Obama continues to insist on leading from behind; that’s the most He can do. Who in his right mind would follow Him were He to try to lead from the front?
Commander in Chief Juilation T.
Cornpone Obama, Nobel Peace Prize recipient and Hero of the Obama Nation, has His own ideas about the “non-Islamic” Islamic State (IS) with which He is or isn’t at war (or going to war) with the help of “moderate” Islamists.
It is not out of ignorance that President Obama and Secretary Kerry are denying the Islamic roots of the Islamic State jihadists. As I argued in a column here last week, we should stop scoffing as if this were a blunder and understand the destructive strategy behind it. The Obama administration is quite intentionally promoting the progressive illusion that “moderate Islamists” are the solution to the woes of the Middle East, and thus that working cooperatively with “moderate Islamists” is the solution to America’s security challenges. [Emphasis added.]
. . . .
[T]he term “moderate Islamist” is an oxymoron. An Islamist is a Muslim who wants repressive sharia imposed. There is nothing moderate about sharia even if the Muslim in question does not advocate imposing it by violence.
Most people do not know what the term “Islamist” means, so the contradiction is not apparent to them. If they think about it at all, they figure “moderate Islamist” must be just another way of saying “moderate Muslim,” and since everyone acknowledges that there are millions of moderate Muslims, it seems logical enough. Yet, all Muslims are not Islamists. In particular, all Muslims who support the Western principles of liberty and reason are not Islamists.
If you want to say that some Islamists are not violent, that is certainly true. But that does not make them moderate. There is, moreover, less to their nonviolence than meets the eye. Many Islamists who do not personally participate in jihadist aggression support violent jihadists financially and morally – often while feigning objection to their methods or playing semantic games (e.g., “I oppose terrorism but I support resistance,” or “I oppose the killing of innocent people . . . but don’t press me on who is an innocent“). [Emphasis added.]
Perhaps Obama doesn’t know or doesn’t care what He wants to fight, beyond sagging poll numbers.
Coalition of the unwilling
His coalition of the unwilling is a diverse bunch, but how can He lead them, even from behind, when He can’t convince himself or them of much of anything?
Despite being the greatest orator of the last thousand years, he’s a complete bust at selling anything but himself, as comprehensively demonstrated in his first couple of years: see his rhetorical efforts on behalf of ObamaCare, or Massachusetts Senate candidate Martha Coakley, or Chicago’s Olympics bid. When it comes to war, he suffers from an additional burden: before he can persuade anybody else, he first has to persuade himself. And he can’t do it. So he gave the usual listless performance of a surly actor who resents the part he’s been given. It’s not just the accumulation of equivocations and qualifications – the “Islamic State” is not Islamic, our war with them is not a war, there’ll be no boots on the ground except the exotic footwear of a vast unspecified coalition – but something more basic: What he mainly communicates is that he doesn’t mean it. [Emphasis added.]
Coalition Islamists want to retain their own regional powers but have few quarrels with Islam (Egypt under President Sisi may be an exception as to Islam). Saudi Arabia?
Islamic State terrorists have infamously decapitated three of their prisoners in recent weeks. That is five fewer than the Saudi government decapitated in August alone. Indeed, it is three fewer beheadings than were carried out in September by the Free Syrian Army — the “moderate Islamists” that congressional Republicans have now joined Obama Democrats in supporting with arms and training underwritten by American taxpayer dollars.
The Obama administration regards the Saudi government as America’s key partner in the fight against Islamic State jihadists. The increasingly delusional Secretary of State John Kerry reasons that this is because the fight is more ideological than military. Get it? The world’s leading propagators of the ideology that breeds violent jihad are our best asset in an ideological struggle against violent jihadists. [Emphasis added.]
. . . .
Saudi Arabia is the cradle of Islam: the birthplace of Mohammed, the site of the Hijra by which Islam marks time — the migration from Mecca to Medina under siege by Mohammed and his followers. The Saudi king is formally known as the “Keeper of the Two Holy Mosques” (in Mecca and Medina); he is the guardian host of the Haj pilgrimage that Islam makes mandatory for able-bodied believers. The despotic Saudi kingdom is governed by Islamic law — sharia. No other law is deemed necessary and no contrary law is permissible.
Boots on the ground
The Obama Nation will have no “boots on the ground.” Obama, a specialist in all specialities and wiser in all matters than anyone else, apparently believes that He knows better about military matters than do His past and current military advisers.
Retired Marine Gen. James Mattis, who served under Obama until last year, became the latest high-profile skeptic on Thursday, telling the House Intelligence Committee that a blanket prohibition on ground combat was tying the military’s hands. “Half-hearted or tentative efforts, or airstrikes alone, can backfire on us and actually strengthen our foes’ credibility,” he said. “We may not wish to reassure our enemies in advance that they will not see American boots on the ground.” [Emphasis added.]
Mattis’s comments came two days after Army Gen. Martin Dempsey, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, took the rare step of publicly suggesting that a policy already set by the commander in chief could be reconsidered.
Despite Obama’s promise that he would not deploy ground combat forces, Dempsey made clear that he didn’t want to rule out the possibility, if only to deploy small teams in limited circumstances. He also acknowledged that Army Gen. Lloyd Austin, the commander for the Middle East, had already recommended doing so in the case of at least one battle in Iraq but was overruled. [Emphasis added.]
Perhaps a few of Obama’s Islamist allies will supply a few boots on the ground.
The “moderate” Islamists Obama wants to train and equip, now with Congressional approval, are little if any better.
Air power, provided by the Obama Nation and apparently now also by France, could be useful in degrading and destroying enemy leaders and their military equipment. However, Obama says that He will micromanage the process in Syria.
A man who’s a better speechwriter than his speechwriters, a better political director than his political directors, and who knows more about policy than his policy advisors must surely also be a better general than his generals, no?
The U.S. military campaign against Islamist militants in Syria is being designed to allow President Barack Obama to exert a high degree of personal control, going so far as to require that the military obtain presidential signoff for strikes in Syrian territory, officials said.
The requirements for strikes in Syria against the extremist group Islamic State will be far more stringent than those targeting it in Iraq, at least at first. U.S. officials say it is an attempt to limit the threat the U.S. could be dragged more deeply into the Syrian civil war… [Emphasis added.]
Throughout President Obama’s time in office, the White House has kept close control of counterterrorism targeting, reserving the right to sign off on strikes against al Qaeda and other militant targets in Yemen, Pakistan and elsewhere.
Defense officials said that the strikes in Syria are more likely to look like a targeted counterterrorism campaign than a classic military campaign, in which a combatant commander picks targets within the parameters set by the commander in chief.
President Johnson micromanaged airstrikes during the Vietnam war and joked (?) that no outhouse could be attacked without his approval. Obama, if He is awake and preoccupied with neither of the heavy burdens of office He bravely shoulders — golfing and fund raising — may perhaps manage it almost as well as did Johnson. Oh well. He may get a few IS leaders lurking in outhouses. Unfortunately, the IS is a many headed hydra: lop off one head and two replace it. Destroyed military equipment? Newly armed “moderate” Islamic jihad groups will provide more, willingly or otherwise.
The Commander in Chief, Jubilation T. Obama
The Confederacy had no General Cornpone. The Obama Nation now has its own, as the Commander in Chief. He is the leader who can best implement His “strategies,” if and when He decides what they are and how to do it. Please pay attention to the lyrics. How many analogies are there to our current Commander in Chief?
The country’s now in the very best of hands, at least since 2009.
But be of good cheer: help is on the way. Here are some better ideas than Obama has offered thus far:
Finally, the really good news
There is still one shimmering example of efficiency and wisdom in the Obama Administration, the Department of Homeland Security, which protects us from Tea Party and other far right terrorists, foreign and domestic. It’s right at home where it should be, in a (former) insane asylum. Here is a picture of DHS personnel hard at work doing their best for we the people:
Jubilation T. Obama is the demented gentleman to the far left rear of the photo, leading the DHS from His customary position.
Rick Moran posted an article titled Defense Secretary Hagel to Review Pentagon-NFL Ties at PJ Tatler. His onerous new duties might keep the Secretary of Defense out of trouble by limiting any bothersome ruminations on insignificant military concerns such as those affecting the “non-Islamic” Islamic State, et al.
UPDATE, September 21, 2014
An article by Rick Moran at PJ Tatler is titled ISIS Forces Sweeping Through Northern Syria as Thousands Flee. It notes,
Forces of the Islamic State in Syria have mounted a huge offensive with columns of heavy armor sweeping through the Kurdish region of Northern Syria near the Turkish border.
Their goal is apparently capturing the strategic border town of Ayn al-Arab, and more than 60 towns and villages in the region have fallen to ISIS forces in the past few days.
This has unleashed a nearly unprecedented wave of refugees streaming into Turkey. More than 60,00 women, children, and old people crossed the border into Turkey in the 24 hour period from Friday to Saturday, overwhelming aid resources.
Kurdish forces in the region are falling back while others are making their way to the front from Turkey to join their comrades.
. . . .
The timing is almost too coincidental. Is ISIS testing Obama’s new Syria policy?
By putting enormous pressure on Kurds in northern Syria, Islamic State may be probing US commitment to the fight in Syria. The cries for assistance from the Kurds have been met with indifference by most of the international community.
. . . .
Will the president sacrifice the Syrian Kurds to maintain the political viability of his new Syria police? The fallout from doing nothing won’t improve our credibility with the Kurds, or anyone else who might be thinking of signing on for the fight against ISIS.