9/11 and Obama’s hollow words on ISIS

President Barack Obama meets with members of the National Security Council on September 10, 2014

SAN JOSE, September 11, 2014 — Yesterday, not today on the 13th anniversary of the terrorist attacks upon the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, President Obama outlined his four-pronged strategy that his Administration will use to combat the threat of ISIL or ISIS – a terrorist threat that apparently Obama no longer views as the “JV team.” Now, the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (former name- ISIL) or the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) are not considered a junior varsity version of a terrorist organization like al Qaeda. However, with so many terrorist group names flying back and forth in the media, it is confusing for Americans to keep track of who’s who in order to comprehend what’s what.

In reality, ISIS is basically the new improved version of al Qaeda in Iraq – the terrorist organization that was not supposed to be in Iraq, and that is one of the key reasons why the Democrat leadership, which included Obama at the time, criticized the Bush Administration for going into Iraq – the “wrong war” it was explained via the American media. Thus, the rationale for going into Afghanistan, and winding down the military activities in Iraq was made by the Democrat leadership, not just Obama. They came out very strong on a regular basis attacking the Bush Administration and the military intervention in Iraq. Now, the proverbial shoe is on the other foot. The Democrat leadership, from Obama on down is asking, even demanding bi-partisan help to deal with a terrorist organization that was referred to as ”al Qaeda version 6.0.”

This July, former U.S. Ambassador to Iraq, Ryan Crocker, expressed a strong warning about ISIS stating  that “This is what I call al Qaeda version 6.0.” It is interesting to note that his perceptions of the issues surrounding ISIS and the possible solutions show up as similar to President Obama’s newly formed strategy for dealing with ISIS. Back in July, a CNN news report quoted Crocker as advising “we’ve reached the point where we need to be seriously considering and executing very carefully targeted air strikes against facilities that they hold, against their command and control nodes, and against they’re leadership if we’ve got them in our sights.” Apparently, he expressed that boots on the ground should be limited to advising and not entering into direct combat.

These are things Obama explained in his speech Wednesday that he was continuing in his four –pronged solution to the terrorism that is rampant in the region. Crocker also expressed that “The Islamic state may have done us a favor by publicly erasing the Iraqi-Syrian border. If they have, I think we should too, and go after their targets wherever they are.” On Wednesday night, President Obama echoed the ideas Crocker had proposed over a month ago. He promised no troops on the ground except for “advisors,” but relying on continuous air strikes and drone strikes, even into Syrian territory if necessary,  “This counterterrorism campaign will be waged through a steady, relentless effort to take out ISIL wherever they exist using our air power and our support for partner forces on the ground.”

There are several ironies involved in Obama’s own escalation of the United States’ 13 year-old war on terrorism. First, if the President really wanted to rally the American public’s support for an escalation of the war on terrorism, and waited until he really had a strategy, why didn’t he wait one day longer and take advantage of the sentiment attached to the 9/11 anniversary of the brutal attacks on American soil? Also, if he wanted to ask for bi-partisan support, and the support of Congress in general, why didn’t he address a joint session of Congress on September 11th? Additionally, in September of 2013, an article in the Washington Times verified that Obama’s claims during the 2012 presidential campaign that he had al Qaeda “on the run” was false.

In September of 2013, an article by Guy Taylor of the Washington Times verified that Obama’s claims during the 2012 presidential campaign did not match what the intelligence agencies had reported to the administration. Taylor reported that sources spoke up on condition of anonymity, and although crediting Obama with correcting the embellished campaign claims, it was rectified after the election. However, as President Obama claimed that al Qaeda was “decimated” and “on the run,” his intelligence team had apparently offered a very different assessment that al Qaeda was re-arranging its resources and re-structuring capabilities to spinoff groups in Africa that posed fresh threats to the region and American security.

At that time, according to the article in The Washington Times, “key players in the intelligence community and in Congress were actually worried that Mr. Obama was leaving out a major new chapter in al Qaeda’s evolving story in order to bend the reality of how successful his administration had been during its first four years in the fight against terrorism.” Obama had highly touted the capturing and killing of Osama bin Laden in May of 2011 by the Navy Seal Team, and when they voted in 2012, many Americans believed that the president was justifiably touting a major national security success of his first term. That seems to be coming back to haunt him, or as his former pastor, Jeremiah Wright expressed it – maybe the “chickens are coming home to roost.”

Ironically, at the beginning of September this year, Guy Benson at Townhall.com posted a report that indicated Obama had been briefed on the ISIS threat probably more than a year ago. Again, apparently what Obama understands as reality may be a bit different than what senior intelligence officials were reporting to the Commander-In-Chief. Coupled with the revelation in the Washington Times in 2013, it seems clear that the President does not need intelligence advisors to confuse the issue. His own words are making him appear the fool. Especially when on August 28th, President Obama admitted on camera that his Administration did not “want to put the cart before the horse. We don’t have a strategy yet.” It makes it even worse for the man occupying the White House. ‘Occupying’ is the operant word here.

In addition, on September 11, 2012, the Associated Press reported that hours before the brutal attacks in Benghazi, hundreds of protestors in Egypt marched on the U.S. Embassy in Cairo and among chants demanding the U.S Ambassador leave, they also were reported to have shouted that they were “all Osamas,” or “all Osama bin Ladens.” They must have been part of the network of junior varsity players alluded to by Obama a few months ago, not long after ISIS took control of Fallujah in Iraq. The JV in July declared a caliphate in parts of Syria and Iraq, and secured control of a major Syrian oil field.  This development prompted former U.S. Ambassador Ryan Crocker to declare that ISIS is “far bigger, far better organized, better funded, better equipped than the al Qaeda of 9/11.”

Yet, this is the al Qaeda of 9/11 on steroids.  Al-Qaeda in Iraq (AQI) was formed by Abu Musab Al Zarqawi in 1999 as an offshoot of the original al Qaeda organization established by Osama bin Laden. This Iraqi version fought against the American-led coalition which attacked Iraq in 2003. From that time, it has been creating coalitions with other Sunni radical and terrorist organizations, while Mr. Obama saw them as being devastated and destroyed. Of course, now Obama has just announced his strategy to deal with the JV, the organization that has morphed into the present-day Islamic State with or without his knowledge.

Yesterday, in his public strategy announcement, President Obama tried to sound like a tough guy making heavy duty threats against ISIL or ISIS when he stated:  “…I will not hesitate to take action against ISIL in Syria, as well as Iraq… This is a core principle of my presidency: If you threaten America, you will find no safe haven.” Sadly, the truth of the matter is that Obama has already hesitated in taking action for quite some time. And, it seems that Ayman al-Zawahri, the current leader of the original al Qaeda organization, and the terrorist who orchestrated the deadly 9/11 attacks, has found a safe haven in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) between Pakistan and Afghanistan.

Sadly, Obama’s words are hollow, and do not inspire confidence, nor trust.

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Dennis Jamison reinvented his life after working for a multi-billion dollar division of Johnson & Johnson for several years. Now semi-retired, he is an adjunct faculty member at West Valley College in California. He currently writes a column on US history and one on American freedom for the Communities Digital News, as well as writing for other online publications. During the 2016 presidential primaries, he worked as the leader of a network of writers, bloggers, and editors who promoted the candidacy of Dr. Ben Carson. He founded the “We the People” Network of writers and the Citizen Sentinels Project to pro-actively promote the values and principles established at the founding of the United States, and to discover and support more morally centered citizen-candidates who sincerely seek election as public servants, not politicians.