President Obama outlined to the American people yesterday a clear strategy to confront a complex enemyan irregular army driven by religious fanaticism that declared independence in the territories of two countries while fighting on two fronts. This must be tackled in multiple ways, which is the plan.
The White House is doing the right thing in gaining allies like France, who are willing to bomb the positions in Iraq of the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS). At the same time, Iraq’s new government is politically reinforced with the hope it becomes more inclusive than the previous government, in order to remove ISIS’ appeal among the Sunni population.
What is most significant about Obama’s proposal is providing direct support through training and weapons to more moderate factions in Syria that are fighting against Bashar Assad’s regime. In the beginning of the year, President Obama requested $500 million for this, a request that got stuck in Congress.
It is important to have national consensus behind this strategy, although like in other matters, Republicans are divided.
On the one hand, there are the isolationists who do not want to have any role beyond the border. On the other, there is the shameless return of the neoliberals, led by former Vice President Dick Cheney, who are advising Republican lawmakers to go to war.
The reappearance of the architect of the disastrous Iraqi occupation, built on lies, is unbelievable. It is outrageous that he has the audacity to blame Obama for the existence of ISIS, when it was under his administrationas a result of the warthat sectarian confrontations broke out, creating the environment in Iraq for an organization like this to emerge.
And there are always those like Senator Ted Cruz, who has three proposals to fight ISIS: the first is to reinforce the border with Mexico and strip citizenship from Americans who support these terrorists, and the third is to bomb them in Iraq.
Today is another anniversary of 9/11, the attacks that brought the threat of Islamic terrorism to our territory. In these 13 years, we learned what we must and must not do. Within this context, Obama’s strategy seems well directed.