When he leaves office in 23 months, President Obama might consider a career in construction. Why? Because few leaders have ever been quite so proficient at building straw men.
The president’s latest edifice was constructed Wednesday, when he proudly declared, “We are not at war with Islam.”
Of course, no responsible person has ever claimed we are at war with Islam or all Muslims.
President Obama made his declaration of non-war during a conference on violent extremism. This week’s three-day meeting probably can’t do much harm, but it most likely won’t do much good, either. Consider this statement from one of the speakers at the gathering: “We need to find new ways to amplify the voices of peace and tolerance and inclusion, and we especially need to do it online.” Who uttered that vacuous sentence?
Yes, it was President Obama himself.
The president always seems to be overly concerned with the possibility that someone’s feelings might be hurt if he speaks a little too harshly about Islamic-based terror. At that same conference, he warned that we should not “stigmatize entire communities,” and declared “nobody should be profiled.” Naturally, he also urged that we “address the grievances” of those who might join the jihad.
The president also wrote an op-ed for the Los Angeles Times, in which he complained that “many Muslim Americans across our country are worried and afraid.” Is he serious? Has there been a rash of anti-Muslim hate crimes in America? Are U.S. Muslims living in fear like Copts in Egypt, Yazidis in Iraq, cartoonists in Paris, Jews in Denmark, Christians in Nigeria?
President Obama and his team simply must acknowledge the fact that tens of thousands of Islamic radicals are running wild around the world. Of course they are a minority of Muslims, just as the Nazis were a minority of Germans in the 1930s. But their savagery is unmatched, and they are determined to slaughter their way to an Islamic caliphate.
While President Obama spouts platitudes about tolerance, and while the State Department’s Marie Harf suggests that a jobs program might soothe the savages, the administration is very reluctant to confront the brutal ISIS crew with ground raids that could actually do some serious damage.
No one wants a prolonged ground war fought with hundreds of thousands of troops, but elite U.S. warriors are the most effective in the world. A few well-planned ground assaults on ISIS positions would speak far louder than a thousand conferences.
World leaders are growing more ever more worried about ISIS. Pope Francis is speaking out, but, as Stalin famously asked, how many divisions does the Pope have? Egypt’s el-Sissi and Jordan’s Abdullah have also denounced the Islamists. But there is only one leader with the cachet and the military might to lead the fight against the Islamic State and its barbarity.
That reluctant warrior, of course, is President Obama.
The president is certainly correct when he says we are not at war with Islam. But we are at war with devout Muslims who want us dead. The Atlantic recently published an invaluable article under the provocative heading “What ISIS Really Wants.” The piece lays out the Islamic State’s philosophy and goals, and makes this bold assertion: “The reality is that the Islamic State is Islamic. Very Islamic. Yes, it has attracted psychopaths and adventure seekers … but the religion preached by its most ardent followers derives from coherent and even learned interpretations of Islam.”
If the world unites against the Islamic jihad, it can be defeated. The fight requires a decisive leader who understands that jobs programs aren’t nearly as effective as Special Forces. The world is watching and waiting, President Obama. There is a Holy War underway and the last person to acknowledge that fact is the most powerful man in the world.