Obama defends ‘right strategy’ on fighting ISIS

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President Obama - in Turkey

(CNN) — President Barack Obama sharply defended his strategy Monday for going after ISIS, saying airstrikes had been effective in taking out key members of the terror group’s leadership.

“We have the right strategy and we’re going to see it through,” Obama said from the G-20 summit in Antalya, Turkey. “There will be an intensification of the strategy we have put forward, but the strategy we have put forward is the strategy that will ultimately work.”

On the issue of having a large number of U.S. ground troops fighting in Syria, Obama said that would be a “mistake.”

“It is not just my view but the view of my closest military and civilian advisers that that would be a mistake,” Obama said, adding that’s “because we would see a repetition of what we’ve seen before, which is if you do not have local populations that are committed to inclusive governance and who are pushing back against ideological extremes, that they resurface, unless we’re prepared to have a permanent occupation of these countries.”

Last month, Obama committed to sending “less than 50” Special Operations forces to the region.

Obama also said that the U.S. is united with France in the fight against ISIS, after a Paris terror attack that left at least 129 people dead.

“ISIL is the face of evil,” Obama said. “Our goal, as I’ve said many times, is to degrade and ultimately destroy this barbaric terrorist organization.”

“Today again I’m calling on leaders to commit the resources that this fight demands,” Obama added.

Obama also called on world leaders to accept refugees fleeing the conflicts in Syria and Iraq, though he added that accepting refugees required “rigorous screening and security checks.”

“We also have to remember that many of these refugees are victims of terrorism themselves,” Obama said.

“The overwhelming majority of victims of terrorism … are muslims,” Obama added later. “ISIL does not represent Islam, it is not representative in any way of the attitudes of the overwhelming majority of Muslims.”

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6 comments

  • Kevin Rahe

    >’ISIL is the face of evil’

    Yes, we all know that. The question is, what are WE in contrast to that evil? Do we strive to be truly good and honor God the way He wants to be honored, repent for our sins, protect the weak and help those in need? Or are we just an alternative brand of evil ourselves, championing immorality, holding a utilitarian view of human beings and valuing money over true human flourishing?

    Everyone, or at least nearly everyone, and especially the young, has an innate desire to be part of something bigger and better than themselves. This is what attracts young people from the U.S., France and other western countries to ISIS, which then brainwashes them and trains them to come back and attack their homeland. But it’s no wonder this happens since we increasingly offer nothing to compete with those ideologies. In fact, we’re constantly being bamboozled into squelching the best antidote to ISIS, which is Jesus Christ and His Church. When we force a public school to remove a copy of the Lord’s Prayer or a picture of Jesus from its walls, or a state to remove a monument to the Ten Commandments from a courthouse lawn, are they being replaced by something equally compelling? Not that I’ve ever seen. Yet the people who might have been inspired by such things continue to hunger for that something bigger and better than themselves that we all yearn for, and if we keep it from them, someone else will provide it.

    • James

      Yeah, that’ll work…because nobody in Asia has ever attacked the US. Right? Come on, Old Vet, they are already very centrally located. While I agree that sending troops is unnecessary (the AF can take care of this problem easily enough), saying that if you restrict them to Russia and China we will be safe is not just logically ridiculous, it runs counter to demonstrated history. Using your logic, nobody ought to be allowed to leave Syria at all.

      What OUGHT to be happening is that our AF ought to be let off the chain. Yes, civilian casualties will rise. Innocent people will die. But that is war. And we are either at war, or we are not. If we are, we have an obligation to end it quickly, and thereby saving lives which we are now losing little by little anyway. You don’t kill a snake by plucking at its scales. You stomp its head. And yes, sometimes that can be very messy. Messes are much easier to deal with than poisonous snakebites though. If we are not at war, we have no military business in the Middle East whatsoever.

  • Hal D.

    He isn’t supposed to do what is “right”. He is supposed to do whatever the American people want him to do, whether he thinks it is right, beneficial, decent, or even insane. That is the job of an elected representative…do what you are told by the people who elected you. Anything else is a violation of his oath of office and an impeachable offense. But since he has already gotten away with treason, it hardly makes a difference anymore what any of our so-called “representatives” do, does it?