thank goodness for a World War with ISIS, meaning that there won't be one with Russia since they are on "our" side ... just like in World War II (which "they" won).

Too bad the war with Islam started because the USA "created" al-Qaeda by recruiting "jihadists" to overthrow the secular government of Afghanistan (which was backed by Russia), and then "created" ISIS by overthrowing the secular government of Iraq (which was ... )
+18 # dbrize 2015-11-22 14:43
Let's look at each question brother Reich poses.

1. We have over 600K ground forces available and no one supposes they will all be used to fight ISIL/ISIS. The Pentagon isn't falling for it again. Conventional warfare will not defeat what are essentially guerrilla movements in 4th generation warfare.

The idea that floating the draft will discourage the war machine is wishful thinking.

2. Please Robert. "What civil liberties are we prepared to sacrifice?" Surely this is tongue in cheek. We have ALREADY sacrificed any semblance of habeas corpus, right to face our accusers and privacy.What's left of these is granted solely at the whim of the WH. I am amazed you haven't noticed. Perhaps this highlights the problem?

3. Until we stop bombing innocent civilians, they will continue to die. The question is not how many, the question is; does anyone have a plan for ending perpetual war? Certainly not the RepubliCrat/Neocons.

4. The bigotry will last until the peacemakers assert themselves. So far, they are more concerned about transgender rights, names on buildings and healthcare than Muslim bigotry.

5. Bob, how to pay for it? Again you are jesting with us. What the hell, are you suggesting austerity for God's sake? Didn't you read a certain prize winning Keynesian the other day on the Paris attacks? Hey, out of bad comes some good. Deficit spending for example. Bastiat be damned, break those windows and be quick about it.
+31 # Patriot 2015-11-22 15:15
dbrize, by the numbers:

1. Those 600K military personnel "available" have been continuously at war for more than a decade; some members of the armed forces have served more than SIX tours in combat. They are tired, discouraged, underpaid, and already are improperly led, inadequately trained, and poorly supported. "The Pentagon" can do damned little to stop a conflagration if the war-mongers prevail. Reich did not suggest that reinstituting the draft would discourage the rush to war--but it probably would. Would all the drum-beaters be so anxious to lauch a war if they and their sons and daughters who have never even considered military service would be facing the draft? The draft would compel the American people to become personally involved, instead of taking the now so well-entranched position that "we" should fight, meaning "anyone but me". Like Dick Cheney, most Americans feel they have "more important things to do". If we're going to launch a formal war, let's commit ourselves do so--and gear up our rather formidable war machine, beginning with an immediate draft.

2. Reich is not proposing that anyone sacrifice any more civil liberties than the appalling amount we already have tamely surrendered. He merely asks us to wake up and acknowledge that civil liberties are among the first casualties of a declared war, and to consider precisely how many more of them, and which, we are willing to surrender tamely.
+5 # dbrize 2015-11-22 15:47
I share your angst.

That said:

1. IMHO you diminish the potential of the Pentagon who have already behind the scenes let it be known that they wanted no part of war against Iran and in so doing performed a national service. Your (not Reich let us note) suggestion that a draft "floating" would engage the public in the debate is perhaps astute, which is another reason why it's not going to happen.

2. If it takes you to explain what Reich is proposing, he didn't explain himself very well.

"What if any..." seems to me the salient passage in his question. I stand by my comment.
+10 # Patriot 2015-11-22 16:04
1. The Pentagon struggled mightily to keep us out of Iraq, to absolutely no avail. They advise the President, but, ultimately, must either follow his orders or resign.

2. Since you felt moved to interpret Reich's remarks, I thought I could have a try, too.

I also stand by my remarks, which are based on too many decades of experience and observation.
+23 # MidwestTom 2015-11-22 17:00
Listen to Rand Paul, he makes a lot of sense. Stop bombing, and pull our troops out of the middle East. Stop supporting Saudi Arabia, Sunni's are the ones that have attacked us in every major event for a decade.

As he says, if Chinese troops were stationed here and bombing our cities, we would be really pissed. So are the Arabs.

We do not need middle east oil anymore, thanks to American fracturing technology. Israel has more than enough weapons to defend itself without American troops. Simply GET OUT.
+24 # lfeuille 2015-11-22 17:50
Any excuse to plug fracking. Gees. Bernie is right. Climate change is a much bigger national security threat than ISIS.
+17 # ronjazz 2015-11-22 18:36
Fracking will kill as many of us as war.
+3 # Eldon J. Bloedorn 2015-11-22 22:12
You do sell fracking supplies to the fossil fuel industry.
+22 # economagic 2015-11-22 15:05
Professor Reich is describing, perhaps on purpose (I hope), a war such as has never been, which is not, and which cannot ever be. It is a fantasy war, as our misleaders must surely know, but which they would certainly like us to believe is not merely possible but easy to achieve because of our New! Improved! killing technology.

Unfortunately a large number of people in this country are so disconnected from reality that they believe that such a thing is entirely reasonable (hence Carson and Trump).

In the winter of 2002 the flagship newspaper in my state published the results of a statewide poll it had helped to fund showing that a significant majority of those polled favored a war on Iraq, but only if it did not involve U.S. ground forces. I am not making this up. When asked if they would still favor war if it DID involve U.S. ground troops, a majority was opposed. The article ran under the headline, "Majority in state favor invasion."

The next month they ran another poll, with similar results and the same headline. Still not making this up. The local NPR station, based at and partly funded by a major high-ranking public university, repeated the headline without comment. When I called and demanded to speak with the station manager, an embarrassed flack gave me her email address. Two weeks or more later, after two emails and another call, I received a dismissive email from the manager.

Unfortunately the same people who supported that war also have short memories.
+46 # Blackjack 2015-11-22 15:13
This from a Parisian to ISIS after the recent attacks: "I will not grant you the gift of my fear." If only the rest of humanity could be so brave.
+7 # tclose 2015-11-23 09:57
If only the "home of the brave" could be so brave.

The lockstep reaction of the Repubs to the attacks in Paris do not provide much optimism.
+39 # tedrey 2015-11-22 15:19
There's a simple answer for all five issues. Don't go around looking for quarrels to pick which are none of our business . . . or tolerate "leaders" who do. You'll be amazed how much better the rest of the world will get along if we just keep our greedy fingers out of it.
+6 # lfeuille 2015-11-22 17:53
Quoting tedrey:
There's a simple answer for all five issues. Don't go around looking for quarrels to pick which are none of our business . . . or tolerate "leaders" who do. You'll be amazed how much better the rest of the world will get along if we just keep our greedy fingers out of it.

It's a simple answer for future conflicts. Just don't start them. This is already started. We should just get out, but I don't see that happening.
0 # tedrey 2015-11-24 07:34
WE don't start them. The PTB don't ask US. OUR job is to slap them down and make them sorry they keep doing it.
+25 # Seadog 2015-11-22 15:24
Just waht we need another fucking War in the ME. Syria and Iraq are already rubble piles so how do we fight this ? Troops on the ground again? REally? I don't think there's much support here for another ground war.
+15 # Hey There 2015-11-22 15:42
Right you are! Two sayings, one from the 70's and one parents tell children
(highlight link--right click--left click on go to....)
+15 # Patriot 2015-11-22 15:27
3. Civilian (non-combatant) casualties are a fact of warfare, as are casualties caused by friendly fire, despite all the hanky-wringing by bleeding hearts who know nothing whatever about the nature of warfare. Drum-beaters always propound that "we" will suffer nothing, but the other "side" will pay dearly--and the first and ugliest payment will be the death and maiming of thousands of non-combatants, in this case, probably on all "sides".

4. Bigotry is deadly regardless of who or what is the target. Sneering that bigotry against some targets is not as reprehensible as bigotry against other targets doesn't render bigotry any more moral, logical, or practical: All bigotry causes harm to both its target and its practioners, and none more effectively than that directed against an "enemy".

5. Reich asks us how WE would propose to fund a war, and suggests how SOME would propose to do so. Given the current attitude of Congress, you can bet that the 1% won't be asked to spend a dime, although they will make most of the profit. However, the questions about police conduct, the drive to deal with racial and financial equality, the effort to raise the minimum wage, secure equal pay for all, make public college educations free to all, and dozens of other questions currently on the table will be swept away by rationing, the draft, arming ourselves and our allies, and sacrificing to pay for the war.
-3 # dbrize 2015-11-22 16:10
3. I see no disagreement between what you are here saying and my own comments. I would merely repeat the question I asked.

4. Yes indeed, bigotry is an a priori evil. That however does not change the fact that it becomes of necessity a matter of time, energy and resource that we unfortunately must prioritize in our plans of action. If you believe as I that "...war is the health of the state", then this becomes the issue that trumps the others.

5. I am not sure what you are saying here unless it's tax the rich. I certainly have no problem with that suggestion although we could confiscate it all and would still have deficits.

I grew up in the 1940's helping my grandparents sort rationing tickets. War requires many economic sacrifices as well as producing nothing of value. Do you agree with Bastiat's broken window fallacy?
+15 # Patriot 2015-11-22 17:32
That breaking a window will NOT be an improvement to an economy? I do.

War should be the very last effort of mankind, resorted to when nothing else will work, when all other efforts have been exhausted.

We've already been at war for the last 15 years, yet nothing good has come of it. We are feared, distrusted, and even hated throughout much of the world; neither the Taliban nor Al Quaida has been eliminated as a threat to the people of Afghanistan or Iraq, let alone the rest of the world; we have wasted much money and many lives, our own and others'.

My memories also go back to WWII, through the stories of my parents' and grandparents' generation. I also have the benefit of having lived for 30 months in Turkey in the '60s. Although no longer one of the "Arabic" nations, Turkey certainly was Moslem, yet its constitution prohibited government by theocracy.

We do not understand Islam; we do not understand or even try to emphathize with Moslems. We have no business interfering in their national life, and no right whatsoever--leg al, moral, or religious--to assume that we can convert Moselms to what passes these days for (but may not be recognized in Heaven as) Christianity.

For centuries, Christianity, Judaism, and Islam have been misused by one political force after another to coerce humanity into idiotic, wasteful, pointless, and hopeless conflicts. I hope we will not venture any further down that road!
+7 # dbrize 2015-11-22 18:05
I heartily endorse these comments. Well said.
+22 # Patriot 2015-11-22 15:31
Reich asks whether we're THINKING beyond our usual knee-jerk "go get 'em, Tiger, we can't be defeated". My bet, regretfully, bitterly, is that far too many of us are not and will not. We prefer to hate Muslims and try to wipe them out, a formidable task, since they have little to lose and much to gain, including the possibility of cleaning our clocks, as the North Vietnamese so stubbornly, persistently, and successfully managed to do.

Those who do not study history are doomed to repeat it, and most of us don't study much of anything in this country these days, contenting ourselves with being led by the nose by the likes of Trump and Carson and their ilk.

Addendum: Climate change and environmental protection will be absolutely sidelined by a major conflict. So will questions like GMO labeling, tar-sands extraction, fracking, and many other profitable but insane endeavors. By the time the smoke from such a conflagration clears, if it ever does, the planet will be beyond salvaging.
+13 # Polisage 2015-11-22 15:34
The real conflict with ISIS is the threat they pose to neighboring Muslim states. Do they want to live in an oppressive Caliphate or do they value whatever liberties they have now. George Bush and HRC viewed Middle Eastern countries as chess pieces and the result is the mess in Mesopotamia. We really need to rethink what our interests are, and Putin needs to look at his southern underbelly (which he is doing). Even the Taliban does not seem to like the challenge the "Caliphate" mentality is offering.

Here at home, let's let wages rise to stave off deflation and provide universal, single payer health care. Let's not get sucked in by our "duty to be the world's leader." NATO accomplished its mission, and should not become (or continue to be) the vehicle of American adventurism. The 2016 NDAA sets our active army at 475,000. Add the Marines to that, and you're still back at 1950 levels, though our weapons systems are modernized. They aren't cheap, but they are effective.

Let's clean up the mess at home. The EU is big enough to police itself.
+4 # xflowers 2015-11-22 17:03
Polisage, You said something I've been wondering about when you say even the Taliban does not like the Caliphate challenge. What does Al Qaeda think about it? Is there any possibility that the Taliban and Al Qaeda would challenge ISIS for power and the war would turn more decisively onto themselves?
+4 # Polisage 2015-11-23 14:38
Frontline had an interesting segment on ISIS in Afghanistan, that raised the universal question of factions turning against one another. The relative risk among factions becomes almost Byzantine as tribal alliances shift. Remember in 1945-46 the Kurds set up a state (with Soviet backing) in northern Iran. Didn't turn out so well for them when the Red Army stopped protecting them. We have to remember that our interests in this region are not absolute, and that folks like Putin have skin in the game too. Bernie Sanders has it right -- it ain't necessarily us against them. It could be them against them.
+6 # Patriot 2015-11-22 15:36
Once to every man and nation, comes the moment to decide,
In the strife of truth with falsehood, for the good or evil side;
Some great cause, some great decision, offering each the bloom or blight,
And the choice goes by forever, ’twixt that darkness and that light.

Then to side with truth is noble, when we share her wretched crust,
Ere her cause bring fame and profit, and ’tis prosperous to be just;
Then it is the brave man chooses while the coward stands aside,
Till the multitude make virtue of the faith they had denied.

By the light of burning martyrs, Christ, Thy bleeding feet we track,
Toiling up new Calv’ries ever with the cross that turns not back;
New occasions teach new duties, time makes ancient good uncouth,
They must upward still and onward, who would keep abreast of truth.

Though the cause of evil prosper, yet the truth alone is strong;
Though her portion be the scaffold, and upon the throne be wrong;
Yet that scaffold sways the future, and behind the dim unknown,
Standeth God within the shadow, keeping watch above His own.

written by American literary giant James R. Lowell of Boston, protesting America's war with Mexico, 1845

(If the religious tone offends anyone, I apologize for your offense, but the poem WAS a hymn. However, the principles Lowell espouses are universal and eternal, with or without the religious context.)
+5 # economagic 2015-11-22 15:52
Funny, when I was growing up I always liked the hymn with that poem set to a haunting minor-key tune called "Ebenezer." Later it occurred to me that the choice comes not once, but moment by moment. Unfortunately, once the choice is made to turn to The Dark Side it does become increasingly difficult to return to the light.
+6 # Patriot 2015-11-22 15:59
Oddly enough, it was that minor-key music that first caught my attention. Then I looked up the words, and was awed. Here's another that is relevant now (and always):

Character cannot be summoned at the moment of crisis if it has been squandered by years of compromise and rationalization . The only testing ground for the heroic is the mundane. The only preparation for that one profound decision which can change a life, or even a nation, is those hundreds of half-conscious, self-defining, seemingly insignificant decisions made in private. Habit is the daily battleground of character. (Dan Coats)
+1 # Shades of gray matter 2015-11-22 15:37
Given the unlimited # of potential recruits, and the impropriety of conventional warfare, I assume the military is putting its massive resources into creating a dozen or so large scale special ops lightning strike forces. Add a dozen from Russia, France, Britain, etc. Simultaneous attacks on ISIS worldwide? Then wait for next Jihadi movement against western offences?
-19 # WaaDoo 2015-11-22 16:06
World War with ISIS ?!
Such irresponsible language for one presumably so intelligent.

War - YES and we need a leader who will deal with them. PUTZUS ain't the one !
BUT NOT A World War
+8 # ronjazz 2015-11-22 18:41
Quoting WaaDoo:
World War with ISIS ?!
Such irresponsible language for one presumably so intelligent.

War - YES and we need a leader who will deal with them. PUTZUS ain't the one !
BUT NOT A World War

your side only leads in treason and cowardice, as you always show.
+7 # kalpal 2015-11-23 06:15
Not civil to point out that America's RW is treasonous and cowardly. They resent any truth uttered about them since it is their birthright to accuse all others of every RW failure and error.
+9 # Anonymot 2015-11-22 16:32
This war has been devoutly sought for a long time. By who, why, try a cut & paste of this.

It's long, complex and clear. It's not only about the JFK assassination, but about its historical reasons and their current applications to war.

The other side of the fence is the Islamic one. We have managed to goad them into al Qaida & ISIS. Their historical background for war has been sitting there waiting for the moment and the CIA gave it to them. We'll all pay the price. Given the brilliance of our leaders like Brennan, Comey, Clapper, & Rice, we will probably lose - again.
+1 # keenon the truth 2015-11-22 23:29
That youtube url takes me to freaky flowers! Could you tell me what to search for?
+12 # turtleislander 2015-11-22 16:36
This is the worst deja vu. I was in college the fiirst time I went to a big Vietnam war protest in Washington. No one should have to live through this twice. Or three times. I keep thinking of Oliver Stone's recent comment about america's karma. It unnerves me that mr. Reich posted this. Are we that close to the abyss?
+16 # xflowers 2015-11-22 17:06
I think Mr. Reich is unnerved too and is asking all of us to think long and hard on what we may be getting ourselves into before we take the plunge.
+11 # Henry 2015-11-22 17:18
As if WE had a choice in this.
+3 # Karlus58 2015-11-23 11:40
Xactly!! We are mere pawns floating in a sea of insanity.
+10 # Richard Milhaus 2015-11-22 16:51
This is hardly a surprise. The reaction of the US to any affront, no matter how minor, is to bomb, send troops, hit them with drones. The vast US military needs to be used, otherwise why spend all our riches on it? That it should have a value other than itself seems to have escaped those of senior command.
-9 # perkinsej 2015-11-22 17:15
I think it will be a multinational force including Russia, France, Britain, Germany and USA --- thus the cost will be shared. Both Syria and Iraq will be totally demilitarized --- both friend, foe, and neutrals. No armaments owned by any local period. That should fix the problem.
+8 # ronjazz 2015-11-22 18:42
Quoting perkinsej:
I think it will be a multinational force including Russia, France, Britain, Germany and USA --- thus the cost will be shared. Both Syria and Iraq will be totally demilitarized --- both friend, foe, and neutrals. No armaments owned by any local period. That should fix the problem.

you appear to be delusional
+3 # Desiderata 2015-11-23 17:17
And what,pray tell,do they think they will be bombing ?
+16 # Henry 2015-11-22 17:18
6. How can we ever WIN through more bloodshed? Impossible.
+18 # Radscal 2015-11-22 17:53
The US has already been fighting a World War, at least since our invasion of Afghanistan in 2001. We've been engaged in some level of military action in about 100 countries each year. One recent year, our soldiers saw "action" in 147 countries by some accounts.

And those are just the countries where actual military personnel are fighting. We also have covert and contracted fighters, as well as proxy forces doing our bidding.

But, like all bullies, these are all much smaller and weaker opponents. With Russia finally stepping in to block the long-planned "regime change" in Syria, we are getting very close to fighting a more "fair fight:" one that could be our last.

Albert Einstein said he didn't know what weapons would be used to fight WW III, but he was sure that WW IV would be fought with sticks and stones.
+1 # Desiderata 2015-11-23 17:22
Einstein wasn't just another handsome face.

Compared to the West Isis IS fighting with sticks and stones and look: they have managed to shut down Brussels for the 2nd day without firing a shot. Fear seems to be a very mighty weapon.
+20 # Sweet Pea 2015-11-22 19:10
Sounds to me like the huge war-industry investors are getting hungry. When are we going to wake up and realize that "war is big business. We talk about cutting Social Security benefits by not allowing a cost-of-living increase this year, while we are spending billions on wars. Our government disappoints me!
+8 # lewagner 2015-11-22 20:25
We are MOVING TOWARD a war with ISIS?
I thought we'd been at war with ISIS for over a year already .....
Remember the beheadings, and the guys posing in snazzy sports shoes and black uniforms brandishing weapons in long parades of brand new Toyota trucks? The worst of the worst, and all the big tough Americans on my Facebook feed shaking their fists at ISIS talking about how many they were going to kill with their bare hands?
Now all of a sudden we're MOVING TOWARD a war with ISIS? WTF? I guess it's a good thing Russia's a little more serious about this then we are.
+4 # margpark 2015-11-22 20:44
A world with ISIS would flatten ISIS but do nothing to stop the idea behind ISIS/
+6 # 2015-11-22 20:53
I think my kids are going to get to Canada and get citizenship there even if I can't.
+5 # janie1893 2015-11-23 01:02
It's not about Islam or Christianity. It's about power. And ISIL is winning! Just the fear, anger, confusion and angst that I see in the comments on this article have brought us a second closer to midnight.
+1 # kalpal 2015-11-23 06:18
It is imperative that the neighboring Muslim nations eradicate ISIS. Anything else will seen as the crusaders attacking Islam.

If the west decides to go to war, it must end with only amoebas being left alive in the areas occupied by ISIS.
+1 # medusa 2015-11-23 10:37
I think that for a long time reasonable minds in governments have wanted to distinguish Islam as a religion, with its own customs, from radical elements like elqaeda and Islamic State. US relations of with Pakistan, indonesia , Turkey, and so on, would be neutral, secular, business-lorien ted, not ideological. And the wackos, like ISIS, would be isolated. Their offense is violence and oppression, not prayers and temples. At least that's the hope.
+12 # Buddha 2015-11-23 10:49
Funny how ISIS and Christian Evangelicals like Sarah Palin both believe in End Times coming from a final war in the Middle East, and both push for creating it.
+2 # restore2america 2015-11-23 13:04
"Ben Carson argues no Muslim should ever be president. Marco Rubio wants to close down mosques. Donald Trump refuses to rule out requiring all Muslims to carry special religious identification, and warrantless searches of their homes and places of worship."

How many times have we heard whites say that no black ever should be President? How can Carson align his "Christian"-onl y discrimination with the First Amendment?

How can Trump possibly align his statements with the Oath of Office to protect the Constitution of the United States?

I'm struck by both of these financially well-to-do men who are at no personal risk from this religious war having the arrogance to stand in judgement of those whom would be killed in this war.

I'm also struck by how little difference there is between the hatred of "others" that these two men express; and the hatred of "others" that ISIL expresses.

Christianity as a formalized religion developed about 1700-1800 years ago as a compromise between a Roman emperor Constantine) and the hierarchy-promo ting members of the clergy of a relatively new spin-off from Judaism. Islam and Judaism have their roots roughly the same time frame (i.e. 2000+ years ago); and evoked similar "us vs. them" conflicts. We're over a thousand years late letting go of those old power struggles.
+1 # mmcmanus 2015-11-23 13:44
No question but that the draft should be reinstated. If nothing else that would require two generations of young Americans to put down their Iphones, Ipads and other distracting devices, stop watching reality TV, and learn about the terrible things that are happening in the world and about how our country israpidly spiraling down the drain. The ignororance of the general American population of what the right wing nuts are doing to destroy liberty, equality and freedom is astonishing.
+3 # Desiderata 2015-11-23 17:11
1) What is ISIS?
The Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (also called ISIS, ISIL, or Daesh) is a terrorist group that follows an Islamic ultra-fundament alist ideology and that controls a vast region across Iraq and Syria.
It is a de facto state that declares itself to be the rightful heir of Islam's founding leaders. It considers itself at war with all nations and with all people who do not meet its standards as "true" Muslims. It believes its mission is to bring on the apocalypse as foretold in scripture. To this end, it seeks to conquer territory where it will build a real state and govern as it sees fit.
But for all its grand ambitions and twisted beliefs, ISIS is also a calculating, strategic organization that has brilliantly exploited the Middle East's political problems and social ills to recruit an army, win battles, and conquer territory."

How does one declare war on this ? How absurd. These people are not afraid of death, they relish it. We are the fearful spoiled, so protected, so brainwashed by politicians who just wanna "Keep us safe " Now look what they have done.
In projecting our fears on these Jihadists we underestimate them completely. We have everything to lose..they have nothing. They have us over a barrel in more ways than one. Declare war ? Puhleeese
The only solution if it isn't too late is to get the hell outta there ,duck and cover and hopefully the dust will settle.
+5 # angelfish 2015-11-23 17:38
It is an unwinnable War. The more we push back the harder they will fight and recruit more and more disaffected, IGNORANT people. Malala Yusafsai is right. EDUCATE these poor souls and let them know there IS a better way than continual blood shed, forcing women into Slavery and murdering innocents to force their will on others. Sadly, there are TOO many of our own home grown Fanatics who are just as rabid as ISIS, ISIL or WHATEVER they're called, champing at the bit for Armageddon.
+5 # thunderable 2015-11-23 21:23
War is only winnable by those profiting from it, be it politically or economically. Yes, work to eradicate ignorance, promote understanding and provide opportunities, because we know what idle hands do...over and over again.
-1 # TruthSeeker2 2015-11-24 01:24
This is the most bizarre article of Robert Reich's. Usually I like what he says. It is like, "Well we now know that you will be raped and beaten, so the question is whether you would like it done before or after dinner." And the line, "...We must be vigilant that we maintain the freedoms we are fighting for"... How on earth would bombing and shooting people on the other side of the planet, the vast majority of whom are NOT "terrorists", creating yet more hatred against our country be "protecting our freedoms"? My freedom to become a target for blowback? My freedom to have my son or nephew killed or commit suicide from guilt and shame? My freedom to live in a country falling apart because all of our taxes are used to protect the profits of American corporations by killing people on the other side of the planet?
-1 # angusfox 2015-11-24 06:54
As long as the vast majority of "moderate" Muslims refuse to condemn acts of terror committed by jihadists, we are at war with Islam. It is easy to forget that nearly all jihadists mutated and metastasized from moderate upbringings.
+1 # medusa 2015-11-25 10:56
What is the source of knowledge about what the "vast majority" of Muslims think about IS? It's hard to believe that the populations of Egypt, Indonesia, Pakistan, refuse to condemn piracy, just because they fly a black flag.
+2 # Anarchist 23 2015-11-25 00:04
this is just another war for profit and the profiteers don't care how many people die. One would think that if the nations really wanted to end this war, they would find out who is selling the Daesh/ISIL terrorists their guns and ammunition, their gasoline, their trucks and cut off their supplies...appa rently that is too difficult to do. Or perhaps they don't want to since they also make a profit on that.
+1 # elkingo 2015-11-25 13:06
Hey Donald,
About that special ID for Muslims, - how 'bout yellow stars?

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