Thursday, June 11, 2015

"Let me be perfectly clear: I have no frickin’ clue what I’m doing."

By Alan Caruba

The headline topping the Wednesday, June 10 Wall Street Journal read “Obama Set to Expand Troops in Iraq.” We are six years, 143 days into the two terms Barack Hussein Obama has served in the office of President of the United States and he is as clueless now as he was when he arrived on January 20, 2009.

“President Barack Obama is poised to send hundreds more American advisers to a new base in a strategic Iraqi region to help devise a counterattack against marauding Islamic State militants, U.S. officials said Tuesday, a shift that underscores American concern over recent battlefield losses.” It’s 450 “trainers.”

We have had losses because: (1) Obama was elected on a promise to end the conflict in Iraq and (2) reelected by pulling out troops to the point that the remaining Iraqi troops -- Shiites in the south --decided it wasn’t worth dying for their leaders. Can’t say I blame them, but dying at the hands of ninth century Islamic fanatics is the fate that threatens the entire Middle East, not just Iraq or what’s left of it.

This is how we lost the war in Vietnam. There was a time when Americans utterly destroyed their enemies on the battlefield. In the latter half of the last century, starting with the Korean War, we lost the will to completely engage with the enemy.

In all candor, and like a lot of Americans, I went back and forth about the Mideast conflicts. Looking back, I think George H.W. Bush showed remarkable insight when, after driving Iraq’s Saddam Hussein out of Kuwait, he stopped at the border and came home. George W. had the notion he could somehow introduce democracy to the region. He couldn’t and it will likely never take root there because Islam is the only permissible law for devout Muslims; that simple fact has kept the region ignorant, backward, and under the thumb of tyrants and radical clerics for centuries.

ISIS must be stopped at some point, but Obama is not the President who will do it. Whatever U.S.-backed combat occurs will be just enough to present television news highlights to convince the gullible and Democrats (but I repeat myself) that progress is being made.

Obama arrived in office without any strategy and has spent the last six and a half years “muddling through” as the British say. He and the Democrat Party had only one goal: to win elections. After that, they wanted to “fundamentally transform” the greatest nation that has ever existed on planet Earth. They have largely made a mess out of everything they touched, from ObamaCare to Common Core.

There’s a simple reason that Obama will send more troops. Every one of our allies has told him in no uncertain terms that, if the U.S. does not again assert its role of global leadership, they will undermine and humiliate him in a thousand different ways.

Obama fears nothing more than personal humiliation.

Our allies in the Mideast have told him they lack the military strength (and will) to conduct any kind of war with ISIS. The U.S. and much of the rest of the world cannot afford to sit by and let the enormous oil wealth of the Mideast fall to ISIS.

So, yet again, we read headlines about U.S. troops returning to the Mideast.

Disguised within the headline is the fact that the 2016 elections are more critical to the future of the nation than all those that have preceded it.

Nuclear terrorism hangs in the balance.

I think Americans -- liberals, conservatives and independents alike -- have had more than enough of President Lead From Behind. Older Americans remember and take pride in a nation that was unabashedly the world’s leader in the pursuit of peace and democracy. And I think that the thirty percent or so of brain-dead liberals are not sufficient to affect the outcome of a 2016 election devoted to restoring the nation’s economic vitality and global leadership.

It can be done. John F. Kennedy was on his way to doing so. Reagan did so. 590 days from now, we can begin to do so again.

Read more Alan Caruba

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