The independent newspaper of the University of Iowa community since 1868

The Daily Iowan

The independent newspaper of the University of Iowa community since 1868

The Daily Iowan

The independent newspaper of the University of Iowa community since 1868

The Daily Iowan

Elliot: The sky is falling

I hear that 5-Hour Energy has a decaf version. So, is that more like 5-Hour Nap?

Just wondering. Naps are good, and naps seem to be what the dreaded ISIS has been taking lately, at least in Iraq.

Oh, I know, ISIS recently beheaded 21 Egytian Coptic Christians on a Libyan beach, then threatened to march on Rome. It even threw out a hashtag so that we’d know the group members were serious: #We_Are_Coming_O_Rome. Clever.

The whole world, of course, was left shaking in its boots or sandals or hyper-expensive tennis shoes. But maybe that was wind chill. It’s been going around, I hear.

The Italians, though, at least some of them, don’t seem to be quite so quaking. At least those on Twitter appear to be laughing at the terrorist group.

Take this person’s tweet from Florence: #We_Are_Coming_O_Rome Don’t try coming over the Alps on elephants, the Romans are wise to that trick now.

And, #We_Are_Coming_O_Rome Tomorrow is strike of public transport. Good luck.

Yep, it certainly appears that Italians are quaking over their prosciutto. (If you’re going to quake over something, prosciutto is a good choice.)

Now, there’s no denying that ISIS has committed a great number of atrocities, but some among us, usually conservative, seem to believe that ISIS is somehow the equivalent of Nazi Germany.

Um, really? Should we tweet it?

One thing that some do — usually, but not always, conservatives — is to inflate the number of ISIS fighters. Take Republican Jeb Bush (yes, those Bushes) in his famous foreign-policy speech recently. (This Bush version apparently wants to be president, too — you know, his father, his brother, why not him, too?)

The Jeb opined that ISIS had 200,000 fighters. Yes, 200,000. Most experts put the number at 20,000. National Counterterrorism Center Director Nicholas Rasmussen recently estimated the number as being between 20,000 and 31,500. So.

And then there’s the propensity, usually among conservatives, to contend that President Obama is doing nothing about the ISIS threat.

For instance, Steve Benen of the Maddow Blog notes that Rep. Lamar Smith, R-Texas, contends that Obama is doing diddly to stop ISIS and goes on to say, “[Obama] was going to ‘degrade and destroy.’

Well, I don’t see any evidence of degrading, and I don’t see certainly any evidence of destroying ISIS.”

Well, why then is ISIS losing ground in Iraq? Some, perhaps a great deal, of that the Kurdish Peshmerga has accomplished, but a Kurdish official recently credited the hundreds of U.S. air strikes as being a major help. (He then went on to note that he still hasn’t received the heavy military equipment from the United States that he needs.)

Vox’s Zack Beauchamp points out that ISIS, after a spectacular summer last year, is losing the battle. He cites Kirk Sowell, the principal at Uticensis Risk Services and an expert on Iraqi politics (“There’s really nowhere where [ISIS] has momentum”), and Doug Ollivant, the National Security Council director for Iraq from 2008-2009 (“There are a significant string of [Iraqi] victories all along the northern river valley”).

Maybe ISIS meant Jim Rome.

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