This evening I’ll be speaking on the campus of Cornell University where the topic will be current issues regarding our national security and foreign policy involving the rise of ISIS and the growing tensions with Russia.
Have you noticed ISIS has somewhat fallen off the radar screen in the news media – even though the Department of Homeland Security has issued a security warning for Islamic terrorist attacks on U.S. soil? Regardless, ISIS continues its march and having its way in Iraq.
As reported by Fox News, “Islamic State group militants lined up 30 men in western Iraq and shot them dead Wednesday, an official and residents said, the latest mass killing carried out by the group since its advance across the country. The slayings, on a main street in the al-Bakir district in the town of Hit, targeted Sunnis tribal fighters allied with the government and members of the security forces that the extremists captured when they overran the town, the official and the residents said. The militants first paraded the men through town, shouting through loudspeakers that the captured men were apostates who fought against them, residents said. The extremists — read Islamic terrorists — then lined up the men and shot them dead with assault rifles, residents said.”
We must not forget the brutality of Al Zarqawi, the leader of al-Qaida in Iraq, which led to the Sunni tribesmen awakening to ousting them from western Al Anbar province. This massacre is tragically reminiscent of the Viet Cong’s actions in places like Hue City and the violence of Pol Pot’s Khymer Rouge. Yes, I know, who cares about history and all that boring stuff, right? Well, those who fail to learn from history are doomed to repeat it — and so it seems we have.
Fox says, “Anbar provincial council chairman Sabah Karhout said those killed were captured when the Islamic State group overran the town, located about 85 miles west of Baghdad, earlier this month. Karhout called the slayings “a crime against humanity” and demanded more international support for the Sunni tribes fighting the militants in Anbar. Iraq is in its worst crisis since the 2011 withdrawal of U.S. troops as Sunni militant groups led by the al-Qaida breakaway Islamic State group have seized a third of the country.”I am beyond perplexed by President B. Hussein Obama’s hypocrisy in deploying American troops to the Ebola “hot zone” but refusing to deploy troops to fight against ISIS. It’s difficult to not get the feeling Obama supports the goals and objectives of ISIS. Don’t forget, Obama unilaterally made the decision to deploy American resources to support slamist forces in Libya over a “humanitarian crisis” — so how does he classify the actions of ISIS? This inconsistency in foreign policy has our allies completely confounded as it defies all logic and reason — but it makes perfect political sense I suppose.
Our response? U.S. Central Command said the coalition launched six airstrikes in Iraq over Tuesday and Wednesday using jet fighters and drones, hitting targets near Fallujah and Sinjar. Six airstrikes over two days — again, hardly a convincing display of air power, especially when ISIS continues offensive operations to include the massacre in the town of Hit — which somehow they overran. This is what emboldens our enemies, such as Vladimir Putin, who has upped his ante and rhetoric realizing we are on the verge of having a true “lame duck” President.
How has ISIS responded? Fox reports, “In Iraq and along with areas in eastern Syria, the militants have declared a self-styled caliphate and imposed their own harsh interpretation of Shariah law. They also have targeted the country’s religious minorities, including Christians and others, killing hundreds and forcing hundreds of thousands to leave their homes.”
Of grave concern is ISIS’s ability to launch a global social media campaign promoting jihadist attacks in the West — which just last week we witnessed in Canada and New York City. The ISIS recruitment continues to thrive and poses a profound threat to western civilization and our fundamental concept of individual liberty.
And although it is inconceivable that ISIS has the requisite combat power to overtake Baghdad, the group is implementing the usual terrorist tactics. Fox says, “On Wednesday Iraqi police said a roadside bomb exploded near an Iraqi army patrol in a town just south of Baghdad, killing three soldiers and wounding seven. A later bomb blast on a commercial street in Baghdad’s eastern district of Ur killed two people and wounded eight, police said. Wednesday night, a suicide bomber drove his bomb-laden car into a police checkpoint in the town of Youssifiyah, just south of Baghdad, killing five police officers and wounding 18 people, including some civilians, officials said.”
Again, President Obama said his policies were on the ballot this election cycle – which means the dangerously intransigent political decision to completely withdraw our troops from Iraq creating a vacuum filled by ISIS, and the resulting beheadings of Americans, is on the ballot. It is a time for choosing — and that means a strategic national security and foreign policy that restores our standing and regard.