At what point then is the approach of danger to be expected?
I answer, if it ever reach us, it must spring up amongst us.
It cannot come from abroad. If destruction be our lot,
we must ourselves be its author and finisher.
-- Abraham Lincoln, Lyceum Address --
If you are an American civilian, here are seven men who are so famous you never heard of them:
Ambrose Burnside, George B. McClellan, John Pope, Joe Hooker, Franz Sigal, John C. Fremont and William Rosecrans.
I said civilian because, without exception, every American military officer knows who they were.
To test our claim, go ahead -- mention the names of The Unmagnificent Seven to the seven members of Obama´s Joint Chiefs of Staff.
Watch them shiver, gulp.
* * *
President Obama is to be congratulated for acknowledging the obvious:
The entire U.S. intelligence apparatus "underestimated" ISIS, "overestimated" the Iraqi army, and was totally overtaken by events in Iraq and Syria.
If he were president today, what would Abraham Lincoln do about such unconscionable ineptitude?
Unconscionable is no exaggeration. Wherever ISIS has seized control, thousands of men, women and children have been murdered, butchered, raped, enslaved. ISIS is one of the most outrageous and well-documented perpetrators of genocide on record. Even more outrageous: none of it had to happen.
The blood on ISIS´ hands is on your hands too, John Brennan -- every drop. The spread of ISIS happened under your watch as CIA Director starting March 8, 2013.
Brennan, this isn´t the first time you underestimated terrorists. You got it wrong in 2010, when you were Homeland Security Advisor, in the Yemen airliner plot involving Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, the underwear bomber (see our post of February 11, 2011, "Terrorists: Why?")
General George B. McClellan, featured at the top of this blog, had the same inability to size up enemies correctly. Result: he lost the initiative. President Lincoln said of McClellan: "If he can't fight himself, he excels in making others ready to fight." That is exactly what is happening in Iraq and Syria this moment.
I bet you, dear reader, have an inkling of what the Lincoln solution is...
John Brennan, you are a self-acknowledged liar. In March of 2014, when your agency was accused of spying on the Senate, you said "nothing could be further from the truth." Four months later, you admitted CIA spying had occurred, and you apologized. You went on to tell Senator Feinstein, head of the Senate Intelligence Committee: “If I did something wrong, I will go to the president and I will explain to him exactly what I did, what the findings were, and he is the one who can ask me to stay or to go.”
Brave words, Brennan: you arrogate for yourself, the CIA Director, the power to define the president´s duties and powers. He can ask you to stay or go; thanks for telling him and us what the president´s options are.
You seem to be equally confused on three other points:
(i) A real chief executive doesn´t ask; he tells. Here again, you simply can´t resist trying to inform the president what he can do. (ii) You will explain to the president what the findings are? Sorry, but the president can and probably will have his own findings. Your findings are not the findings; they are your findings. Everybody else, for that matter, is entitled to have their own findings which differ from yours. Ours, for example. (iii) Regarding your words the one: you imply that nobody but the president can ask you to go. In reality, anybody -- including Senator Feinstein -- can ask you to go, as we shall demonstrate.
I will go to the president... You´re a tough guy, John Brennan; a real stand-up man.
Or are you?
You knew perfectly well that Obama doesn´t have a single executive bone in his entire body -- that he wasn´t going to ask you to go. To stay either. That is why we call upon you now, John Brennan, while your ISIS failure is on the front burner and boiling over, to not wait on Obama and to take the initiative and thereby distinguish yourself from The Unmagnificent Seven.
Initiative is indeed the problem...
If I did something wrong. It seems, John Brennan, you normally go your merry way doing things that are wrong and let others determine the consequences of your acts and decide your destiny. I am not responsible: you said it in a polite but puerile, self-absorbed way. In the process, you made a contribution to Western civilization; you gave the Merriam Webster Dictionary an unsurpassed illustration of cop out.
Time to grow up. Be an adult and take responsibility for your actions. Stop knocking things over and waiting for Daddy to punish you. Brennan spent 25 years working for the CIA. Now you know why, dear reader, we refer on occasion to the boys and girls of the CIA. Some of you wrote to ask if I was merely being facetious.
John Brennan, there is only one way left for you to demonstrate you have one drop of personal integrity:
Do the right thing. Resign immediately, unconditionally. Ditto all your upper echelon CIA cronies, notably your deputy Avril Haines, former indie-bookstore owner who hosted "erotica nights" -- everyone who played a role in the incredible, total, ISIS intelligence failure.
Mr. stand-up man, it´s time to stand down.
One issue remains unresolved, John Brennan, and it´s a big one. In the ISIS fiasco are you guilty of criminal negligence? Somebody may get curious and want to find out, put together a class action lawsuit of hundreds of ISIS victims and their relatives, and haul you before the International Court of Justice. You might want to move quickly on that fishing trip with the grandkids to your upscale cottage on a lake somewhere; when the Court´s ruling comes down, you may have to unload the whole kit and caboodle. Yep, the boat too.
Whatever you do, dear reader, do not hold your breath waiting for John Brennan and friends to resign. Which brings us to two alternative remedies:
(i) The Abraham Lincoln solution. The Unmagnificent Seven were Civil War generals fired by President Lincoln. Only by jettisoning them one at a time and continuing down the line did he eventually find Ulysses S. Grant who got the job done.
Brennan should thank god that Lincoln is not president today. Lincoln would have fired him on June 10, 2014, the day ISIS seized Mosul, Iran´s second largest city. Mosul was where Brennan met his Battle of Chickamauga, Battle of Chancellorsville, Mud March, Battle of New Market and Peninsula Campaign rolled into one. Yet, Obama kept Brennan aboard.
I would like to believe that getting rid of Brennan and clearing out the upper ranks of the CIA would solve the agency´s crisis of competence, but it don´t. There is no indication anywhere that the new boys and girls who would replace the old boys and girls would perform better.
Any system is characterized by its rewards and punishments. We already know what will be Obama´s punishment of the CIA for the ISIS debacle: the CIA´s funding will be increased. As long as that post-Lincoln, D.C.-patented system of punishment = reward is in place, firing individuals won´t solve the CIA´s competence crisis.
What a real chief executive would do of course is exactly the opposite of what Obama will do. To wit:
(ii) Saw off 10% of the CIA´s budget. Degrease the mammoth. In a matter of hours the agency will come back where it belongs: under civilian control.
The Secret Service, another agency packed to the gills with top security-cleared kids, belongs in a Public Administration 101 textbook as an example of what happens when gross incompetence is tolerated, much less rewarded.
Remember the 2012 Cartagena Affair involving 13 Secret Service agents? Walking, talking mixed metaphors, what they did can only be described as a mixed metaphor: they got caught with their pants in the cookie jar.
The upshot? President Obama bent over backwards apologizing for the Secret Service. Its director Mark Sullivan was allowed to keep his job and genteelly slipped into retirement in 2013. Only a handful of underlings were axed.
It took two years for Obama´s slap on the wrist to bear fruit:
Last month an intruder armed with a knife was able to penetrate deep inside the White House. The Secret Service officer who tackled him was, appropriately enough, off duty. Fortunately Obama wasn´t home, which could be all that saved him from the proverbial stab in the back. You can be sure ISIS and al-Qaeda were watching.
Last week´s resignation of Secret Service Director Julia Pierson could be a step in the right direction. Could be, because in order for it to qualify as a first step, similar steps must follow. One firing does not an Abraham Lincoln solution make.
To sum up:
Abraham Lincoln was the first name that flew out of Obama´s mouth when asked whom he admired most. So much for what Obama said. As for what Obama did regarding the incredible, total, ISIS intelligence failure of the CIA, never was heard a discouraging word to those responsible.
No need to ask what Abraham Lincoln would do.
* * *
I fired [General Douglas MacArthur] because he wouldn't respect
the authority of the President. That's the answer to that. I didn't fire him
because he was a dumb son of a bitch, although he was, but that's not
against the laws for generals. If it was, half to three-quarters of them
would be in jail. That's why when a good one comes along like
General [George] Marshall, why you've got to hang onto them, and I did....
-- Ex-President Harry Truman, Plain Speaking --
The CIA is not the only party at fault for the spread of ISIS.
Keep in mind that ISIS´s meteoric success would have been impossible without the Iraqi army´s meteoric failure. ISIS spotted rats climbing aboard a sinking ship and lunged.
The steady stream of comments about the amazing ISIS "surprise" from U.S. military and intelligence personnel shows they lacked insight, foresight, and now hindsight. (Update, October 13. Leon Panetta, head of the CIA 2009-2011 and Defense Department 2011-2013, is a case study in on-going naivety. For a recent interview on ISIS in which he proves to be an erstwhile practitioner of The Blivet Trick, i.e., tries to shove 10 pounds of horse shit into a five pound bag, click here.)
The CIA, NSA, FBI, State Department, and Pentagon need to stop watching superhero movies and read real books. Start with Machiavelli´s The Prince, and his reflections on mercenary armies. The main one is cited in our prior post.
We come to the key question. If ISIS rose because the Iraqi army fell, who erected the Iraqi army?
Answer: the Pentagon. For those interested in pursuing this topic, a foundation article is here. You will notice immediately that time after time, the U.S. officers in charge of Iraq -- including Panetta -- blame Iraqi Prime Minister Maliki. Sorry, gentlemen: he was your boy. You put Maliki in; you took him out. You are responsible for every breath he took. John Brennan is not the only one who needs to grow up.
Something else is manifest in the foundation article. The U.S. military and advisor confessions and admissions of errors are weak/weaker/weakest. Their libido is flying at half-mast. The short list of personalities: Derek Harvey, Lt. Gen. James Dubik, Rick Brennan, Lt. Gen. Michael Barbero, Col. Douglas Ollivant. No, I didn´t forget David Petraeus. Him again.
Iraq is by far not the only U.S. military administration failure. The inefficacy of U.S. military occupations and their administrations of nations is long-standing and well-documented. Latin America -- Cuba was occupied more than once -- provides particularly poignant examples.
More Ulysses S. Grants and George Marshalls are out there. The trick is to find them. With only two years left in office, Obama has neither the time nor inclination to apply the Lincoln solution; hence the appearance of such men awaits a new administration.
In allocating blame for the Iraqi army disintegration, Abraham Lincoln would not pass over the seven Joint Chiefs of Staff. He wouldn´t let them get away with what they are doing now -- produce the 2014 sequel to The Unmagnificent Seven: crawdad under a rock.
* * *
I wish U.S. intelligence ignorance about terrorists was limited to the shocking ISIS conquest.
Clumsy and naive CIA and FBI agents are found around the world. As for British Intelligence (SIS), it may be getting sucked into the D.C. ignorance vortex.
Case in point: Jihadi John, the masked terrorist who appeared in the ISIS beheading videos of James Foley, Steven Sotfloff, David Haines, and, a few days ago, Alan Henning.
Let´s go back to August 24. British Ambassador to the United States Peter Westmacott declared his government was on the verge of identifying Jihadi John: "We´re not far away from that."
Really? Let´s see.
Talk about action -- the very same day, a Sunday Times (London) headline trumpeted "Beheader Jihadi John Identified." Gotcha -- Abdel-Majed Abdel Bary, a 23-year-old rapper. Or so "senior government sources" led us to believe. Or did they? If you read the article you will see Abdel Bary was only a "key suspect," thus, no real positive ID had been made. The headline lied.
From there the stumbling and fumbling went from bad to worse.
It turns out the "very sophisticated voice recognition technology" Westmacott touted was sophisticated in its root sense -- not knowledgeable or experienced in the ways of the world, but as in sophistry, i.e., arguments that sound right but are wrong. For starters, Abdel Bary was the wrong guy.
Back to square one.
Two weeks later, on September 8, we were informed that American and British authorities were going to reveal Jihadi John´s identity within days. Prosperity is just around the corner.
Ready; set; ... no go. A mysterious silence fell. All quiet on the western front. On the eastern front too, for that matter.
When the silence broke a week later, things got curiouser and curiouser:
On September 16 a report claimed that SIS knew Jihadi John´s identity. No problem -- he had "worked as a street collector for Arab charities around London" before he went to Syria a year ago. SIS had covered Jihadi John but considered him a low risk.
On September 25, fully a month after the Westmacott statement, we got lights, camera,...action? FBI chief James Comey stepped up to the microphone and announced his agency had identified Jihadi John, but for undisclosed reasons would not publicly disclose his name.
Comey refused to say if the FBI had shared Jihadi John´s identity with the SIS. We doubt it, for the following reason:
Only two days before Comey¨s announcement, the British Foreign Secretary Peter Hammond literally warmed up Westmacott´s month-old statement, viz., his government was "getting warm" on Jihadi John´s identity. We couple Hammond´s statement with Comey´s announcement that the FBI had established Jihadi John´s identity with the help of unidentified international partners, and...wait a second...All this doesn´t add up.
Is the FBI lying -- in truth has it failed to identify Jihadi John and Comey´s announcement is meant to detour the press and public away from asking about him? Or is the FBI telling the truth -- in which case it didn´t share the identity with its British partner who admitted it was only "warmer"?
The disturbing possibilities don´t end there. Are the British lying? Did the FBI in fact share the identity with them? Or have the British known from the start who Jihadi John is but did not share it with the FBI? Or are the British telling the truth -- they are only "warmer" because they were left out in the cold by the FBI?
Which box do you want to check?
We don´t and won´t participate in the guessing game, for reasons given below.
Whatever the truth may be, the FBI and SIS have a gargantuan public relations problem. Their conflicting, ever-changing stories about Jihadi John raise more questions than they answer. Doubts, too -- and there´s the rub.
The CIA crisis in competence is rapidly metamorphosing into a public confidence crisis. The latter crisis in the long run will prove to be far more destructive:
Hanna Arendt in The Origins of Totalitarianism discussed how totalitarian movements like ISIS don´t stand a chance of taking power unless the general public is first convinced that its rulers are fools, tools, and, worst of all, hypocrites. ISIS´ trademark of extreme violence is both cause and effect of that convincing process.
Here is how Arendt connected the dots (note: given her context, I would qualify her term bourgeoisie with Occidental):
"Since the bourgeoisie claimed to be the guardian of Western traditions and confounded all moral issues by parading publicly virtues which it not only did not possess in private and business life, but actually held in contempt, it seemed revolutionary to admit cruelty, disregard of human values, and general amorality, because this at least destroyed the duplicity upon which the existing society seemed to rest. What a temptation to flaunt extreme attitudes in the hypocritical twilight of double moral standards, to wear publicly the mask of cruelty if everybody was patently inconsiderate and pretended to be gentle, to parade wickedness in a world, not of wickedness, but of meanness!" (p. 335)
The unseen agent in Arendt´s analysis: the middle class rebel.* He is the one who combats ruling class duplicity by flaunting extremist attitudes; it is one of his defining characteristics. And, he is in charge of ISIS. For more on extreme violence in the rebel´s cult of contradictions, see The Source of Terrorism: Middle Class Rebellion.
FBI and SIS, you can call it what you will, it still remains the same. Neither of you has identified publicly Jihadi John. Until you do, coming on the heels of the CIA´s incredible, total, ISIS intelligence failure, the public will increasingly suspect that you have failed to identify Jihadi John; that you are not even close to identifying him; that you are incompetent; that you are lying. (Update, October 8. Today, the FBI appealed to the general public to help it identify an American ISIS fighter shown in an ISIS video. FBI, are you lost? Obviously, your "sophisticated" voice and vein recognition programs failed to identify the American jihadist. Why should anybody doubt the result was any different regarding Jihadi John?) Doubts, more doubts...
SIS, if you are stuck, our prior posts presented a simple operation for identifying terrorists. It has nothing to do with megabucks CIA and FBI voice and vein recognition software; with their whiz-bang satellites circling the globe; with -- in a word -- wonderful time-wasters.
We noted two likely socio-economic locations for Jihadi John:
(I) He is middle class. In that case, SIS, get a telephone book. Start with engineering schools: locate professors, students and alumni. Work down through doctors, teachers, lawyers, accountants, technicians. Jihadi John will be conspicuous by his absence.
(ii) He is a lumpenproletariat -- panhandlers and pimps, drug dealers and muggers, welfare cheats, street gang members. In that case, Jihadi John may be even more readily identified.
I lived in London near the Marble Arch, around the corner from Edgware Road, the Arab sector. SIS, a few days of interviews with bartenders and waiters will turn up more leads than you can shake a stick at.
The middle class rebel leadership of ISIS is keenly sensitive to symbols. Despair, love, anger, hope, guilt, hatred: symbols are a prime activator and mobilizer of unconscious emotions that quickly overwhelm reason (for more on this subject, see The Source of Terrorism: Middle Class Rebellion, pp. 291-6, "Obsession with Symbols"). Symbolic importance is why this very moment ISIS is spending enormous resources to capture Kobane, a town on Syria´s border with Turkey. (Update: October 12. ISIS is rushing in reinforcements). If ISIS succeeds despite being bombarded by America´s best, the efficacy of the entire aerial campaign of America will be thrown into question. New doubts will spring phoenix-like from old ones.
Jihadi John is extremely important not for rational reasons but symbolically. As for rationality: contrary to what the Western mainstream press is claiming, there is no proof anywhere Jihadi John killed anybody. Basically, by his virtual, symbolic presence he poses a totally non-virtual problem: if British and American intelligence are incapable of identifying him, what else are they incapable of doing? Add that to the possible fall of Kobane, and what do we have?
Doubts on top of doubts on top of doubts.
Arendt got it right. So did ISIS. CIA, NSA, FBI, State Department, SIS: you are caught in the incompetence/unconfidence vice. It is closing on you from both sides.
* * *
From the very beginning, the correct and professional thing for FBI Director James Comey to say about Jihadi John was simply "No comment." Hypothesis: he did not do so because he has an ulterior motive.
Comey is playing the same old tired but true game of seasoned bureaucrats everywhere: in a situation of ambiguity, he who is in a POSITION to know has the power. By its own "warm" admission, not SIS but Comey occupies that position.
Comey refuses to identify Jihadi John because to do so would end the ambiguity swirling around him and hence diminish Comey´s power. For the same reason, Comey does not confirm or deny any of the contradictory media reports about Jihadi John. Comey sits back and lets them rage because they fuel the uncertainty he seeks -- indeed, secretly nourishes.
Here is what is so tragic about Comey´s concentration on his own bureau-pathic self-interest:
In the 1960´s, body counts in the Vietnam War were published almost daily. Accurate? Inflated? Underestimated? How high is high? How low is low? Through it all, one thing was perfectly clear: the meaning of the counts was perfectly unclear. As president of the United States, Lyndon Johnson was in the POSITION to know the truth and clear things up. He never did so; instead, he let ambiguity reign, thereby enhancing his power.
What the clever fellow generated while looking out for Number One was a crisis in public confidence** -- and America´s defeat in Vietnam.
Whither James Comey? Under Obama, nowhere, I suspect. By contrast, we know what Obama´s most admired man did to little Napoleons.
* * *
Il nous faut de l'audace, et encore de l'audace,
et toujours de l'audace!
("We need audacity, and yet more audacity,
and always audacity!")
-- Georges Danton --
Close. Warmer: SIS, what explains your hesitancy in identifying Jihadi John?
I suspect you looked around at your CIA and FBI colleagues, threw up your hands, and concluded that in the land of the blind the one-eyed man had better keep his mouth shut.
When it comes to ISIS, however, with thousands of people being slaughtered, truth and necessity coincide.
Britain, don´t get blindsided in the Jihadi John affair; don´t get sucked into the D.C. incompetence vortex. Washington desperately needs the Lincoln solution plus structural reforms to stop the approach of danger from within. If ultimately only Americans can be the author and finisher of their destruction, the same applies to their salvation.
That is not to say the United Kingdom can do nothing -- on the contrary. Regarding Comey and his refusal to identify publicly Jihadi John, the SIS can decide not to follow the disastrous lack of initiative that characterized The Unmagnificent Seven, and instead take the advice of boxing coaches with sixth grade educations:
Don´t wait on him. Get off first.
UPDATE: October 14.
Turkey is being severely criticized for standing with arms folded as ISIS relentlessly lays siege to the Syrian city of Kobane within shouting distance of the Turkish border. U.S. officials are reportedly frustrated with Turkey´s "dragging its feet."
How could the Turks stand by and let Kobane suffer, perhaps fall and its occupants be massacred, all literally under their nose?
There is a simple but dismaying answer.
The Turkish Government´s position is that they should not be expected to do what Washington refuses to do: send ground troops against ISIS. As long as the U.S. refuses to commit its own ground troops, it has no right morally or strategically to ask others to do so. Not only military generals but 65% of Americans think U.S. ground troops will be necessary to fight ISIS.
To be clear: the Turks say they will agree to whatever the U.S.-led coalition decides. Thus, Turkey will send in ground troops if other coalition members do the same. Conclusion: those who want Turkey to intervene in Kobane must change the coalition´s policy. Here it becomes obvious that by refusing to deploy American ground troops, Obama was fallen into a trap of his own making.
We argued previously for a world war against ISIS. Our post of September 25:
"We will say it again: to defeat ISIS a truly global coalition is necessary.
The Syrian government, as well as the Iranian government, should be included in that coalition. Cuba, Nigeria, Vietnam, North Korea, Venezuela, South Africa, Mongolia, Russia, China -- all nations and people should be invited to join. [As Winston Churchill said the day Nazi Germany invaded Russia] ´Any man or State who fights against Nazism will have our aid. Any man or State who marches with Hitler is our foe.´
What would happen AFTER that truly global coalition destroyed ISIS is a page of history to be turned at the appropriate time, not sooner.
As for Syrian rebels:
In building a Churchillian World Against ISIS coalition, there would be no need to ask if a given rebel individual or group is extremist or moderate, Sunni or Shia, pro or anti-West, Muslim or Christian or atheist, liberal or conservative, gay or straight. For such a coalition only one thing matters: are they allies of ISIS? Agents and tools of ISIS? Quislings?
Those allegiance questions can only be reasonably and justly posed, however, against the backdrop of a real global coalition. Anything less -- which is exactly what Washington is forming -- ipso facto leaves basic thresholds blurred, fluid. To wit:
Because Washington´s non-global coalition allows for ambiguity in its own ranks, in its purpose, in its methods, clarity and loyalty cannot be expected, must less demanded, of others -- most notably of Syrian rebels. Al-Assad´s tongue-in-cheek approval of the bombing of his own country fits the program perfectly."
Turkey´s position also fits the program perfectly, viz., it is ambiguous through and through. On the one hand, Turkey has not sent troops to help the Kurds who are heroically resisting ISIS in Kobane. On the other hand, the Turks agreed to train "moderate" Syrian rebels to fight ISIS and maybe will let coalition members use the Incirlik air base to attack ISIS.
Ambiguity is what the U.S. will receive from others until it ceases to be ambiguous itself. An example of acute ambiguity in the coalition´s own ranks: as Vice President Biden correctly pointed out (albeit in his customary awkward manner), some coalition members have assisted ISIS in the past. What Biden left out: his government was among them.
I would add a nuance to our prior post. The word coalition should be dropped. A Churchillian World Against ISIS Alliance is what is needed. As in World Wars I and II, no single nation would be the leader of the allies.
That alliance would mean Turkish and Kurdish troops would be fighting side by side against ISIS. North Korean and South Korean troops would be fighting side by side against ISIS. The United States and Cuban troops would be fighting side by side against ISIS. Sunnis and Shias, Albanians and Serbs, Russians and Mongolians: all would be fighting against ISIS. The implications for an authentic new world order to replace the old dysfunctional Kissinger one are both earth shattering and earth making.
Nobody knows that better than Washington -- which is why it will not let a Churchillian global alliance against ISIS happen. To start with, imagine the implications for arms manufacturers and war profiteers. Start with $15-$20 billion in U.S. aid that disappeared in Iraq 2003-5. That is why, if the truly global alliance looks and sounds utopian, it is utopian under present circumstances.
What is not utopian: the Kurds defending Kobane have won not just the respect but the admiration of the world. Of such actions new human rights are born.
Sidebar: as always, this post offers opinion, not advice. The two are not mutually exclusive; however, they are different. The impossibility of implementing a truly global Churchillian alliance precludes advice. As our March 23, 2014 post explained:
"Regular readers know we offer opinions, not advice. An opinion may consist of advice which is (i) deliberately offered too late to be actionable; (ii) knowingly impossible to implement due to circumstances prevailing at the moment; and/or (iii) offered with the foreknowledge that the simple fact of its publication will render its practical value null and void. "
*Contemporary case studies abound of middle class rebels who joined ISIS and other terrorist groups.
1. Bosnia suicide bomber in Iraq. http://www.bbc.com/news/magazine-29524402.
2. Syrian school teacher joined ISIS. http://edition.cnn.com/2014/10/06/world/meast/isis-female-fighter/
3. Cardiff terrorist Muthana. Father is electronics engineer. http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-27963675
4. Middle class man from Calgary, Canada, becomes suicide bomber. http://news.nationalpost.com/2014/06/12/its-a-mystery-how-middle-class-calgary-man-turned-suicide-bomber-was-recruited-into-isis-terror-group-family/
5. Abu, I had a middle class life. http://edition.cnn.com/2014/06/24/world/meast/iraq-foreign-fighters/
6. Posh British girl, with comfortable middle class life, joined ISIS. http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/posh-british-girl-becomes-isis-4154868
7. The Economist notes many ISIS fighters are middle class. http://www.economist.com/news/middle-east-and-africa/21614226-why-and-how-westerners-go-fight-syria-and-iraq-it-aint-half-hot-here-mum
8. Moner, Florida all-American boy, blew himself up in armored vehicle. Dad is grocery store manager. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2645784/He-American-son-parents-tormented-basketball-playing-son-turned-suicide-bomber.html
**Lyndon Johnson was president 1963-1969. In 1965, according to Gallup, only 24% of Americans thought the U.S. "made a mistake sending troops to fight in Vietnam." In 1969, the figure was 58%; in 2000, 69%. The latter figure matches the low level of public confidence in the Obama Administration´s war on ISIS.