SPEECH - In what may have been the most important speech of his presidency; President Obama called on the world community to bring an end to the extremist ideologies that threaten world peace. He challenged all countries and all religions to reject those who ruled by bloodshed and fear. He defended the use of air strikes against ISIS forces in Syria and Iraq saying: “The only language understood by killers like this is the language of force.” He saved his harshest language for ISIS; calling it “evil” and a “network of death.”
One year ago, in a speech to this same body, the president called for an end to a decade of war in Afghanistan and Iraq. Now we have this same president urging the world to join him in an open ended war against terrorism. What a difference a year makes.
By all accounts the president’s remarks were well received. But actions speak louder than words. The true test will be borne out by the contributions of the Islamic community in the war against extremists. The president likes to refer to the “40 nations that have joined a broad coalition in the fight against extremists.” And he is correct that just a week ago 40 nations signed a public declaration to “do their share” in the fight against ISIS. However it is one thing to sign a piece of paper; it is quite something else to commit blood and treasure. The true test of the strength of coalition will come when ISIS eventually retaliates.
SILENT - While the chattering class has parsed every word of the president’s remarks the Fools on the Hill have remained largely silent. Here we have the president issuing an open ended declaration of war against terrorism. He punctuates his remarks with the authorization of air strikes against a country that has yet to fire a shot in our direction. Then he goes to the UN and asks the world community to join him in this endeavor. And congress says nothing! This is the same bunch that criticizes the amount of golf he plays and rips him for saluting his protection detail with a cup of coffee in his hand.
One would think that any patriotic elected leader would at least issue a statement supporting the president in his effort to fight terrorism. Not this bunch. No sense disturbing the waters before the election. Better to see if the president’s plan works and weigh in later. The president should call congress back into session to vote on air strikes in Syria. And he should do it now…before the election. But he won’t do that. Because Harry Reid and the president’s Democrat Party don’t want to touch this war vote anymore than the Republicans.
BEST STORY - The best story to come out of the air strikes in Syria involves Major Miriam Al Mansouri. Major Al Mansouri is the first female to join the United Arab Emirates air force. She graduated from the UAE air force academy in 2008 and now serves as a squadron commander. The 35 year old pilot served as the team leader of an F-16 squadron that led airstrikes against ISIS targets this past week. She is the first woman from an Arab nation to fly a combat mission. How cool is it that in a region where many countries will not allow a woman to drive…we have a female fighter pilot dropping bombs on those who would subjugate her gender.