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Editor/Founder: Bill Smith, Ph.D. [aka: OzarkGuru & 2010 AFP National Blogger of the Year]
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One of the penalties for refusing to participate in politics is that you end up being governed by your inferiors. -- Plato (429-347 BC)

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Obama's Challenge to Congress is Wrong

by Newt Gingrich: President Obama thought he was being clever in the conclusion of his address to the nation Sunday night, which he delivered just before heading to the Kennedy Center Honors. After 13 minutes spent reiterating the same failed approach, the President called on Congress to pass an authorization to use military force against ISIS. “For over a year,” he said, “I have ordered our military to take thousands of airstrikes against ISIL targets. I think it’s time for Congress to vote to demonstrate that the American people are united, and committed, to this fight.”

He was attempting to make the claim, however ridiculous, that he had been leading for more than a year and that it was Congress that needed to catch up.

His efforts have been so weak and so ineffective that Congress is unlikely simply to rubber-stamp more incompetence in the Middle East. So the President was trying to put Speaker Paul Ryan and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell on defense. But he may have unintentionally invited a very different outcome.

President Obama has opened the door to a wide ranging series of Congressional hearings about the threats to America.

ISIS is not the only threat. It is one piece of a much larger challenge.

We are facing a worldwide movement of violent Islamic supremacists who use online and interpersonal networks to radicalize and recruit people from across the planet. ISIS should be seen as part of that larger movement.

In the long war against Islamic supremacism, focusing on a Syrian campaign is the equivalent of focusing on the battle of Antietam in the American Civil War.

Congress should identify all of the countries in which Islamic supremacists now operate.

Congress should look at the neighborhood in Belgium that produces so many jihadists and ask what we can learn from the networks and patterns at work there.

Congress should examine every identifiable radicalized American and lay out the facts about how they became radicalized.

The threat to our safety is not a particular activity; it’s an ideology. It is the ideology of Islamic supremacy that is powerfully attractive to millions of people all over the world.

Focusing on ISIS may or may not help win this larger war.

If our military power defeated ISIS in Syria tomorrow, we might wake up the next day to discover that we were now threatened by thousands of fighters who had dispersed back home.

Furthermore, ISIS is already expanding into Libya. There are ISIS allies in Nigeria (where Boko Haram has killed more than 20,000 people), Yemen, Somalia, Lebanon, Mali, and many other countries.

While the West plays bunch ball with ISIS, the Taliban and Al Qaeda are gaining ground once again in Afghanistan.

The individuals responsible for the San Bernardino attack were apparently radicalized in part by a mosque in Pakistan.

Ominously, the Pakistani intelligence services are reportedly blocking efforts to understand what happened.

Congress first has to develop an understanding of the long war.

It then has to develop a plan for winning the war.

Then Congress should think through appropriate legislation.

Without intending to, President Obama may have opened the door for the first real opportunity for Congress to understand the struggle in which we are engaged.
Newt Gingrich is a former Georgia Congressman and Speaker of the U.S. House. He co-authored and was the chief architect of the "Contract with America" and a major leader in the Republican victory in the 1994 congressional elections. He is noted speaker and writer. The above commentary was shared via Gingrich Productions.

Tags: Newt Gingrich, President Obama, Oval Office speech, wrong agenda  To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!
Posted by Bill Smith at 2:00 PM - Post Link


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