Weekly Comments: Is it or is it not a war on ISIS?

#808 Sept.21, 2014

The Islamic State (ISIS) has declared war on us. They beheaded two Americans, but the President is still reluctant to say we are at war with them. He not only won’t call it a “War”, he won’t call them Islamic either. He promised we will not have “boots on the ground” in Iraq and Syria, so the 1600 soldiers already over there are required to wear sandals.

Obama promised voters in 2008 that he would end the war in Iraq and bring all our soldiers home. He does not want to reverse course and send them back, no matter what. Maybe we can persuade the “not-Islamic State” to move to another part of the world. If they were somewhere else, like in South Africa, or New Zealand, or even New Mexico, President Obama might feel different. He could fight ‘em not only with boots, but guns, bombs, and missiles.

I don’t blame Obama for not calling it a War. After all, President Johnson started the War on Poverty 50 years ago, and $22 trillion later, Poverty seems to be winning. We have 40 million receiving food stamps so they can eat, but a substantial number of those folks somehow find money to buy a car or two, a flat screen TV, computer, cell phone and other things that are more associated with luxury than poverty. What’s needed to reduce poverty is more jobs, and more people who would rather work than live on the dole.

Scotland held a vote on separating from Britain. We separated from Britain with a Revolution, but Scotland, being quite frugal, wanted to do it with a vote. Well, the vote failed. But England promised them the opportunity to set their own taxes. According to newspapers, the members of Parliament from Scotland are all Liberal and favor raising taxes. However, I think the old time Scotsman would prefer to keep their taxes low, but raise ‘em on England.

Have you heard of KAIROS? In church this morning the preacher told about this volunteer organization that arranges for a group of church members to visit a prison and talk with the inmates. The idea is that if a prisoner learns about Christian principles and the Ten Commandments he might reform and live a useful life when he gets out. The minister also added, “The ACLU opposes KAIROS activities.” That got me thinking; the ACLU also opposes religion in schools. Maybe if students learned some Christian principles in school, fewer of them would end up in prison.

Historic quote by Will Rogers:

“Scotsmen are the most liberal and hospitable people you ever saw. Grouse is Scotland’s principal export. You’ve got to rent a castle, then rent some drivers to drive the grouse by the castle. The grouse have been shot at so much they know just about who can hit ‘em and who can’t. It’s a racket, and the grouse and the Scotsman work together and the Americans and the Englishmen pay the bill.” DT #2535, Sept. 19, 1934

President Obama, ISIS and Lou Gehrig

The Number #1 problem on the desk of President Obama this week is ISIS (or ISIL or Islamic State). With September 11 this week, it gives us even more reason to fear a terrorist attack.

There are no easy choices for dealing with ISIS. In the Middle East a half dozen Muslim countries, including Saudi Arabia, Jordan and Iran hate ISIS. They have well equipped armies and abundant air power, so why don’t they wipe out those blood thirsty heathens? Other than the Kurds, I think these Muslim military men are chicken. They are nothing like our soldiers. The Iraqi soldiers who turned and ran in the face of the ISIS invasion are a prime example. Why would anyone in a perfectly good tank (provided by the US) climb out and run away when faced with a few guys with guns in a pickup truck?

So what is President Obama going to do about ISIS? If you asked the average American, the answer would likely be, “Kill ‘em.” But the President is less direct. He is reluctant to take the role of LEADER in this battle. He does not want to go to war, but somehow wants to reduce ISIS to a “manageable” problem. President Obama says he will announce his strategy for ISIS this week. Some are criticizing him because he won’t make the announcement in the Oval Office. I’m just thankful he’s not speaking from the 19th hole.

Back in 1940, you may remember that Franklin Roosevelt ran for his third term, mainly on the claim that he kept us out of war. We had a small military at the time. But when Japan attacked Pearl Harbor Dec. 7, 1941, FDR did not hesitate. He immediately became pro-war. The current situation makes you wonder: What if Obama had been president in 1941? Would we be speaking Japanese?

On a lighter note, the Ice Bucket Challenge is winding down. I would like to see just one more; there’s a famous statue on the campus of Texas Tech University, of Will Rogers astride his favorite horse. A bunch of  students could find a tall ladder and hoist an ice bucket high enough to douse him. Will wouldn’t mind because it’s in memory of one of his favorite baseball players. The folks with the research foundation for ALS, better known as Lou Gehrig disease, raised enough money to keep the research going for several years. I hope the donors are equally generous toward other diseases that destroy the lives of a hundred times as many people.

Historic quotes by Will Rogers: (on Lou Gehrig)

“If Pittsburgh walks Ruth and Gehrig every time, they can beat ‘em.” Oct. 2, 1927, DT #373

“The old radio pays for itself during the World Series.”   “Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig chased both (presidential) candidates and all their accomplices right off all the pages again today.”  Sept. 28 & 29, 1932  DT #1919 & 1920