Fear works, politically. Benjamin Netanyahu used fear to win an election in Israel in March, George W. Bush used fear to win two elections, and now many candidates in the US election campaign are trying to scare everybody again. When I told a radio host in a live, in-studio interview this week that ISIS is not a military threat to the US and should be handled with intelligence, not military force–his jaw dropped in amazement.
I’ve been saying that in my lectures here, too, explaining that the West has been using intelligence–both kinds–to deal with al-Qaida for a decade and a half. ISIS is a different fish, and the intelligence task might be harder because it’s not centralized–but that’s the way to do it. The only way.
Not too many other people are saying this, but I’m not crazy, and I’m not alone. Here’s an expert, writing in Foreign Policy, who says the US has nothing to be afraid of, really. This is the place to mention, without going into detail, that despite all the headline-making pronouncements about a crisis in Israel-US relations–on the military and intelligence front, they’ve never been closer. Same is true of Israel and Egypt, and Israel and other countries we won’t list here.
It’s time to look at the world rationally for a change. This applies to Israel, as well, though Israel is closer to the action and does not have the protection of two oceans. That said, it is clear to everyone that Israel can handle ISIS military threats–and Iranian threats, too. It’s especially clear to ISIS and Iran. So let’s all chill and get back to putting things in perspective.