The United States Has To Lead … Former Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta thinks the United States has not provided strong enough leadership in the battle to defeat ISIS. "I think the U.S. has to lead in this effort because what we've learned a long time ago is that if the United States does not lead, nobody else will," Panetta told Chuck Todd on NBC's "Meet the Press." According to Panetta, many parties — Syrian President Bashar al Assad, Iran, Hezbollah, former Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki — deserve some of the blame for the rise of ISIS, so does the United States "by virtue of not getting involved sooner." – NBC
Dominant Social Theme: The terrorists are winning because the US is not fighting back.
Free-Market Analysis: NBC, like most of the mainstream media, is in full cry about how to defeat ISIS. Of course, it might be helpful to figure out where ISIS came from and how it got to be as formidable as it is (if indeed the acts attributed to it are true).
We made a stab in this direction by tracking the emergence of radical Islam back to Saudi Arabia and then pointing out that its Wahhabist roots have been cultivated at the behest of the US government and those that stand behind the US military-industrial complex.
There are other convincing articles (in other venues) that show the US and its intel operations helped create ISIS – just as the CIA apparently created Al Qaeda – to accomplish goals that US "leaders" deemed necessary. Al Qaeda was aimed at combating the USSR in Afghanistan. ISIS was aimed at removing the Assad regime.
But then there is "blowback." Somehow, whenever US intel creates an enemy, that enemy inevitably takes aim at the US, NATO and the West in general. Thus, one could argue that especially in this post-World War II era, the US is constantly creating its own enemies. It is all a mistake, we learn … too late.
Why doesn't US intel learn from its mistakes? Roosevelt empowered the Soviet Union by handing them Eastern Europe. The US for some reason covertly supported Mao and his Great March, which led to the takeover of China. US intel installed both Gaddafi and Hussein before supporting wars to remove them.
Al Qaeda and ISIS were supported (created) by the US before US officials – exercising better judgment – decided they were the enemy. To the best of our knowledge, no recriminations, formal or otherwise, are ever aimed at the US intel community.
The constant "blowback" has negative effects far beyond the regions where fighting is taking place. The blowback is also civil and involves the poisoning of the body politic via the suspension of civil rights and the further empowerment of the military-industrial complex.
Certainly, the Paris attacks, horrible as they were, are engendering a further rush toward formal military operations on a massive scale. Here's some more from an article based on yesterday's "Meet the Press."
The former defense secretary said the efforts overseas aren't coordinated: We need to set a Joint Command Center where all of these countries are together on their objectives. And secondly, we need to increase our effort there, we need to increase the tempo of our air strikes, we need to organize ground forces, particularly, the Sunnis and the Kurds and arm them so that they can take territory back from ISIS.
Panetta also said the US needs to increase Special Forces involvement and to invoke NATO's Article 5, which states that an attack on one NATO country is an attack on all. The obvious result of such actions would create a formidable Western coalition to support and expand the "war on terror."
Panetta's suggestions – while extreme – will seem appropriate to many given the huge amount of coverage the ISIS strikes on Paris have received. Sovereign Man's Simon Black has summarized this coverage quite well in a recent column that expressed the impact of the attacks and their coverage.
Lately when I talk to my friends around the world, I get the distinct sense that there's a dark cloud hanging in the air. I feel it particularly from those in North America and Europe. Terrorism is on everyone's mind.
All the headlines have to do with ISIS, who's been killed in police raids, new threats to cities like Washington D.C. and New York, etc. It goes without saying that this has led to a pretty serious level anxiety. And with good reason.
There's a laundry list of major problems in the world. Terrorism is an unfortunate reality. So are bankrupt governments, insolvent financial systems, underfunded pension programs, and giant police and surveillance states.
Simon Black goes beyond the terror that many are experiencing and reminds us there are reasons to feel optimistic. For instance, he writes about a program called Startup Chile, "where entrepreneurs from all over the world receive funding for their businesses and a community of other entrepreneurs to learn from."
This is not a theoretical program, as numerous successful companies have been created via the program. And Simon reminds us that while parts of the world seem to be sinking into degeneracy and terror, there are regional success stories, too. He mentions Colombia, for instance, "which used to be synonymous with violence, civil war, and chaos … [but] now Colombia is peaceful, blossoming, and prospering. There's so much opportunity … "
Simon's column is eloquent about how one can counteract the debilitating emotions that come from the "terror propaganda" of the mainstream media. While admitting that the system is "rigged against you," he points out there are plenty of solutions including controlling your own assets and generating your own resources.
More good advice: Don't stay in a place that is consumed by terror or flooded by reports of terror designed to raise anxiety. Either move or find a second residence that provides you and your family relief from the constant, alarmist news cycle.
These are the kinds of actions followed by sensible people throughout history, especially modern history. Governments are increasingly manipulative and controlling but there are many individuals and families that manage to survive and even thrive in the midst of an authoritarian epoch.
One needs to tread carefully and avoid overt confrontation, of course. But at the same time, even the most controlling of governments cannot – at this time anyway – effectively monitor each individual action. With some effort, one can certainly implement a plan to retain wealth and gain a maximum degree of "lifestyle insurance."
As Black points out, there are always entrepreneurial activities evolving that one might find appropriate from an investment standpoint. We often discuss the evolving cannabis industry that may provide unparalleled opportunities over the coming months and years.
Yes, terror and terrorism are increasingly "facts of life," but life is much larger than any single event or emotion, especially those prepared by others to ensnare you. Create your own far more advantageous and satisfying realities as best you can. We'll continue to tell you about ways to do so in The Daily Bell Newswire. If you haven't yet, subscribe today.