This past week, the American people were confronted with the horrible visage of evil in the form of an American man and his immigrant bride, who in the name of Islam and ISIS decided to murder fourteen Americans in cold blood, and would have killed more but for the intrepid forces of the San Bernardino Police Department who conferred on the couple the martyrdom they sought. Until now, the President hasn’t formally addressed this attack, but because it seems that in the wake of the Jihadi violence that the American people have chosen to believe their own lying eyes rather than the President’s previous comments or media spin, last night Obama decided to adjust the record by finally giving an address concerning the terrorist attack, his own meager efforts in the war on terror (or whatever PC term POTUS uses), and what else he thinks should be done. After hearing it, I don’t think this latest effort at reality distortion is going to have the effect that he desires, as it was all too naked a ploy to distract from his own imperiousness and his impotence in dealing with America’s enemies.
First of all, the President did the obligatory thing and empathized with the victims of the attack; no foul there. However he was very careful to point out there have been no direct links between the California massacre and international terrorism, which I found a very stupid thing to say. It is accurate to say that the administration hasn’t proven conclusively that the perpetrators physically met with representatives of ISIS, however, the way ISIS recruits doesn’t require a direct connection. In addition to smuggling fighters in refugee populations being transported into Western countries, ISIS exports terror by putting out propaganda into cyberspace for Western consumption, radicalization, and ultimately the commission of violent acts on their behalf. * Tashfeen Malik, the female in the terror twosome, swore allegiance to ISIS on-line just before the shooting, ** which is all she needed to do to join ISIS, and then consummated her loyalty in blood. Additionally, both of the terrorists most likely received help from someone in constructing those pipe-bombs, if only online. Ultimately, ISIS itself has claimed responsibility in these attacks **, so when the President goes out of his way to state such a qualification he comes off as defending ISIS, which is hardly going to bring comfort to families of the victims, nor the American people, who are both looking to the President for leadership in a time of crisis.
After his first blunder, Obama went on to describe how he will respond militarily. It sounded great, at first, with Obama describing his plan to destroy ISIS with a multinational coalition led by the US. However, it quickly became evident that the President had pulled a lawyer trick by using the word “continue”. He’s going to have the military “continue to hunt down terrorist plotters”, *** or that he will “continue to provide training and equipment to tens of thousands of Iraqi and Syrian forces”, *** meaning that he’s not going to change a blessed thing in his strategy, so we should all quit our complaining. The day before the Paris attacks, **** the President declared that ISIS was contained, but then they hit Paris, and Mali, and now us which is hardly proof of a winning strategy. So why doesn’t the President vow to bomb them into the Stone Age, or some similar doom? As I’ve written previously, I believe that Obama’s war strategy is to have all the optics of doing something, without really doing anything. The President could turn ISIS into a glass ashtray tomorrow, if he so desired, with a multitude of other less severe options that all end up with ISIS gone from the face of the earth. The only reason that this hasn’t happened is that the President doesn’t want it to happen. Obama believes, probably from deep within, that it is and always will be our fault when non-Westerners attack us. You have only to examine one of his many speeches where he blames America and American foreign policy for the state the world today (under other Presidents, mind you). For instance, consider this September 23, 2009 quote when he said, “I took office at a time when many around the world had come to view America with skepticism and distrust. Part of this was due to misperceptions and misinformation about my country. Part of this was due to opposition to specific policies, and a belief that on certain critical issues, America has acted unilaterally, without regard for the interests of others. And this has fed an almost reflexive anti-Americanism, which too often has served as an excuse for collective inaction.” ***** Leaving aside for the moment that he falsely accuses America of acting “unilaterally” (e.g. the Iraq war) or that America acts without regard for other countries, he squarely places the blame on his own country. As consequence of this belief, he is loath to use military power on what he sees at some level as a movement of the people. Because of this and also his apparent general discomfort with the military, Obama wants to keep his war efforts to a minimum, and if his lack of might lead to the deaths of more so-called privileged Americans, he obviously sees them as acceptable losses in his efforts to avoid seriously taking on ISIS or any other hostile group that he sees as suffering from socio-economic disadvantage.
Subsequently, the President played that old tune about curtailing the second amendment. He attacked the usual suspects, such as so-called assault weapons, but he left out a few important details that would throw cold water on his gun-control fantasy. He failed to mention that the terrorists targeted a gun-free zone (again); ***** it must have slipped his mind that the terrorists had their weapons purchased in a state that has some of the toughest gun control laws of any ; ****** he forgot to discuss the bombs the terrorists possessed, ******* which are completely illegal, but widely available to anyone with knowledge and access to a Home Depot; and he gave no evidence that he realized that all of California’s gun control efforts, similar to what he wants for the nation, were powerless to protect the victims. It seems that those without guns can still die by them. Now, the President wants power to deny the purchase of weapons to people on the no-fly list. To many, this may seem like common sense, because people on the no-fly list must be bad, right? However there’s one thing we should consider before giving Obama this new power, and that’s the requirement of due process. The terrorism watch list is a quick and dirty tool of the executive that can prevent people from getting on a plane, and flying is not a Constitutional right, but it’s rife with issues and mistakes. For instance, if you are unlucky enough to have the same name as a terrorist, and you decide to take a plane to visit Grandma-ma for Christmas, you could be thrown in jail, be banned from further flights, and have to waste a lot of time and treasure to get the slovenly government to right that injustice (to read a specific example of this, follow the link below ********). In this country, if you want to deny someone of their Constitutional rights, you need to bring evidence before a judge as part of the checks and balances on government written in the Constitution. Congress is right not confer this new power on the President since it would be unlikely that it would stand up in court, being unconstitutional, but more importantly because this President has shown himself to be untrustworthy with power. I’m sure that if Congress denies him, he will once again go outside the law and claim yet another new power for himself and wait for the courts to rule against him like they’ve done 22 times before. ********* Now, you may not agree with the second amendment and have the opinion that all guns everywhere should be confiscated while we surrender our safety and that of our family’s to the tender mercies of government, putting our trust in five minute response times to save us, but for the moment the second amendment is a right that all Americans except where it has been removed by due process, and the courts have pretty consistently upheld it. In fact, the second amendment, plus all of the Bill of Rights and Constitution exist to protect the citizen from a government that can take away your rights as easy as a pen pusher putting your name on a list. I know there are Americans who believe that government shouldn’t be limited, just so long as this all-powerful government acts in favor of progressive goals, but they would do well to consider that the power they allow one Democrat politician today will still be there for a Republican tomorrow, and be sure that a supreme GOP executive could use any of the 76 Obama over-reaches ********** as precedent to abridge a freedom that they DO care about, in the name of common sense, of course. If the President seriously wants to fight ISIS, let him do so by killing the enemy abroad, stopping them from getting into this country with better screening and refusing entry to un-screen-able refugees from enemy-rich countries, and not with new restrictions on liberty that will only apply to those that don’t break the law, which is the least concern for terrorists.
The President went on to argue that Congress should give him greater latitude to improve terrorist screening and give him greater war powers to fight ISIS with, which I have no problem with in principle, but with Obama, nothing is as it seems. I know in the past, he’s requested war-powers that are too weak to make a difference and lack clarity for winning, *********** a word that, if you remember from his recent press conference in Turkey, Obama doesn’t like to use. ************ That last part should tell you all you need to know about why he hasn’t been given what he asks for: he’s not interested in victory.
I think it’s appropriate that while the President continues desperately to try to shift focus off of his failures as Commander-In-Chief and onto the restriction of our liberties that we take a moment and remember what happened in 1941 on this day, December Seventh. Our country was attacked by a coordinated effort by a foreign power, in which thousands of American’s died. President Roosevelt framed this attack as infamous, and showed resolve in declaring that we would fight on until we had the unconditional surrender of the enemy. 74 years hence from FDR’s address to congress, the current occupant of 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. and his administration offer no resolve to fight on until victory, but rather seek to placate our demand for justice with a show-war, while at the same time offering nuance and apologies for the enemy (See POTUS’s prayer breakfast comments from this year *************) instead of fierce condemnation and defiance, and in the end seek to use yet another crisis to expand Presidential power and diminish our rights. Pearl Harbor bore witness to infamy, but in today’s present war with Radical Islamists, it’s difficult to determine where the greater infamy resides: in the deaths of 14 victims or in a President who would risk more American deaths and make victims of us all by taking away our liberty in order to satiate his unquestioning devotion to a twisted ideology and his own lust for power.
– Ryan Thorson