You Have To See a Threat Before You Can Have a Strategy

September 4, 2014

Do you remember the left’s chants about President George W. Bush: “Have you had enough yet?” Well, I could easily ask that about President Obama, but instead I’ll ask: “Do you believe us now?”

Some of us have been saying from the beginning that something just isn’t right about Obama. Something is very different about this man — something that distinguishes him from every U.S. president in my lifetime.

All the talk about his birth certificate aside, I have long believed he really doesn’t think like an American. Before you jump on me for suggesting there is an American way of thinking, let me assure you I’m not referring to race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation or any of the other identifiers liberals routinely use to bludgeon conservatives into psychological submission. Oh, sorry, I shouldn’t have used a metaphor involving violence, as the left also turns those around on us, disingenuously implying we mean them literally.

It’s been obvious from the start that Obama doesn’t think like an American, by which I mean he doesn’t embrace the American idea. You are free to disagree with that, but I doubt you’ll ever explain to our satisfaction his desire to fundamentally transform a nation whose ideas he endorses.

Not only does Obama have major issues with America, as founded, but he also appears to have a remarkable naivete concerning evil in the world. As low as his boiling point is concerning conservative opposition to his agenda, he seems not to have one for Islamic terrorism. From designating the Ft. Hood terrorist shootings as workplace violence, to insisting on closing Gitmo, to treating enemy combatants as innocent-until-proved-guilty criminal defendants, to calling the war on terror an “overseas contingency operation,” to deliberately omitting the terms “Islam” and “Muslim” from any description of Islamic jihad, to behaving as though Muslim terrorists can be pacified through rational negotiations, he clearly does not get it.

People are up in arms about Obama acknowledging and then later retracting his admission that he doesn’t have an overall strategy to deal with ISIS. But, to borrow a phrase recently used by Obama, aren’t his critics “putting the cart before the horse”?

How can Obama possibly have a strategy to deal with ISIS when, in his heart of hearts, he doesn’t fully appreciate the threat it represents? When Obama went off his teleprompter, he revealed that he is just not in this fight. He is still clinging to his dangerous belief that he can work magic with Muslim terrorists by celebrating Islam, or that no magic is needed because the threat, if it exists at all, is not that serious, is narrow, and it certainly doesn’t significantly threaten the U.S. homeland.

I’m not a psychiatrist, but I can’t help but wonder whether Obama’s entire outlook on Islamic terrorism isn’t greatly influenced by the warm feelings he has toward Islam itself, as revealed by his remark in his book that the Muslim call to prayer was the sweetest sound he’d ever heard. I’m not saying he’s a closet Muslim; I’m just wondering whether his childhood experiences distort his vision as to the radicalism that often grows out of that religion.

Does he really think terrorists can be rehabilitated or mollified? He certainly behaves as though he does. It’s hard to believe we have a president in office who can’t or won’t face the fact that we and the entire West are in an existential war with Islamic terrorists, whether or not we choose to fight back.

He ignored ISIS for several years, though fully briefed on this great and growing threat. He refused to act when they were marching across the Middle East, holding fast to his leftist commitment to prevent any further American military action in or around Iraq — the venue of “Bush’s war.” And when he did act, it was way too little and even more too late.

He tells us he wants to degrade and destroy this “JV squad.” Then he tells us, a few minutes later, in an unscripted answer to a question, that he wants to “shrink ISIL’s influence … to the point where it is a manageable problem.” Which is it?

Even if his combined statements weren’t inscrutably ambiguous, he added further confusion with his suggestion that his willingness to act is contingent on getting the consent of the international community. I’m all for trying to build a coalition, but not for granting other nations an effective veto over decisions affecting our national security. If this imagined coalition refuses to join us in fighting ISIS, we will have no choice but to fight them on our own. That Obama doesn’t recognize or embrace that is disturbing.

It’s past time to pray for this nation and for the peacemakers, by which I mean those who recognize that peace sometimes can only be achieved by the just use of force.