“Quarantine the aggressors!” That line out of Franklin Roosevelt’s famous speech signaling the beginning of his open road to war with the Axis powers was much criticized by anti-interventionists, who correctly saw that the President was trying to undermine the great principle of neutrality which had, thus far, kept us out of the European war. Yet there is one line out of that speech that, applied today, would advance the cause of peace and keep us out of the Middle Eastern quagmire in which we are already half-immersed, and which promises to drag us under in response to the Paris attacks carried out by ISIS.
“When an epidemic of physical disease starts to spread,” averred the President, “the community approves and joins in a quarantine of the patients in order to protect the health of the community against the spread of the disease.”
The Paris attacks have been the occasion for a renewed bout of warmongering by all the usual suspects: the neoconservatives, who take advantage of any pretext to begin the bloodletting; the liberal “humanitarian” interventionists, who—along with their neoconservative doppelgangers—have been agitating for U.S. military aid to the Syrian rebels in order to overthrow Syrian despot Bashar al-Assad; and now even the “cruise missile” commies, who have found a new foreign model state in the Kurds, who have apparently been converted to the anarchocommunism of Murray Bookchin via Abdullah Öcalan, their imprisoned terrorist leader.
The horror of the Paris attacks, like the September 11 attacks on New York City and the Pentagon, has unleashed an emotional torrent in which reason is repealed and the lessons of history are forgotten or ignored. Yet those lessons are still valid today, and they have taught us that intervention in the Middle East is worse than futile: It is deadly dangerous. One might as well descend into a snake pit filled to the brim with vipers.
The advocates of military action against ISIS fail to understand—or mention—that the “Caliphate” is the creation not only of its leading cadre but of the various Sunni states that have been intervening in Syria for years. The Saudis, the Kuwaitis, the Qataris, and other freelancing sheikhs throughout the Gulf have been financing these barbarians from the get-go. Add to that our own hapless would-be regime-changers in Washington, London, and Paris, whose aid to the Syrian head-choppers—all of them “moderates,” to be sure—has wound up in the pockets of ISIS and Al Qaeda. Entire platoons of these “moderates” have defected outright and placed themselves in the service of the Caliphate of Death that is rising in the Levant.
Turkey has been a major supporter of ISIS: Without the supply route transporting arms and other supplies across Turkish territory, ISIS would never have gotten its start. The Turkish military is implicated in aiding them initially, in order to create an Islamic counterweight to the Kurds—who, as far as Ankara is concerned, are the real threat.
All of these regional players are our “allies”—while our alleged enemies, the Russians and the Iranians, including the pro-Iranian Hezbollah, have been the only effective fighting forces opposing the Islamic State’s advance.
And so the answer to the problem of how to defeat ISIS becomes blazingly obvious: Cut off their funding sources among our faithless “allies.” Cut off relations with any state entity or private company that in any way aids the Caliphate of Death—that includes the Saudi Kingdom and the Gulf emirates. Kick the Turks out of NATO—and out of Europe, for good measure—if they don’t agree to close their border to the terrorists.
We don’t have to go in there, guns blazing, to destroy the Caliphate. Simply impose an embargo on the entire region, and the problem is solved. Send the whole barbarian horde to Coventry—isolate them, wall them off, and let them starve. We don’t need to drop a single bomb; just make sure not a single person gets out of the cage we have fashioned for them.
You may object that this is impractical—but it is less impractical than invading, occupying, and trying to civilize a land of barbarians who are still living in the 12th century. We tried that once before—remember?—and it led to nothing but disaster. Now let us try this “isolationist” strategy, which can hardly backfire in the way the invade-and-occupy scheme did.
We’ve gone past the point where we can simply leave them alone—my preferred course of inaction—simply because we’ve already stupidly aroused this hornets’ nest, and there is no going back and doing it over. And so the second-best plan is simply to contain them within their borders. In short, we must quarantine the barbarians: No one goes in, and no one goes out. Let them kill each other off, and let the world watch the slaughter from afar. That’s a lesson barbarians of every sort in every country are bound to pay attention to.