Mr. Obama suggests that by “taking out” al Qaeda’s leadership in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Somalia and “targeting” its affiliate in Yemen that those actions combined with bringing 140,000 American troops home from Iraq, and ending the “combat mission” in Afghanistan somehow makes America safer. On its face such thinking is irrational and demonstrably dangerous. Does he believe that the situation in Iraq was settled as he withdrew U.S. forces in a fit of pique incident to his failure to achieve a Status of Forces Agreement? Wasn’t the U.S. in a position to impose such an agreement? The answers to the foregoing questions are: “Yes,” and “yes.” The resulting situation would be far different today if U.S. Forces had remained, but Mr. Obama was eager to get out of Iraq because he said he would, and in his words it was a “dumb war.”
The situation in Iraq wasn’t close to being settled even then and succeeding developments illustrate that reality. During an interview with CNN’s Larry King, Vice President Biden stated, “I am very optimistic about - about Iraq. I mean, this could be one of the great achievements of this administration. You’re going to see 90,000 American troops come marching home by the end of the summer. You’re going to see a stable government in Iraq that is actually moving toward a representative government.” One who thinks rationally does not walk away from an ongoing and unsettled fight and realistically expect peace to endure.
If the U.S. had been engaged in a conflict with a secular enemy, unilateral withdrawal might have worked because it would afford both parties time to reconsider and open the door to negotiate a settlement. That approach could not work in this instance because it is indisputable that the religion of Islam has from the outset been the underlying and motivating force for the conflict. Islam has as one of its central tenets, world dominance, a worldwide caliphate. Therefore, as long as Islam exists in its present form, its adherents will work to fulfill that “destiny.”
The Taliban in Afghanistan, some of whom are every bit as intelligent as Mr. Obama, can read a calendar and no doubt look forward to the “end-of-mission” date. Their obvious interim strategy is to harass and attack when and where they can inflict material, personnel and psychological damage while themselves suffering minimum losses. At the end of the U.S. mission they will come out of hiding, begin attacking with impunity and overrunning trained government forces unless U.S. forces intervene. As in Iraq, will U.S. combat forces be there, or will they be there with sufficient force to make a difference? Afghanistan government forces will likely follow the lead of U.S. trained and equipped Iraqi forces; throw down their arms and split...if not turn them over to and/or join the Taliban. As long as U.S. power is overwhelming the Muslim Taliban enemy bides its time, and upon withdrawal of U.S. power it will re-emerge.
The rise of ISIS/L is indeed problematic and Mr. Obama belatedly finds that reality politically inescapable finally forcing him to “step up to the plate” to deal with it. His so called, “strategy” is at best half-hearted and definitively not a recipe for victory. He said:
“First, we will conduct a systematic campaign of airstrikes against these terrorists.”
It remains to be seen what “systematic campaign” means to Mr. Obama. During the Vietnam War, President Johnson personally selected targets and turned the bombing campaign off and on to give “Old Ho (Chi Minh) a chance to think about it.” But Johnson’s choices made no difference in the outcome. Does Mr. Obama assume he is more capable than President Johnson, does he intend to as has been reported, personally select targets in order to make ISIS/L more “manageable?” Does he mean by “manageable,” that Americans will endure only an occasional bombings the nation’s ships or cities?
“Second, we will increase our support to forces fighting these terrorists on the ground.”
Although this is a good idea, the commitment comes after months of dawdling by Obama and his Administration. Furthermore, what “forces” is the U.S. going to support and how long is Mr. Obama planning to take to deliver that support? When speaking in Florida recently on the threat of Ebola, Obama said, “We can’t dawdle on this one...” “Dawdle on this one?” Yes. Obama admitted that on non-Ebola matters including ISIS/L that he had been dawdling. To those who watch and listen, it was obvious that he preferred vacationing and golf over dealing with the threat posed by ISIS/L.
“Third, we will continue to draw on our substantial counterterrorism capabilities to prevent ISIL attacks.”
Did Mr. Obama mean the same “substantial counterterrorism capabilities” that allowed the Boston Marathon attack, the fortunately, failed attack on Times Square, the shoe bomber attack...and others?
“Fourth, we will continue to provide humanitarian assistance to innocent civilians who have been displaced by this terrorist organization.”
This sounds good, but does Mr. Obama intend to render assistance to “innocent” civilians on both sides of the conflict? Which ones? Syrian, Christian and Kurdish refugees, or only those displaced directly by ISIS/L, does he even know who he means? If so, how much humanitarian assistance, when, where and how long?
Mr. Obama predicts a broad coalition of partners and Secretary of State John Kerry recently said in a report by CNN that “nearly 40 nations have agreed to contribute to the fight against the militants. But it remains unclear which countries are on that list and the precise role they'll play.”
He asserted in the speech that there would be no U.S. boots on the ground, the trite way of saying that U.S. forces will not engage in ground combat. This statement is untrue on its face since Obama has already ordered roughly 1500 ground troops to perform various functions then he later left the door open for direct combat on a case by case basis.
Anyone who knows anything about winning a war understands that absent nuclear attacks on vital strategic or other “counter value” targets such as Mecca or Medina, air power alone cannot win a war. The only way to win is by putting the right kind and numbers of “boots on the ground.” His “no boots” pronouncement is easily said, but will prove to be difficult to carry out without U.S. ground forces doing the dirty work...again.
Mr. Obama’s revelation that the U.S. had struck 150 targets in the last month falls into the same famous “corpse-man” category, embarrassing! Simple math reveals 150 targets in a month amounts to approximately three targets per day whereas a single F/A-18 squadron is capable of striking well over one hundred targets in a single day. Readers are invited to consider the fact that one aircraft carrier has as many as five squadrons aboard and are also encouraged to do the math as to potential combat power of the three U.S. aircraft carriers in the region in relation to 150 targets struck. In addition to the carriers themselves, a Carrier Battle Group posses the capability to launch hundreds of cruise missiles and other armaments. One is compelled to conclude that the Obama Administration is not really serious and is still dawdling.
Mr. Obama stated that ISIL is not Islamic citing its barbaric behavior as the reason notwithstanding a plethora of historical examples of the current behavior dating back to its founding and supported by Islamic teachings contained in the Koran, specifically Sura 9:5. One source, Answering Islam, using extensive research, citation and collaboration states: “We’ve examined the historical and scholarly Islamic documents related to 9:5 and jihad and there is only one conclusion that can be drawn: 9:5 was meant to be both offensive and defensive and was meant for worldwide application. The theology of jihad is composed in part of verse 9:5 and in particular this verse applies to "polytheists". Corresponding to 9:5, 9:29 issues a similar edict of war upon Jews and Christians, forcing them to bow the knee to Islam in humility, pay extortion, or die.
True Islam, real Islam, Muhammad’ Islam, is a poison in humanity’s soul. In this case it subjects man to a satanic brutality, "believe or die", where son will turn against family, friends against friends, and blood spills if one challenges the belief of Muhammad’s dominance.”
Mr. Obama’s “they are not Islamic” assertion is further belied by the fact that ISIL is the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant. Its leaders are Muslims, its religion is Islam and they fight in the name of Allah and Islam. One must ask, “Does Mr. Obama actually believe that his pronouncement that ‘ISIL is not Islamic’ makes it not so?”
He stated, with respect to the virtual coalition he is attempting to assemble to combat ISIS/L: “This is American leadership at its best: We stand with people who fight for their own freedom, and we rally other nations on behalf of our common security and common humanity.” Yet, when G.W. Bush assembled a real coalition comprised of more than forty nations to address exactly the same “common security and common humanity issues,” it was then Senator Obama who said, “I am not opposed to all wars. I'm opposed to dumb wars.”
The only way to settle this problem would be to supplant existing virulent Islam with a benign form which forswears violence. This would be a worthy goal toward which some are actively working but whose efforts are overshadowed and overwhelmed by the wave of Islamic Fundamentalists. In my opinion, the best possible solution would be for the U.S. to “nation-build” and supplant Islam with Christianity. Absent that, the alternative is to cede much of the world to Islam’s barbarism, and Western civilization will come sooner than later, to an inglorious end.
Finally, Mr. Obama has yet to acknowledge that the U.S. is at war with ISIL. Bless his heart! (Note: This term is used by people in the southern United States to express that the object of their derision is an idiot without actually saying so.)