How U.S. Interventionists Abetted the Rise of ISIS

As the murderous, terrorist Islamic State continues to threaten Iraq, the region and potentially the United States, it is vitally important that we examine how this problem arose. Any actions we take today must be informed by what we’ve already done in the past, and how effective our actions have been.

Shooting first and asking questions later has never been a good foreign policy. The past year has been a perfect example.

In September President Obama and many in Washington were eager for a U.S. intervention in Syria to assist the rebel groups fighting President Bashar Assad’s government. Arguing against military strikes, I wrote that “Bashar Assad is clearly not an American ally. But does his ouster encourage stability in the Middle East, or would his ouster actually encourage instability?”

The administration’s goal has been to degrade Assad’s power, forcing him to negotiate with the rebels. But degrading Assad’s military capacity also degrades his ability to fend off the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham. Assad’s government recently bombed the self-proclaimed capital of ISIS in Raqqa, Syria.

To interventionists like former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, we would caution that arming the Islamic rebels in Syria created a haven for the Islamic State. We are lucky Mrs. Clinton didn’t get her way and the Obama administration did not bring about regime change in Syria. That new regime might well be ISIS.

This is not to say the U.S. should ally with Assad. But we should recognize how regime change in Syria could have helped and emboldened the Islamic State, and recognize that those now calling for war against ISIS are still calling for arms to factions allied with ISIS in the Syrian civil war. We should realize that the interventionists are calling for Islamic rebels to win in Syria and for the same Islamic rebels to lose in Iraq. While no one in the West supports Assad, replacing him with ISIS would be a disaster.

Our Middle Eastern policy is unhinged, flailing about to see who to act against next, with little thought to the consequences. This is not a foreign policy.

via How U.S. Interventionists Abetted the Rise of ISIS

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Congress proposes new law prohibiting body armor in the Land of the Free

H.R. 5344 is a bill currently going through Congress that would ban the purchase of body armor.

Violation would carry CRIMINAL penalties, including up to ten years in prison.

Many bullet-resistant items on the market now, such as bulletproof backpacks for school children, would be banned by this legislation.

This is incredible given that the legislation is all about banning something that is purely defensive.

via Congress proposes new law prohibiting body armor in the Land of the Free

County will not pay medical bills for toddler hurt in Habersham raid

Habersham County officials say they do not plan to pay for the medical expenses of a toddler seriously injured during a police raid.

Bounkham Phonesavah, affectionately known as “Baby Boo Boo,” spent weeks in a burn unit after a SWAT team’s flash grenade exploded near his face. The toddler was just 19-months-old and asleep in the early morning hours of May 28. SWAT officers threw the device into his home while executing a search warrant for a drug suspect.

Habersham County officials are defending their decision not to pay, but the child’s family isn’t giving up.

via County will not pay medical bills for toddler hurt in Habersham raid

Gov. Nixon Calls For ‘Vigorous Prosecution’ Of Darren Wilson

Not content with a regular prosecution or a vigorous investigation, Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon said he hopes that Ferguson, Mo., police officer Darren Wilson will receive a “vigorous prosecution” in the shooting death of Michael Brown on Aug. 9.

“A vigorous prosecution must now be pursued,” Nixon said in a five minute video address posted to his website Tuesday.

“The democratically elected St. Louis county prosecutor and the attorney general of the United States each have a job to do,” said Nixon, a Democrat.

“Their obligation to achieve justice in the shooting death of Michael Brown must be carried out thoroughly, promptly, and correctly,” said Nixon of investigators.

U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder plans to visit Ferguson on Wednesday to meet with federal law enforcement officials and community leaders. Forty FBI investigators traveled to Ferguson over the weekend to interview witnesses.

Nixon has not directly justified his call for a strong prosecution. He has not indicated that he has any information on the shooting that has not been made public.

Wilson, a six-year police veteran with a clean disciplinary record, has not even been arrested or charged with a crime. A grand jury is set to convene on Wednesday to determine if he will be charged.

Wilson, who is on paid leave during the investigation, has reportedly claimed that he shot Brown after the man hit him in the face and struggled to gain control of his service weapon.

Several eye-witnesses who gave media interviews shortly after the shooting have said that Brown was surrendering with his hands up as Wilson shot him.

Wilson is reportedly claiming the Brown ran towards him before the fatal shots were fired. The interviewed witnesses have claimed that they did not see Brown running at Wilson. An unnamed witness unwittingly captured on video talking about what he saw unfold said that he saw Brown move towards Wilson.

via Gov. Nixon Calls For ‘Vigorous Prosecution’ Of Darren Wilson