While president Obama was off railing about an inactive Congress and fundraising in liberal cities, there was an insidious rise in Islamic terrorism brewing in the Middle East. Today, the president blames faulty intelligence for being caught with his pants down regarding the bloody and sadistic advance of ISIL- the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant.
Yet in March of this year, it was reported that ISIL fighters were in Lebanon fighting Hezbollah militants. Apparently not content with just Hezbollah, they found a target of opportunity that they hate perhaps more than Shi'ite Muslims- members of the Israeli Defense Forces patrolling along the Lebanese-Israel border. Prior to that, there were reports that they were recruiting people from Kazakhstan to fight in Syria. ISIL goes back before June, 2014.
I disagree with the current Clinton attack on Obama. If he had armed even moderate elements in Syria's civil war to topple Assad, chances are ISIL would have emerged nevertheless. Let's assume a best case scenario: we arm moderates in Syria and the Assad regime topples. A secular, Sunni-majority government is formed. Do Hillary Clinton, John McCain, Bob Corker and Lindsey Graham honestly believe ISIL would play nice?
Either this was huge intelligence blunder or, more likely, an ignorance of intelligence. Obama has no stomach to make a stand and would prefer that these parties settle their differences on their own. The problem is these parties often solve their differences in the most brutal ways. "Kum-bay-a" foreign policy is a naive fallacy.
The "being caught off guard" line is silly. There was ample evidence that ISIL had designs beyond the Syrian borders. They were, after all, already operating in Lebanon. Admittedly, the weak government of Maliki in Iraq did not help matters and ISIL saw an opportunity and took full advantage of it. Today, the border between Syria and Iraq is all but obliterated and controlled by these people as they push deeper into Iraq.
This is par for the course for this president who learns of world and domestic events on the nightly news. Is CNN and NBC now his de facto CIA? When he and his spokespeople make these claims, it is not a deflection of blame onto the intelligence community, but an admittance of their own ineptitude, ignorance, or both. There was ample warning from a variety of sources that ISIL would move to seize cities in Iraq in early 2014. Again, the Obama administration preferred to stick their head in the sand. To them, Iraq was over and the sooner the better forgotten.
Many blame the inability to negotiate a Status of Forces Agreement with the Maliki government that could have left a standing military presence in Iraq. This is kind of disingenuous. On the one hand, they are claiming that the Maliki government is weak while on the other hand they state they could not negotiate an agreement...with a weak government. If you cannot negotiate an agreement with a weak government, that says loads about your "foreign policy" and international prestige.
As for ISIL itself, these are like a rampaging gang of serial killers run amok. Like the psychopathic, deluded serial killer, they kill for a cause- their brand of Sunni Islam that makes Al Queda look like a Sunday picnic invitee. The atrocities being committed in the name of Allah are many. All one has to do is find them on YouTube- children being beheaded with their heads placed on stakes in towns, women captured, raped and sent into slavery, Christian and Shi'ite shrines and churches desecrated and blown up, the black flag of jihad draped over crosses, mass graves and mass shootings while they yell "Allah Ak-bar" with raised guns. These guys are so bad that they revived the fine art of crucifixion. To show how sick the world and specifically the Muslim world has become, there is no shortage of fighters to the ISIL cause.
And they are savvy. They released a yearly report detailing their terrorist actions. They have resorted to YouTube, Instagram, Twitter and FaceBook to get out their message and images of terror. They are unabashed vicious killers with no regards for anything other than fellow Sunni Muslims.
The Obama administration was strangely silent against the almost daily slaughter of people in the Middle East and Africa because those people happened to believe in Jesus Christ. But, that is the ultimate goal of ISIL- to drive out not only Shi'ite Muslims, but Jews and Christians alike from the Levant. In short, the Levant is a broad area encompassing Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Jordan, Israel and Palestine and parts of Turkey. They will not stop in Iraq.
So what to do? The first step is to re-arm the Kurds because they are the only ones willing to fight ISIL right now. Can they be stopped? They certainly have some military hardware in their arsenal, but it should be no match for American air power. And it would behoove the Turks to intervene now before they turn their sights towards that country.
This would only halt the ISIL advance, not drive it out of Iraq. Everyone talks about Maliki stepping aside and a more inclusive government being formed as if that will stop these butchers. Having smelled success and blood, ISIL will not be satisfied. This is not an insurgency with a political solution at the end of the tunnel. The best solution would be to napalm the hell out of these people in a scorched earth attack, then let the Kurds go in and pick up the pieces.
And need to get over this crap that American attacks only breeds more terrorists. A terrorist is a terrorist is a terrorist. It does not take an American attack to make a terrorist- they do a fine job of it without the United States being around. The fact is they simply hate the West and everything it stands for, especially its Judeo-Christian values. Islam was born of the sword. When you turn another cheek to a Muslim jihadist, you are just giving their sword another target.
I know and have talked with many a Muslim who have taken a moderate stance and write off groups like ISIL as aberrations and that they do not represent the true Muslim. However, I always get the sense that in the course of these explanations, there is this unspoken "but,..." And that "but" usually involves some notion that the United States plays a role here in the reason for the terrorists. In this case, there is no "but," just butchers.