US helpless in the face of ISIS
Orly Azoulay/ 09.05.14/Ynetnews/Israel Opinion
Analysis: America has learned once again that ideology and feelings of deprivation and disrespect cannot be defeated with smart bombs and laser-guided missiles.
It was a cruel and heartbreaking illustration of the limitations of power: The knife which beheaded the two American journalists ripped through the world power’s heart as well: There were not only tears in America in the past few days, but also a burning insult. As if someone had given them the finger. Americans have been executed by their rivals in the past, but this time it was in defiance, with special effects, a professional camera and an echoing microphone, against the backdrop of the dunes and the Islamic State flag blowing in the wind. As if the executors had written a script and issued directing instructions. America, which has the strongest army in the world, learned once again that ideology – even an insane one – and feelings of deprivation and disrespect cannot be defeated with smart bombs and laser-guided missiles.
The rules have changed, the messages have been aggravated, and the US is now playing in a field it is still unfamiliar with in terms of its nature, the impulses raging in it and the unrestrained motivation of the new players.
James Foley’s execution three weeks ago brought along a feeling of anxiety. But after Steven Sotloff’s murder on Tuesday, the world power has sunk into the most dangerous place for a country pretending to be the world’s spotlight: Helplessness.
Sotloff was a soldier in the army of journalists who are accustomed to covering dangerous areas and battlefields: He possessed the two essential traits for such a job – curiosity and determination.
I met him in Washington several years ago, at a conference about the Middle East. He approached me after hearing that I had embarked on journalistic missions myself across the axis of evil. He told me that it was important for him to bring the human story behind every war. When I asked him if he was afraid, he replied in Hebrew, “Ktzat” (a bit).
In the distributed video, minutes before he was murdered, he read a short statement. Not a single muscle stirred in his face. If there was any fear in him, it was undetectable.
But his story left behind a terrified nation: The US has no response for this type of fighting, and even President Barack Obama himself admitted it several days ago when he said that there was no strategy for handling ISIS.
On Wednesday he changed his tone and promised to destroy them. He definitely wants to, if only to erase the shame of the past two weeks. He will continue bombing their posts in Iraq, and will maybe even make a decision to strike in Syria. But that’s not what will make ISIS disappear.
In the new world order, terrorist gangs are beating America’s rear and Obama doesn’t really have a response, unless he decides to return to the optimistic spirit of his first days as president, when he promised to advance global reconciliation and completely remove the American army from Iraq.
It was that damaging war waged by his predecessor, President George W. Bush, without any justification, which in fact sowed the weeds on the desert hills where ISIS grew