The following is part three of a series on what the current president got wrong in his State of the Union address on Tuesday, January 12, 2016, according to dailysignal.com.
- We all remember when President Obama called ISIS a J.V. team. Well, today, the terrorist group poses more of a threat to the world than ever before. The Heritage Foundation group has pointed out in the past two years that ISIS has established a presence in 19 countries with foreign fighters flocking to the wannabe caliphate in droves. In Syria and Iraq, ISIS controls territory the size of Maryland and rules over a population equivalent to Virginia’s. Although ISIS was recently kicked out of the Iraqi town of Ramadi, it still occupies Mosul, Iraq’s second largest city of almost 2 million. Obama’s remarks in the SOTU re-affirmed what we already knew; that there is still no strategy to defeat ISIS and he is anxious to pass this buck on to his successor.
- When it came to national security issues, President Obama’s State of the Union address veered from delusional to dishonest. He presented the American people with a series of false choices, straw arguments, and inaccurate assessments regarding his track record. Regarding ISIS, Obama tried to downplay the existential threat they posed. Obama went on to provide a list of initiatives that the U.S. was spearheading in the war against the group, which included efforts to cut off ISIL’s financing, disrupt their plots. Stop the flow of terrorist fighters, and stamp out their vicious ideology. These were unusual examples to cite, because on every count, these efforts have failed. ISIS is stocked with foreign fighters, its ideology has spread across the glove, it has launched attacks in mainland Europe, and it remains financially strong. Obama also dismissed the idea that theology could be at the heart of ISIS’s appeal dubbing them simply “killers and fanatics.” Yet a refusal to acknowledge the religious component to ISIS’s activities is counter-productive.
- Almost seven years later, the so-called Russian reset policy is now a Russian regret. Russia still occupies 20 percent of Georgia’s territory. Moscow’s imperialism has resulted in the illegal occupation and annexation of Crimea and a Russian invasion of eastern Ukraine. Russia is testing NATO in the Baltics, rebuilding its military bases in the Arctic, and has intervened in the Syrian Civil War with no regard to the consequences. Since taking office, President Obama and many of those around him have assumed that Vladimir Putin is someone you can do business with, that Europe is no longer important, and that military power no longer buys the same influence on the world stage as it once did. These assumptions have led to bad policy decisions by this White House that has emboldened Russian aggression and tested the transatlantic alliance to its limits.
- The current president has remained in denial about the disastrous nature of his Middle East polity throughout the small parts of his state of the union speech that dealt with foreign policy. He said that priority number one is protecting the American people and going after terrorist networks. That was certainly not the case in his last state of the union speech, which was the first that did not mention al-Qaeda since George W. Bush’s 2002 speech. He glossed over the uneven results of his half-hearted, slow-motion incremental response to the rise of ISIS and fumbling responses to the deepening crisis in Syria where his administration has been consistently behind the curve. His optimism on defeating these two terrorist networks would be reassuring if he wasn’t the same misinformed person who told Americans hat the war in Iraq had ended, that ISIS was a J.V. team, and that ISIS was contained the day before it launched the Paris terrorist attacks that killed 130 people.
- President Obama, once again, used his State of the Union speech to urge Congress to work with him to close the terrorist detention facility at Naval Station Guantanamo Bay, Cuba (GITMO). But it is worth reminding everyone that GITMO is open for one reason and one reason only; because Obama failed to close the facility when the stage was set for him to do so. In 2009-2010, Obama’s party held a 59-41 majority in the Senate, and a 257-178 advantage in the House of Representatives. If the president needed any legislation to close Guantanamo, a debatable point, or simply the political backing of the majorities in both houses of Congress, the stars were aligned for him to do so. But instead of working with Congress to close GITMO in 2009-2010, the administration engaged in a series of controversial moves that caused a bipartisan uproar, resulting in the Democrat-controlled congress passing legislation that each year since 2009 has made it more difficult to close GITMO.
- The facts clearly demonstrate the ineffectiveness of Obama’s radical new Cuba policy. Diplomatic recognition and increased commercial opportunities to the Castro regime have emboldened the military dictatorship. This has directly resulted in historic levels of repression against the anti-Castro opposition. Despite a year of unilateral concessions, Havana continues undermining the U.S. and our interests. Dissidents have suffered historic levels of repression, even during Pope Francis’s visit to the island. Recently, it was discovered that the regime has been in possession for over a year of an inert U.S. Hellfire Missile, which was shipped from Spain to the island. The administration has not been able to answer how it got there, or if other hostile countries have obtained sensitive defense technology from it. It must also be remembered that it was only two summers ago when the Cuban government violated U.N. Security Council sanctions by clandestinely shipping weapons to North Korea.
- Back to ISIS, where Obama first called the Islamic State a J.V. team. Then he said they were contained just before an ISIS inspired terrorist attack. Now Obama has characterized ISIS as masses of fighters on the back of pickup trucks during the State of the Union address. The president’s most recent characterization of ISIS again tries to downplay the terrorist group’s capabilities, suggesting it is something far less formidable than it actually is.
It looks like I’m going to need at least one more article to cover everything that was covered in the State of the Union address. Again, thanks go to the Daily Signal for their detailed information.