Last week, President Obama placed a Wanted Ad through the international media.
WANTED: A Strategy!
This essay addresses proven models for success.
Islamic jihadists have targeted the United States for destruction since the 1970s. Al-Qaeda shocked America on 9/11 – a wakeup call to the world. George W. Bush listened and responded.
Barack Hussein Obama denied the existential terrorist threat, relinquished victories gained in the “war on terror” (the war that dare not even be named) and nurtured the growth of Al-Qaeda’s offspring: ISIS.
ISIS is a product of Obama’s policies.
ISIS is a terrorist nation state with imperialist designs, one which seeks a worldwide caliphate and the destruction of all in its path. Including (especially) the United States.
But just yesterday, the State Department refused to admit the self-evident truth that we are at war.
Obama lives in a fantasy world where he believes that America is stronger than ever. He holds America in such low esteem and so highly regards the rest of the world that he swapped five terrorist leaders for one deserter.
Clearly, this man’s view of the world and of America’s place in that world differs markedly from most Americans. But Obama didn’t ask for a new worldview, he asked for a strategy.
WANTED: A Strategy!
Let’s give Obama a strategy.
Gen. Colin Powell was a hero in the first Gulf War which was decisively won by using overwhelming force to win. (Powell’s failure to actually remove Hussein when he had the chance paved the way for future hostilities.)
The typical mantra from the far left demands “proportional response.” If you’re going to fight, fight to win. Do you recall that memorable Sean Connery line in the Untouchables? About bringing a knife to a gunfight?
Perhaps you were looking for something more nuanced?
Look to Cameron
British Prime Minister David Cameron has begun taking decisive action against the existential threat posed by ISIS.
First, Cameron recognized the threat facing his people (and civilization itself), clearing identifying it as “Islamist extremism.”
Second, Cameron has warned the public, raising the threat level to “severe.”
Third, Cameron announced that military action is an option (in contrast to the White House, which likes to announce what is not on the table), preparing his citizens for a potentially long conflict (as Churchill did prior to and during World War II).
Fourth, Cameron increased border security by tightening control over passports to ensure ISIS fighters cannot return to the U.K.
Fifth, Cameron tightened and improved existing anti-terrorism measures.
Look to Bibi
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has been combating terrorists longer than Millennials have been alive. Indeed, Israel has been fighting for its survival from the day of its birth.
Israelis live under the threat of terrorist attacks on a daily basis. They know they are in a war and that their enemies pose an existential threat.
As part of his comprehensive strategy, Netanyahu has secured the border. By doing so, the enemy is deprived of one means of invading Israel and logistical lines of support are thwarted.
Although ever willing to live in peace with its neighbors, Israel forcefully defends itself against aggression, militarily when warranted. Netanyahu knows that appeasement never works.
Netanyahu – using every form of media available to him – clearly articulates his strategy, explaining the threats his nation faces and why he is responding as he does. Netanyahu effectively expresses his views and counters the propaganda of his enemies.
It would behoove President Obama to emulate the attitudes and actions of Cameron and Netanyahu, but before he can do that he must take the terrorist threat seriously. That will require a paradigm shift in his thinking, something which, I suspect, he does not have the courage to contemplate.
Update: In a joint press conference (1/16/15), David Cameron and Barack Obama displayed a dramatic divergence of views regarding the recent Islamic terrorist attack in Paris and the threat posed by Islamic jihad worldwide.
As reported by the Daily Mail, “Obama pointedly refused to call ISIS terrorists Muslims” while “Cameron warned of a global ‘Islamist extremist terrorist threat,’ condemning the perversion of Islam in the strongest possible terms three times and using the word ‘poisonous’ to describe the radicalized ideology five times.”
“Obama would not refer to the religion of ISIS militants during the White House news conference but at one point called them ‘fanatics.’”
Cameron spoke with passionate zeal, saying “The world is sickened by this terrorism,” and denouncing “this poisonous, radical death cult of a narrative.”
Cameron added, “We face a poisonous and fanatical ideology that wants to pervert one of the world’s major religions, Islam, and create conflict, terror and death.” He expressly warned of the global existential threat posed by Islamic jihad: “We do face a very serious Islamist extremist terrorist threat in Europe, in America, across the world. And we have to be incredibly vigilant in terms of that threat.”
In contrast, Obama spoke with measured caution, almost disinterested in the subject at hand, refusing to admit the religious nature of these terrorist attacks.