Wednesday, December 9, 2015

The Masterson Test in Syria

The Refugees & the New War (Michael Ignatieff) from the New York Review of Books
"Strategists will tell you that it is a mistake to fight the battle your enemies want you to fight. You should impose your strategy on them, not let them impose theirs on you. These lessons apply to the struggle with the leaders of ISIS. We have applied pressure upon them in Syria; they have replied with atrocious attacks in Ankara, Beirut, and now Paris. They are trying to provoke an apocalyptic confrontation with the Crusader infidels. We should deny them this opportunity."
Some of you may recall the great musical, Guys and Dolls.  In it, the #1 gambler, Sky Masterson tells a highly relevant story: When he was a lad, his father came and told him: "One day, son, someone will come to you with an unopened deck of cards with the seal still on it, and he will BET YOU that he can make a Jack of Spades leap out of that deck and squirt cider in your ear! Son, you do not accept this bet because sure as you are standing here, you will end up with cider in your ear."  ISIS (and their ilk) are betting that with their tactics, the the US will have to send in huge numbers of troops into Syria and Iraq and that their presence there will substantiate ISIS's message, be the best recruiting tool in the work for their cause -- and that they will be able to get the US bogged down in the region for another ten years slowly bleeding to death for no good purpose.  Obama (thankfully) perceives that this bet does not pass the Masterson test and, if he has ANY SAY in the matter, the US will not end up with cider in its ear. -- Nuggetsman

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