Category Archives: War Commentary

How To Destroy A City

in five minutes:

Hotels are laying off workers. Shops are empty and many will have to be closed. The city is reeling with feelings of guilt and anxiety. Guilt because one of their own murdered guests, the gravest possible offense against the ancient Arab code of hospitality, and anxiety because—what now? How will the city survive? How will all the laid-off workers earn a living with their industry on its back? Sousse without tourists is like Hollywood without movies and Detroit without automobile manufacturing.

Even Tunisia’s agriculture economy is crashing. Prices are down by 35 percent because the resorts don’t need to feed tourists anymore.

Rezgui’s ghoulish attack was spectacularly successful, wasn’t it? A single act of violence and—boom. Just like that, it’s all over.

The lights continue to go out.

When You’ve Lost David Brooks

Even if he won’t admit it, he’s starting to realize what a fool he was in 2008, when he thought that pants creases were a good indicator of presidential material:

Wars, military or economic, are measured by whether you achieved your stated objectives. By this standard the U.S. and its allies lost the war against Iran, but we were able to negotiate terms that gave only our partial surrender, which forces Iran to at least delay its victory. There have now been three big U.S. strategic defeats over the past several decades: Vietnam, Iraq and now Iran.

And the latter two of those occurred on this president’s watch. In fact, they seem to have been his goal, right from his campaign in 2008.

Yazidi Child Soldiers

take revenge on ISIS:

Their support of youth participation in the YBŞ—especially for women and girls—is made all the more striking by the fact Yazidis in rural Sinjar are often part of traditional patriarchal families. So-called honor killings of Yazidi women believed to have shamed their families have even survived into the present. A gruesome video that drew headlines and condemnation in 2007 showed a 17-year-old Yazidi girl named Dua Khalil Aswad being stoned to death by her own people on suspicion she converted to Islam to elope with a Muslim.

But the PKK/YPG model preaches equality of the sexes, something gaining ground among the Yazidis rescued by the militias.

Vian, the teenage PKK commander and drill instructor, claims for her part that the threat to ISIS fighters they’ll be killed by women gives coed units a psychological edge. “We have heard ISIS is afraid of fighting women,” she says. “We think ISIS is saying ‘if not for women, we’d control all the world.’”

“They don’t want to be killed by us,” she adds smugly.

It’s appalling that they have to rely on groups like the PKK for help.