Why is Obama Kicking the ISIS Can Down the Road?

President Obama in his ISIS speech did his best to convince the American people that things are under control, that he will pursue a coalition with other nations to degrade and ultimately destroy ISIS and that he will do it only through air strikes. It was clear that the fight against ISIS will not include foot soldiers and would be a long-term effort. This means that it might end up landing in the lap of the next president of the United States.

When Obama declared he had no strategy yet on ISIS a few weeks ago he was perceived as a weak and indecisive leader, but is that all the reason for his reluctance to fight ISIS? Or are there other, hidden reasons why Obama does not want to destroy ISIS?

Reluctance and refusal to go to war, even against an enemy that has declared war on the U.S., does not necessarily mean a leader is weak. So what is it about Obama personally -- regarding the threat of Islamic terrorism -- that is unsettling, disappointing, and even alarming? Some analysis of how Muslims view their ambition for a Caliphate and those who stand against it could be very telling.

Obama does not want to go down in history as the one who destroyed and extinguished the dream of resurrecting the Islamic State. That was never his intention. In fact, Obama’s plan when he took office was exactly the opposite: to end American supremacy as the one and only most powerful superpower in the world.

Obama never expressed fear of other evil empires that could challenge America’s power, freedoms, and way of life. All his efforts have been in the direction of empowerment and growth of other powers. He often hailed the Islamic Middle East as a great civilization and never shied away from glorifying Islam, its history and contributions even to America.

Under Obama’s watch Islam was placed on a pedestal and that helped revive the Islamic dream of the Caliphate. Muslims felt that Obama was their man, under whom they had a chance to achieve their powerful Islamic state.

Ever since Obama’s Cairo speech, Muslim Brotherhood dreams moved into action. They won Egypt’s presidency through elections, and moved on to the greater goal of the Islamic State. 

Not many people linked the rise to power of the Muslim Brotherhood through Morsi’s election in Egypt to Islam’s first step to achieving the Islamic State. But when 35 million Egyptians brought Morsi down, together with the Islamic State dreams, Muslims had no choice but to turn to the usual jihadist violence. Obama himself was not happy with the military takeover and destruction of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt.

Jihadist ambition had to move away from Egypt to war-torn Syria and Iraq. For more than two years, Islamists have carried out flagrant and barbaric mass terrorism -- beheadings, torture, kidnapping, and sexual slavery of women, men, and children. Obama ignored the problem until it blew up in our faces with the beheading of two Americans.

Terrorists could not behave themselves while America was looking the other way. But for some reason ISIS wanted more from Obama than he was willing to give, and that was why they beheaded the two Americans. That caught Obama by surprise and forced him to act when acting was not in his plan. ISIS shot themselves in the foot to embarrass Obama, who closed his eyes for more than a year to their bloody march to declare their Islamic State.

Rightly or wrongly, Obama was perceived by many Muslims as pro-Islam and even as Muslim himself. If Obama annihilates ISIS, he will turn into an infidel enemy number one of Islam -- one who supported Muslims in their dream of the Caliphate by looking the other way, only to later crush it. Obama’s dream has turned into an unexpected nightmare.

Now Obama is playing the same game that Arab leaders have been playing for a long time: ignore terrorism until you feel the flame. No Arab leader is willing to wage war against jihadists who, unlike what Obama says, represent true Islam and its dream of a Caliphate.

That very same reason explains why Obama did not want to defend the consulate in Benghazi with American soldiers against the Muslim attackers and employed useless Libyan security instead. He did not want to fight jihadists in Libya and wanted to remain the hero who liberated Libya. But again Islamists failed him.

Now, Obama is calling on Arab countries to join his coalition against ISIS. But that will not happen because, like Obama, Arab leaders are afraid of appearing treasonous to Islam. They do not want to join a coalition with America (the Infidel) against those who are obeying Allah’s commandment to achieve the Islamic State. No Muslim nation will seriously attack ISIS, whom they claim to be un-Islamic, even to defend what they call the real Muslim victims. They claim that ISIS is ruining the reputation of Islam, but proud Muslim leaders who love true Islam are looking the other way.

Saudi Arabia and the Gulf countries are paralyzed, the same as Obama. Instead of rushing to wage war to end ISIS slaughter and expansion, Arab ‘allies’ of the U.S. chose to do nothing. Now the important question is: Why is it that the famous Arab honor not offended by ISIS?

Arabs who would not hesitate to kill their own daughters if they do not follow Islam do not want to touch ISIS, which they claim has disgraced Islam. This does not add up.

Could there be a hidden reason to explain why Arabs do not want to destroy ISIS but would rather give the job to America? Could fighting and killing the ISIS jihadists be a violation of Sharia Islamic Law? I think that is the reason Saudi Arabia is desperately trying to convince Obama to destroy ISIS for them.

According to Sharia, a Muslim leader who stands against the Islamic State is automatically an apostate who must be killed. To Saudis, America is the great Satan anyway, so what is another war by Americans to save their Saudi friends in order for Saudi leaders to come out of this ordeal smelling like a rose?

Whether it is Obama, Arab leaders, or the Arab League, they are all acting like dhimmis, afraid of being condemned as apostates for defying and crushing the most sacred goal of Islam; conquering the world through a constantly expanding Islamic State that would eventually take over the whole world.

Obama obviously cannot be honest about this dilemma regarding ISIS; a dilemma between his duty to the USA, the country he chose to lead, and his dream of becoming the hero of the Muslim World who taught the West a lesson on how to treat Muslims. 

Obama will not obliterate ISIS but will contain it, as he said. He will eventually kick the can to the next administration, not only because he hates wars as he claims, but because he does not want to be enemy number one of Islam and the Muslims. That is Obama’s dirty little secret that explains his paralysis before ISIS.

Ironically, the man who claimed to have healed the relationship between the West and the Muslim world will go down in history as the one who helped the rise and the bloody fall of the Islamic State and perhaps America itself.

Nonie Darwish author of The Devil We Don’t Know