The recent attacks in Paris forced the West to confront the realities of radical Islam once again. While President Francois Hollande was taking his country to war against those who attacked his country, President Obama was sticking to his claim that “ISIS is contained.” Regarding the attacks in Paris, he had the gall to say that they “were obviously a terrible and sickening setback.”
Paris, we’re really sorry for your “setback.”
President Obama’s probably been distracted from fighting ISIS because he’s had his political guns pointed at Republicans. The latest round of ISIS’s attacks has caused the president to claim that Republican policies are “what ISIS wants.” This has led to a whole swatch of articles from the Atlantic, to Huffington Post, to Vox , all obsessing over how ISIS wants the West to react. Each of these articles contains a list of conservative policies that are playing right into the enemy’s hands. These policies include, but are by no means limited to: “keeping the refugees out,” “alienating Western Muslims,” or “go to war.”
Apparently, jihadists are psychological masterminds who are able to manipulate geopolitics. Ben Shapiro is right when he says it’s almost as if “leftists want all of us to wear WWISISD? bracelets to gaze upon each time we decide on anti-ISIS action.”
Well, maybe we should–in a sense. Charles Cooke with National Review writes that it is one of their aims to incite generalizations about Islam to radicalize moderate Muslims in the West. However, Cooke differs from the liberal narrative when he argues that “to acknowledge these risks is not necessarily to place them above all else.”
He’s absolutely right: we can take ISIS’s claims into account without letting them dictate our strategy. Perhaps there are better strategies than what’s been presented so far, from both sides, but support for any given strategy should come from a real argument with real ideas, not what Cooke calls “idle sloganeering.”
That same “idle sloganeering” from the left may be what got us here in the first place. President Obama’s “Red Line” against Bashar Assad is a foreign policy joke, one that allowed ISIS to grow in the Syrian political mess. Obama also pulled troops out of Iraq, once again giving ISIS room to grow. Now, he’s resorting to political infighting rather than coming up with an actual solution to fight ISIS.
Maybe President Obama, not Republicans in Congress, is the one giving ISIS what it wants.
Ultimately, what the left doesn’t realize is that it doesn’t matter “what ISIS wants” at all. We can’t let ISIS call the shots when it comes to security in the West, because they don’t get a say. However, they will get a say if we let them.