The most recent Islamic act of war, in which self-professed Islamic State jihadi Omar Mir Seddique Mateen slaughtered 49 people and injured scores of others at a gay nightclub in Orlando, Fla., should be a game changer. The deadliest attack on U.S. soil since Sept. 11, 2001, should finally convince our leadership that dealing with the Islamic threat must no longer be business as usual.
Don’t hold your breath.
President Obama has run national security policy only to serve his leftist agenda, not American interests and security. After nearly eight years of deliberate U.S. inaction and impotence, the Islamic State now leads the global jihad, including within our own borders. And it should surprise no one that the president will never fight the war in any meaningful way.
Nor will Hillary Clinton, who worked in lockstep with Mr. Obama during the years she served as secretary of state and still believes in his failed approach.
Donald Trump, however, promises that if he’s elected president, “the days of deadly ignorance will end.”
First, however, we must survive the remaining seven months of Mr. Obama’s term.
Last February, after the Islamic State (ISIS) had beheaded 21 Christians in Libya and launched attacks in Paris that left 17 people dead, the White House welcomed domestic and foreign representatives from law enforcement, government and religious groups (including the extremist Islamic Society of Boston) to a glorified coffee klatch called the “Summit on Countering Violent Extremism.” He convened another one of these Potemkin summits in September.
Since then, we’ve seen stepped-up attacks across the globe. So much for “countering violent extremism.”
The jihad rolls on, while Mr. Obama and his team refer to “terror” while pointedly refusing to acknowledge the Islamic beliefs that inspire it.
This suicidal unwillingness to call the enemy what it is — never mind do something concrete to defeat it — comes straight from the top. The Obama administration has engaged in all kinds of politically correct gymnastics to avoid making the connection between Islam and terror, terming acts of terror “man-made disasters” missions fought abroad “overseas contingency operations,” and in the case of the Islamic attack at Ford Hood, “workplace violence.”
The virus of political correctness has long infected the way in which Mr. Obama, his administration and many in the media speak about the enemy — when they do at all — and in how they deal with it. It’s no wonder that despite waving Islamist red flags everywhere from his place of employment to the FBI, Mateen roamed freely until he committed mass murder.
Mr. Obama initially dismissed ISIS as “junior varsity.” He later declared the organization “contained” — just a day before it launched its massacre in Paris.
One thing we know about the most committed jihadis — the networks of whom are in every corner of the globe — is that they cannot be contained.
Even after the Boston, Paris and San Bernardino attacks, Mr. Obama would not change his strategic approach, around which ISIS has easily navigated.
Now more than ever, the growing threat requires a more comprehensive strategy designed not simply to roll back Islamic fundamentalism but to defeat it — and still Mr. Obama will not deliver one, because he is ideologically allergic to any serious military engagement in the Middle East.
He has done the bare minimum — send a few hundred special operations forces to Syria, order some additional airstrikes — he thinks he can get away with. He looks like he’s “doing something” while really not doing much at all, particularly given the obscenely restrictive rules of engagement.
After the November Paris attack, I wrote, “ISIS certainly intends to strike the U.S. homeland, so unless it is annihilated, it’s just a matter of time before it will be able to carry out a domestic attack of the kind it recently executed in Paris, Beirut and aboard a Russian jetliner.”
Sadly, this was prescient.
We must fight this war the way we fought the Nazis in World War II and Soviet communists during the cold war: comprehensively and strategically, using every available military, economic, ideological, diplomatic, cyber and religious lever. We must stop this threat before it metastasizes further and fully overtakes Western Civilization.
The truth is that while Mr. Obama talks tough about “degrading” the threat, he will never execute a sustained and serious strategy to actually do it. And without his leadership, don’t expect the rest of the Western World to act against the obvious threat.
Unfortunately, we’re not the only ones seeing the weakness. The enemy is sees it, too. So they continue their advance, knowing full well that the only power that can truly stop them — a united West led by a strong U.S. commander in chief — does not exist.
At least for the time being.
• Monica Crowley is editor of online opinion at The Washington Times.
Copyright © 2019 The Washington Times, LLC.