While Bill Maher's New Rules was a distraction and an unnecessary attack on both Islam and Christianity, he likely had one of the most sensible and substantive discussions on ISIS earlier on. Specifically discussed was whether America is aggressively addressing the proper threat.
Real Time with Bill Maher most substantive discussion on US reaction to ISIS / ISIL
Bill Maher had John Feehery, Right Wing Republican & President of Quinn Gillespie Communications, General Anthony Zinni, and Charles M. Blow, New York Times columnist on his show Real Time With Bill Maher. It provided a multi-angled discussion from a satirist, a war monger, a general, and a pragmatist. True to form the ultimate consensus was not difficult to discern.
When Bill Maher asked if Americans are not always scared of the wrong thing, the ultimate answer was clear. He previously presented the threat Ebola had on the world based on the President and others’ statements. General Anthony Zinni ultimately agreed and said that while ISIS / ISIL was in fact a problem, Ebola was an existential threat for us all.
“I would say Ebola is the greater global threat. ISIS certainly is a regional threat,” said Anthony Zinni. “I think its tentacles can reach out and create problems in our country and others. It is not an existential threat. Ebola can become an existential threat on a global level.”
Bill Maher then questioned why Americans are always obsessed with the latest version of Islamic terrorism as it is likely to be with us for the foreseeable future. Charles M. Blow had the most sensible response.
“That is what worries me the most,” Charles M. Blow said. “How do you fight an idea? It is called the Islamic State but it is not really state. It’s an idea and that idea will always be there. There will always be anti-Americanism. We can degrade for sure. But this idea of degrade and destroy … how do you destroy an idea?”
Bill Maher read some quotes from our intelligence experts who repeated what many have been stating. The threat to America proper is no different than it has been. The statement of massive Americans signing up with ISIS / ISIL was also overblown and overestimated.
Right Wing Republican John Feehery was true to form. He tried to dispute Bill Maher pointing out that military engagement in a ‘safe haven’ over there does not guarantee safety over here.
“We have to keep these guys on the run,” John Feehery said. “That makes us safer.”
Charles M. Blow retorted that that is a never ending prospect. In other words it is futile. The following Bill Maher statement is the one Americans should key in on. Our actions are not making us safer.
“Why if they have a country of their own does it affect a squad of five or ten or at most twenty people as in 9/11 from attacking us. It really doesn’t,” Bill Maher said. “The people of America kind of get this because this is interesting. Forty seven percent of people say we are less safe than we were after 9/11 but they are for this bombing. So they are basically saying, ‘Let’s try the thing that made us less safe again.”
Is it then our fault that we allowed ourselves to be conned into another war? Americans need to be more pragmatic in our thinking and stop allowing others to encourage us to shoot from the hip.