Once again the Obama administration is caught in a lie. We were told that our troops were getting out of Iraq and Afghanistan. We no longer needed to be there, so a time line was given for withdrawal and it was being followed. We were told al-Qaida was no longer a threat and that the Iraqi trained troops were well-prepared to take over and pick up the slack as we left.
Oops, not so fast. That lie worked politically to get the president re-elected, but now we see the reality of the situation. As they celebrated their electoral victory and pushed Benghazi and terror out of their sight, they assumed that the danger was over, time to move on. It was all wishful thinking on the part of the administration; they were living in a fantasy world they hoped but had to know was not real.
Since our withdrawal from Iraq and the complete lunacy of not leaving an American military force to continue to monitor and defend situations in the region, we now find ourselves in a bigger mess than ever. The delusion that terrorist forces would just fade into the desert has set the entire Middle East on fire.
So, the administration took their eye off the ball, put jihadists on the back burner and went back to their golf games and partisan battles. They ignored the warnings coming from their own agencies, along with the Kurds in the region who knew that the threat was high and that disaster was imminent. That disaster was the emergence of ISIS, the Islamic State militant group that stands with al-Qaida as one of the most dangerous jihadist groups in the world.
ISIS was initially formed in April of 2013, and its military force has grown substantially since then. There are thousands of fighters, including many jihadists from other parts of the world who are building in numbers every day. Through social networking, they are recruiting young people to join their cause, and their plan is to wreak havoc in countries all over the world, especially the EU and the United States.
When Obama stepped away from Syria by drawing a line in the sand and then doing nothing, a void was created and then filled by Abu Bakar al-Baghdadi who now leads the ISIS forces. While Obama vacationed, Baghdadi gained enormous power when 80 percent of the fighters in Syria joined with him to plan jihad.
In spring 2013, ISIS took over the Syrian city of Raqqa – nothing was done about it. In January 2014, when cries from the Kurds were loud and clear telling us of the coming threat, ISIS took over the town of Fallujah, a predominantly Sunni city in the western province of Anbar. It then took over Ramadi and a number of towns near the Turkish and Syrian border. Silence from the White House, no concern even though there were reports of Christians and other religious sects being slaughtered. The Kurds, who are the strongest ally the U.S. has in that portion of the Middle East, were begging the administration to supply them with weapons to defend themselves from the ISIS fighters, but their pleas fell on deaf ears.
It took the fall of Mosul, the second-largest city in Iraq, to finally make the president and the world take notice that this was getting out of control. ISIS was now well-funded with cash and control of oil fields, well-armed, (with U.S. weapons, tanks and hardware), well-trained and was running roughshod over the Iraqi military and anyone who did not convert to Islam. Brutal violence was the order of the day with beheadings taking place, after which the heads were thrown on the roadsides or placed on spikes for all to see. Still, the White House decided to think about the situation and not make any decisions.
Now, in August, we find ourselves in a defensive situation. ISIS has said in no uncertain terms that they are coming for us next and will raise the flag of Allah in the White House. Now ISIS is in control of the Mosul dam and has trapped thousands of Yazidi Kurds in the Sinjar Mountains, leaving them to starve or face horrific death at the hands of the terrorists, so the U.S. is finally forced to act.
But is the help coming too little, too late? The decisions being made by the administration are tepid at best, with pin prick attacks on ISIS using just enough bombs to keep them away from any American interests. The humanitarian aid is not being managed, just dropped in – and who knows if it is even getting to the ones who need it the most?
Why does the president not want to fight this evil element? The statements from him are once again non-committal with no real plan of action, just the continuing mantra that we will not put boots on the ground. There is no plan, no strategy. Our military advisers’ suggestions of arming the Kurds and providing a massive air strike on ISIS troops were falling on deaf ears up until a day or so ago.
This indecisiveness cannot continue; we will find ourselves back in Iraq in a major way. My fear is that the only way strong decisions will be made is when we Americans are hit once again. Whether it is from outside or from ISIS fighters crossing our southern border illegally, it is the goal of the radical Islamists that we shall be destroyed. This is no joke, and it isn’t a game.
If there had been vision and action by the president from the beginning, we would not be where we are today, but once again there was a lack of leadership and an indecisive and weak foreign policy. If pre-emptive action had been taken when we saw ISIS gaining strength, thousands of people would not be facing genocide. With a strong American force working alongside the Kurds and others in the area, making sure that things at least remained stable, the Middle East would possibly have stood a chance to succeed. Now ISIS, a group worse than al-Qaida, is gaining momentum on a daily basis. It looks like the “JV” team has graduated to the major leagues – and unless we stop them, they are coming our way.
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