Washington Post Editorial Board Blames Fall Of Ramadi On Obama’s Weak Policy

But, they attempt to soft-pedal the blame

The fall of Ramadi exposes Obama’s weak Islamic State strategy

IT HAS been apparent for some time that the United States lacks a strategy to fulfill President Obama’s pledge to “degrade and ultimately destroy” the Islamic State since it has no plan to root out the terrorists’ base in Syria. There was hope, though, that Mr. Obama’s half-measures might be enough to blunt the Islamic State’s advances in Iraq, leaving the Syria problem for the next U.S. president. With the stunning fall of Ramadi on Sunday, even that modest optimism is questionable.

Good news, though: Obama officially joined Twitter (despite that @WhiteHouse account, ya know) again. And played golf Saturday. Again. As for hope, from whom?

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“ISIL is on the defensive, and ISIL is going to lose,” Mr. Obama declared on Feb. 11, using an acronym for the Islamic State. “We’ve seen reports of sinking morale among ISIL fighters as they realize the futility of their cause.” The Iraqi army’s capture of Tikrit the following month seemed to provide confirmation.

That hasn’t worked out too well, since the half measures, really, some airstrikes and a few targeted ground operations by special operations groups.

Beginning almost a year ago, the Islamic State carved out, across large swaths of Iraq and Syria, a terrorist state of sorts that Mr. Obama deemed intolerable. He said in September that it is a threat to “the broader Middle East,” including U.S. citizens and facilities, and “if left unchecked . . . could pose a growing threat beyond that region, including to the United States.” Yet he refuses to commit the Special Forces and military assistance that could meet that threat, portraying any alternative to his minimalist policy as being “dragged back into another prolonged ground war.” In fact, Sunni allies in the region will be reluctant to work with the United States until it has a Syria policy, and Sunni tribes in Iraq will not confront the Islamic State unless they believe the United States will stand by them. Every conflict will have ups and downs, as administration spokesmen said Monday. But it is Mr. Obama’s unwillingness to match means to strategy that threatens to prolong this war.

Mr. Obama doesn’t really care what happens in the rest of the world unless it helps his personal agenda. The continued rise of hardcore Islam doesn’t seem to bother him in the least. He prefers to whine about the Crusades, almost 1000 years ago, rather than acknowledge the danger from radical Islam as a whole, while giving lip service to the threat from ISIS/ISIL.

The question goes to “what is to be done?” Even some Republican presidential contenders do not want boots on the ground. I suspect that most of us do not want boots on the ground. Do we let the whole Middle East go? Which will then lead to IS exporting jihadis around the Western world even more? Notice that they are mostly leaving Egypt and Israel alone, choosing to currently operate in areas where they can fight, particularly Libya, Syria, and Iraq, and surely have links to the groups in other areas, such as Yemen and north-eastern Africa. They do not want Egypt nor Israel jumping in with both feet. Nor do they want a full response from Saudi Arabia. Will the U.S. be forced to fight later?

Crossed at Pirate’s Cove. Follow me on Twitter @WilliamTeach.

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