“We Don’t Have a Strategy Yet”: Obama on ISIS

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Barack Obama has already secured himself a place in the record books simply for being the first African-American president. If they keep scores on these kinds of things, though, he could find himself occupying another dubious honor – the least competent president in history.

The worst decisions of Obama’s presidency – particularly in his second term – have not been decisions at all. Instead, the president talks a good game when he’s in front of a microphone before going back to a firm policy of doing nothing at all. This is especially true when it comes to foreign affairs and the rising threat of the Islamic State. After the beheading of James Foley, Obama talked tough. He called the terrorists in Iraq and Syria a “cancer” and vowed to do whatever it took to put an end to their villainy. Now, just a few days later, it appears he’s not ready to do much of anything.

Obama said Thursday that “we don’t have a strategy yet” when it comes to bringing the fight to ISIS in Syria. His decision not to move forward with action comes after several days of debate within his national security cabinet, where top officials could not come to an agreement on the whens, wheres, and hows of a strike. Because there are significant questions about America’s allies in the region, Obama has decided that now’s not the time to expand military options in Syria. This, despite the fact that ISIS grows stronger by the day, killing minorities and opposition forces in both Iraq and Syria.

Experts outside the administration have expressed grave concerns that Obama’s failure to take action will only aggravate the situation in the Middle East. One Iraq veteran in the Pentagon told The Daily Beast, “It’s not just demoralizing to those who want to stop ISIS in its tracks, but ISIS is just going to act with greater impunity now if they believe they got a free pass.”

Diplomacy-minded liberals, of course, applaud the president’s decision to take a measured approach. What these clowns don’t realize is that Islamic terrorists don’t pose the kind of threat you might find in a Putin or even a Saddam Hussein. Those traditional despots want land, power, and glory. Appeasements can be dangerous even in those situations, but you’re at least talking about a philosophy where negotiations are possible. With radical Islam, there is no such hope. The Islamic State terrorists are fighting on the backs of a backwards ideology; there is no common ground between a country that stands for freedom and an army that stands for a vicious version of Allah.

Obama’s reaction to ISIS is like the fool who ignores his check engine light when it glows orange on the dashboard. He keeps pushing his car, hoping blindly that perhaps it will repair itself on the way to work. Before you know it, he’s sitting by the side of the road with a plume of black smoke rising from the hood. We can only hope that it doesn’t take a similar plume of smoke for Obama to realize his mistake.