You know, to hear Republicans and many in the media tell it, one would think President Obama was just ignoring Daesh/ISIL and letting them get away with a lot of crap with impunity. In fact, given the media’s obsession with Donald Trump and the Zika virus, to the detriment of actual news reporting, you would think that nothing is happening at all in the Islamic State. Well, you’ll be happy to know, that would be a mistake.
For example, you know how the Republicans, led by Donald Trump, keep saying that we should go after their oil and their money? Well, that’s been happening. We have been going after their funds, big time. First, the coalition (you do realize that Obama actually built a coalition to fight Daesh, right? And that this coalition is a much larger and stronger coalition than the one Bush pretended to put together to fight Iraq?), led by U.S. Airmen, has been bombing the shit out of “cash distribution sites” for months, and estimates say they have so far destroyed more than $500 million in cash, although some U.S. officials have suggested that the $500 million figure might even be low. Again, when you tell your friends, remind them that much of this money is probably part of the $8.8 billion in cash the Bushies “lost” in Iraq when they invaded and then proceeded to not secure the country at all, thus creating Daesh/ISIL
That has caused a severe cash shortage for Daesh, to the point that they are asking the people living in Raqqa to pay their “taxes,” their utility bills and other charges in U.S. dollars. Not only that, but Daesh has also announced a 50 percent reduction in pay for its militants, as well as people working in any type of civil service for the so-called caliphate. Not only that, but they are releasing prisoners for a cool $500 a head. Keep in mind, this is a group that once bragged that they would soon create their own currency and that they had created a sovereign state. Now, they don’t have enough money to meet their expenses and they risk losing it all. They attracted “soldiers” to their side with good pay, as well as bonuses for getting married and having babies, as well as all of the energy drinks and candy bars they could consume. All of that is gone now, thanks to the focus not just on bombing shit, but on strapping them for cash. Which, again, the Republicans claim we weren’t doing.
Daesh has been losing ground in other ways. Late last year, the Iraqi government stopped paying government workers within Daesh-controlled territory, which Daesh was “taxing” at a rate of 20-50 percent, thus cutting off that source of income. (Perhaps Republicans could move over there and run; it would seem the people living under Daesh could use a tax cut.) Airstrikes are also believed to have destroyed a significant stockpile of gold and despite the Republicans’ claims to the contrary, the U.S. has been targeting oil production in the Daesh territory all along, including a concentrated series of airstrikes last October, “Operation Tidal Wave II” (note the “II”), in which they knocked a big hole in Daesh’s oil production capabilities. That, combined with the plummeting price of oil, is putting a serious crimp in Daesh’s ability to pay for anything. That would include weapons, which they can’t afford to replace when they’re destroyed in airstrikes. Demoralized soldiers, inability to re-arm and an increasingly unhappy people short-circuit a revolution of the type Daesh imagines.
The Republicans’ “solution” to the Daesh/ISIL problem is to “carpet bomb” them, which would take out millions of innocent people who are victims of Daesh. Not only that, but it would do more for terrorist recruitment than anything Daesh could ever pull off. Make no mistake; Obama and the other leaders in the coalition are doing the right thing and they are putting a dent in Daesh’s ability to force people to live under an authoritarian theocracy.
Slow and steady wins the race, as a certain rabbit once said. Obama is making progress, even though few in the media will acknowledge it. You know, because the Donald Trump freak show gets more ratings.