I take a backseat to no one in my realistic assessment of the threat posed to life, liberty and security posed by the ascendance of Islamic jihadism.
I am the grandson of Arab Christians who sought a life of liberty and security and opportunity in the U.S. after living under domination by Islam.
I am a former Middle East correspondent who has seen the reality of Islamic rule first hand – up-close and personal.
I would like to grant every ISIS member and sympathizer their wildest dream – an immediate one-way ticket to what they mistakenly believe to be paradise.
If I were in charge of the U.S. military, I would ask the generals to concoct a real plan to extinguish every single ISIS combatant using every weapon in our arsenal in the shortest time period possible – with the end of the year being the outside edge of acceptability.
Yet, I cannot even begin to support the plan concocted by Barack Obama to, as he says it, “degrade and destroy ISIS.”
- First, it’s not sincere. One cannot solve a crisis you yourself created without first acknowledging your own mistakes. Obama fails that test miserably. If any one person in the world could be credited, if that’s the right word, with creating the monster ISIS, it would be Obama. How did he do it? He gleefully ignited and fueled the so-called “Arab spring,” which sought to topple stable, authoritarian, non-jihadist regimes in the Middle East – from Egypt to Libya to Syria – setting off a wild, uncontrolled revolutionary spirit that could only serve the interests of the Muslim Brotherhood and other radical interests. In Syria, where ISIS was birthed, Obama exaggerated the offenses of the Syrian regime of Bashar Assad, led a fight to bomb it, sent arms and funding to Sunni Muslim rebels and then watched as those arms fell into the hands of ISIS – literally launching these demons into a regional threat. Now his response and strategy to stop ISIS is, essentially, to do more of the same. His insistence that ISIS is not Islamic and that Islam is, inherently and fundamentally, a “religion of peace,” suggests he cannot escape his politically correct assumptions nor face reality.
- Second, when you’re in a real fight to destroy an enemy, you take help anywhere you can get it. In World War II, Britain and the U.S. allied with the Soviet Union’s Josef Stalin to defeat Adolf Hitler. Was Stalin morally better than Hitler? No. But Hitler represented the immediate existential threat. Today, if ISIS is the immediate threat, we need to recognize Syria and Assad are on the front lines of fighting ISIS. Yet, Obama not only plans to aid Assad’s mortal enemies, but will, according to his generals, even use the opportunity to militarily take on Syria in the process. This is insanity. We don’t have a viable plan to destroy ISIS, let along fight a regional war on multiple fronts.
- Third, Obama seems only interested in aiding Sunni Muslim opposition to ISIS, arming groups whose sympathies are both questionable and subject to change overnight. He refuses to aid the most reliable allies – Christians, Kurds and Shiite opposition, those who are facing the gravest and most immediate threat from these beasts. The problem in the Middle East is not that Sunni Muslims don’t have enough arms. It’s that Sunni Muslims have too many – and too much power.
- Fourth, Obama’s rules of engagement will make his so-called “offensive” against ISIS as ineffective as his war on al-Qaida has been, as ineffective as his war on Syria has been and as ineffective as his rhetoric and threats against Russia have been.
- Fifth, by ruling out America “boots on the ground” as an option, he has telegraphed to ISIS exactly what they have to do to win this conflict. In fact, he has signaled to them that America is not serious about defeating ISIS. He could have boosted ISIS’ morale no more if he waved the white flag of surrender over the White House.
- Sixth, Obama’s conduct of the Iraq war and Afghanistan war is like a blueprint for victory for any enemy of the U.S. The strategy for beating the U.S. is simple: Just wait them out. Just resist until the next election cycle. Just keep attacking until the politicians tire of their policy of containment – they can’t afford to escalate and they don’t have the stomach to increase the terror, shock and awe the U.S. military alone can demonstrate.
- Seventh, if Obama even has a vision of victory against ISIS, he hasn’t defined it. I don’t think he has one. I don’t think he even cares about ISIS. It took the American people’s shock and disgust over the hostage-taking and beheading of Americans by ISIS to get Obama to the point of addressing what he had dismissed as a “jayvee” threat.
- Eighth, Obama fundamentally does not believe in using the power of the U.S. military in the proper, constitutional, traditional American way – to unleash hell on enemies until they unconditionally surrender or die. He believes in diplomacy. He believes in negotiated solutions. He believes in compromises. He believes in half-measures. He believes the U.S. military has been a danger to the world under the control of anyone but inspired new-age, one-world socialists like himself. Even if all the other problems I cited here were eliminated, anything short of a total victory approach against ISIS would ultimately fail.
- Ninth, the Syrian rebels who represent the key to Obama’s anti-ISIS strategy are a fractious lot, and they cannot be trusted. They have one goal in mind – toppling Syria’s regime. To most of them, ISIS represents an ally in that cause, not an enemy. More support for them will only worsen the ISIS crisis – making an already complex theater more chaotic.
- Tenth, I worry that Obama’s strategy has nothing to do with destroying ISIS but everything to do with toppling Syria’s Assad. How can we forget that just one year ago Obama was hell-bent on a belligerent, senseless bombing campaign against the Assad regime – a bulwark against radical Sunni domination in the Middle East and a surprisingly good protector of minority religious groups like Christians and Druze. Obama’s focus on support for anti-Assad forces in Syria suggests his real objective is something other than the destruction of ISIS.
Can Barack Obama be trusted to handle the ISIS crisis?
The answer to that question is an unequivocal “no.”
Obama will only make things worse with his plan. That’s what he has done since taking office. Why would we expect a different result now?
Media wishing to interview Joseph Farah, please contact [email protected].