President’s Address on ISIL

Earlier this evening President Obama addressed the nation about the threat of terrorism, and specifically, the radical group know as ISIL (aka The Islamic State). Much of the content of the President’s remarks was largely known ahead of the speech, where he talked about his plan for dealing with ISIL. Business Insider reported

Ahead of Obama’s speech, officials outlined elements of his plan to confront the group, involving a coalition of the U.S. and its allies in the Middle East, Europe, and elsewhere. It will include an expansion of American airstrikes on ISIS targets in both Iraq and in Syria, combined with an effort to support Iraqi and Kurdish forces in Iraq as well as moderate opposition forces in Syria.

In his remarks, Obama broke his plan down into four key parts: “a systematic campaign of airstrikes against these terrorists,” providing “support to forces fighting these terrorists on the ground,” stepped up counterterrorism efforts to “prevent ISIL attacks,” and continued “humanitarian assistance to innocent civilians who have been displaced by this terrorist organization.”

Here is the video of his remarks –

Now, for what I think. I certainly have many disagreements with President Obama on the foreign policy front. Lately especially, he has appeared disinterested and disengage, and more importantly, he has made America appear weak.

He had to give that speech tonight in order to appear engaged and in charge. I think some people will think that he accomplished that, and others will think it was hollow. I think it was fine. That’s all, fine.

That said, there is something that I noticed about the address that was interesting to me. Toward the end of his remarks, he had a message that, to me, was clearly aimed at the left-wing of the Democratic Party. He made an impassioned case for American leadership in the world, including in the War on Terror.

I will certainly give him credit if he is able to convince the isolationists on the left that The United States is the beacon of freedom in the world and it’s our obligation to spread freedom and protect it around the world. The reality of the Presidency seems to have brought him to that realization, and I hope that he will be able to bring his flock with him.

If the issue of national security and terrorism turns out to be Obama’s “Nixon goes to China” moment with the left wing of his party, then I think that we can all thank him for it.

We’ll see….

2 Replies to “President’s Address on ISIL”

  1. I mostly agree with you here Jimmy.

    My only real issue with the speech (despite not being delivered from the Oval Office) was that twice he made it very clear there would be no combat troops. This president seems to always paint himself in a corner, draw lines, and make clear what we will and will not do. So, my question to him would be, “What is conditions demand we need to engage in ground combat to defeat ISIL; what will you do?”

    1. Certainly, the question remains if the actions the President outlined will accomplish his stated goal. I too an skeptical.

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