Defense18 February 2015

Notes from Norm: America is at War

America is at war.

We have been since 9/11 and while we have won many battles thanks to the courage, skill and bravery of the men and women of our nation’s armed forces, we have not won the war.

Seven years after beginning his dismantling of America’s arsenal of democracy against the global war on terror, President Barack Obama realizes he has no choice but to bring America back into the fight against radical Islamic forces intent on destroying Western culture and civilization.

Of course, the President refuses to even say this is a battle against radical Islam, so it’s not surprising that the President’s war powers request is as stilted and stunted as his commitment to fully engaging the war.

Senator John McCain ,who has long understood that the President has misunderstood the true nature of the threat of ISIS/ISIL,  puts aside partisan differences when he says “I think we should not restrain the president of the United States…” when it comes to giving the President the necessary authority to defeat the growing power of ISIS/ISIL.

Even Speaker John Boehner, no advocate of President Obama’s failing policies in confronting ISIS/ISIL. has made it clear he has no interest in weakening the President’s hand when it comes to defeating the burgeoning terrorist threat.

According to Bloomberg, shortly after the President submitted his request for War Powers, Boehner said, “If we’re going to authorize the use of military force, the president should have all the tools necessary to win the fight that we’re in.”
In January 2014 President Obama in an interview on a variety of subjects had this to say about his perspective of ISIS/ISIL:

“The analogy we use around here sometimes, and I think is accurate, is if a JV team puts on Lakers uniforms, that doesn’t make them Kobe Bryant. I think there is a distinction between the capacity and reach of a bin Laden and a network that is actively planning major terrorist plots against the homeland versus jihadists who are engaged in various local power struggles and disputes, often sectarian.”

We knew then what we know now.  The President was either deliberately ill-informed or ill-informed deliberately.

The fact is ISIS/ISIL is a far greater threat to our national interests and those of our allies than any other organized terrorist movement we have ever known.

Leaving Iraq – leaving Afghanistan – leaving the Global War on Terror – may have given smug political comfort to the President and his allies – but it gave dangerous comfort to those who came into the fill the void when American forces left.

We are now at a point where our national interests require us to put aside our partisan differences with the President.

But, it is also necessary for the President to put aside his partisan differences with Congress.

Furthermore, this is no longer the stuff of petty inside-the-beltway politics.  This is real life that has an impact on the future of our country.

It has real life consequences for our allies.

The President, in meekly requesting authorization to bring the war to ISIS/ISIL, still refuses the face the reality of who the enemy truly is – and what their evil means to the world.

The Jews murdered in Paris – the 21 folks beheaded in Libya – they are not random citizens murdered in random violence.

They are hunted down and murdered because they are Jews.

They are beheaded because they are Christians.

ISIS/ISIL is as evil as any fascist or communist threat this world has ever known.

In many ways, its capacity for terror dwarfs that of Hitler or Stalin and others because of access to a 24/7/365 media.

ISIS/ISIL doesn’t attempt to hide its atrocities but to use them as a recruiting tool to bring more terrorists to its side.

America – the world – needs this President to lead our nation effectively in battle against ISIS/ISIL.

We need him to be successful.

We need him to give our fighting men and women the tools they need to win.

That starts with an authorization that carries through the end of this Administration to effectively wage war against ISIS/ISIL.

Nothing President Obama has hoped to gain in the last two years of his Presidency will speak to his legacy more than how he handles the war against ISIS/ISIL.

That a GOP controlled Congress is ready and willing to give him the necessary mandate he needs to win that war should tell the American people all they need to know about how serious this threat is to the future of our nation and our allies.
It’s now time for the President to realize it, as well.