Obama’s ‘Platitudes’ for ISIS

 

I read the transcript of President Obama’s statement today on the murder of journalist James Foley and a few phrases really jumped out: “Their ideology is bankrupt.” “…a group like ISIL has no place in the 21st century.” “…we share a common security and a common set of values.”

How about just calling the terrorists what they are — evil incarnate — and then pledging to obliterate them? (Because as far as I can tell, the most we’re doing is “containing” the caliphate today.) 

I talked today with Foundation for Defense of Democracies Senior Fellow Tom Joscelyn on the subject. Here’s his take:

There are 23 comments.

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  1. Seawriter Contributor
    Seawriter
    @Seawriter

    Mary Kissel, WSJ Editorial Board: How about just calling the terrorists what they are — evil incarnate — and then pledging to obliterate them?

     Nah.  Too Reagan for Obama, and not nearly enough nuance.  Must have nuance.

    Seawriter

    • #1
  2. Frank Soto Contributor
    Frank Soto
    @FrankSoto

    Platitude is the right word.  If ISIL really has no place in the 21st century, Obama would be planning to remove them from it.  Otherwise their place in the 21st century lies in the indifference of the civilized world.

    • #2
  3. MarciN Member
    MarciN
    @MarciN

    Mary Kissel, WSJ Editorial Board: How about just calling the terrorists what they are — evil incarnate — and then pledging to obliterate them?

     Exactly. 

    • #3
  4. Roberto Member
    Roberto
    @Roberto

    Frank Soto:

    Platitude is the right word. If ISIL really has no place in the 21st century, Obama would be planning to remove them from it. Otherwise their place in the 21st century lies in the indifference of the civilized world.

     It is worse than platitude, it is a complete denial of reality:

    More British citizens signed up to fight in Iraq and Syria than joined the Army Reserve last year, it can be revealed.

    Just 170 extra reservists enlisted over the past year – despite a Government target to boost the stand-by force by 11,000 by 2018.

    But at the same time the brutal al-Qaeda inspired ISIS forces tearing through Iraq have been boosted by ‘several hundred’ Brits, ministers told MailOnline.

    The President is living in a fantasy land while this increasingly formidable threat metastasizes

    .

    • #4
  5. user_124695 Inactive
    user_124695
    @DavidWilliamson

    That’s like the Russians living in the 19th Century, right?

    Mr Obama needs to to take his own advice – “The future does not belong to those who slander the prophet of Islam”.

    Last time I checked, the future is the 21st Century.

    • #5
  6. DrewInWisconsin Member
    DrewInWisconsin
    @DrewInWisconsin

    The bit about how we don’t do this in the 21st century seems to be a common platitude for the Obama administration. The same rhetorical construction was used to dismiss Russia’s excursions into the Ukraine.

    He also made a comment about how ISIS represents a collapse of “civilized behavior.” He keeps making these appeals to civilized behavior, the 21st century and “how we do things” today. But he’s appealing to people for whom such things hold no appeal.

    I just picture Obama as the dissipated aristocrat who sighs languidly as the barbarians come over the hill, and tut-tuts that they’re treading on the roses.

    • #6
  7. user_1030767 Inactive
    user_1030767
    @TheQuestion

    “no place in the 21st century”  Wow.  Progressives really believe that people are going to be nicer just because calender pages have turned.  I’m in the academic world, so I’ve met a lot of people who believe this craziness, but I never imagined us actually electing (and re-electing) one of them President.

    • #7
  8. Tim H. Member
    Tim H.
    @TimH

    Mel Gibson’s video speech in Ransom comes to mind.

    I want them to know that with this beheading, they’ve gotten our attention.  And that while up til now, we’ve limited our concern to blocking the siege on the Yazidis, we will now commit ourselves to war against ISIS until they are destroyed.

    I am so sick of these barbarians.

    • #8
  9. Mary Kissel, WSJ Editorial Board Contributor
    Mary Kissel, WSJ Editorial Board
    @marykissel

    Check out British PM David Cameron’s reaction (worth reading in full): http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/middleeast/iraq/11038121/David-Cameron-Isil-poses-a-direct-and-deadly-threat-to-Britain.html

    • #9
  10. EJHill Podcaster
    EJHill
    @EJHill

    Statement from President Roosevelt:

    This morning the Imperial Japanese Navy destroyed or damaged most of our Pacific Fleet. People like this ultimately fail. They fail because the future is won by those who build and not destroy.

    Eleanor and I are appalled. We will continue to do what we must do to protect our people. We will be vigilant and we will be relentless. When people harm Americans anywhere, we do what’s necessary to see that justice is done. The people of the Philippines, who with our support are taking the fight to Japanese, must continue coming together to expel these terrorists from their community. They have our support in their pursuit of a future rooted in dignity.

    For peoples across Asia, there has to be a common effort to extract this cancer so that it does not spread.  One thing we can all agree on is that a country like Japan has no place in the 20th century. Friends and allies around the world, we share a common security and a common set of values that are rooted in the opposite of what we saw this morning.

     Not exactly “…the inevitable triumph, so help us God!” , is it?

    • #10
  11. Seawriter Contributor
    Seawriter
    @Seawriter

    I’m sure once the President realizes the inadequacy of his response he will come up with a really crushing hashtag to put ISIS in its place.

    Seawriter

    • #11
  12. user_494465 Member
    user_494465
    @JoeBoyle

    Makes my ears hurt every time I hear the “no place in the 21st century”.   It’s as if evil is can be cured by evolution or Obama’s superior brain power.

    • #12
  13. user_348375 Inactive
    user_348375
    @TrinityWaters

    Frank Soto:

    Platitude is the right word. If ISIL really has no place in the 21st century, Obama would be planning to remove them from it. Otherwise their place in the 21st century lies in the indifference of the civilized world.

     Frank, I just hope we don’t have to wait until 2017 to begin eliminating these barbarian savages.

    • #13
  14. ctlaw Coolidge
    ctlaw
    @ctlaw

    Mary Kissel, WSJ Editorial Board:

    Check out British PM David Cameron’s reaction (worth reading in full): http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/middleeast/iraq/11038121/David-Cameron-Isil-poses-a-direct-and-deadly-threat-to-Britain.html

     Was this any better:

    “Here in Britain we have recently introduced stronger powers through our   Immigration Act to deprive naturalised Britons of their citizenship if they are suspected of being involved in terrorist activities. We have taken down 28,000 pieces of terrorist-related material from the web, including 46 Isil-related videos. And I have also discussed the police response to this growing threat of extremism with the Metropolitan Police Commissioner, Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe. The position is clear. If people are walking around with Isil flags or trying to recruit people to their terrorist cause, they will be arrested and their materials will be seized.”

    In a sane world, these activities should earn a blindfold and a bullet; some of them not even the blindfold.

    • #14
  15. user_1030767 Inactive
    user_1030767
    @TheQuestion

    Tom Riehl:

    Frank Soto:

    Platitude is the right word. If ISIL really has no place in the 21st century, Obama would be planning to remove them from it. Otherwise their place in the 21st century lies in the indifference of the civilized world.

    Frank, I just hope we don’t have to wait until 2017 to begin eliminating these barbarian savages.

     I hope not too, but I expect that is what will happen.  I think we will effectively have no commander in chief for the next two and a half years.

    • #15
  16. user_339092 Member
    user_339092
    @PaulDougherty

    The Whitehouse just released the following transcript from the speechwriting meetings-

    Valerie Jarrett:

        *#$@ing ISIS. Nothing changes. *#$@ing Nazis!

    Josh Earnest:

       They were Nazis, Barry?

    Valerie Jarrett:

       Oh, come on Earnie, they were threatening beheadings! Are we gonna split hairs here? Am I wrong?

    Pres. Obama:

      They weren’t Nazis, Earnie, they were nihilists!!

    Valerie Jarrett:

       Nihilists! 

    *#$@ me… I mean, say what you want about the tenets of National Socialism, Barry, at least it’s an ethos.

    (apologies to The Big Lebowski)

    • #16
  17. user_82762 Inactive
    user_82762
    @JamesGawron

    Mary,

    Obama would not accept the Bust of Churchill in the Whitehouse.

    “What kind of people do they think we are?!”

    ..walk together in Majesty, in Justice, and Peace.


    Regards,

    Jim

    • #17
  18. Retail Lawyer Member
    Retail Lawyer
    @RetailLawyer

    When Obama stated that European countries just don’t invade other European countries in the 21st Century, I was bothered because obviously, they do now.  It seemed delusional, and a pathetic attempt to shame Putin.  He obviously has no conception of what motivates Putin, I thought.  As the ISIS threat grew geometrically over the last few months, I was relieved that Obama had not used that ridiculous line, he was at least aware that his vision of the 21st Century held no motivational power for ISIS, for they are shame proof.  Now I think  his 21st Century reference means he is disappointed in ISIS (along with D.C., America, Iraq . . . the whole world).  Well, disappointment is not an appropriate response to this development!  He is just phoning it in, hasn’t really thought about it too much, and anybody clever enough to rise to a leadership position in any country or jihadist organization can see that.  This is not good.  It is very bad.

    And it reminds me of Bill Clinton’s nitwit slogan, that he and Al Gore would build a bridge to the 21st Century.  Great.  So here we are.

    • #18
  19. Carey J. Inactive
    Carey J.
    @CareyJ

    Frank Soto:

    Platitude is the right word. If ISIL really has no place in the 21st century, Obama would be planning to remove them from it. Otherwise their place in the 21st century lies in the indifference of the civilized world.

     Be careful what you ask for. If Obama were to start “removing” groups he thinks have no place in the 21st century, gun-owning, Republican, Christians would be at the top of his list.

    • #19
  20. Western Chauvinist Member
    Western Chauvinist
    @WesternChauvinist

    Mary Kissel, WSJ Editorial Board:

    Check out British PM David Cameron’s reaction (worth reading in full): http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/middleeast/iraq/11038121/David-Cameron-Isil-poses-a-direct-and-deadly-threat-to-Britain.html

     Are Muslims condemning ISIL, as Cameron says? Do you have evidence to share, Mary?

    I think these democratic socialists (Cameron and Obama) suffer god-delusions. They believe they can create reality by speaking words. I know that’s the case with Obama: “I will not tolerate it.” Therefore, it is not so? 

    It’d be an interesting psycho-social tic if these guys weren’t running “the free world.” Instead, it’s terrifying.

    • #20
  21. Whiskey Sam Inactive
    Whiskey Sam
    @WhiskeySam

    We cannot begin to consider defeating our enemies if we cannot even bring ourselves to properly recognize them as willfully evil men who have no interest in talk or reason.

    • #21
  22. user_199279 Coolidge
    user_199279
    @ChrisCampion

    Sissified college “professors” who believe that simply by dint of them speaking, things will magically fix themselves, evil will cease to exist, and that zipping off to the golf course as frequently possible is a demonstration of leadership and work ethic have no place in the 21st century.

    Or any century, if we don’t want our way of life to get stomped flat by people whose fanaticism is completely misinterpreted by our current “leadership”.

    I really thought it was telling when Big Boy Pants Barry sent Churchill’s bust home.  Apparently the man who foresaw evil for what it was before most people did does not have a place in the 21st century.

    • #22
  23. liberal jim Inactive
    liberal jim
    @liberaljim

    O’s blah, blah, blah, has provoked the WSJ Ed, Bd, blah, blah blah and comments from a Sr. Fellow of the blah, blah, blah institute.  I am impressed.  
    From a Jr. Fellow at The Get Your Head Out of Your Rear Inst.  Problem One: The last four liberal presidents have been abysmal failures.  Being clear that is 2 Bushes, a Clinton and O.  The last one has made the other 3 look almost competent,  when you think about it that is quite an accomplishment.  Failure to recognize this is problem one.  Problem Two:  Viewing ISIS in its current posture as a problem.  Having 15-20k terrorist in a relatively limited, flat open space is a golden opportunity not a problem.  The major Problem:  The US has never had a clear workable antiterrorist strategy.  Unless you begin with a clear workable strategy you will most likely never developed a successful strategy.  The following are not strategies:  Have the military do stuff,  nation building, talking them to death, ignoring them while you chase an intern or two around the office, ignoring them and not chasing, declaring victory.  There’s more, but I am running out of words.

    • #23
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