CHARLOTTE, N.C., Aug. 3, 2015 – Every now an then a report comes out that a major terrorist leader has been killed. The most famous of course, was Osama bin Laden.The most recent is Taliban founder Mullah Omar, who has been dead since 2013.
Each time it happens, the media goes into a state of euphoria as if ridding the planet of these people makes any difference. It doesn’t.
It is the “idea” of Islamism that must be destroyed, not just the people who perpetuate it.
Has the world become less dangerous since the demise of Osama bin Laden? Saddam Hussein? Muammar Qaddafi? The answer is a resounding “no.” If anything, the threat of terrorism is worse than it was when they were alive.
What is even more disappointing, however, is that is the current occupant of the White House, President Barack Obama, is largely responsible for broadening the reach of global terror thanks to his inept foreign policies and his enabling of Islamic beliefs.
Case in point is a recent article by Ken Dilanian, Zeina Karam and Bassem Mroue of the Associated Press, who write,“After billions of dollars spent and more than 10,000 extremist fighters killed, the Islamic State group is fundamentally no weaker that it was when the U.S.-led bombing campaign began a year ago.”
In other words,the war on terror has been spinning its wheels going nowhere while the president has spent most of his time just “spinning words” about his success at accomplishing virtually nothing.
On almost any given week there is a new buzzword or catchphrase that makes the rounds of weekend news talk shows. Surely we can remember when “gravitas” became the dictionary darling almost overnight because it was put out as a White House talking point.
This past weekend the phrase was “the next president will have to handle it.” Perhaps it wasn’t as prolific as “gravitas” but,if it was mentioned once,it was spoken dozens of times as the talking head pundits explained how the Iranian nuclear arms deal would evolve over the next decade.
What is pathetic is that the media should not have needed White House talking points to realize that the goal of Barack Obama’s second term has been to lay the groundwork of putting the blame for his weaknesses on the next administration. The Iran nuclear deal is an Obama/Kerry production. Unfortunately, 10 years down the road, when the ugly menace of nuclear arms in Iran becomes news again, Obama will be gone and a new generation of media can blame the sitting president for the problem.
The drone bombing attacks in the Middle East are no different. They are merely a diversion, like a pesky gnat that won’t stop buzzing around your head on a hot summer day. Obama knows that he is not stopping the spread of the Islamic State. All he is doing is attempting to slow its progress.
Furthermore, ISIS is not interested in figuring out ways to attack the West with bin-Laden-type tactics. ISIS is busy empowering itself in its own region in order to re-establish the caliphate.
If that is true, then why should we worry?
The answer is simple. ISIS is tutoring other factions of their organization to do the dirty work in their home countries. While the Islamic State spreads its brutality throughout the Middle East, it is training outside extremists to return to their own homelands and create havoc from within.
The events do not have to be on the magnitude of the World Trade Center to be effective. They only need to be unexpected and to create economic turmoil that diverts attention for the ISIS home office to grow in the Middle East.
In the Associated Press story the writers report, U.S. intelligence agencies see the overall situation (drone bombings) as a strategic stalemate.” In Barack Obama’s world that’s good enough, but consider if containment had been then allied goal on D-Day in June, 1944.
“We’ve seen no meaningful degradation in their (ISIS) number,” said a defense official. Strength estimates of between 20 and 30 thousand fighters are the same as they were last year when the airstrikes began.
As AP points out, “The Islamic State’s staying power raises questions about the administration’s approach to the threat that the group poses to the U.S. and its allies. The call to Western Muslims to kill at home has become a serious problem.”
Meanwhile, Americans pay little attention to the situation and the president benefits from our lackadaisical attitude. Obama “drones on” politically and rhetorically, and his policies “drone on” dangerously while his drones drone on with little or no effect.
What it amounts to is a “game of drones” that will ultimately have real-life consequences.
Bob Taylor has been traveling the world for more than 30 years as a writer and award-winning television producer focusing on international events, people and cultures around the globe.
Taylor is founder of The Magellan Travel Club (www.MagellanTravelClub.com)
Read more of What in the World and Bob Taylor at Communities Digital News
Follow Bob on Twitter @MrPeabod