It is a savage world, and fear has begun to grip the American psyche as the country's populace grows painfully aware of a president's impotence in the face of radical Islamic terror. Discussing President Obama's November 16, 2015 press conference in Antalya, Turkey, Michael Gerson writes in a Washington Post op-ed entitled "Obama, speaking from the ruins":
"Another trump card played by Obama in Turkey against his critics was the approval of the U.S. armed forces.
'We have the finest military in the world,' he said, 'and we have the finest military minds in the world, and I’ve been meeting with them intensively for years now, and it is not just my view but the view of my closest military and civilian advisers that that [an expanded military role] would be a mistake.'
How could anyone argue with that? Except that in 2011, Adm. Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, sent a classified letter to the White House urging the president to keep 16,000 troops in Iraq, which Mullen called 'my best military advice.' With his re-election coming up, Obama overruled Mullen in favor of a lower number. And then the Obama administration did not really push to retain any troops at all. In a 2014 New Yorker article by Dexter Filkins, we learned: 'Ben Rhodes, the U.S. deputy national-security adviser, told me that Obama believes a full withdrawal was the right decision.'
All of which left Iraq less prepared for the emergence of rise of the Islamic State."
Gerson goes on to observe with regard to the conflict in Syria, "Obama refused to support U.S. proxies in the conflict — against the advice of his defense secretary, his secretary of state and his CIA director."
Today, however, the president's "obstinacy" extends far beyond a refusal to heed the advice of his top ranking appointees. As we have now learned from Sharyl Attkisson, quoted in a Townhall article by Katie Pavlich entitled "Attkisson Source: Obama Is Flat Out Refusing to Hear Intel on Islamic Terror Groups," Obama is not even willing to listen to advice which is at variance with his omniscient notions:
"I have talked to people who have worked in the Obama administration who firmly believe he has made up his mind, I would say closed his mind, they say, to the intelligence they try to bring him about various groups he does not consider terrorists even if they're on the U.S. list of designated terrorists. I don't know the reasoning for it. I’ve only been told by those who have allegedly attempted to present him or been in the circle that has attempted to present him with certain intelligence that they said he doesn’t want it, he said he doesn't want it or he won't read it in some instances."
Or stated otherwise, America's Narcissist-in-Chief has taken to wearing blinders.
And then there is Charles Krauthammer's most recent Washington Post opinion piece entitled "Obama’s phony war," in which the good doctor observed:
"Obama defended his policy by listing its multifaceted elements. Such as, 'I hosted at the United Nations an entire discussion of counterterrorism strategies and curbing the flow of foreign fighters.' An 'entire' discussion, mind you. Not a partial one. They tremble in Raqqa.
And 'We have mobilized 65 countries to go after ISIL.' Yes, and what would we do without Luxembourg?
. . . .
Obama’s other passion is protecting Islam from any possible association with “violent extremism.” The Islamic State is nothing but 'killers with fantasies of glory.' Obama can never bring himself to acknowledge why these people kill and willingly die: to advance a radical Islamist millenarianism that is purposeful, indeed eschatological — and appealing enough to have created the largest, most dangerous terrorist movement on Earth.
Hollande is trying to gather a real coalition to destroy the Islamic State, even as Obama touts his phony 65. For 11 post-World War II presidencies, coalition leading has been the role of the United States. Where is America today? Awaiting a president. The next president."
Gerson and Krauthammer are both conservatives, and their views, which are at variance with mainstream thinking, should be taken with a grain of salt? I don't think so. Not when Senator Dianne Feinstein is also telling us:
"I have never been more concerned. I read the intelligence faithfully. ISIL is not contained. ISIL is expanding. They've just put out a video saying it is their intent to attack this country."
The Islamic State has become Obama's true legacy, and January 20, 2017 can't come soon enough, unless Obama should be followed by Hillary Clinton, who cannot even bring herself to say the words "radical Islam." It's almost akin to Harry Potter and friends trying not to say "Voldemort."
May the Lord have mercy on us.