Byline: Rep. Ted Poe
Today we face an enemy as tenacious and as ruthless as any our nation has ever faced, but our President doesn’t want to talk about it.
Political correctness and tip-toeing around the issue will not defeat or destroy ISIS. The enemy must be clearly defined, the victims must be defined and our strategy must be defined.
Many parts of our world are on fire, both figuratively in terms of geopolitics, and literally in terms of ISIS marching across the Middle East and northern Africa, burning and beheading bodies in its wake.
The Islamic Republic of Iran, despite the P5+1 talks spearheaded by President Obama, is continuing to spin its centrifuges, develop its ballistic missile technology, arm and subsidize radical Islamic terrorists that target U.S. national security interests, and move ever closer to a nuclear offensive capability with which to threaten our ally Israel, Europe, and ultimately, the United States.
There are, to be sure, other threats from Boko Haram, al-Shabaab, Hamas, Palestinian Islamic Jihad, Hezbollah, and related terrorist groups. The common denominator throughout each of these organizations is radical Islam. And as Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu stated in his joint address to Congress: "When it comes to Iran and ISIS, the enemy of your enemy -- is your enemy."
Yet President Obama cannot bring himself to define this threat as clearly and cannot even demonstrate that he has a strategy to defeat the enemy.
Recently, radical Islamic terrorists in France murdered most of the staff of a satirical magazine in the name of their religion. The same terrorists then targeted a kosher grocery store, killing French Jews in the name of their religion. Yet President Obama was reluctant to engage the issue, fudging both the identity of the perpetrators and of the victims.
Instead of recognizing a targeted anti-Semitic, terror attack against Jews, the President stated that it was “entirely legitimate for the American people to be deeply concerned when you’ve got a bunch of violent, vicious zealots who behead people or randomly shoot a bunch of folks in a deli in Paris.”
According to the President, these religiously, unaffiliated “zealots” just “randomly” shot up the place—nothing whatsoever to do with it being a Jewish target. That’s factually wrong and an insult to the victims themselves.
Of course, the leader of the free world here is no less insensitive to Christian victims than to Jewish ones.
Following the burning alive of a Jordanian captive by ISIS, the President took to the podium at the National Prayer Breakfast and self-righteously compared the acts of ISIS to Christians during the Crusades as if to justify current day world turmoil and the spread of Islamic jihad. As if the murders of thousands of Christians by ISIS can be cast aside because, after all, way back when the Crusades were bad, too. This is somehow supposed to help us defeat ISIS?
Such an overly simplistic world view may be a good talking point, but it is not way to defeat an enemy hellbent on starting a Twenty-First Century Islamic crusade. Let us not forget that through just last year, President Obama referred to ISIS as “not Islamic” and attempted to minimize the threat by opining that ISIS was simply al-Qaida’s “junior varsity team.”
The name ISIS is an acronym for the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria. ISIS began as al-Qaida in Iraq with around 1,000 soldiers, but has since grown to more than 30,000 strong according to CIA figures (although other estimates put it closer to 200,000 outlaws).
ISIS now also has a reach that spans the Middle East and northern Africa and is separated from Europe only by the Mediterranean Sea. ISIS even has other Islamic terrorist groups around the world pledging their allegiance and American citizens fleeing the country to join its ranks.
Today, in the year 2015, terrorists are beheading and burning people alive in the name of Islam. Unfortunately, the U.S. President has refused to call it what it is—murder in the name of radical Islam.
Before we can achieve success – defeating and destroying ISIS – we must at least be able to identify who they are: terrorists who kill in the name of Islam.