When New Yorker editor David Remnick pointed out to Obama during a November interview that years after Osama bin Laden had been killed, “the flag of al-Qaida is now flying in Fallujah, in Iraq, and among various rebel factions in Syria” and “al-Qaida has asserted a presence in parts of Africa, too,” the response he got was either delusional or deceitful.
The president retorted that “if a JV team puts on Lakers uniforms that doesn’t make them Kobe Bryant.” (IBT)
Well, the JV team is now a full-blown army that has successfully conquered whole swaths of the Middle East. Today, Brett McGurk, deputy assistant secretary of state, said that The Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) “is al Qaeda… it may have changed its name, but it is al Qaeda. In fact, it is worse than al Qaeda,” at a House Foreign Affairs Committee. McGurk warned that after the jihad organization seized enormous financial and military assets in Iraq, ISIS is “no longer a terrorist organization. It is a full-blown army.”
This is Obama’s catastrophic failure — JV. He’s a JV president — benched.
The Hill: The testimony from senior officials sparked alarm and frustration on Capitol Hill, where lawmakers said more should have been done to counter ISIS sooner.
Over the weekend, Attorney General Eric Holder said the threat of ISIS fighters infiltrating the U.S. was “more frightening than anything I think I’ve seen as attorney general.”
Former Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge told The Hill on Wednesday that the threat from ISIS had been “blinking red a long time.”
“Now it’s flashing more frequently and is a lot brighter,” he said. “They’ve got a lot of fighters who are from European countries that are visa waiver countries, which means all they have to do is shave their beards and look like normal, responsible civilians and walk into the United States of America without a visa.
“It’s a real challenge for our intelligence community to identify them and get their names on a watch list.”
During Wednesday’s hearing, officials laid out steps for countering ISIS, including pressuring countries in the region to close their borders to stop the spread of fighters and offering U.S. training for local Iraqi security forces and centrist Syrian groups.
But it is still unclear whether the administration is planning any military response. U.S. advisers on the ground in Iraq have yet to begin helping local units as the Pentagon reviews an initial intelligence assessment that found embedded American forces would be easy targets for extremists.
Lawmakers expressed concerns over the delays but also remained deeply divided about what military steps the U.S. should take.
House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Ed Royce (R-Calif.) said the administration had ignored the threat for too long and had rejected Iraqi requests for drone strikes as early as August 2013.
This is the real kicker. Obama was warned a long time ago about this terrorist group, but he did nothing to stop them before they formed this state. He did nothing when ISIS were crossing the border into Iraq from Syria where clear strikes on them could have been done before ever entering Iraq, but once again Obama did nothing. Pepp
“What it seems like is the administration is just paralyzed. They just don’t know what to do,” added Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-Ill.), an Iraq War veteran.
“I’m renewing the call to the administration for massive manned military air strikes to push back this very, very bad cancer that’s encroaching on the Middle East,” he said.
Other lawmakers though expressed caution and said any solution must include political reforms in Baghdad.
“I supported the president’s decision to send assessment teams to Iraq, but I’m cautious of our future action. We cannot end up in another sectarian quagmire in Iraq,” said Rep. Eliot Engel (D-N.Y.), the committee’s ranking member.
Lawmakers cautioned against providing Iraq with more military help until a stable government was in place. Critics of Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki say his Shiite-majority government has alienated Sunni and Kurdish minorities and emboldened ISIS. Several lawmakers called for him to step down.
“Maliki is not a good guy just because we installed him. Now we need a new prime minister,” Rep. Brad Sherman (D-Calif.) said.
McGurk said the administration had not ignored the threat and had already offered military assistance to Iraq.
“We set up intelligence fusion sharing centers, we helped them with the Hellfire missiles precision strikes, we helped them in terms of training forces on the ground of special operations,” he said.
But he cautioned that the focus should be on supporting an Iraqi unity government, requiring political reforms initiated by Baghdad.
“This is a uniquely Iraqi process, with Iraqi political dynamics. And the outcome will reflect that process,” McGurk said.
“There will not be an exclusively military solution to the threat posed by ISIL,” Slotkin added. Iraqis must do the heavy lifting.”
OK, now we’ve got this huge threat from ISIS. So what do we do? If I were president I would strike this group with everything I had. We should fight a war like we did in WWII. War is hell. There is always collateral damage. But we are now fighting wars like pansies with so much “political correctness”. You just can’t win a war that way. And we put ourselves at a terrible risk.
This crap about sitting around and trying a political solution now is sheer madness. The threat is here now. Can we wait for endless meetings with some political hack in Iraq. Besides that we’ve been invited to hit ISIS from Maliki. What is the King waiting for? Can’t we just bomb the hell out of them like we did over Germany?
OK, so the Iraqi army ran when ISIS hit. So what? We’ve got a huge threat to us on our hands now and we just can’t depend on Iraqis to do the “heavy lifting”. Iraq is now a terrorist state. Thank you Zero for this one. The blame lies solely on your shoulders for Iraq coming apart.