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Obama’s half-hearted decision to take on ISIS has confused everyone. Even as the President sends the U.S. military into harm’s way, he hasn’t articulated a clear strategy, nor even defined the action. Some days it’s called a counter-terrorism effort, other days a war, while its purpose meanders between degrading ISIS, destroying ISIS, or following ISIS to the gates of hell.
As Islamists continue to taunt America, ersatz allies are understandably slow to side with a dithering leader. Despite our excellent armed forces, observers wonder if any military action can be successful with a leader so reticent to lead.
Let’s be honest: No effort can be successful if the Commander-in-Chief is unwilling to even define victory. This semantic murkiness is intentional, since it provides maximum political cover for the poll-watching president. Obama can declare that we “degraded” the terrorist threat with a single air strike or a thousand.
The only reason that Obama acted at all is politics. Polls showed that midterm voters demanded a military response to ISIS’ beheading of American journalists and repeated threats to our homeland. Drones, air strikes and military advisors are merely a PR campaign to assuage moderates that their Democratic president is “doing something.”
Obama does not want to win his new Iraq war. He can’t afford to. If the projection of American military power successfully solved the problem of Islamic terrorism, it would shatter Obama’s entire worldview.
A pragmatist would welcome victory regardless of its origins. Sadly, America is stuck with the most rigid ideologue ever to occupy the White House.
Obama adheres to a transnational progressive morality that has replaced “Good versus Evil” with “Weak versus Strong.” As the strongest nation on the planet, America is viewed not as its “last best hope,” but the chief among oppressors. He has been steeped in this intellectual environment from birth.
U.S. military power is an inherently bad thing, causing untold suffering to the peoples of Mexico, Japan, the Koreas, Vietnam, Afghanistan, Iraq and beyond. It is an extension of European colonialism, which is to blame for the broader power imbalances ravaging the Third World.
American force isn’t the solution to terrorism, but the cause. Poor, powerless Middle Easterners are merely rising up against their oppressors with the few weapons they have. This is blowback and America is the root cause. The chickens have come home to roost.
The only way to end terrorism is for America to apologize to those we have oppressed. To make ourselves weaker, and thus, more moral. To surrender our material advantages, making our world more fair.
Obama might employ military solutions here and there to buy a couple more years for his great liberal project. But his ego cannot afford a sweeping military victory against third-world enemies.