Monday, November 16, 2015

Romney brings up old chestnut in talking about Syrian refugee crisis after attacks last week

The GOP presidential nominee in 2012 and former governor of Massachusetts, Mitt Romney (generally fairly moderate, whatever his own LDS religious background) has a strongly worded op-ed in the Washington Post Monday, November 16, 2015, “Obama must wage war on the Islamic state, not merely harass it,” link here.
All of this is being said while there is strong evidence but not necessarily absolute proof of ISIS’s backing of the Russian plane crash in Egypt, an attack in Beirut Thursday (almost unnoticed, although a little-known but hard-hitting documentary film about Beirut had been shown in NYC the previous Sunday) and then the nihilist carnage (in the style of James Holmes in Colorado in 2012) in Paris Friday.  It’s just possible that it could have been plotted by other elements (closer, say, to Yemen).  But it won’t be long before French and Belgian police (and Russians, and US intelligence) have all the proof sorted out. It seems as if the whole world is the enemy of ISIS.  An Atlantic article in February (2015/2/15 here) had suggested that the group wants to throw the entire world back to the 7th Century so that the end of times comes.  It’s an odd “schizotypal” belief, that seems a stretch to draw out of any scriptures (and make no sense to modern science, where it can sometimes join with religion).  Religious faith is important, but it is personal.  It’s hard to see people believing things just because those in authority told them to.  But that’s world history.

France has “gone in” in the past 24 hours, and the US and allies had been conducting raids already. But the president may have courted disaster when saying that somehow ISIS was contained – in its “home park” so to speak, but not on the road.  I do think that the media outlets should refrain from playing the threatening video reported (as by Reuters and WJLA) to have surfaced (and probably available for someone who wants to hunt for it).  The obligations of all other NATO countries were mentioned here yesterday. They could affect average citizens in many western places besides France.

Gov. Romney says that western countries, at least the US, should not take in young single male Syrian refugees at all.  He might be willing to screen the elderly, women and children (married men with families, he leaves that unclear).  But to me this is noteworthy, because Romney seems to fall back to the idea that we inherit obligations to others merely by biological gender whether we like it or not.  This country still requires young men (18-25) to register for Selective Service, but not women.  In the early 1960s, President Kennedy wanted to exempt married men and then fathers from the draft, but that got pared down to the socially divisive student deferments, that I could take advantage of in the 1960s.

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