How Obama’s failed lead­er­ship is lit­er­ally killing us

At­tacks can only be stopped by a com­pe­tent com­man­der in chief

The Washington Times Weekly - - Commentary - By Mon­ica Crow­ley

The most re­cent Is­lamic act of war, in which self-pro­fessed Is­lamic State ji­hadi Omar Mir Sed­dique Ma­teen slaugh­tered 49 peo­ple and in­jured scores of oth­ers at a gay night­club in Or­lando, Fla., should be a game changer. The dead­li­est at­tack on U.S. soil since Sept. 11, 2001, should fi­nally con­vince our lead­er­ship that deal­ing with the Is­lamic threat must no longer be busi­ness as usual. Don’t hold your breath. Pres­i­dent Obama has run na­tional se­cu­rity pol­icy only to serve his leftist agenda, not Amer­i­can in­ter­ests and se­cu­rity. Af­ter nearly eight years of de­lib­er­ate U.S. in­ac­tion and im­po­tence, the Is­lamic State now leads the global ji­had, in­clud­ing within our own bor­ders. And it should sur­prise no one that the pres­i­dent will never fight the war in any mean­ing­ful way.

Nor will Hil­lary Clin­ton, who worked in lock­step with Mr. Obama dur­ing the years she served as sec­re­tary of state and still be­lieves in his failed ap­proach.

Don­ald Trump, how­ever, prom­ises that if he’s elected pres­i­dent, “the days of deadly ig­no­rance will end.”

First, how­ever, we must sur­vive the re­main­ing seven months of Mr. Obama’s term.

Last Fe­bru­ary, af­ter the Is­lamic State (ISIS) had be­headed 21 Chris­tians in Libya and launched at­tacks in Paris that left 17 peo­ple dead, the White House wel­comed do­mes­tic and for­eign rep­re­sen­ta­tives from law en­force­ment, gov­ern­ment and re­li­gious groups (in­clud­ing the ex­trem­ist Is­lamic So­ci­ety of Bos­ton) to a glo­ri­fied cof­fee klatch called the “Sum­mit on Coun­ter­ing Vi­o­lent Ex­trem­ism.” He con­vened an­other one of these Potemkin sum­mits in Septem­ber.

Since then, we’ve seen stepped-up at­tacks across the globe. So much for “coun­ter­ing vi­o­lent ex­trem­ism.”

The ji­had rolls on, while Mr. Obama and his team refer to “ter­ror” while point­edly re­fus­ing to ac­knowl­edge the Is­lamic be­liefs that in­spire it.

This sui­ci­dal un­will­ing­ness to call the en­emy what it is — never mind do some­thing con­crete to de­feat it — comes straight from the top. The Obama ad­min­is­tra­tion has en­gaged in all kinds of po­lit­i­cally cor­rect gym­nas­tics to avoid mak­ing the con­nec­tion be­tween Is­lam and ter­ror, terming acts of ter­ror “man-made dis­as­ters” mis­sions fought abroad “over­seas con­tin­gency op­er­a­tions,” and in the case of the Is­lamic at­tack at Ford Hood, “work­place vi­o­lence.”

The virus of po­lit­i­cal cor­rect­ness has long in­fected the way in which Mr. Obama, his ad­min­is­tra­tion and many in the me­dia speak about the en­emy — when they do at all — and in how they deal with it. It’s no won­der that de­spite wav­ing Is­lamist red flags ev­ery­where from his place of em­ploy­ment to the FBI, Ma­teen roamed freely un­til he com­mit­ted mass mur­der.

Mr. Obama ini­tially dis­missed ISIS as “ju­nior var­sity.” He later de­clared the or­ga­ni­za­tion “con­tained” — just a day be­fore it launched its mas­sacre in Paris.

One thing we know about the most com­mit­ted ji­hadis — the net­works of whom are in ev­ery cor­ner of the globe — is that they can­not be con­tained.

Even af­ter the Bos­ton, Paris and San Bernardino at­tacks, Mr. Obama would not change his strate­gic ap­proach, around which ISIS has eas­ily nav­i­gated.

Now more than ever, the grow­ing threat re­quires a more com­pre­hen­sive strat­egy de­signed not sim­ply to roll back Is­lamic fun­da­men­tal­ism but to de­feat it — and still Mr. Obama will not de­liver one, be­cause he is ide­o­log­i­cally al­ler­gic to any se­ri­ous mil­i­tary en­gage­ment in the Mid­dle East.

He has done the bare min­i­mum — send a few hun­dred spe­cial op­er­a­tions forces to Syria, or­der some ad­di­tional airstrikes — he thinks he can get away with. He looks like he’s “do­ing some­thing” while re­ally not do­ing much at all, par­tic­u­larly given the ob­scenely re­stric­tive rules of en­gage­ment.

Af­ter the Novem­ber Paris at­tack, I wrote, “ISIS cer­tainly in­tends to strike the U.S. home­land, so un­less it is an­ni­hi­lated, it’s just a mat­ter of time be­fore it will be able to carry out a do­mes­tic at­tack of the kind it re­cently ex­e­cuted in Paris, Beirut and aboard a Rus­sian jet­liner.” Sadly, this was pre­scient. We must fight this war the way we fought the Nazis in World War II and So­viet com­mu­nists dur­ing the cold war: com­pre­hen­sively and strate­gi­cally, us­ing ev­ery avail­able mil­i­tary, eco­nomic, ide­o­log­i­cal, diplo­matic, cy­ber and re­li­gious lever. We must stop this threat be­fore it metas­ta­sizes fur­ther and fully over­takes Western Civ­i­liza­tion.

The truth is that while Mr. Obama talks tough about “de­grad­ing” the threat, he will never ex­e­cute a sus­tained and se­ri­ous strat­egy to ac­tu­ally do it. And with­out his lead­er­ship, don’t ex­pect the rest of the Western World to act against the ob­vi­ous threat.

Un­for­tu­nately, we’re not the only ones see­ing the weak­ness. The en­emy is sees it, too. So they con­tinue their ad­vance, know­ing full well that the only power that can truly stop them — a united West led by a strong U.S. com­man­der in chief — does not ex­ist.

At least for the time be­ing. Mon­ica Crow­ley is ed­i­tor of on­line opin­ion at The Wash­ing­ton Times.

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