When it comes to the conflict in the Middle East many liberals are content to believe that the situation has arisen there due to the policies of George W. Bush, and in their opinion the hawkish Republicans. However, in regards to this recent conflict with the Islamic State, as Lt. Col. Ralph Collins stated, “You Can’t Blame Bush.”
The Islamic State has made its hostility to the United States public knowledge, and this should not be taken lightly. ISIS spokespersons released a letter prior to their execution of journalist James Foley. This is the ending to that letter;
“Now you return to bomb the Muslims of Iraq once again, this time resorting to Arial attacks and “proxy armies”, all the while cowardly shying away from a face-to-face confrontation!
Today our swords are unsheathed towards you, GOVERNMENT AND CITIZENS ALIKE! AND WE WILL NOT STOP UNTIL WE QUENCH OUR THIRST FOR YOUR BLOOD.”
The letter is meant to be of an alarmist nature, and is a form of terrorism in its own way. Nevertheless, parts of it should be broken down, as it shows a clear hostility toward the policies of the Obama administration. For one is the mention of aerial bombing, which has become synonymous with the Obama administration. It can not be denied that air and drone strikes were carried out by the Bush administration, yet it has becoming much more polarizing and prevalent under the Obama administration.
These drone strikes have been a rallying cry for many across the Muslim world as a reason to oppose the United States. Perhaps the execution of James Foley by a British member of ISIS indicates truly the threat that ISIS actually represents to the United States. ISIS is made up of many different nationalities, ranging from Chechens, Afghans, and Arabs, but also including Muslims from Britain, France, and even the United States. It should be noted that a few members of the Nairobi bombing from last year, were in fact from Minneapolis. Recent reports have stated a jihadist from Minnesota was just killed in Syria fighting for ISIL. It is this internal threat that ISIL represents within Western countries that is more alarming than its formation of an unrecognized state within the Middle East.
Nevertheless, the Islamic State’s soldiers whether they are domestic or abroad are a threat that must be dealt with. Unfortunately President Obama seems to be confused on how to deal with ISIS, at times believing them to be a greater threat to the United States than pre-War on Terror Al Qaeda, then the next day calling them a ‘junior varsity’ organization within the terror community. The truth is that President Obama has not addressed the situation correctly if he believes that ISIS is not out for American blood, or that they are not a threat to the United States. ISIS has already proven it is willing to commit genocide, as shown with its besieging of the Yazidi people earlier this month, as well as their execution of James Foley. When President Obama does not institute any kind of strategy to deal with direct threats to the United States, how can our allies or even the American people trust him to be able to deal with this conflict. For the past few years Barack Obama had the choice to back the Syrian opposition against the Syrian government. General Barry Mccaffrey, stated today “that time is over” for funding other groups within the Syrian opposition. Inaction and lethargy is one of the worst traits for a military leader, and the President has definitely been lethargic in the Syrian conflict. While this situation requires proper planning, and possibly a direct assault on ISIS Iraq and Syria holding may not be the correct strategy, at least some kind of emotion is necessary from the President, when an organization with ISIS’s reach declares they “will not stop untill [they]quench [their] thirst for [American] blood”.
Lt. Col. Ralph Collins is right when he compares Obama to child not wanting to clean his room, in that here Obama is lacking responsibility for this situation. It is that lack of responsibility that Obama “Can’t…blame on Bush”