Friday, July 22, 2016

For Obama and Nice (And Now Munich) a New Terrorist Attack But the Same Old Response.

(Note since publishing this piece this morning another terrorist attack, this time in a Munich shopping mall. Its still an ongoing situation but reports are multiple dead, some reports have the number at 15. And everything written below before this latest attack applies even more now)

Given the atrocities of the recent attack in Nice, it seemed appropriate to recall what was written here last November right after the Paris attacks,holding accountable those whose failures to act decisively both before Paris and after continued to allow these attacks and atrocities to happen thanks to their continued avoidance to do what needed to be done.

Unfortunately nothing has changed. And San Bernadino, Brussels, Istanbul, Orlando and now Nice is the result ( there is still no confirmation of who is behind the Munich attack).

There is and has been a steadfast refusal by Obama to send American troops to Iraq to destroy Isis. Instead we get the same worthless worn out cliches we've heard before when after the attack in Nice Obama issued a statement saying he "condemned the attack in the strongest possible terms". Which as everyone knows sent Isis doubling over with remorse and begging forgiveness. It didn't get them on the run either. Which,incredibly, is exactly what John Kerry, living in his unicorn fantasy world, claimed after the Nice attack. That Isis was on the run. Which was like telling someone who was just beaten and robbed that crime is going down.

After each attack we hear the same old broken record of how hard it is to stop these attacks from people who have been radicalized, how hard it is to prevent attacks by people who went to Iraq or Syria to be trained by Isis and then return to their respective countries to commit atrocities. And yet no one has given a thought to: what if there was no longer anywhere for these aspiring terrorists to go? What if there was nothing for them to return from? What if Isis was destroyed and there was nothing left of their fighters, or leaders, or web sites and computers or anything else? What if they were actually destroyed?

The deep thinkers that pop up on TV news shows say things like " but how do you defeat or destroy an ideology? How do you destroy an idea"? How about just destroy Isis first and worry about the ideas later? No one sat around during WWII worrying about how to destroy  Nazi ideology. They destroyed the Nazis. That seemed to do the trick.

That means destroying Isis with deeds not words and what a real leader would have done 3 years ago: send as many troops as necessary to destroy them. Which is what previous Secretaries of Defense had suggested before resigning over Obama's unwillingness to act and what former Chairman of the Joints Chiefs, General Dempsy testified to congress in 2014 he was prepared to do. It was Obama who wasn't.

The Nice attack is one more painful reminder of the failures of judgment, will and backbone that has been the hallmark of Obama's presidency in dealing with just about everything, a presidency Hillary Clinton, whose own failures as Secretary of State along with her personal failures thinks the country needs for four more years.

It's not that we don't know where Isis is. And it's not like we don't know how many there are - 30,000 fighters in Iraq. Sending troops to destroy them with air support already there means no more Isis fighters in Iraq,no more training facilities,no more  infrustructure,no more places in Iraq to attract and train and radicalize more terrorists to send back to their countries. But instead of sending troops Obama sends thoughts and prayers. And he sent them again after learning of the attack in Munich.

Today (July 22) it was announced in Paris  (before the Munich attack) that France would not send French ground troops to Iraq. Its understandable. If the U.S. is not going to lead, if the U.S. is not going to send troops it makes no sense for the French to go it alone.

In Sept 2014 then Chairman of the Joint Chiefs, General Dempsey testified in front of two congressional committees that he was prepared to recommend sending 90,000 U.S. troops to Iraq to defeat and destroy Isis once and for all. Obama said no.Which is probably why Dempsey is no longer Chairman of the Joint Chiefs. Its why three of Obama's Secretaries of Defense resigned.

Instead,Obama did what he does most and does best -- he lied to avoid having to do anything.

At a press conference the day after the Paris attacks (which was two days after he said Isis had been "contained ,a statement he made the morning of the attack) Obama said in answer to a question about sending ground troops to defeat Isis, "not one of my top military advisors has ever recommended sending ground troops to fight Isis". Perhaps Obama didnt consider the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs one of his top commanders. Or maybe he knew he could lie to a collection of incompetent dead fish posing as journalists and get away with it as he has many times before.

Since then Obama has authorized a few hundred commandos to be sent to fight Isis. Dempsey said 90,000. Dempsey's number makes sense. With 30,000 Isis fighters in Iraq you send in overwhelming force which makes it safer for the troops going in and accomplishes the mission faster.  And that number doesnt include forces from NATO countries who would join including the French. So the 90,000 doesnt have to be all U.S. troops.

 Dempsey didnt pull that number out of a hat or ask a Magic 8 Ball. He had military planners at the Pentagon war game a mobilization and give a force assessment needed and a plan. Dempsey wouldnt have bothered to have military planners come up with a plan if he thought sending troops to destroy Isis wasnt necessary.Or advisable.

How many attacks and loss of life will it take before Obama decides that his condemnations and thoughts and prayers  and his heart going out are not enough? No one can say. But a leader acts to prevent a tragedy. And Obama is not a leader. Hopefully it won't take another mass casualty attack in the U.S. to force his reluctant hand. But it might. 

And let's not forget the refugee crisis with tens of thousands of refugees pouring into Europe while many are seeking asylum in the U.S. which has created another problem of its own.These refugees are coming from Syria.Running from Isis.

Bernard Henri-Levy a French writer and philosopher said after the Paris attacks, "no boots on the ground in Iraq means more blood on the ground in France and the U.S." He's been proved right. And if there is any real controversy over whether troops should be sent, there are two choices: follow the advice of the former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs, three Secretaries of Defense and the dictates of common sense, or the judgement of the president who three years ago shrugged Isis off as no problem and called them "the junior varsity".

From the beginning three years ago and with each subsequent attack it is Obama's handling of Isis and terrorism that deserves to be condemned. And now more than ever in the strongest possible terms.

1 comment:

DMC said...

Liberal interventionism is what got us in trouble in the first place, we certainly don't need MORE of it. And ISIS actually IS on the run in Syria and Iraq because enough people have decided that the existing regimes are a long way from perfect but are preferable to the insane nihlism of ISIS. The necon foriegn policy establishment needs to get over the fantasy that there's an alternative to ISIS ib Syria that isn't named Assad. And you'll note that none of these recent attacks are in any way related to ISIS and more related to "angry/unbalanced loners" who were out for mayhem for the hell of it, not out of any ideology.