Obama Ignored ISIS Because of Politics

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According to retired Defense Intelligence Agency director Michael Flynn, President Obama ignored the rise of the Islamic State to boost his chances at re-election in 2012. Lt. Gen Flynn told CNN’s Jake Tapper Tuesday that Obama chose to ignore early intelligence reports that showed the birth of the terrorist organization now known as ISIS.

“I think that they did not meet a narrative the White House needed,” Flynn said of ISIS. “And I’ll be very candid with you, they just didn’t. I think the narrative was that al Qaeda was on the run, and bin Laden was dead…they’re dead and these guys are, we’ve beaten them.”

Flynn has been just as outspoken about the initial Iraq invasion, insisting that the Bush administration made a huge mistake by toppling Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein. He, like many Democrats, blame that invasion for giving rise to ISIS in the first place.

Well, it goes to show you that no one can always be right.

The truth is that there was nothing wrong with the initial Iraq invasion. True, there is ample evidence at this point that Hussein did not have the stockpile of weapons of mass destruction that Bush administration officials thought they did at the time. Regardless, the U.S. invasion put a brutal dictator out of power and restored freedom and democracy to Iraq.

Does that relieve President Bush of any responsibility? Not hardly. The aftermath of Hussein’s ousting was handled abominably. Specifically, it was a colossal mistake to rid the Iraqi government of all remnants of Hussein’s Ba’athist Party, a move that put thousands of armed Iraqi military soldiers out of work. This mistake was followed by another, which was allowing Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki to organize a sectarian government heavily in favor of Shiite Muslims. These two mistakes led to the deadly Sunni insurgency that kept us fighting in Iraq for the rest of the decade and beyond.

All that said, the risky troop surge that Bush authorized in the final years of his presidency got the insurgency under control. With some rogue maneuvering by General David Petraeus on the ground (basically putting Sunni insurgents on the U.S. payroll and encouraging them to come back to work for our side), Bush managed to leave office with the situation well under control. Obama, taking office in 2009, basically undid all of that by pretending for the next two years that we weren’t engaged in a war. Then, when al-Maliki refused to sign an order of protection for U.S. troops past 2011, he made good on his early promise to withdraw all military forces from the region.

Almost immediately, the terrorism went to the next level.

The destruction of ISIS is not going to happen overnight. But it’s not going to happen at all as long as we have a president unwilling to acknowledge that we are still at war. And as tempting as it might seem to just say, “the hell with it” and let the region collapse into chaos, we’ve seen too many times that Islamic terrorism knows no borders.

We need new leadership. We need it soon. And we need to commit to this war until its over. Otherwise…it’s coming to us.