Greg Corombos of Radio America and Jim Geraghty of National Review were surprised to see Oscars host Neil Patrick Harris zing Edward Snowden after a documentary on the NSA leaker won an Academy Award. Jim and Greg debate the merits of Charles Krauthammer’s call for the GOP to abolish the filibuster. And they react to a new poll showing a plurality of Democrats think it’s OK for the president to ignore a court ruling if it’s “important to the country.”
Archives for February 2015
The Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, or ISIS, is gobbling up more territory in preparation for striking western nations and a retired U.S. Army Special Forces officer says the U.S. needs to stop underestimating the enemy and start engaging Sunnis in Iraq to stand up and fight for their homeland.
Retired Lt. Col. Scott Mann spent 23 years in Special Forces, including 15 years of service as a Green Beret. He saw combat duty in Iraq, Afghanistan and several other spots around the world during his years in uniform. Mann points out that ISIS now controls a land area greater in size than the United Kingdom. He says the U.S. and our allies need to realize ISIS likely presents a greater threat to the West than any other group we’ve confronted since 9/11.
“These guys, in a lot of ways, are a lot more advanced than Al Qaeda. Al Qaeda always talked about re-establishing this caliphate, but I don’t think even Bin Laden expected to see it in his lifetime. Whereas ISIS, not only have they established it, the caliphate is part of their legitimacy. So the expansion of this is a very real thing and they’re going to keep going,” said Mann.
After Sunday’s video release of the grisly beheadings of 21 Coptic Christians in Libya. reports surfaced this week that ISIS plans to use North Africa as a launching pad for attacks in Europe. Mann believes that is definitely part of the plan.
“I fully believe they are looking to expand into Europe and even further, and I do think their activity in Libya and other places indicate that,” said Mann.
Mann says for all of its horrifying actions, ISIS has been very clear about its intentions and the U.S. and other nations have been slow to take them seriously.
“It seems like we keep counting these guys out or we keep missing what we’re capable of . The reality is these guys have a very powerful narrative that resonates with a lot people. And they follow an end of days kind of scenario here. They are manufacturing a holy war between Islam and the West and they fully intend to fight it,” said Mann.
At this week’s White House summit on confronting violent extremism, President Obama said the very reason he does not refer to ISIS as being motivated by Islamic extremism is because that’s what the radicals want. Mann is of two minds on this debate. First, he says Obama definitely needs to be more clear about who our enemy is.
“I do think it is a mistake to not call out the enemy as Islamist violent extremists because they certainly are and they are using medieval Islamism to justify their actions,” said Mann, who also says Obama is right not to give ISIS a lot of material to feed its propaganda efforts.
“I do think the president is right in cautioning us to not fall into the role of the crusader, who they want us to be. That falls right into their narrative and, frankly, that’s how they recruited the shooter in Denmark. It’s how they recruit these young girls from the UK, this narrative that Islam is under attack by the West. By trying to ‘do something,’ we end up playing into that narrative,” said Mann.
So how will ISIS be most effectively destroyed? Mann says is starts by studying how ISIS has gobbled up so much territory to this point.
“They go into a fragile state that is basically exploited by violent extremists in areas that are beyond the reach of that partner government. In Iraq, they go into the marginalized Sunni tribal areas, where those tribes are degraded and beaten down and they co-opt them from the bottom up,” said Mann.
“So if you strike them from the top down with the Iraqi military whom those Sunnis distrust or whether it’s with air strikes, you just drive those extremists deeper into the population, like a tick in a dog,” he said.
While Mann believes military action is critical to stop and ultimately destroy ISIS, he says the key is for American and other allied advisers to go into the marginalized areas and win over tribal leaders and have them fight back over time.
“These extremists have to be taken out. There’s no doubt about it. I believe it needs to be done in the context of a broader strategy, where we get into these local areas, these strategic safe havens and we find tribal leaders that are pushing back and resisting and we help them push [ISIS] out of there. I think that’s the only way for the long term that we degrade ISIS and other extremists to the point they are irrelevant,” said Mann.
According to Mann, sending in huge numbers of ground troops to collaborate with the tribal leaders would look like another U.S. occupation. He says sending in the advisers would accomplish the same goal with a much lighter footprint and a much small cost in blood and treasure. He says it’s an approach he personally watched succeed in Afghanistan.
“In the last few years of the Afghan war, Green Berets did that throughout rural Afghanistan. It was very effective and Mullah Omar was on record, citing it as one of the greatest threats the Taliban faced,” said Mann, who noted Gen. David Petraeus employed the same strategy in the Sunni areas of Iraq with groups like Sons of Iraq and The Awakening.
While Mann is urging western leaders not to underestimate ISIS, he also cautions that this fight will not be over quickly.
“This McDonald’s drive-thru mentality that we have of defeating these guys, where it happens in a couple of news cycles or a one-year combat rotation is fantasy. This is going to take decades to build up partner nation capacity to push back from the bottom on their own. In many of these societies, it took several decades to degrade it, and it’s going to take that long to build it back up,” said Mann.
Greg Corombos of Radio America and Jim Geraghty are pleasantly surprised to see MSNBC deciding to return to straight news as opposed to focusing on liberal talk shows. Jim offers a hilarious response to the disturbing decision by U.S. Central Command to announce a lot of details about a spring offensive against ISIS. And they react to news that Iran’s foreign minister has been rebuked by the grand ayatollah for screaming so much at Secretary of State John Kerry.
The Florida Republican congressman who challenged John Boehner in the race for Speaker of the House earlier this year is praising a federal judge for halting the Obama administration’s unilateral plan to grant legal status to at least five million people in the U.S. illegally.
Rep. Ted Yoho is also praising Speaker Boehner for insisting that the U.S. Senate act on a Department of Homeland Security appropriations bill that refuses to fund the the legalization plan that critics call illegal and unconstitutional.
On Monday, U.S. District Court Judge John Hanen ordered a halt to the implementation of Obama’s policy of granting legal status and work permits to illegal immigrants who have children living in the U.S. legally.
Hanen said the case brought by 26 states raised significant constitutional issues that must be resolved before allowing the program to go forward. The judge said there must be a pause because if the administration loses this case at a higher court or else, “this genie would be impossible to put back in the bottle.”
Yoho, who sponsored a House bill in December to declare Obama’s actions illegal, is thrilled with Hanen’s ruling.
“Judge Hanen absolutely did the correct thing, for the rule of law and for our nation,” said Yoho. “Once you let the toothpaste out of the tube or the genie out of the bottle, you can’t get it back in there. This is wrong for America. This is not the way to fix immigration. This is going to make the situation that we have in this country with 10-11 million people here illegally, it’ll make it worse.”
The Obama administration agreed to halt the legalization program pending further court action, but insists it has the winning legal argument.
“The law is on our side and history is on our side,” said Obama earlier this week, saying legal precedent shows the executive branch has the power to exercise prosecutorial discretion.
Yoho says the law is actually very clear and it’s not on Obama’s side.
“He is absolutely 100 percent wrong. I’ve got lawyers and briefings and court cases where he can’t do that because what he has done by saying he has the legal authority, he’s rewritten the law,” said Yoho. Prosecutorial discretion was on an individual basis. What’s he’s doing is categorically taking a group of five million people here and applying it to the whole group. You can’t do that on an individual basis.”
The congressman alleges this is just the latest example of the president trying to work around the law to enact his political agenda.
“This president and this administration have created the global policy of unenforcement, meaning that if you get to America , you’re going to get a work permit. And you’re going to get free housing, free education, free health. If we want to solve this problem, we’ve got to stop illegal action and overreaching the boundaries of the Constitution,” said Yoho.
Yoho thinks the case will get fast-tracked through the federal court system but it will ultimately be decided by the highest court in the land.
“I think you’re going to see the Fifth [Circuit] work rather quickly on this. I think you’ll see them rule in our favor or they’ll go along with the injunction and defer to the Supreme Court,” said Yoho.
Hanen’s decision comes at a critical time in the congressional fight over funding the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). That funding runs out at the end of this month.
Last month, the House of Representatives fully funded DHS at current levels through September, with the exception of defunding Obama’s unilateral program. The GOP Senate majority has tried to move forward on the same bill but has failed because all Democrats are united in filibustering the removal of that immigration funding.
Yoho says the courts putting the brakes on the program should remove any remaining opposition to the Republican version of the bill.
You can’t move forward with something that is deemed illegal by the court system. To move forward would be reckless and irresponsible. The common sense thing would be to say, ‘You know what? Let’s fund DHS. Let’s not put our country’s security in jeopardy or the people fighting to protect our borders, like the Coast Guard or our border securities. Let’s not put them in jeopardy. Let’s fund this bill and let’s have this discussion on another date once the courts decide,” said Yoho.
Democrats are insisting on a “clean” extension of DHS funding, which has included money for the legalization program since passage of the “cromnibus” bill in December. Speaker Boehner stated earlier this week that the House passed a bill and it’s now incumbent upon the Senate, especially Senate Democrats, to pass a funding bill.
Yoho is very pleased to see Boehner drawing a line in the sand.
“I’m proud of Mr. Boehner for standing up and staying strong on this. You know I’ve been a vocal critic of his, but if he’s willing to do this I think he’s on the right path,” said Yoho, who agrees that the onus is now on Senate Democrats to act responsibly.
“Those people that decide to vote against us are voting on the side of going against our Constitution and voting for the 10-11 million people here illegally versus voting for what’s best for America, not as a Republican or a Democrat but as an American. I think you’ll see them come around and do what’s right,” said Yoho.
Even if the GOP plan were to clear the Senate, an Obama veto is waiting at the other end of Pennsylvania Avenue. Yoho says getting it to Obama’s desk would be a huge step forward.
“Let [Senate Democrats] help us push this bill and then send it to the president. Then this president will have to decide if he’s going to side on the side of the people here illegally or if he’s going to side on the side of national security and the American people,” said Yoho.
But the congressman says Republican lawmakers will need help from more than just a half dozen Senate Democrats. He says the public has a huge role to play in putting pressure on Congress.
“This is something all Americans need to get up and get rallied behind,” said Yoho.
Greg Corombos of Radio America and Jim Geraghty of National Review cheer Hawaii Democratic Rep. Tulsi Gabbard for once again scolding President Obama to identify radical Islam as the primary terrorist threat we face right now. We also fire back as Jeb Bush says he doesn’t understand why people are worried about the NSA infringing upon their civil liberties. And they react to Illinois Rep. Luis Gutierrez vowing to whip up immigrant “militancy” in response to a federal judge blocking Pres. Obama’s amnesty and many Republicans cheering the ruling.
Attorney General Eric Holder says defining the largest terrorist threat to the U.S. and the West as Islamic extremism is insignificant compared to what we’re doing about it. State Department Spokeswoman Marie Harf is doubling down on her contention that poverty is the greatest trigger violent extremism, and former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations John Bolton says both comments only sow confusion and weaken the effort to destroy our enemies.
On Tuesday, as the Obama administration kicked off a three-day summit on combating violent extremism, Holder spoke at the National Press Club. One of the questions following his speech asked the attorney general to explain why the administration was reluctant to refer to the motivation of ISIS as radical Islam or Islamic extremism.
“I’m not sure an awful lot is gained by saying that. It doesn’t have any impact on our military posture,” said Holder. “I don’t worry an awful lot about what the appropriate terminology ought to be. I think people need to think about that. Really? We’re having this conversation about words as opposed to what our actions ought to be?”
Bolton says that line of thinking comes as no surprise.
“I think it reflects a fundamental misunderstanding of the threat that we face but it’s been a misunderstanding that they’ve had for six straight years,” said Bolton. “The president said back in the 2008 campaign that he considered terrorism to be a law enforcement matter, something we could handle by arresting terrorists and trying them in federal court.”
While he believes Holder and Obama think they’re helping their cause by supposedly respecting Muslim sensibilities, Bolton says they’re really just guaranteeing that terrorist threats will get stronger.
“[Obama] doesn’t treat it as a war. He doesn’t want to acknowledge that the threat is much graver than sort of robbing the local drug store, except a little bit more serious,” he said. “I think this whole approach guarantees, in effect, that the terrorist threat will continue to be with us for a long time and even grow. They’re the ones that are waging the war. They know what they are. They think they’re Islamic.”
Furthermore, Bolton says the Obama refusal to get specific hurts non-radical Muslims the most.
“The people who are the most significant victims of this kind of terrorism have been other Muslims. It really is hiding your head in the sand to think that by avoiding calling is Islamist radicalism or whatever term you like, but by simply using euphemisms, that somehow that’s going to make a difference,” said Bolton.
He says last week’s U.S. evacuation of Yemen is a perfect example of the inevitable consequence of weak U.S. action at a time of crisis.
“It’s a symbol of the decline of American influence, of the country spinning out of control, of both the Houthis and [Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula] now having Yemen as a base of operations. It’s a reflection of the failure of the whole Obama administration terrorist strategy. What he once called an example of the success of his strategy has turned into a debacle,” said Bolton.
But how would clearer terminology make a difference? How would labeling terrorists as Islamic radicals hasten their destruction. Bolton says it would make two big differences. The first is on the international stage.
“I think you can help build international coalitions more readily if people understand what they’re facing. I don’t think in the Arab or the larger Muslim world there’s any misunderstanding of what the nature of this threat is. In a way, it’s patronizing to Muslims to act as though they are somehow completely homogeneous in their thinking that they’ll be insulted by describing this threat for what it is,” said Bolton.
The former UN ambassador also says clarity helps to galvanize Americans toward a common goal.
“I think it’s also important domestically so that Americans understand we’re not opposing an abstraction known as terrorism, nor are we opposing terrorism in every single manifestation. We don’t care about what’s left of Irish Republican Army terrorism. We’re not concerned about the Basque separatists in Spain and France. The terrorist threat that the U.S. and the West as a whole face is very specific and if you can’t describe it , people can’t get their arms around the steps that will be necessary to eliminate that threat,” said Bolton.
Holder’s comments came just one day after State Department Spokeswoman Marie Harf told MSNBC’s Chris Matthews that addressing poverty was a larger goal than killing terrorists.
“We cannot win this war by killing them. We cannot kill our way out of this war. We need in the medium and longer term to go after the root causes that leads people to join these groups, whether it’s lack of opportunity for jobs,” said Harf. “We can work with countries around the world to help improve their governance. We can help them build their economies, so they can have job opportunities for these people.”
Bolton rips Harf’s assessment as a juvenile perspective on how the world operates.
“This is embarrassing it’s so ridiculous, but it reflects the ideology of the left, what Karl Marx called economic determinism, that everything in the world is caused by economics. Politics, religion, as Marx called it were simply the superstructures of economics. Today’s leftists believe that every problem in the world is caused by poverty. So this child is out there saying if these guys had jobs they wouldn’t pick up AK-47s,” said Bolton.
He says facts and history prove Harf to be very wrong.
“I think that utterly ignores the roles of ideology in politics and world affairs. Osama bin Laden didn’t lack for job opportunities, nor do many of these other terrorists. If poverty were the source of terrorism, Haiti would be one of the most terrorist countries in the world. It’s so simple-minded that you’d think that nobody would pay attention to it. In fact, you’d think nobody would say such foolish things, but so much for our educational system,” said Bolton.
On Tuesday, Harf suggested her comments were too nuanced for her critics to understand. She also offered quotations from former Secretary of State Colin Powell and former President George W. Bush suggesting that reducing poverty also reduces the allure of terrorist activity. Bolton’s still not buying it.
“I haven’t seen the exact quotes she’s using and I don’t doubt that you can take remarks out of context in a way that makes it look like it supports her position. But she could have Mother Teresa on her side and it still wouldn’t reflect reality,” he said.
As for actually solving the ISIS problem, Bolton says the solution is pretty clear.
“The way you eliminate the threat is to go after is to go after the territory they control, not just by sporadic, pinprick bombing raids but by forging a coalition and using effective military force. I think we’re blinking at reality if we don’t see that that’s ultimately what we need to do,” said Bolton.
Last week, Obama submitted his request for Congress to approve a three-year authorization for the use of military force (AUMF). Bolton says that request is not serious but a robust AUMF would be very helpful.
“I would vote against his text. I think you’ve got authority under the Constitution and under the 2002 resolution that granted President Bush authority to use military force. The only thing that is required is a one-sentence resolution that says the president is authorized to use all necessary means to destroy ISIS and all its affiliates. If you went with that, that would be perfectly satisfactory,” said Bolton.
Greg Corombos of Radio America and Jim Geraghty of National Review are glad to see Americans paying attention to what seems to be an ineffective U.S. response to ISIS. They also groan as the Obama administration holds a summit on confronting “violent extremism” while Attorney General Eric Holder rejects the importance of labeling Islamic extremism what it is. And they rip Vice President Joe Biden for getting too up close and personal with the wife of new Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter and then badly stereotyping Somalis later in the day.
Terrorism expert Dr. Walid Phares says the United Nations Security Council could play a critical role in confronting ISIS, but he says that is unlikely to happen as long as the Obama administration refuses to identify the threat to the U.S. and many other nations around the world.
The Obama administration took heat in September for insisting that the Islamic State is neither Islamic nor a state. Earlier this year, White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest stated that the Taliban was not a terrorist organization. Over this past weekend, the White House statement to the attacks in Copenhagen never mentioned terrorism or radical Islam. In addition, the response to the ISIS beheading of 21 Coptic Christians in Libya failed to note the faith of those killed, calling them “Egyptian citizens.”
Phares is a longtime professor of Middle East studies and an adviser to the U.S. House of Representatives. His latest book is “The Lost Spring.” He says the administration’s verbal acrobatics don’t help the cause against ISIS.
“There is this general reluctance on behalf of the administration to engage in what we call the war of ideas or what we call the ideological confrontation. They don’t want to identify this as an ideological problem or crisis, so when it’s in Europe, these are extremists, without defining what that means. When it’s in Libya, these are Egyptian citizens though they were targeted for who they were,” said Phares.
He says there is a stark contrast in just the past week between how Obama reacted to acts of terrorism compared to the brutal murder of three Muslims in North Carolina.
“If you apply what the president has said with regard to the tragic killings of three citizens who are Muslim and the way he defined the slaughter of 21 Copts, there’s a big difference. In one case, it’s because of who they were and their identity. In the other case, with the Copts, it’s because they were Egyptian, so there is some correction to be done to our narrative,” said Phares.
Phares also says Obama’s reluctance to identify our enemies flies contrary to how presidents of both parties have approached threats to national security.
“What the administration and its advisers are doing is not a different description. It’s a different identification. They are describing what is not defined. They’re saying these are bad, these are criminals, these are extremists. But they never say who they are. During World War II or the Cold War, all the presidents, Republicans and Democrats, defined and designated what the ideology of the other side is. Then they built strategies,” said Phares.
Phares is making news in recent days over his call for the United Nations Security Council to get much more involved in confronting the threat ISIS poses to many of its member states.
“Remember that those jihadis have been attacking civil societies, not just in the United States but every single member of the permanent five nations on the UN Security Council (United Kingdom, France, Russia, China and the U.S.),” said Phares, who suggests a declaration against ISIS could be more effective than many might think.
“It is time, in my view, that the security council issue a resolution declaring not just ISIS and Al Qaeda but the entire network with its ideology as a threat to the international community and therefore authorize all these governments to conduct not just separate campaigns and activities but join an international campaign and well integrate it against that group,” said Phares.
United Nations critics see the body as effectively useless in these sorts of crises, citing ineffective action on Iraq, Syria, North Korea and many other bad actors on the world stage. Phares contends one critical factor is different than in controversies of the past.
“This situation is different. This is more so the situation that occurred in Korea, minus the Soviet Union, but this time even Russia would be on board. The reason is the international community needs to unify its resources. Besides, the United Nations is nothing more than its own membership, meaning if the big guys of the security council decide can take action and issue a resolution, they can finally have a joint strategy ,” said Phares.
He also thinks a security council resolution could solve other logistical headaches.
“More importantly, if there are any issues between the U.S. and Egypt, between the Russia and some other countries, if it’s done under the umbrella of the UN, it should be helpful,” said Phares.
But who among the permanent five members of the security council would take the lead on something like this? Russia is focused on it’s own foreign policy priorities in Ukraine and elsewhere. China has also demonstrated no leadership on the issue. Phares says it’s time for an American administration that is often reluctant to lead the pack to reassert itself at a time of crisis.
“The question now is really a question of leadership. Do we want to lead this from behind? If we take the lead to the UN Security Council, we would lead it from the front. While I agree this is the thing to do, I’m not sure what the administration in Washington wants to do. That’s a different discussion,” said Phares.
As for Middle Eastern allies in the battle against ISIS, Phares says Egypt and Jordan are clearly the leaders in that region. He says the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia are on board but capable of only playing small roles. Phares says substantial numbers of Libyan troops are willing to fight under a general the west believes can be trusted. He also believes the emerging secular government in Tunisia could play a key role in undermining ISIS in North Africa and beyond.
Greg Corombos of Radio America and Andrew Johnson of National Review cheer a federal judge for blocking implementation of President Obama’s amnesty for some five million illegal immigrants while the legal challenges play out. We rip the New York Times for a weak correction after a columnist got everything wrong in blaming for teacher layoffs in Wisconsin that happened before he took office. And we smack our foreheads as State Department Spokeswoman Marie Harf suggests ISIS members wouldn’t be motivated to slaughter people if they had good job opportunities.
In the wake of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) beheading 21 Coptic Christians in Libya, retired U.S. Air Force General Tom McInerney is slamming the Obama administration for failing to take obvious military steps to destroy the terrorists and identifying radical Islam as the motivating factor for the atrocities committed throughout the region.
McInerney is a Vietnam veteran and rose to the number three position in the Air Force during his career in uniform. He is now a Fox News military analyst.
On Sunday, ISIS released a new video depicting the beheading of 21 Coptic Christians from Egypt on a beach in Libya.
U.S.-led airstrikes have been aimed at ISIS since August, after the terrorists beheaded American journalists James Foley and Steven Sotloff. However, McInerney says the operations could be far more intense and would quickly cripple the enemy if done right.
“I think the air campaign is not nearly the intensity we needed. It’s not even an air campaign. It’s somewhere between seven and fifteen sorties a day when we absolutely need upwards of 100-200 sorties a day. I’m calling for 200. We need to be attacking the ISIS capital of Raqqa (Syria) 24/7. We need to close the highway between Raqqa and Mosul, Iraq,” said McInerney.
He says those steps would quickly tighten the noose around ISIS.
“Nothing can move on that highway. If it’s moving, we’ll destroy it. We’ll kill their commerce. We’ll kill their ability to feed people in their ‘Islamic State’. That’s going to require between 100-200 sorties a day, plus we’re going to need constant surveillance reconnaissance assets over the area,” he said.
“Let’s get serious on this. The president has elected not to get serious. The Pentagon wants to do this but the White House is holding back,” added McInerney.
Another concern inside Iraq is the fate of 300 U.S. Marines and the Iraqi forces they are training at the Al Asad military base in Anbar Province of Iraq. Reports conflict over what danger ISIS forces pose near the facility. Pentagon officials publicly state they are not at all worried about the safety of U.S. and Iraqi forces. McInerney isn’t so sure and says this is another issue that could easily be resolved with decisive action.
“We need to put a Global Hawk or a Reaper (drone) overhead between Al-Asad and the town that they captured, al Baghdadi. Anything that moves out of al-Baghdadi towards Al-Asad should be destroyed. In addition, we ought to continuously attack al-Baghdadi. In other words, a good offense gives you a great defense,” said McInerney.
Again, the general sees a dithering administration.
“By attacking those troops in al-Baghdadi, they’re going to be fearing for their lives. but I don;t see this being done. This is 101 in basic war fighting and we’re not getting that. I know the Pentagon wants to do that, but they’re not getting support out of the White House. This is being micromanaged out of the White House,” said McInerney.
In addition his frustration with the military tactics being employed against ISIS, McInerney is livid over the Obama administration refusing to define the motivation behind the threat. Calling the rise an expansion of ISIS the result of “what happens when good people do nothing to fight evil,” McInerney says the Obama administration is keeping its head in the sand about how the ideology of this movement must be confronted.
“The Islamic State of Iraq and Syria is a radical Islamic organization. Al Qaeda, that attacked us on 9/11, is a radical Islamic organization. Hamas in the Gaza Strip is a radical Islamic organization. All these organizations that people hear about are radical Islamists. The Iranian government is a radical Islamic organization,” said McInerney.
The general says it is incumbent for President Obama to stop avoiding the elephant in the room and clearly state who and what we are fighting.
“Until the president identifies the threat that we are facing as radical Islam, it makes it very difficult to defeat the threat. I just can’t say it any clearer. It’s important that this White House and this president identify the threat for what it is,” he said.
Obama was vacationing in California over the Presidents’ Day weekend. The only White House responses to the ISIS beheadings or Saturday’s terrorist attacks in Denmark came from written statements. In a very short response to the shootings in Copenhagen, a three-sentence statement from a National Security Council spokesperson never referred to terrorism or radical Islam. On Sunday, the statement from White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest referred to the 21 slain Coptic Christians only as “Egyptian citizens.” McInerney is mystified by the lengths to which the administration goes to avoid references to radical Islam.
“I don’t know. Maybe we have some Islamists embedded in the White House. Whatever it is, it is absolutely bizarre. When Charlie Hebdo was attacked in Europe, everybody was calling it radical Islam except our president, who was calling it violent extremists,” said Mcinerney.
“What is the ideology of violent extremists? I don’t know. Are they Irish? Are they Swedes? Who are they? I do know what the ideology of radical Islamists is. It is the Koran, the Hadith and Sharia Law. Those are the things that we are fighting against,” said McInerney.
Last week, President Obama requested a new congressional authorization for the use of military force (AUMF) against ISIS. Some lawmakers are pleased that Obama is consulting Congress on the mission some six months after it began. Others say the scope is too narrow and should not be limited to just the next three years.
McInerney is not impressed by the request.
“He has given a political document. He’s trying to tie the hands of the president who follows him. He is not being aggressive on this because I think it’s a funding thing. His priorities are on domestic policy. It’s not on the global situation. He’s had four secretaries of defense. No president in our history has had four secretaries of defense. We have lost Libya, Syria and now Yemen. Plus, we have really lost Iraq, because that’s now become a proxy state of Iran when we pulled out,” said McInerney.
In just over six years of the Obama presidency, McInerney saus the pendulum in the Middle East is swinging badly in the wrong direction.
“He has completely changed the geopolitical position in the Middle East. Egypt is now getting aid from the Russians. Forty years ago, we made a brilliant move when we flipped Egypt from relying on the Soviet Union to the United States and the western world. This administration has completely reversed that. It’s a disaster,” he said.