Bad foreign policy leads to attacks in Paris

By: Brennan Kohls

Last Thursday in an interview, President Barack Obama claimed that ISIS had been contained. The next day radical Islamic terrorists, all belonging to ISIS, killed 129 people in coordinated attacks in Paris. Obama’s foreign policy of “lead from behind” and that global warming is a bigger national security threat than terrorism is a complete and utter failure, and it has killed Americans and people all over the world.

On Nov. 1, 2012, Obama said, “The war in Iraq is over. The war in Afghanistan is winding down. Al-Qaeda is decimated. Osama bin Laden is dead.” Apparently he forgot what happened almost two months earlier at our embassy in Benghazi, Libya, where four Americans, including U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens, were killed by an al-Qaeda-affiliated group. We knew that Benghazi was a very dangerous area, but for some reason, we had an American embassy there with very minimal security.

Of course, the biggest blunder of Obama’s foreign policy was the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria. ISIS was created as a branch of al-Qaeda in 1999 and did participate in the insurgency in Iraq but did not appear on our television screens until the summer of 2014. They murder and rape thousands of innocent men, women and children. They kill Christians for simply being Christian, among many other unspeakable atrocities. Now they are completely separated from al-Qaeda and have formed their own “caliphate” in Syria, using Raqqa as their capital. They became the powerful insurgency we know today when Obama pulled all of our combat troops out of Iraq in 2011, just so he could use the “I ended the war in Iraq” slogan for his re-election campaign.

Pulling out of Iraq all at once was a colossal mistake made by the Obama administration. You have to slowly pull troops out while easing the new government’s troops into a combat ready force. Obama ignored all common sense and pulled everyone out so he could win the election. He didn’t think about the consequences of it. Operation Iraqi Freedom was a success: we had Iraq secured, the government was still a little shaky, but all we had to do was keep advising them and transition them into full control while pulling small numbers of troops out slowly.

On Jan. 7, 2014, Obama said this about ISIS, “The analogy we use around here sometimes, and I think is accurate, is if a JV team puts on Lakers uniforms, that doesn’t make them Kobe Bryant.” Just four days earlier ISIS took control of Fallujah, a city in Iraq that many American service members lost their lives securing in the Iraq war. This was before ISIS became a household name.

In June of 2014, ISIS had captured 70 percent of the Anbar Province in Iraq, which held many cities that American service members fought and died for, such as Fallujah and Ramadi. This is the same group Obama called “JV” five months earlier.

What grabbed the world’s attention to ISIS was when James Foley, an American journalist, was beheaded in front of a camera by the now recently killed Jihadi John on Aug. 19, 2014. Sept. 2, 2014, Steven Sotloff, an Israeli-American journalist was beheaded by Jihadi John. Peter Kassig, also an American, was beheaded by ISIS on Nov. 16, 2014. Doesn’t seem like a “JV” team anymore does it?

Our air campaign started on Aug. 8, 2014, but we still have not been able to stall ISIS’ advances. Airstrikes are a good way to cut supply lines and make sure the terrorists keep their heads down, but when there are so many restrictions on airstrikes, we are usually too late to hit a target. Obama has the “zero civilian death, minimal collateral damage” restrictions, which severely holds back our jets. You cannot expect to win a war without any civilian casualties. You just can’t. There has never been a war in history with no civilian casualties or collateral damage. We need to stop tying our troops’ hands behind their backs and let them do what they do best: destroy the bad guys. We need to make all jihadists know that if they stick their heads out of their caves, there is a bomb with their name on it.

Fast forward to last week. On Nov. 12, Obama claimed in an interview that ISIS has been “contained.” The next day ISIS militants killed 129 people in coordinated attacks throughout Paris. In retaliation for the attacks, France bombed ISIS’ capital, Raqqa. They destroyed a command center, a training camp, an ammunition depot and a recruitment center. They did in one day what we should have done a long time ago. We need to show the jihadists the full might of our air power.

Obama still will not change our strategy. Don’t you think after a year of bombing and no result that we might change our strategy a little bit? Obama’s strategy of leading from behind and only bombing will not destroy ISIS. We need to have limited numbers of coalition forces on the ground, and work closely with the Peshmerga forces while providing constant air support. We cannot let up in the bombing campaign. We have to shell Raqqa to the ground and every other ISIS stronghold. As Lt. Col. (Ret.) Ralph Peterson said, “You have to kill them, keep on killing them, until you kill the last one. Then you kill his pet goat.”

Even after we found out that one of the attackers in Paris was a Syrian “refugee,” Obama still wants to bring in hundreds of thousands of “refugees.” People will say, “They aren’t all terrorists.” If someone gave you seven grapes, and two of them were poisoned, would you eat the grapes? We cannot let terrorists take advantage of our compassion, these refugees are not documented. We can’t do a background check. We can’t do anything to check their past, so why would anyone think that it is a good idea to bring undocumented refugees from a region that is crawling with jihadists? All it takes is one terrorist posing as a refugee to kill a lot of Americans. Obama seems to care more about these “refugees” than American citizens.

We cannot defeat the enemy when our own president will not call them by what they are. For whatever reason, Obama will not say the words, “Radical Islamic Terrorism.” “ISIL is not ‘Islamic,’” said Obama in a press conference. Every Muslim is not a terrorist, but Obama needs to realize that what we are fighting is radical Islamic terrorism.

Obama’s foreign policy has been a complete failure. ISIS is becoming the powerful terrorist organization it is today because of Obama’s poor judgement in Iraq. He claims that groups like al-Qaeda and ISIS are on the run, but clearly they are not. We have to stop with the “no collateral damage” policy. We cannot accept hundreds of thousands of “refugees” who have no documented background or past.

As we’ve seen in France, ISIS already has operatives posing as “refugees.” It’s time that we change our strategy to destroy and ultimately defeat radical Islamic terrorism.

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