Barack Obama regularly has the wrong reaction to events he views almost entirely as political notches for his resume – and seems rather monstrously oblivious to the biggest challenges we face.
Obama says his strategy against ISIS 'ultimately is going to work'
ANTALYA, Turkey (AP) - President Barack Obama on Monday conceded that the Paris terror attacks were a "terrible and sickening setback" in the fight against the Islamic State, but forcefully dismissed critics who have called for the U.S. to change or expand its military campaign against the extremists.
"The strategy that we are putting forward is the strategy that is ultimately is going to work," Obama said during a news conference at the close of two days of talks with world leaders. "It's going to take time."
The president grew irritated amid repeated questions about whether he had underestimated the strength of the Islamic State. He said most of his critics are simply "talking as if they're tough" and offering no real ideas. And he brushed aside those who call for sending U.S. ground troops into the region, saying that "would be a mistake" and wouldn't work unless the U.S. was committed to being a permanent occupying force in the region.
Rather than casting about for a new strategy, Obama said U.S. would intensify its current campaign of airstrikes and arming and training moderate forces. And he called on other nations to step up their involvement in the fight against the extremists.
In reaction to the still-developing terror attacks being carried out in the name of Islam, in Paris, on Friday night, New York Congressman Peter King told my radio audience: "Kevin (not only is this) an ISIS attack, but it's coordinated at a level to take a large loss of life. This is the nightmare scenario we are constantly having to be prepared for from radicalized Islam … But we knew ISIS was a threat a year before the President ever called them the JV team. And we have to kill them before they kill us."
Run the tape back to that same morning on a nationally televised morning show, President Obama saying: "ISIL has been contained."
The former police commissioner for New York City was on my show just before Congressman King: "Kevin, I don't care what you call it ISIS, Islamic State, Al Qaeda, Hezbollah, Al Nusra … We are at war with a radical element of Islam."
Run the tape back to President Obama's statement immediately following the attacks in Paris: "We must stop those who do these crimes." (You know … crimes … like the cat-burglars.)
Was there any reason why the president never mentioned Islam in his statement following the Paris attacks?
All day on Saturday the news channels were filled with reports of how those who authorities were arresting and investigating were plotting and planning from across borders in other countries. That nearly all of those involved in the attack were also from Syria seemed strangely under-reported.
Back to my show from Friday... Robert Spencer, founder of Jihad Watch: "The United States is extremely vulnerable to attacks of these sorts. And ISIS believes they can now stand up against Western intelligence, and they believe that they have the ability to do so in order to pull off more large-scale attacks."
He added,: "They see that we do not have the will to take them out. So … our anemic airstrikes have not only done little to weaken ISIS but it has actually emboldened them."
Also from my show, Jed Babbin, former deputy undersecretary of defense: "The real question about this is how do Western societies respond? What will we now do about this? The 'open borders' policy in Europe is now a dead letter. Will these nations now allow their citizenry to arm themselves? You know, Kev, they don't have the Second Amendment over there. Those societies are on the verge of crumbling."
As I heard from the minds of these and others on Friday night discuss not only the facts of the situation in Paris, but more importantly how they affect the shape of freedoms for the future, I became again angry with an administration that never misses a chance to spike the ball just before fumbling on the four yard line.
The president couldn't wait to gloat over the kill shot of bin Laden (who was really mostly out of the picture by the time we finally got him). He couldn't wait to golf when "Jihadi John" had beheaded an American journalist. He couldn't wait to goof on the families of our servicemen who lost their lives in Benghazi. And he was back to gloating when they believed they got the jihadi beheader this week.
The problem is he almost always has the wrong reaction to events he views almost entirely as political notches for his resume and seems rather monstrously oblivious to the biggest challenges we face.
For his own political reasons he has spent the duration of his time in office ignoring the sole source for the pain of every major terrorist attack from Sept 11, 2001, until November 13, 2015. His recklessness in doing so – no doubt – accounts for many more lives lost.
America should have closed its borders before France did. We should be sending relief support to Syria instead of bringing refugees to the USA. We should be fighting ISIS like the future of the free world depends upon it, but he still sees them as ironically non-Islamic and mere criminals – you know like petty thieves.
Meanwhile they plan and plot for their next opportunity to be "contained."
Which brings me back to what John Bolton ended my show by saying: "I'm genuinely afraid this isn't even close to being over. Paris demonstrates the increased reach and capacity of radicalized Islamic terror."
To which I'm sure the president would respond: "Radicalized Islamic terror? Whoa, John – that's a bit harsh don't you think?"
Kevin McCullough (firstname.lastname@example.org) is the nationally syndicated host of "The Kevin McCullough Show" weekdays (5 p.m. EST) and "Baldwin/McCullough *LIVE*" Saturdays (9-11 p.m. EST). Ranked as 11th most listened to talk show host by TALKERS magazine. His newest best-selling hardcover from Thomas Nelson Publishers -- "No He Can't: How Barack Obama is Dismantling Hope and Change" -- is in stores now.
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