Is Obama Prepared to Wage “Pitiless” War Against ISIS?

ParisThere’s an old joke that says it’s not really a war until the French surrender. It’s probably an unfair shot, but for a long time, at least among Americans, France has been the butt of more than a few jokes about weakness in the face of danger. So when the President of France conveys more strength and toughness than the President of the United States, you know we have a problem.

Francois Hollande wasted no time vowing to wage “pitiless” war against ISIS after the massacre in Paris. Here in America, President Obama can’t bring himself to utter the words, “Islamic terrorism,” presumably out of concern that he might hurt the feelings of some Muslims.

One day before the Paris massacre, Mr. Obama told ABC News that ISIS was “contained” – in Iraq and Syria. He may or may not be right about that, but no serious person would make the case that ISIS is contained beyond the chaos of the Middle East. Nor would any serious person contend that ISIS is a jayvee team, the term Mr. Obama once used to describe the Islamic State. And despite what the president has said, ISIS isn’t “on the run,” either.  Wishful thinking isn’t a legitimate policy when it comes to fighting savages.

This is a president who wants to end wars, a president who is determined to shut down the prison at Guantanamo Bay. Mr. Obama is a reluctant warrior – and that may be a generous description.

But does anyone think that the people behind the Paris slaughter don’t have the United States in their crosshairs? Does anyone think they’re not contemplating a similar attack in New York or Chicago or Los Angeles – or Peoria?  And do we really think that ISIS won’t try to sneak a few terrorists into this country when we accept thousands of refugees from Syria?

Marco Rubio is right: “This is a clash of civilizations. Either they win or we win. This is a movement motivated by religion.” If President Obama prefers to use words like violent extremists to describe Islamic terrorists, if he’s more comfortable describing the slaughter at Fort Hood by a Muslim fanatic in the U.S. Army as workplace violence, then it’s fair to question whether he has the resolve to wage pitiless war against the enemy.