US should use ISIS as a proxy - New plan for Syria published in New York Times

Bryan MacDonald
Bryan MacDonald is an Irish journalist, who is based in Russia
US should use ISIS as a proxy - New plan for Syria published in New York Times
Thomas Friedman appears to become aroused by the prospect of war. It’d be more appropriate for The New York Times to let him manage this affliction from the safety of his private space than on the pages of the newspaper.

Especially when the Pulitzer Prize winner is calling for America to effectively ally itself with ISIS in Syria.

The definition of a “chicken hawk” is relatively straightforward. It’s a person “who strongly supports war or other military action, yet who actively avoids or avoided military service when of age.” And, according to Wikipedia, “generally the implication is that chicken hawks lack the moral character to participate in war themselves, preferring to ask others to support, fight and perhaps die in an armed conflict.

For years, many Europeans have been equally fascinated and appalled by how the American media is jam-packed with these jokers. Because in a country where the military is so omnipresent, you’d imagine it’d be easy to find people from an armed forces background to comment on conflict? After all, they are the experts. And I’d certainly take them more seriously than some dweeb, who’d probably be afraid of his own shadow, fighting from the safety of a Macbook Pro.

That said, every soldier I have ever met has always hated war. Now, this isn't to say there aren’t military men who love and embrace combat. It’s just I’ve never encountered them. Maybe it’s because they are the ones who don’t last too long on the battlefield? Who knows? However, on the Russia beat, I'm subjected to the ramblings of chicken hawks on a daily basis, and I think I’m reasonably qualified to rank them when it comes to turpitude, immorality, depravity and downright baseness. Let’s call it the ‘iniquity index,’ for want of a better term.

Some are clearly doing it for money because the war business rewards its supporters and there are valuable ‘fellowships’ to be had. Others for the notoriety, as it seems the easiest way to fast track your frown onto CNN or Fox these days. And here’s the sinister, ominous and black-hearted part; a significant amount of chicken hawks do it because they seem to get off on war. Watching it, not participating in it, of course. Like Apocalypse Now’s Lieutenant Colonel Kilgore without the inconvenience of actual napalm in the morning.

The Milksop's Lair

One of the worst offenders is Friedman. A poltroon I first suffered during the 1999 NATO assault on Yugoslavia. 

Back then, he wrote "Like it or not; we are at war with the Serbian nation… every week you ravage Kosovo is another decade we will set your country back by pulverizing you. You want 1950? We can do 1950. You want 1389? We can do 1389 too.”

Tough words, verging on the sadistic, from a man I imagined must be as hard as nails. Until I saw him on CNN where he seemed more double chin than chiseled jaw.

Living in Europe, I didn’t have to endure the chump for another four years. When he reappeared as a leading cheerleader for George Bush and Tony Blair’s illegal invasion of Iraq. He described the transgression as “one of the noblest things this country has ever attempted abroad.” And that was when he wasn’t mocking France for having the temerity to oppose the bloodlust. “Vote France Off The Island,” was his rejoinder.

Now he’s back beating the drums of war. This time in Syria. His proposal is so frightfully fetid and poisonously putrid that it’s best described as inscribed anthrax. Because Friedman has taken to the pages of The New York Times to propose how America should essentially manipulate ISIS to do its bidding by proxy.  Yes, the same ISIS which is trying to return the Middle East to a time around 1389, in a strange symbiosis with his prescription for the Serbs. “In Syria, Trump should let ISIS be Assad’s, Iran’s, Hezbollah’s and Russia’s headache — the same way we encouraged the mujahideen fighters to bleed Russia in Afghanistan,” he writes. 

Sure to rebound

Nevermind how that policy eventually led to the 9/11 attacks on New York, this morose and wicked diatribe also glosses over a sect which has committed genocide and keeps Yazidi women as sex slaves. Not to mention other policies, such as flinging alleged homosexuals off rooftops, destroying world heritage sites and mutilating mothers for breastfeeding in public. And, of course, the brutal beheadings of US citizens like James Foley and Peter Kassig.

Friedman’s suggestion is unhinged and frankly psychotic. But the real transgressor here is The New York Times, which is adding its imprimatur to the ravings of a clearly unwell writer. And further diluting its once-respectable brand in the process. Although the falsehoods it published in support of the Iraq War have already probably done irreversible damage in that regard.

The moral compass is wildly askew here. For instance, “we could simply back off fighting territorial ISIS in Syria and make it entirely a problem for Iran, Russia, Hezbollah, and Assad. After all, they’re the ones overextended in Syria, not us,” Friedman claims. “Make them fight a two-front war — the moderate rebels on one side and ISIS on the other. If we defeat territorial ISIS in Syria now, we will only reduce the pressure on Assad, Iran, Russia and Hezbollah and enable them to devote all their resources to crushing the last moderate rebels in Idlib, not sharing power with them.

As Seth Frantzman of the Jerusalem Post has correctly pointed out, this is “tantamount to saying that the US should have reduced pressure on the Nazis to keep the Soviets bleeding” back in the 1940’s. And it’s unlikely that sort of pitch would impress the Times’ editors. For reasons one hopes are obvious.

P.S. In Friedman's defense, ORB International (an American research firm) revealed in 2015 how 85 percent of Iraqis and 82 percent of Syrians believe the US created ISIS. With The New York Times publishing columns like this, it's no wonder. 

The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of RT.