(AHMAD AL-RUBAYE/AFP/Getty Images)

The progress of ISIS in Syria is forcing President Bashar al-Assad, as well as the U.S., to consider what comes next. Meanwhile, ISIS threatens the life of journalist Steven Sotloff, days after the release of a video showing the killing of fellow journalist James Foley. We discuss the latest developments, and the U.S. policy of not negotiating with terrorists.

Guests:
Danielle Pletka, senior vice president, Foreign and Defense Policy Studies at the American Enterprise Institute
Shadi Hamid, fellow at the Brookings Institution's Center for Middle East Policy and author of "Temptations of Power: Islamists and Illiberal Democracy in a New Middle East"
Amr Al-Azm, associate professor of Middle East history and anthropology at Shawnee State University in Ohio

  • Ben Rawner

    My question is the end game or purpose of us being in the Middle East at all. The west’s and particularly the US’s meddling in the Mid East has done nothing positive. The last 100 years has been worse for the mid east than the crusades. Perpetual war for the sake of perpetual war.

    • Chris OConnell

      Don’t forget the oil!

  • darqmyth

    How does Egypt and the UAE striking at islamists in Libya constitute “acting against our interest”?

    • Chris OConnell

      The US is working to broker an agreement between the fighting factions. Foreign air strikes do not help that cause. (Not to mention, after the 2nd strike, the people they bombed took the airport so it didn’t work!)

  • roxie

    We are war fatigued.

  • darqmyth

    Why is it that it is the United States “responsibility” to provide “assertive leadership” in someone else’s country. If fools wish to butcher each other, why is it our responsibility. There are 193 member states in the UN. When does it become someone else’s “responsibility”? What, other than fear, prevents the nations of the region from intervening in their own backyard. If they lack the courage, why should we make any effort?

  • Jon Latimer

    What are we to make of all the evidence suggesting that the James Folly video may have been staged? Several articles and videos have surfaced pointing to “discrepancies” in Foley’s appearance, the behavior of him and his murderer… Have any of your guests looked into this? https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=1&cad=rja&uact=8&ved=0CCAQFjAA&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.telegraph.co.uk%2Fjournalists%2Fbill-gardner%2F11054488%2FFoley-murder-video-may-have-been-staged.html&ei=c7b8U6qkAsTfoASJ7IKgCg&usg=AFQjCNGSzEoCcFgcs5JiExEInZwHH_tLnA&bvm=bv.74035653,d.cGU

    • ES Trader

      Are you suggesting that he is alive ?

      • Jon Latimer

        I am not suggesting he is alive, no. But I have looked at these claims, and find the evidence compelling.

        • Jon Latimer
        • ES Trader

          I did not and will not watch the video but if he was killed off camera, why is he so calm in the still shot ?

          These people commit mass executions, stone adulterers and dont forget Daniel Pearl.

          They have lived with 1300 years of regressing towards the stone age

          • Jon Latimer

            Isis is a horrendous terrorist group, without a doubt, I just think we need to look more closely at the propaganda that is used (and often contrived) to bulster popular support for continued military action in the Middle East. I’m not saying we shouldn’t be there either, I just don’t think we should swallow everything they try to feed us. The US intelligence agencies (like many others) has a long history of false flag attacks, as well as blatantly false narratives created to support it’s own agenda, and this is starting to look suspiciously like another one. Remember the “babies pulled out of incubators” in the first Iraq war, WMDs in the second, gulf of Tonkin in Veitnam, Pearl Harbor…list goes on.

          • ES Trader

            Yes, I agree that much should not be taken at face value I remember Desert Storm I, and as it turned out the “witness” turning out to be the Kuwait diplomat’s daughter and you didn’t mention WMD’s.

            But even if it was staged and killed off camera, why would ISIS not show it ? The motive is ? Unless he is alive, which I doubt, why would he appear so calm in the still?

          • Chris OConnell

            Can always count on Kiyoshi for some straight-up racism.

          • ES Trader

            thanks for the compliment but how was that racism ? Was all of this fabricated by Hollywood?

            More denial as usual?

    • Chris OConnell

      Many think the moon landing was staged, and that there are alien abductions. I think is the perspective needed when addressing claims like the ones you raise.

      • Jon Latimer

        That’s cute. Very dismissive. Feel free to keep your head in the ground and ignore anything contrary to what you choose to believe. I prefer to look at all the evidence before I form my opinions.

        • Chris OConnell

          My head is very much above ground and that is why I am very dismissive of the claim. This is not an opinion issue.

          • Jon Latimer

            That’s simply not true, since we obviously disagree. I respect that you do not share the same opinion as me, and am only asking as much from you. You’re mistaking your own beliefs for facts, apparently. Arrogantly dismissive comments such as your first one here have no place in a public forum for honest inquiry. Try raising a valid objection, presenting evidence to support your opinion, rather than scare crowing me as a conspiracy theorist.

      • Jon Latimer
  • darqmyth

    How many Americans has ISIS killed? How many Arabs? How many American churches mosques and temples have they attacked? How many middle eastern mosques? Why all of the handwringing for immediate action by the US. ISIS is killing middle easterners like they have a permit. Why don’t middle easterners handle their problems themselves?

  • Chris OConnell

    VICE news was embedded with ISIS. Quite an interesting and disturbing view of who and what they are.

  • cooper29

    ISIS is the blow back of many years of meddling in the middle east. Washington has no one to blame but themselves. Our government is filled with psychopaths who dream of empire and hegemony. They look at everything as a nail and then hammer it with whatever tool they have in their arsenal.

    What we need to do is get the frack out of the middle east and everywhere else! Close down the foreign bases and bring the troops home. Washington brings death and destruction to everything it touches. Washington DC is truly the evil empire.

  • darqmyth

    Let’s support conservative islamist groups. Gee, how could that possibly go bad. Can we spell u.n.i.n.t.e.n.d.e.d. c.o.n.s.e.q.u.e.n.c.e.s.

  • ES Trader

    Tyrant and killer or not if ISIS. is the threat that some claim they are and Assad cooperates then enlist him. Assad at this point is a bridge to be crossed later

  • Sean Dennehy

    Iran is coming off as a more mature and sensibile nation in the Middle East as compared to Saudi Arabia. Why shouldn’t we be helping Iran?

  • Beth Grant DeRoos

    Where is Europe and other Arab countries in this whole ISIS mess? They are all closer to the areas ISIS is in than we here in the states.

  • Tony Bass

    Everyone is interested in the Middle East because of petroleum, petroleum and petroleum!

  • Chris OConnell

    I think the claim that was made is preposterous: namely, if we got involved earlier, the moderates would be ascendant and all would be okay. (Because we are so good at solving these problems, lol.) When it comes to war, moderates will always lose to the extremists. Moderates love life, extremists want to kill and die.

    • Curious

      Obama has disrupted the region and also left a power vacuum all in the name of politics. He is simply incompetent.

      • Another Mike

        Try framing your argument like this:

        Obama has disrupted the region {in what way?} and {how?} and also left a power vacuum {by doing what?} because it benefits {him}/ {the Democrats}/ {ultimately Halliburton} because it {fill in the blank}. A competent President {would have accomplished what?} and {how?}.

        • Curious

          If you have not heard of Obama’s illegal and unconstitutional attack on Libya and the overthrow of Gaddafi, just for starters, I am not able to educate you.

          • Another Mike

            Generally the argument’s writer does the work, not the reader.

  • Robert Thomas

    Soon, the sword of Righteous Islam will rise in its armies, from Rabat to Jakarta, to smite the apostate IS.

  • darqmyth

    Let me see. It is Obama’s fault that the Middle East is messy, because it was so neat and orderly before. Obama should have committed to and entered into war, because everyone knows that nothing make for clarity and neat orderliness like war. Obama did not enforce his Emperor of the World status and demand that Egypt and the UAE gain his royal approval. WOW!!!! Does practical reality abide here?

    • Curious

      Obama is by an standard an unmitigated and unprecedented disaster.

  • Another Mike

    Surprising to hear that two of our long term military allies — Qatar and Turkey — are on the side of Hamas. I guess that puts us on the side of Hamas as well.

    (Turkey joined NATO in 1952, and Qatar — home of two US bases — fought alongside us in Desert Storm.)

    • Curious

      Maybe Obama needs to go on another apology tour because the other ones went so well.

  • cooper29

    Yes, “the middle east has been unzipped”, and Washington DC did it. So, we are supposed to fix that which we deliberately broke? But Oh, we are the EXCEPTIONAL country… The only thing exceptional about DC is their arrogance and disregard for human life. This cry for intervention is nothing but a cry for more death and destruction.

  • cooper29

    Panelist from American Enterprise institute, Brookings Institution. Typical Krasny way of framing the discussion.

  • Chris OConnell

    Once again, I must object to the guests, the American Exceptionalists who rule the Forum airwaves. Can we ever get a contrary view!?!

  • darqmyth

    Here’s a thought, in the Middle East there are no sides, just vague, fungible, morphing and ultimately unimportant interests.

    • Chris OConnell

      And scads of oil.

  • Chris OConnell

    Forget the ice bucket challenge. I have the Michael KRASNY Challenge: Invite the eminent foreign policy analyst John Mearsheimer on to your program!! If it is a foreign policy issue, he can speak to it in depth, in plain yet scholarly language, and it is a view you are apparently never exposed to. Try it some day Michael!! Please?

    • Another Mike

      And Norman Finkelstein, Noam Chomsky, Max Blumenthal, with Israel’s UN Ambassador Ron Prosor

  • Curious

    Poor desperate Krasny still trying to protect Obama and blame Bush 6 years into Obama’s presidency. Krasny quoted Obama several times on saying ISIS is a cancer but somehow missed Obama scoffing at the suggestion that ISIS is a threat, calling them the “JV team.”
    Obama is an unprecedented disaster and totally incompetent.

  • RichMeister

    I agree with darqmyth and Chris O’Connell. Listening to Forum this morning, it sounded as if the discussion was pushed way over toward some neo-conservative precepts and conclusions about what our role absolutely ‘must’ be in the Middle East: that America must ‘control’ everything because Europe won’t and we must spend trillions of dollars as we just did. Money we don’t have. Where as, what President Obama has remarkably achieved with very little resources is to prevent genocide and to retake a major dam from ISIS. That despite all the grousing about “leadership” is major. This seems to have driven ISIS into a panic PR campaign of ‘be-headings and threats to prove how terrible we are.’ We do take the threats seriously.

    But it also seems to have driven the conservatives into a panic as well. and they miss the major point: that we are in fact achieving.

    Also missed is that when ever these neo-cons, exceptionalists, and other “Tea parties” sensationalists spend on foreign adventures which is the only thing they think America is good for, we pay for it. We paid for their entire little six trillion dollar ‘mistake’ they made with all their previous ‘leadership’ skills.

    It takes money out of our economy just as taking jobs away does. And since they don’t believe in putting money back into our economy, I would like to have heard responsible spokespeople who don’t represent this horrible, one-sided point of view on the Forum program. And I just didn’t hear that this morning. I turned it off and listened to something else today. It was awful.

  • MrRFox

    IMO we in the US shouldn’t be supporting any regime or movement that doesn’t first endorse and implement gay marriage.

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