It has been about a week since the horrific terror attacks on Paris. Since then, as raids and shootouts have occurred, it has been a stressful and emotionally draining week. Truly innocent lives were lost when ISIS decided to attack America’s oldest ally. Yet, President Obama does not see the need to increase American military action to end the threat.
I place the rise of ISIS squarely on the shoulders of President Obama, and his feckless foreign policy. Yes, we can also point to Bush’s war in Iraq, but the direct cause was Obama’s decision to remove America’s military presence from Iraq, leaving a power vacuum, and not maintaining stability in the area. He allowed ISIS to flourish because what he wanted to do was more important than what he needed to do.
President Obama forgot the Pottery Barn rule—you break it, you buy it. The concept was first developed by Secretary of State Colin Powell in 2004. The current Secretary of State use to understand it. John Kerry cited the rule when he ran for President in 2004, and debated George W. Bush in the their first presidential debate. It is a governing principle that states, America is responsible for fixing the problems we caused out of the Iraq war.
Obama was more interested in “leading from behind,” and reducing America’s involvement as the world leader. His governing philosophy was born out of a certain segment of acidemia which promotes the theory: all the world’s woes are a result of America injecting itself into the business of other nations. As a result of Obama leading based on this ideology, rather than the realities that exist, we have a world more dangerous than when he took office.
ISIS wants a World War III, with the Islamic nations on one side and the Western World on the other, and Obama is handing it to them. President Obama thought if he could just ignore the problem, and it would all go away. He wanted the “good Muslims” to take up arms against ISIS, and leave America out of it. Maybe privately he thought ISIS would develop into a new nation-state that would eventually create stability. Who knows?
Obama failed to learn the lessons of history. After WWII, America kept occupying forces in both Germany and Japan. It was necessary to rebuild those countries and create stability. When a ceasefire was signed in Korea, America kept and keeps troops in the South to stop the North from flooding over the border. In Vietnam, we signed a ceasefire, withdrew our troops and turned our backs, then the South was overrun.
I believe by now most Americans agree going to war in Iraq was the wrong choice. Saddam Hussein was an evil dictator, who killed his own people. However, he was a stabilizing force in the region. He was a secular leader, who kept the religious extremists from flourishing. Iraq had been a balance to Iran, a theocracy driven by hatred toward Israel and the West. I believe most Americans agree, if we never took down Hussein, there would have been no ISIS.
Unfortunately, Obama forgot the Pottery Barn rule. America broke Iraq, and America had a responsibility to fix it. Yes, that meant keeping troops in the country for decades—just like Germany, Japan, and Korea—until Iraq was a fully developed nation again. Bush ignited the flames that became ISIS, but Obama has allowed the fire to burn out of control.
ISIS has spread, and is now active in 15 countries—Iraq, Syria, Egypt, Yemen, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Algeria, Libya, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Tunisia, Germany, France, England, and the United States. Obama’s push to take America off a war-footing, and de-escalating the War on Terror, has made not only America less safe, but the world.
I do not expect anything from this President, except that things will get worse. He wanted a legacy of being the President that got America out, and kept America out of war. In the meantime, he will allow the world to burn out of control. He wants ISIS to be the next President’s problem, but if he continues down this path, history will not judge him kindly.