No more Mr. (relatively) Nice guy. It’s now personal between President Barack Obama and the ISIS after the beheading of freelance journalist James Foley. That’s the quite-plausible analyst of The Daily Beast’s Eli Lake:[icopyright one button toolbar]
When ISIS beheaded an American journalist, it meant to intimidate—and provoke—the United States. It should be careful what it wishes for. The gloves just came off.
The Obama administration signaled Thursday that the United States has begun a new war against the so-called Islamic State, and that group’s operatives will not be safe from America’s wrath in Iraq, in Syria, or wherever they can be tracked down.
Since U.S. intelligence agencies confirmed the authenticity of a video that showed the beheading of American journalist James Foley this week, the president and top cabinet officers have employed rhetoric about the jihadists of the Islamic State (also known as the “caliphate,” ISIS, or ISIL) that echoes the Bush administration in the wake of the 9/11 attacks.
Lake notes that unlike Benghazi, this isn’t be treated like a crime, but an act of war which will require the U.S. to respond as such. He points to Obama’s rhetoric:
In the aftermath of the 2012 attack on the U.S. diplomatic compound in Benghazi, Obama vowed to bring the attackers to justice. This week Obama struck a different tone, saying: “When people harm Americans, anywhere, we do what’s necessary to see that justice is done.”
The difference between bringing suspects to justice and seeing that justice is done is roughly the same as the difference between treating terrorism as a crime and as an act of war.
Even though special operations teams were dispatched to Libya after Benghazi to target the jihadists suspected of carrying it out, Obama chose to treat the attack, which cost the lives of four Americans, as a crime. It took until June of this year for the FBI in conjunction with U.S. special operations teams to capture one of the ringleaders of the attack and bring him to the United States to face trial.
A different fate likely awaits the leaders of ISIS. According to the Pentagon, U.S. aircraft already have conducted 90 strikes inside Iraq since President Obama ordered what was billed as a limited air war against ISIS this month. That number is significant because some of those strikes occurred after the release of the ISIS video, which showed the murder of Foley. In that video, the terrorists promise to murder a second American hostage if airstrikes continue.
….In June, when ISIS first took Iraq’s second-largest city, Mosul, Obama was careful to emphasize the limited scope of the U.S. mission, declining to authorize airstrikes. When Obama finally did approve bombing missions this month in response to the ISIS march on the Kurdish city of Erbil, he stressed the they would only be to break the siege of Mount Sinjar, where thousands of Yazidis were trapped without food and water, and to protect American personnel and assets.
Today, as Obama finds his country facing an utterly barbaric enemy, and after weeks and months of delaying action, he appears ready to mount a war with the ambitious goal of actually winning.
Stay tuned — and brace yourself. The U.S. goal will not to be incarerate, but obliterate because as I noted HERE before the Foley tragedy, ISIS is a major threat to U.S. security and operates along the same line as the Nazis at their worst.
Only, the Nazis tried to hide or downplay their brutality and mercilessness when they butchered innocent men, women, children and infants — and ISIS wears it on its sleeve as it chops the heads off people to make political statements and get some video to get on the Internet.