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President Obama’s “Oops” Speech

It was an exercise in a political distraction, one that interrupted an otherwise good episode of Hell’s Kitchen. We could have watched a few of our recorded program, but we opted to watch the President Obama’s remarks.  After just a few minutes, I was envisioning an angry Chef Gordon Ramsay stepping up to the President (and some Republicans) and telling them to “get out” – for effect, when Ramsay says “restaurant” replace it with “nation”:

This town has become one big think tank. All folks seem to do these days, including those elected to lead, is talk, debate, discuss and posture. I assure you, the talking heads will spend days deciphering the President’s remarks. The Congress will as well. Let me save you some time, it was a flop. A colossal flop. He talked and said nothing, at least nothing of any consequence to the issues at hand that require more action, less talk.

The enemy is radical Islam including those who support them such as Iran. Radical Islamists declared war on us. Remember 09.11.01? This speech may have been alright … a year ago. 

Because the President is more concerned about his political legacy, than the global war against radical Islamic terror, in the near-term, his remarks will do more harm than good. Sometimes the best policy is to talk softly and carry a very big stick, and use it. In the post-09.11 world, giving groups such as ISIL fodder for new recruitment and fundraising videos may not be the best use of the President’s time.

The President’s deliberate attempt to isolate the threat to the greater Middle East demonstrates a clear misunderstanding of the type of enemy the United States, and yes, the rest of the world, is up against. There will not be a clear end. It will require diplomatic skills that this Administration clearly does not possess — or we would not be in this mess to begin with — and a firm resolution to use military force, when and wherever necessary, without having to brag about it on national television.

He wants to sound like George H. W. Bush, but he will fail because the Bush coalition was led by the United States with tanks and guns united against a common enemy. The true common enemy in this case, is bigger than ISIL. It is Iran. Yet the President never called Iran to task, not even indirectly. As far as Syria, pressuring the Assad regime to step aside has failed. They are even still using chemical weapons.

The proposed “broad coalition of partners,” in this case, is a talking point, not a policy.  There will never be a workable coalition without U.S boots on the ground. Some of the proposed “coalition” members have been providing material support to ISIL. And they will continue to do so. By the way, the United States does not need permission from the United Nations, the U.N. security council, or any other third-party to defend U.S. interests.

Whether you supported the liberation of Iraq from Saddam Hussein or not, once the United States gives it word to do something, there was a time we would do it. We would follow through and not cut and run the way the Obama people have. To secure and defend freedom is hard. It takes time. Sacrifices.

If the United States was willing to park itself in Europe for decades after World War II, why not the greater Middle East? Heck, look at the Ukraine matter. Europe still needs the United States to address issues in their neck of the woods. There will never ever be stability in the Middle East without security. End of story.

This was the President’s “oops” moment. Why?

Because on December 14, 2011, and afterwards, the President declared in Ft. Bragg, North Carolina that “[t]he war in Iraq will soon belong to history.”  This is what the President and his advisors are most concerned about, not the plight of Christians or regional instability, rather talking points and re-writing history. Interestingly, with the mid-term elections just a few weeks away, they’ve handed the Republicans one more talking point to remind the American people that new leadership is needed in this town.

President George W Bush always made clear, if you bothered to pay close attention to the strategy, that the conflict against radical Islam was much bigger than, as the President likes to say these days, a “war in Iraq.” It is a battle against evildoers that includes non-state, groups such as al-Qaeda and ISIL, as well as state actors such as Syria and Iran. As they are gunning for the United States and what stand for.

Remember what happened on this day 13 years ago. Nothing has changed for the radicals. Nor will it so long as we play defense. And this is why Obama’s speech was a failure. He refuses to accept that. It would have been better if he had not delivered it.

It’s time for offense.

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