President Obama’s Independence Day opportunity against ISIS
HONOLULU, July 2, 2015 — The Pentagon and Homeland Security are bracing for what numerous security professionals have termed a “credible threat” of terror attacks by ISIS or other extremist groups this Independence Day weekend.
Although Americans are being urged to exercise vigilance by federal and local authorities alike, if a “credible” threat truly exists against the United States and her allies from ISIS, President Obama should go on the offense, rather than defense against terrorism.
The slow boil strategy against ISIS isn’t working
You don’t have to be a “warmongering” neoconservative hawk in America to know that the White House’s strategy against ISIS and other terror groups isn’t working. Americans of all political alignments, conservative, liberal, and independent alike, are horrified at the ongoing macabre media campaign of ISIS decapitating, burning, drowning and degrading innocent human lives.
The citizens of the Western world, in general, detest the tactics of ISIS and are all united in wondering how the most powerful military forces the planet has ever seen can be so handicapped against a ragtag group of radical militants. Images of long convoys of white pickup trucks filled with rifle-toting terrorists parading through the streets of Iraq have raised the question, “How can any group of ISIS forces survive with so many drones and fighter planes circling overhead?”
To be sure, a large responsibility for the West’s inability to defeat ISIS rests squarely on the shoulders of President Obama. The White House has clearly demonstrated that when it comes to ISIS, the U.S. intent is to contain the threat but avoid further regional de-stabilizations through more military action, especially the deployment of U.S. ground forces (a.k.a. infantry).
In May of this year, it was revealed even close air support (CAS) and strike/interdiction missions by allied air forces were being heavily restrained, with some 75 percent of aircraft returning to base without having fired any of their weapons. While Obama is right to fear the consequences of yet another U.S.-led war in Iraq, the problem here is that ISIS knows that he fears anything more than the status quo.
Corny, yes, but effective: Mobilize the world against ISIS on July 4, 2015
Since August 1998, the U.S. has been fighting a grueling, uphill, bloody battle against terrorism. The rise of ISIS and its ongoing presence represents a weight that will, if allowed to remain as the status quo, break the collective backs of the U.S. and her allies. This is not a policy can that can be kicked indefinitely down the road. If attacks occur on American soil this Independence Day weekend, the result would not be a united resolve to keep fighting; rather, we would see mass desperation and a new low of helpless frustration among our allies and the American public. America needs a win right now, or she will never get back on her feet again.
America doesn’t have the military might we had when we first went into Iraq on Aug. 2, 1990, to eject Saddam Hussein from Kuwait, nor do we have the financial backing that we had at the beginning of Operation: Enduring Freedom in 2001 when we first struck back against the WTC and Pentagon attacks on 9/11. But America, in spite of all that has happened, still has the moral high ground and historical initiative as the leader of the free world to organize a global campaign to rid the world of ISIS.
Like the fictional President Thomas J. Whitmore of the 1996 movie “Independence Day,” Obama is faced with an existential threat to mankind. No one can deny the “alien” threat that ISIS and its brutal values represents to all citizens of mankind. Obama should, like Whitmore, gather a mass military alliance for one giant, coordinated strike on ISIS before they can strike again.
This is a time for Obama to resolve once and for all to stop coddling terrorists, to stop playing defense, and to launch “the largest aerial battle in the history of mankind” as he calls for people of all nations to unite to fight once more for our freedom, “not from tyranny, oppression, or persecution, but from annihilation. We’re fighting for our right to live, to exist.”
Obama, with his affinity for giving speeches in times of national turmoil, should take a play from Hollywood and give the speech that could define his presidency for centuries to come — a speech that will unite the world to finally end the war on terror in one day. Rather than waiting for the next attack, the world should strike first as one and end the threat forever.
America may have made some mistakes and taken some knocks in this struggle against terror. Like Whitmore, Obama’s advisers are telling him, “Sir, I strongly suggest you disengage.” But this is not the time to shrink back or the time to turn around in defeat. Now is the time for Obama to take the offensive with full afterburners blazing. Americans are the ones who charge in when everyone else turns away in failure, declaring, “Hang on command, I want another shot at it!”
We could have won the war against terror long ago, but our leaders preferred the status quo to victory. Perhaps this Independence Day, Obama can give America — and the world — the victory that freedom has been waiting for.
“Eagle One, Fox Three.”
Dr. Danny de Gracia is a political scientist, an ordained minister, a former elected official, and the author of the new political thriller, “American Kiss,” available from Amazon.com.