Fighting the Islamic State one Terrorist at a Time

Hear the words of President Obama’s Department of Defense Spokesman about the Egyptian air strike against Islamic State targets following the wholesale beheadings of twenty-one Egyptian Coptic Christians in Libya.

“We discourage other nations from taking a part in Libya’s issues through violence. We want the issues solved in Libya to be done peacefully and through good governance and politics and not violence.”

Libya is a country in dangerous chaos, partly due to Obama’s policy of leading from behind, in this case too far behind. It resulted in the terrorist murder of an American ambassador and three security men which Obama and Hillary Clinton ridiculously blamed on an amateur video angering local Muslims to violence.

Libya is in anarchy. Ansar al-Shariah, an al-Qaeda-linked group, controls much of Benghazi and another Islamist faction, Fajr (“Dawn”), seized Tripoli airport a just over a week ago. In the turmoil, Islamic State is gaining ground and killing people, and yet the Obama Administration’s policy is that the situation in that country must be solved politically, and peacefully.

Obama’s strategy in fighting Islamic state has come under a lot of criticism, but this administration’s attitude to Egypt; more pointedly against the al-Sisi government, is deeply troubling. There appears to be a covert commitment at the White House to the Muslim Brotherhood, to where many of its leading American representatives seem to have an open door, according to media reports.

In early February, the White House reluctantly released the names of leading American Muslims that had been invited to a closed-door meeting with the president and Valerie Jarrett. Among them were members of the Islamic Society of North America, and the Muslim Public Affairs Council, two groups founded by members of the Muslim Brotherhood.

Both Egypt and Saudi Arabia expressed their outrage when the names were released. The Middle East Research Institute (MEMRI) reported, “The Egyptian regime, outraged by the visit, accused the U.S. administration of not respecting the Egyptian law that defines the MB as a terrorist organization, and of discounting the will of the Egyptian people.”

Breitbart Media reported that President Sisi reacted to the State Department’s belated confirmation of the Muslim Brotherhood meeting by describing the Brotherhood as “the world’s most dangerous secret terrorist organization” and saying it “has clandestine wings and secret ideas and tools… which is why Egyptians rose up against it.”

Obama’s Director of National Intelligence, James Clapper, once infamously described the Muslim Brotherhood, of which Hamas is an offshoot, as being “largely secular.”

In 2014, the Obama Administration suspended weapon sales to the Egyptian government for a resupply of arms to enable them to fight terrorism in the Sinai and internally. This request was rejected. The Egyptians have been negotiating arms supply from Russia. President Sisi hosted Vladimir Putin in Cairo in early February.

It is in this light, linked to the utter weakness of the Obama leadership in fighting the growth and spread of Islamic State, which led to the worrying statement by Navy Rear Adm. John Kirby who called the Obama relationship with Egypt “complicated.”

In six months, the U.S.-led coalition has launched an estimated 2,400 air strikes against Islamic State targets in Iraq and Syria. Compare that number to the 5,500 Israelis air strikes by the Israeli Air Force against Hamas and other terror targets in the Gaza Strip during the fifty-day Gaza conflict last year, and it appears that the Obama strategy is to take out Islamic State terrorists one at a time -- but not in Libya, where they have to be dealt with “peacefully,” according to Obama’s military spokesman.

Barry Shaw is the author of the upcoming book Fighting Hamas, BDS and Anti-Semitism.