One of Obama’s problems with ISIS, with the Parisian attacks, and with Islamic fundamentalism in general is that, for the length of his presidency, he has tried to declare victory and be done with this troublesome problem.
He would rather focus on other events, whether it is his domestic agenda, black civil rights, or his golf game. Thus, he withdrew our forces from Iraq on the basis of no particular facts on the ground and declared the withdrawal timeline in Afghanistan before he had even begun the surge there.
More important, he has been diffident and denialist on the persistence of this problem in spite of the fiascos he had much to do with in Libya, Syria, and Egypt and now spectacular attacks in the heart of Europe.
Part of intelligence is recognizing that one’s assumptions are no longer congruent with reality and thus one’s plans must be changed accordingly. For example, Bush and Rumsfeld, and, in truth, the entire military chain of command, should have noticed early on an insurgency was brewing in Iraq, that it festered where we had little control and offered little security, and that it became a magnet for every Islamic fundamentalist in the region, for better or worse.
Obama should have noticed that al Qaeda is simply a variant of Islamic fundamentalism. The “brand” is less important than the fact that this is NOT a matter of a few isolated extremists but a significant swath of the Islamic world that finds justification in core Islamic teachings widespread within that community from time immemorial.
Not only does Obama not get Islamic terrorism, but he and his administration engage in strenuous efforts to deny its existence and power, because acknowledging the same would make a mockery of their efforts to date.
As I wrote at the time of the beginning of US operations against ISIS:
Obama has always been a reluctant warrior against al Qaeda. His passion was not for the exercise of US power but empowerment of the world’s oppressed. Thus, he gleefully pulled us out of Iraq not to preserve US power but to enhance that of Iraq, and he abandoned our allies in Egypt and faced off with “dictators” in Syria and Libya, not because they were anti-US, but because he theorized “people power” in these countries would foster good will and justice.
It did not, and missing from his lefty analysis is that these people are powered by and aggrieved by and made crazy by Islamic Fundamentalism and not mere Third World anti-imperialist grievances. Further, this talk of the Khorosan Group and the like are an alibi for the great strengthening of al Qaeda on his watch, exemplified by the murder of a US ambassador in Benghazi. This is why Benghazi matters: Obama and his minions lied to cover up a major failure of policy born from a major confusion about how the Islamic world operates. Here, as always, Obama’s idealism is tethered to his venal narcissism and lack of curiosity, which does not permit him to be agile in dealing with a complex and dangerous world.
So this is why it matters when the US administration sends literally no one of note to a large rally of European unity in Paris. It is more of the same: disdain for white Europe, attempted solidarity with the third world oppressed, and willful denial of reality with regard to the fact that the Islamic part of the third world would oppress whites and non-whites alike around the globe, but for determined resistance and isolation, coupled with removal of them from societies in which they cannot assimilate. In other words, it requires acknowledging every concept that the left rejects: a recognition of the ethnic and religious character of US and European society, a recognition that non-whites also can be oppressors, and a declaration that we have a right to exist, to flourish, and not to be destroyed in turn.