The President on Wednesday demonstrated an ability to list the horrors brought to bear by ISIL. However, as observed by many, something was missing; emotional outrage and passion! The President demonstrated one of two key factors in the rapid demise of his foreign policy. He is either incapable of seeing evil for what it is or he is addicted to the noxious affliction of careful domestic political calculation when strong leadership is called for. How can you list the symptoms of terror demonstrated by ISIL and not demonstrate passionate revulsion resulting in action.
The President and his administration suffer from the self hypnosis of nomenclature: Benghazi, a demonstration, Fort Hood, workplace violence; it’s not terror it’s a “Man Caused Disaster”, Jihad is just an exercise in self-improvement. AG Holder could not find it in him to associate Radical Islam with terror; offering, in a Congressional hearing, a tortured refusal to connect dots that now approaches the threshold of inescapable common knowledge.
The delusion at its most fundamental level continues, following the long list of ISIL atrocities the President also said “ISIL speaks for no religion … no faith teaches people to massacre innocents.”
The President could not be more wrong. The three legs of the Islamic stool: the Koran, Hadith and Bukhari’s ‘Life of Mohammed’ form the most fundamental basis for Clerical interpretation of Islam. The massacre of innocents is well documented and fundamental to the history and radical interpretations of Islam. The trick can be in the definition of who is an innocent. According to many Islamic Clerics the very act of paying your taxes in the West removes the patina of innocence. Experts and al Qaeda agree ISIL is worst than al Qaeda and yet al Qaeda justified the indiscriminate use of nuclear weapons specifically and WMD generally. So how much worse does it get; is this not evil?
“Make war on the infidels who dwell around you.” (Sura 9:123) “The infidels are your sworn enemies.” (Sura 4:101) “When you meet the infidel in the battlefield, strike off their heads.” (Sura 47:4) “Kill the disbelievers wherever you find them.” (Sura 2:191)
The horrific beheading of James Foley is a case of past as prelude. It is not difficult to recall the beheading videos of Nick Berg and Daniel Pearl. Nor is it difficult to accept the reports of ISIL inflicting beheadings throughout their current rampage. What does seem difficult for senior administration officials is to call out ISIL and its theology for what it is; evil!
ISIL has now brought it genocidal evil to the Iraqi town of Amerli, 18,000 Shiites are in jeopardy of yet more terror on a massive scale because to ISIL Shiites are not “true” Muslims. Over the past two months ISIL has taken possession of surrounding towns and now it’s Amerli’s turn. Seems as if ISIL is undeterred by the scope of American action, the Foley beheading was, in part, a middle finger raised to the U.S. efforts around Irbil.
In her State Department briefing Marie Harf intimated that the FBI will apply a law enforcement model to the search for Foley’s killer. What should happen is an all-out air campaign to deliver the message that there is a high price to pay for the application of terror. While no one wants significant American Troops on the ground the appropriate air campaign can deny ISIL heavy weapons, freedom of movement and the cloak of invincibility. What should happen is elimination of the supply lines from Syria. What needs to happen is an epiphany by the President that evil is encouraged by weakness and half measures absent a strategic imperative. An epiphany, concluding that evil must be confronted with or without a coalition, with or without “others”.
Some would call that leadership!