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Now that we have a “degrade and defeat” strategy in place to deal with the ISIS/ISIL threat to all that is good and decent in the world, it might be worth figuring out if these larger-than-life lowlife are actually much of a threat to the homeland. As a starting point, actual big threats should have one agreed-upon name and acronym. If I am to live in fear, it ought to be of ISIS OR ISIL, not both. Giving it two names raises the possibility of two groups and twice as high a “Threat Rating." [The “Threat Rating” is determined by dividing the number of people threatened by the number of people doing the threatening, multiplying that number by the number of warships and warplanes available to those doing the threatening, and then arbitrarily assigning a number between 1 and 10 with 10 being the highest threat. For visual help – 1-3 is a green threat, 3-6 is a yellow threat, and 6-9 is a red threat. 10 is a dark red threat, reserved for threats that are actually within shooting range of America.] Using this formula, one group could have a maximum "Threat Rating" of 10; two groups could get you to 20, so this could more important than it may have originally seemed.

As the formula suggests, the number of warships and warplanes that can cross the oceans that separate the US from ISIS/ISIL is a key factor. They don’t have any of these things, and we have more than we can ever hope to use constructively. So what we are left with is the amorphous threat that one or more of these guys will show up on our shores on commercial flights or cruise ships ready to do us in. At worst, a few of them make it through the post 9/11 security net that has cameras on every street corner and in every public and most private buildings, not to mention monitored e-mails, cellphones, and I-pads. So what? Our own land of the free and home of the brave is full of home-grown nut cases armed to the teeth meeting in secret to plot death and destruction. A few more disaffected souls in that mix just won’t make much of a difference. [In terms of impact, the Boston Marathon bombing pales in comparison to our very own Timothy McVeigh and his piece of destructive work in Oklahoma City – the Boston Marathon bombing killed 3people and wounded just over 250, the Oklahoma City bombing killed 168 people and wounded just under 700.]

So as Obama, the usual Congressional war mongers, and Wolf Blitzer and his ilk gear up to sell another front in the failed war on terrorism, it might be a good time to analyze the upcoming strategy and its sure human cost to see if it is even directed at a meaningful threat to the US. This is really critical since Obama and his minions keep alluding to a strategy that is similar to our “successful” counterterrorism strategy in Somalia and Yemen. If this were a Saturday Night Live skit, we would all be laughing. But we should be appalled. Our strategic model is a model that has resulted in two completely dysfunctional countries full to the brim with real and imagined terrorists without ships or warplanes. We already have that in Syria and Iraq, so why do we need to do anything? We have already “won”.

The reason we seem to need to do something is because two American journalists and a bunch of other folks have been brutally murdered by people with absolutely no respect for human life. Perhaps we ought to reconsider our model that also has shown no respect for human life. Over a dozen years of war, America has tortured humans, killed indiscriminately with drones and warplanes, and callously labeled dead men, women and children as “collateral damage.” The latest band of killers has learned from us and now joins the parade armed with weapons made in America.

Nothing will bring back the journalists, but nothing in their demise even remotely threatens the US homeland. If anything, it suggests that this newest collection of happy-go-lucky killers will eventually die at the hands of the next new collection of happy-go-lucky killers. We need not be a part of that. In fact, the more deeply the US engages, the more likely that ISIS/ISIL numbers will grow. In addition, when we engage, it is certain that the number of dead and wounded “collateral damage” will increase as our bombs drop from the sky on killers imbedded in population centers. It is further certain that our military and para-military forces will sink to new moral lows in trying to win the unwinnable without foot soldiers. So here we go again – another war, another mindless “authorization” from Congress, another set of unachievable objectives, and another round of US sponsored death and destruction that has the war machine smiling all the way to the bank.

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