…ISIS is interested in war with Obama.*
Is Obama getting more interested as a result of recent events? This writer certainly seems to think so.
I think he very much overstates it—although I think there’s an element of truth to the idea that something about the terrorist murder of James Foley has reached Obama in a slightly more emotional place than most other terrorist acts during his presidency. I’m not sure why; it may be the direct challenge the murderer issued to Obama in the video. It may be something else. It may not be the case at all.
But even if it were, I don’t think Obama has a worldview that can encompass his doing what he would need to do to war on ISIS successfully, whatever that may be. His love for the US and the western world is not strong enough. His willingness to use force, and his knowledge of what would be required, is weak as well. Whether or not he favors Iran (and many think he does; Iran is on the anti-ISIS side, anyway) doesn’t really affect the fact that, whether or not war is interested in him and whether or not he is interested in war, he not only lacks much knowledge of how wars are waged (and has in fact spent his career speaking against war rather than studying it), but he also lacks advisers with that knowledge. The learning curve would be steep, even if his interest has been piqued.
The attack on 9/11 came so early in George Bush’s presidency that it is easy to forget that, until then, he was widely perceived (and rightly so, I think) as a man uninterested in foreign policy and relatively isolationist. What happened to America on 9/11 instituted a sea change in him. But Bush’s prior background was completely different from that of Obama. Bush loved America, he had military and pilot training (the opposition mocks his Guard service, but he did), and his father had war experience both as a military man and as a war president. Bush also had advisers who were not speechwriters or political campaign directors. Even then, as we know, many errors were made in the process of inventing a way to fight a war on Islamic terrorism. But that’s the way war always goes.
Obama is now facing an enemy that is even more implacable, wealthy, and ruthless, an enemy which has learned over time how to be more effective. He is dealing with a country and a Western world that is war-weary and “lacks all conviction.” Even if his heart were in the right place, let’s just say it wouldn’t be easy.
[NOTE *See this.]