Military Pros Split From Obama, Wrong Narrative
|Defense Sec. Ash Carter & JCS Chairman|
Gen. Joseph F. Dunford Jr. testify
at the House Armed Services Committee
(Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
During a House Armed Services Committee hearing yesterday, Rep. Ryan Zinke, a retired Navy Seal commander, asked Secretary of Defense Ash Carter whether ISIS and other Islamic terrorist groups represented the most imminent and dangerous threat facing the country today.
"Yeah, that certainly is the one that is the most imminent," Carter answered. "They're trying to attack us right now -- there is nothing distant in time or probability about it."
General Joseph Dunford, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, also testified before the House Armed Services Committee. Consider this exchange between Rep. Randy Forbes (R-VA) and General Dunford:
DUNFORD: We have not contained [ISIS].
FORBES: Have they been contained at any time since 2010?
DUNFORD: . . . Strategically they have spread since 2010.
Wrong Narrative - Secretary Carter and General Dunford weren't the only ones taking issue with Obama's grasp of the terrorist threat yesterday.
Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn, Obama's director of the Defense Intelligence Agency from 2012 to 2014, told CNN's Jake Tapper that the White House ignored intelligence reports on ISIS because "they did not meet a narrative the White House needed. And I'll be very candid with you, [the reports] just didn't." Lt. Gen. Flynn was certainly in the right position to know.
But the White House and its allies repeated their narrative over and over again during the 2012 campaign -- that Al Qaeda and other Islamic terror groups were "decimated" and "on the run."
When Benghazi demonstrated otherwise, Obama and Hillary Clinton claimed that it wasn't terrorism but a protest over a video. When ISIS began conquering territory for its caliphate, Obama dismissed it as the "JV squad" or junior varsity team, and so we didn't need to worry about it. The greater threat, in Obama's mind, is climate change.
Western Civilization is engaged in a war against radical Islam that Obama is simply unwilling to fight. As liberal Washington Post columnist Richard Cohen put it this week, "If the Obama of today and not Winston Churchill had led Britain in World War II, the Old Vic theater would now be doing 'Hamlet' in German."
Gary Bauer is a conservative family values advocate and serves as president of American Values and chairman of the Campaign for Working Families
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