Saturday, August 30, 2014

US discredits Judicial Watch claim that ISIS is preparing attack from Mexico; more on why young men fight this way -- recall the Vietnam draft

The El Paso Times says that US officials reject a claim by Judicial Watch that terrorists associated with ISIS are already present in Jaurez, Mexico, across from El Paso.  The EPT story is here.  The Judicial Watch link is here. It's pretty obvious that enemies of the US could try to exploit the child migrant crisis. 
Various other conservative news sites, including the Washington Times and Fox, repeated the story Saturday morning (with a degree of sensationalism, by email, with cheesy ads on the site in the case of TWT), but mainstream sites tended to ignore it.
Some British sites have been warning that ISIS behavior is a kind of psychopathy that is common in history and not necessarily explained by western values.  James Bloodworth writes “Tomorrow, the West” on Aug. 20, here.   Radical Islamists see a failure of people to comply with the demands of Islam as a crime against future generations, keeping them from paradise. This is not the same idea as the more obvious "commie" claim that westerners are spoiled, aloof cowards and have it coming to them as payback (Maoism).  It's more that the existence of a secular western civilization at all threatens paradise for them.  In this view, it's not personal.  I might well disagree with this assessment a bit. 
John Kerry and John McCain (with Lindsey Graham) both have op-eds on ISIS in the New York Times Saturday. Kerry’s is here. ISIS must be confronted and defeated militarily, the GOP says. 
Yesterday, I opined on why young men are duped into going overseas to fight “somebody else’s war”.  Later, I wondered if one could draw a parallel to the idea in the 1960s, promoted by our own government during the LBJ days, that young men were obligated to serve on the ground (in Vietnam) to protect “women and children” abroad.  That turned out to be a highly questionable idea – the whole draft experience, with student deferments and combat-free MOS assignments that I played to my own advantage (and sending others to the draft when I was a college math teacher).  But, of course, nobody I a western government seriously encourages joining another country’s or group’s Army. 
We can wonder why so many young men joining ISIS come from France, and why 16% of polled public opinion in France supports ISIS. Oh, yesterday was even "cheerier" as Vladimir Putin reminded everyone that Russia is a nuclear power.   

Update: Sept. 2

Zack Beauchamp has a story of moderation on the risk in the West on Vox, here.

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