In his interview with Fox’s Sean Hannity this week, President Trump reiterated his desire to wipe out the terrorist organization known as ISIS. This is one of those campaign promises that will represent quite the heave-ho since our dearly-departed former President worked hard to create the terrorist entity in the first place.
No doubt you witnessed last week’s media fawning over President Obama as they watched their messiah helicopter off into the sunset. Over the next year, we will probably get sick of hearing about President Obama’s legacy. As a matter of fact, I’m sure you’re nauseated by it already.
But, unfortunately, The former president has certainly made several egregious foreign policy missteps, but perhaps this one with ISIS will be his crowning achievement.
Recently, The Daily Wire’s Michael Qazvini wrote a piece outlining seven of Obama’s most egregious foreign policy blunders. First among them is his mishandling of the situation in Syria. Qazvini writes:
President Obama officially drew a “red line” against the butcher of Damascus, vowing to use military force against the regime if Assad were to use chemical weapons on his own people. One year later, Assad called his bluff, killing 1,500 people in August 2013 with deadly chemical weapons. Not only did Obama fail to follow through with his vow, but he directed administration to ultimately pull back from calling for regime change.
Since then, Dictator Bashar Al Assad has used deadly chemical weapons against his own people numerous times. Mr. Qazvini also focuses on Obama’s treatment of Israel, our most important ally in the Middle East:
Obama finally showed his true colors when he directed his UN Ambassador to abstain from a starkly anti-Israel UN Security Council resolution that essentially labeled the Old City of Jerusalem, the Western Wall, and the Jewish Quarter as illegally-occupied territory.
However, the rise of the Islamic State (ISIS) will forever be known as one of the Obama administration’s most colossal failures. The Islamic terrorist organization has murdered thousands in the Middle East and abroad. European nations have experienced an unprecedented number of terrorist attacks. As well, the United States has suffered numerous attacks that were carried out by domestic terrorists that were radicalized by ISIS.
Obama’s approach to ISIS has turned a nightmare into a full-blown catastrophe.
ISIS came to power as a result of the Obama administration’s lack of diligence. The former President’s failure to take the terrorist threat seriously led to his Neville Chamberlain-esque decision to withdraw U.S. troops from Iraq.
In January of 2014, Obama downplayed the ISIS threat when he famously referred to the organization as the “JV team.” In an interview with the New Yorker, he said: “The analogy we use around here sometimes, and I think is accurate, is if a JV team puts on Lakers uniforms, that doesn’t make them Kobe Bryant.”
As with most of his foreign policy decisions, former President Barack Obama was not just wrong – but dead wrong. Ultimately, his failure to heed expert warnings enabled ISIS to amass more and more power. Their brutality and efficiency were responsible for the grisly deaths of thousands of people in Iraq and Syria.
Last month, Obama said that he was surprised by ISIS’ ability to gain control of large parts of the region. If you’re anything like me, and you’ve been paying attention to reports from the Middle East over the years, you could have easily seen this coming. We knew the Iraqi army was not in a position to adequately defend itself. We knew that Al Qaeda still had a presence in the country.
But let’s forget about you and me for a second. What about the experts? Why didn’t they tap the President on the shoulder and say “Barry, it’s not time to take the troops out yet”?
It turns out they did. As a matter of fact, Obama was repeatedly warned.
- Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Iraq and Iran Brett McGurk, in testimony before a House Foreign Affairs subcommittee, warned that ISIS was becoming a significant threat in Syria and Iraq.
- Robert Beecroft, U.S. Ambassador to Iraq, commented that the situation with ISIS could become much worse. This statement was made after ISIS took control of Fallujah.
- Lieutenant General Michael Flynn said that ISIS would attempt to gain more territory in Syria and Iraq.
- In 2007, President George W. Bush said that withdrawing U.S. troops from Iraq against the recommendations of generals would allow terrorist groups to take control of the country.
To say that withdrawing our troops was a mistake would be an enormous understatement.
In 2011, ISIS began preparing for its conquest. It capitalized on the vacuum left by the withdrawal of U.S. troops.
ISIS attacked the Iraqi cities of Mosul and Tikrit in 2014, easily gaining control. During this time, ISIS militants mounted a campaign of terror in the regions it controlled. They slaughtered people of all ethnic groups and religions like cattle. They kidnapped and raped women and female children.
What sets ISIS apart from other terrorist groups is its brutal treatment of prisoners and people living under their rule. They shot, maimed, and beheaded Muslims, Christians, and just about everyone else in between. They filmed these killings and uploaded them to the internet for the world to see. They carried out their atrocities with reckless impunity.
In 2014, ISIS filmed the beheading of Steven Sotloff, a journalist reporting on the war. They have also killed other journalists as well. The atrocities committed by the organization have been well documented.
There is some good news. ISIS is currently losing ground. Iraqi forces are steadily pushing ISIS out of the country. They are regaining control of the regions they had lost previously. In Syria, Russian-led attacks are decimating the terrorist organization.
Depriving ISIS of territory will not eliminate the threat. ISIS has a contingency plan. When they no longer have a territory to run their operations, they will resort to a more decentralized approach to terror.
The coordinated attacks in Europe and the lone wolf attacks in the United States are examples of ISIS’ new approach. They have also carried out devastating bombings in Middle Eastern cities, killing hundreds of people. By recruiting European-born fighters, ISIS plans to unleash more terror in Europe. They have already managed to radicalize 11,000 foreign recruits. Europol has released a report that states that Britain is one of the highest priority targets for the organization. Britain has already foiled at least 12 attempted attacks in the past three years.
Gilles de Kerchove, the European Union’s counter-terror coordinator, has said that the ISIS threat will continue for years. In an interview with The Independent, he said: “An effective response requires a comprehensive approach and long-term commitment.”
President Obama’s legacy will be forever marred by his incompetent foreign policy. His penchant for appeasing our enemies while alienating our allies has put the United States in a highly precarious situation.
Russia, under the leadership of President Vladimir Putin, has become a major world power again. Our relationship with Israel has been damaged. And, contrary to what the establishment media wants you to believe, the Iran Nuclear Deal is not going to keep the nation from acquiring nuclear weapons.
Allowing ISIS to become a major player on the world stage was a mistake that may cause more harm than first thought. ISIS may not be an existential threat to the U.S., but if we are unable to defeat them, we will see more attacks like the shootings in San Bernardino and the Pulse nightclub.
It will be up to President Donald Trump to fix the mistakes of the Obama administration. This can’t be done by playing nice with those who wish to maim, murder and behead. It can’t be done by pushing our allies away. It can only be done by having an unshakeable resolve to protect our nation.
We can only hope President Trump will be up to the task.