President Obama loses wars.
It’s his chief qualification for office, apparently. He lost the war in Iraq by precipitously withdrawing troops, clearing the way for Iran and ISIS. He lost the war in Afghanistan by announcing a withdrawal date and then half-surging the troop base.
Now he’s losing the war against ISIS, and patting himself on the back as he does so. As he put it today in Turkey, "What I’m not interested in doing is posing or pursuing some notion of ‘American leadership’ or ‘America winning.'"
Questioned today, in the aftermath of the murder of 129 people in Paris, about his strategy to fight ISIS – a continuous terror threat against the West for well over a year – Obama said he’d been pursuing the right strategy all along. He reiterated that ISIS was “contained” territorially, as though that made a difference, given that Westerners’ chief concern is whether ISIS is “contained” logistically with regard to foreign attack. He said that the US strategy of bombing had been doing wonders, although the US-led coalition escalated its bombings to include ISIS oil trucks and new targets. Why hadn’t those targets been attacked before? Obama had no answer.
Obama also said the West should continue accepting Syrian refugees: “Even as we accept more refugees – including Syrians – we do so only after subjecting them to rigorous screenings and security checks. We also have to remember that many of these refugees are the victims of terrorism; that’s why they’re fleeing.” He said we can’t equate refugees with terrorists, and had to “open our hearts” to refugees. He concluded it would be “shameful” to accept only Christian refugees but not Muslims. “That’s not American. That’s not who we are,” Obama stated, making specific reference to Republicans.
Obama’s simply lying when it comes to background checks. He has revealed no details on how refugees are screened. Do we call up the Bashar Assad government? Do we call up ISIS? Do we call up the supposedly moderate Syrian rebels? He has not explained why the vast bulk of Syrian refugees into the West are male – and if they’re all victims of terrorism, why are they leaving their wives and children behind? We now know that ISIS wasn’t lying when they said they would infiltrate Syrian refugee movements to enter the West. But Obama’s pretending all that away.
And his argument with regard to Christian refugees versus Muslim refugees is simply absurd. If all we know about refugees is their religion, we can still determine that Christians will not commit terrorism because Christian refugees don’t commit terrorism. We can’t say the same about Muslim refugees, clearly.
Obama concluded that we could not beat ISIS without negotiation. But he refused to say with whom such negotiation would take place. “It’s best that we don’t shoot first and aim later,” Obama said with regard to ISIS strategy – ironic, considering how often Obama shoots at police in the United States without aiming. Then he dropped his pacifistic A-bomb:
We have the finest military in the world and we have the finest military minds in the world. And I’ve been meeting with them intensively for years now discussing these various options. It is not just my view, but the view of my closest military and civilian advisers, that that would be a mistake. Not because our military couldn’t march into Mosul or Raqqa or Ramadi and temporarily clear out ISIL. But because we would see a repetition of what we’ve seen before. If you do not have local populations that are committed to inclusive governance, and who are pushing aback against ideological extremists, that they resurface – unless you’re prepared to have a permanent occupation of these countries.
If this argument had been applied during World War II to Berlin or Tokyo, the Third Reich would still run France, and Imperial Japan would still be running strong. The same is true for South Korea, which would be a Chinese protectorate. Obama’s commitment to never using American troops to clear out terrorist hotbeds means more terrorist hotbeds. Long, peaceful occupation – a la all of these places -- is better than endless threat. That’s why we have a standing American military in the first place. But to Obama, the military is never to be used outside of photo ops.
Finally, Obama reiterated that Islam had nothing to do with ISIS, and added that “abuse of Islam” would increase ISIS recruitment. He said that ISIS would win if terrorism were to be “somehow defined as a Muslim problem instead of a terrorist problem.”
ISIS is a Muslim problem, whether Obama likes it or not. Radicalism is not a tiny minority view in Islam; it is a major minority view, or perhaps even a majority view for the world’s Muslim population. Failing to recognize that means utter failure. Obama said we must “defeat the narrative” with regard to ISIS. But only if we recognize forces within Islam as the enemy can we defeat a narrative against them. Every time we mouth happy talk about “extremism” and “terrorism,” ISIS wins.
But Obama’s real worry isn’t radical Islam. It’s Western imperialism. Clearly Obama thinks that evil Westerners are more of a threat to Muslims than evil Muslims are a threat to Westerners. His passion with regard to Islamophobia and Republicans far outweighed his passion with regard to fighting against Islamic radicalism. That’s no surprise – at least he acknowledges Republicans exist.
As Obama said all of this, French president Francois Hollande, an open socialist, talked tough. He said, “We will eradicate terrorism. Terrorism will not destroy France, because we will destroy it.”
Obama isn’t even leading from behind anymore. He’s either a coward or a willing participant in the suicide of the West.