By Ken Connor
Perhaps the most unfortunate rhetorical moment in the presidency of George W. Bush was his now infamous “Mission Accomplished” speech. Delivered from the deck of an aircraft carrier on May 3, 2003, the President declared that “major combat operations in Iraq have ended.” As we all now well know, and liberals love to remind us, the Bush administration’s assessment of the scope of the challenges in Iraq was woefully short-sighted, and his declaration of victory a mere two months after the initiation of combat operations in Iraq was premature to say the least.
President Obama recently had his own “Mission Accomplished” moment. Speaking to ABC’s George Stephanopoulos last Thursday, the President said that the goal of containing ISIS had been achieved. Not 12 hours later, the world watched in shock and horror as ISIS conducted several coordinated attacks across Paris, killing 129 and wounding hundreds more.
However the Obama administration tries to spin the President’s words or parse his meaning, ISIS is clearly not contained in any way that matters. Not two weeks ago, they brought down a Russian airliner, killing hundreds. Now they are pouring out their murderous rage upon the capitals of Europe, and many feel it is only a matter of time before they bring their bloody terror to American shores. Obviously this was the last thing President Obama wanted to deal with during his tenure as leader of the free world. His Presidential legacy was supposed to include the cessation of military operations in Iraq and Afghanistan. He was going to close Guantanamo Bay and extend a hand of peace to Iran. He was going to be the humble peacemaker that set everything right again after eight years of warmongering by Bush and Cheney. The rise of ISIS and a rapidly escalating geopolitical crisis centered in Syria was not part of the plan.
The Wall Street Journal chalks up the President’s persistence on this matter to ideological vanity. He sees the world a certain way and has his own theories about the causes of global strife. Anything that doesn’t affirm this ideological narrative is dismissed or denied. But the denial of a fact is not enough to negate its existence. If one denies the existence of the law of gravity and proceeds to jump off a tall building, he will need an ambulance to carry him away. Even the sincerity of one’s firmly held belief is not enough to transform reality. If one drinks poison, sincerely believing it is medicine, he will still wake up dead.
For far too long, Mr. Obama has diminished the significance of the threat posed by ISIS. Convinced that Muslim radicals would be appeased by the President’s deferential tone and his constricted presence on the global stage, the President has struggled to confront fully the seriousness of ISIS’ declared mission. A group intent on establishing a new worldwide Islamic caliphate, a group systematically targeting Christians, a group enslaving women and brutally murdering children, the President dismissed as Al-Qaeda’s “JV team.”
This is, no…