Obama: "Not Interested in Winning"

Tell us something we don’t know, Mr. President. We could have guessed as much by the puny air campaign more worthy of the Grand Duchy of Fenwick in The Mouse That Roared than by what was once the world’s only superpower. We wouldn’t be mounting any air campaign at all, had not the radical Islamists of the “JV team” Islamic State had not cut off the heads of two American journalists, Steven Sotloff and James Foley.

Our delusional commander-in-chief, who still believes the massacre at Ft. Hood by jihadist Nidal Hasan is a case of “workplace violence” and that the Charlie Hebdo massacre in Paris was a case of random violence and of victims being in the wrong place at the wrong time, pathetically proclaimed at the G-20 Conference in Antalaya, Turkey, as the Federalist reports:

“What I’m not interested in doing is posing or pursuing some notion of American leadership or America winning or whatever other slogans they come up with that has no relationship to what is actually going to work to protect the American people and to protect the people in the region who are getting killed and to protect our allies and people like France,” Obama said. “I’m too busy for that.”

Too busy, the same as you were too busy resting up for a Las Vegas fundraiser the night Ambassador Christopher Stevens, Glen Doherty, Tyrone Woods, and Sean Smith were murdered by a terrorist attack in Benghazi, an attack you and you’re Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, told the parents of the deal was caused by a video?

The French, whom you refused to honor with your presence during a march protesting radical Islamic terrorism after the Charlie Hebdo attack, wasted no time in responding with air strikes on the de facto Islamic State capital of Raqaa, Syria. As CNN reported:

On Monday, France targeted a command center, a recruitment center, an ammunition storage base and a training camp in the city, the French military said.

On Sunday, the air force struck similar strategic targets in multiple sorties, reinserting France, a partner in the U.S.-led coalition striking ISIS from the air, into the battle against ISIS.

The French were using target coordinates supplied by the U.S. and the obvious question is why at this late date were there still Islamic State targets in Raqaa left to strike? Why didn’t we strike them? Perhaps because President Obama really never wanted to make war on the Islamic State and, when the journalists’ murders forced his hand, did just enough to say he was doing something, insisting on rules of engagement that doomed the air campaign to failure. As the Washington Examiner noted:

What if even one civilian driving an Islamic State truck, or near a truck, was killed in a U.S. attack? That concern, apparently, was enough to stop American forces from attacking a critical part of the Islamic State's support system.

Such worries are entirely consistent with the entire U.S. war against the Islamic State. "Our air campaign, since it began, has been the most restrictive in terms of rules of engagement that we have ever entered into in the last 25 years," said Jack Keane, a retired Army four-star general who now chairs the Institute for the Study of War. "This has been largely due to the White House's insistence that there be zero civilian casualties, at the behest of the president of the United States."

American air strikes in the air war President Obama promised would “degrade and destroy” ISIS, and on the day of the Paris attacks said had “contained” the Islamic State have averaged around five or six a day. Most of these sorties return with no bombs dropped due to the obsessive fear of civilian casualties. These pinprick strikes wouldn’t contain the Vienna Boys Choir. As reported in the Hill:

This compares with 50 average daily airstrikes in the air campaign leading to the overthrow of Libya’s Gaddafi, 800 at the height of the “Shock and Awe campaign” at the beginning of the second Iraq war, 85 in Afghanistan after 9/11, and 1000 in Desert Storm. Whereas the U.S. is deploying a single aircraft carrier on a rotational basis in support of Inherent Resolve, Desert Storm required the deployment of 6 aircraft carriers to the Persian Gulf and Red Sea.

France has ordered its only aircraft carrier, the Charles De Gaulle, to the Gulf, providing carrier-based aircraft to strike the Islamic State. As of right now, there are no U.S. carriers in the region, an unconscionable development which is the result of President Obama’s shrinking of the U.S. military in general and the U.S. Navy in particular. The Navy announced on Monday the deployment of the Harry Truman, which will take time to arrive and replace the Theodore Roosevelt, which left the region early last month.

Ever since President Obama began his apology tour in Cairo, he has sought to reduce America’s footprint in the world, politically and militarily. Can anyone imagine Gen. Patton or Gen. MacArthur dithering on how to defeat ISIS? What kind of air campaign would Gen. Curtis LeMay, who firebombed Tokyo, mount against ISIS? President Reagan’s strategy was simple: “We win. They lose.” Now, under President Obama, who is not interested in America winning, that seems to be the motto of the Islamic State.

Daniel John Sobieski is a free lance writer whose pieces have appeared in Investor’s Business Daily, Human Events, Reason Magazine and the Chicago Sun-Times among other publications.