ISIS is at war with us, but we aren’t at war with ISIS.
As we prepare for Thanksgiving with our families, we should consider where we stand with relation to ISIS because its existence is a threat to all of us.
Below are four articles that paint a picture we need to see clearly. I’ll make brief comments on each of them:
A year ago, President Barack Obama talked a big talk when it came to the so-called Islamic State, declaring that the United States and its allies would “degrade and ultimately destroy” the group that had seized large territories in Iraq and Syria.
But this week, even with the victory in the northern Iraqi town of Sinjar and the news that ISIS’s most famous executioner Mohammed Emwazi—best known as “Jihadi John”—was likely killed in a U.S. drone strike, Obama struck a very different tone.
Gone were the buzzwords “defeat” and “destroy.” Instead, Obama said the U.S. strategy had always been to “contain” the group, a subtle shift in language, and another indication that progress against the group has been far more difficult to achieve than originally envisioned.
“From the start, our goal has been first to contain them, and we have contained them,” Obama told ABC News’s George Stephanopoulos in a Thursday afternoon interview that took place before the strike against Emwazi.
SnyderTalk Comment: Obama’s “strategy” is like shifting sand. First, he says that we will “degrade and ultimately destroy” ISIS. Then, he says that we can’t destroy it, so we’ll contain it. That change in language is proof that Obama doesn’t have a strategy. He’s just talking and trying to use words that the American people will buy. This isn’t a political problem where winning votes is the key to victory. It’s a life and death struggle between good and evil. Obama doesn’t get it.
ISIS can be defeated, but it will take much greater will on the part of President Obama, an exponentially more robust air campaign with more reasonable rules of engagement and Arab ground forces to get the job done, according to retired U.S. Air Force Lt. Gen. Tom McInerney.
McInerney spent 35 years in uniform and rose to the role of assistant vice chief of staff, the number three position in the Air Force. He also served as a combat pilot in Vietnam and as vice commander of U.S. Air Forces Europe. He said the first step is for Obama to admit the U.S. currently has no strategy.
“He doesn’t have a strategy and that’s why, 16 months after we started the air campaign, we’re still at it,” said McInerney, who compared America’s current policy of a few sorties a day to what was accomplished back in the Gulf War in 1991.
“Desert Storm was 600,000 troops against Saddam Hussein’s forces,” he said. “We had a 43-day air campaign and a 100-hour ground campaign. I don’t understand what the president’s strategy is. I don’t know what the president’s purpose is. He just has not exhibited any desire to take ISIS out.”
The U.S. campaign began after ISIS released videos showing the beheading of two American journalists. But even then, McInerney said Obama started America’s policy off on the wrong foot.
“We are not trying to destroy ISIS,” he said. “The president talks about degrade and destroy. No American president in our history has ever said degrade the enemy and then destroy them. It’s always destroy them.”
SnyderTalk Comment: The best and brightest in the military, retired and active, understand the problem, but their hands are tied. Obama is the Commander-in-Chief. He makes the rules. The military follows his orders. Since Obama doesn’t get it, our military is ineffective in the fight against ISIS.
Just over a week after the terrorist attacks in Paris, only 23 percent of Americans think President Barack Obama has a clear plan for dealing with the militant group ISIS, the lowest number yet recorded in the CBS News Poll. Sixty-six percent do not think he has a clear plan – a new high.
Large majorities of Republicans and independents say the President doesn’t have a clear plan, and almost half of Democrats (40 percent) agree. More Democrats (45 percent) say he doesn’t have a plan than say he does.
In considering military options, 50 percent of Americans now favor sending in U.S. ground troops to fight ISIS militants in Iraq and Syria, up four points from August. Support for sending ground troops rose to 57 percent in February in the immediate aftermath of the death of aid worker Kayla Mueller, but then dropped below 50 percent until now.
SnyderTalk Comment: Most of the American people get it, but those who don’t get it represent a sizable portion of our population. They still regard any criticism of Obama as racism and any resistance to his policies as politics as usual. Neither of those arguments has any substance.
After almost 7 years in office, it should be obvious that Obama is in over his head. Most of the criticism leveled against him is based on solid evidence. He has failed on every front. Even his signature effort, Obamacare, is drowning in a sea of red ink.
Criticism of Obama’s efforts against ISIS is based on facts. Most Americans see the potential threat they represent and know that we are heading in the wrong direction.
It would be great if only Obama supporters had to suffer the consequences of his incompetence, but that’s not how things work. All of us will suffer, so we need to be actively involved.
In the wake of Friday night’s terrorism in Paris, Republican policymakers and candidates have settled on a very specific policy demand: blocking ISIS’s victims from seeking refugee status in the United States.
Initially, it was GOP presidential hopefuls exploiting fear to advance their own ambitions, but soon after, Republican governors began scurrying to announce their “No Syrian Refugees Here” plans.
President Obama could have stuck his finger in the wind, but speaking from the G-20 Summit this morning, he took a stand in support of the United States doing the right thing.
“Slamming the doors in [refugees’] faces would be a betrayal of our values,” Obama said. Syrian “refugees are the victims of terrorism.”
“The people who are fleeing Syria are the most harmed by terrorism … they are parents, they are children, they are orphans.” Obama said. “It is very important that we do not close our hearts to these victims of such violence and somehow start equating the issue of refugees with the issue of terrorism.”
Given his remarks, the president has clearly heard some of the new Republican talking points, and he’s not impressed.
SnyderTalk Comment: Trust MSNBC to ignore the facts and jump in to defend Obama no matter what. Obama’s latest attacks focus on “American values” that he thinks we are rejecting when we refuse to open our arms to Syrian “refugees”.
Those “refugees” are mostly military-age men who openly reject our hospitality and compassion. Assuming that they are well-intentioned is ridiculous. Many if not most of them are infiltrators. Their goal is to destroy us and our way of life. Watching what is happening in Europe proves that point, but where Obama and his supporters are concerned, facts don’t matter.
As I said, this is a life and death struggle between good and evil. Of course, it plays out in politics. That’s why we must be involved. Assuming that things will work out in the end even if we remain silent is foolish because things won’t work out if we sit on our hands and hold our tongues.
Enjoy Thanksgiving with your family, and remember that all of us need to be active because of them.