Indianapolis, February 18, 2015: It is often said that President Obama does not want to lead America to victory over ISIS and other well-known terrorist groups that kill under the banner and cover of Islam, and various theories are advanced to explain this.
If one believes, in contrast to one theory, that he does not hate America at least one needs to agree with his own words that he does not have a strategy:
Someone needs to tell Mr. President that if the United States of America has the will to defeat those who are enthusiastically killing Americans and our allies, there is a way, and that way has been followed twice – and only twice, and both times, successfully — in the past hundred years.
Only twice in the past 100 years – in 1917 and then in 1941 – has the United States legally engaged in war. It takes an Act of Congress, usually requested by the President and then signed by him, to put our nation to a war footing.
The weenie AUMF used recently, and deceitfully requested by Obama,is nothing but onion-paper dithering, worthy perhaps of weenie, dithering presidents who want to talk big but who don’t want to actually engage and eradicate a problem.
And eradication is what it will take for ISIS to stop. Not negotiations, not education, not jobs, not helping build Muslim governance or their economies, as Marie Harf of our State Department wants to do.
Eradication. Then the problem goes away. Yes, like Julius Caesar, Genghis Khan, Napoleon… or the FBI at Waco. Once the offending parties were wiped out, the problem went away. Without eradication, problems recur in an Iraqi power vacuum and fester in a soon-to-be-surrendered Afghanistan.
Could a 1919-style, mean-spirited, high-minded League of Nations-like program of containment or quotas work? I refer you to WWII. Could an ongoing program of finding and destroying defeated ISIS members, as happened to defeated Nazis, work? For that answer, I refer you to the viability of today’s Nazi threat.
The answer to, “How do we win a war, effectively and in the shortest time possible?” is in the National Archives.
On April 6, 1917, Congress declared,
“…that the President be, and he is hereby, authorized and directed to employ the entire naval and military forces of the United States and the resources of the Government to carry on war against the Imperial German Government; and to bring the conflict to a successful termination all of the resources of the country are hereby pledged by the Congress of the United States.”
Note that this declaration of war was no half-measure. There is no dithering about how long it will take, or whether there will be boots on the ground. It committed “all of the resources of the country.”
And the war was over, and we were victorious, in a year and a half. And we left.
On the day after Pearl Harbor (December 8, 1941), President Franklin Roosevelt asked for a formal declaration of war:
“As Commander-in-Chief of the Army and Navy I have directed that all measures be taken for our defense. Always will we remember the character of the onslaught against us. No matter how long it may take us to overcome this premeditated invasion, the American people in their righteous might will win through to absolute victory.
“I believe I interpret the will of the Congress and of the people when I assert that we will not only defend ourselves to the uttermost but will make very certain that this form of treachery shall never endanger us again. Hostilities exist. There is no blinking at the fact that our people, our territory, and our interests are in grave danger.
“With confidence in our armed forces – with the unbounded determination of our people – we will gain the inevitable triumph – so help us God.
“I ask that the Congress declare that since the unprovoked and dastardly attack by Japan on Sunday, December seventh, a state of war has existed between the United States and the Japanese Empire.”
No dithering. No half-measures. No weenie talk about scuffing someone’s boots on the ground. FDR was serious, and Congress responded with a declaration of war against the Empire of Japan. And on December 11, Congress, after a similar request, returned a near-identical Act of War against Germany and Italy:
“Declaring that a state of war exists between the Government of Germany and the government and the people of the United States and making provision to prosecute the same.
“Whereas the Government of Germany has formally declared war against the government and the people of the United States of America:
“Therefore, be it Resolved by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, that the state of war between the United States and the Government of Germany which has thus been thrust upon the United States is hereby formally declared; and the President is hereby authorized and directed to employ the entire naval and military forces of the government to carry on war against the Government of Germany; and to bring the conflict to a successful termination, all of the resources of the country are hereby pledged by the Congress of the United States.”
No holding back, no equivocating, no conditions, no blithering political correctness. No limits: “All of the resources of the country!”
We have identified our enemy, and we will defeat him. Period. Not an “Obama period,” the kind that lasts a few weeks or months, until political fortunes change or until a feckless coward feels political heat; but a period, the kind that ends the discussion, once and for all; the kind of period that means exactly what it says.
Is the threat serious enough? Because if it isn’t, you have no right to commit this country to another war. You have consistently criticized your predecessors for entering unnecessary military engagements.
I repeat: is it serious enough? Because if it is, you are obliged to commit to real, total victory. Mr. President, history shows you how to win a war.
Yes, or no? Make the decision. Period.