My last article on Obama’s ISIL Strategy, “WWII Groundhog Day – Starring Barack Obama in the role of Neville Chamberlain?”, concluded with me saying, “… it’s a must for Obama to … continue in developing a thorough and well thought out strategy to decisively meet this overwhelmingly daunting and extremely complex challenge.” As I see it, from his address to the nation on this matter, this past Wednesday evening , he is clearly attempting to do just that.
Criticism of this newly-announced strategy came quickly and vociferously. While much of that has been legitimate, in my view, nearly as much has been over-the-top. Of course, constructive criticism is appropriate and I would join in with that. However, I refuse to throw in with counterproductive objections only meant to disparage. For now, I believe the most fitting attitude is to be watching and praying for Obama’s strategy to succeed.
An article in The Christian Post, entitled “Obama ISIS Strategy Heavily Criticized by GOP, Senate Dems, Pentagon Official”, may offer the most broad-ranging view of criticisms that are legitimate. One comment is that, in order to succeed, American “boots on the ground” will be required. Another observation questions the wisdom of our arming Syrian rebel forces. And there is skepticism about the strategy’s reliance on the Syrian civil war being solved politically. From my perspective, the key element making these criticisms legitimate is that they are presented as ways to change the strategy in order for it to be successful.
The over-the-top assessments have included views that this strategy is likely to “turn Obama’s presidency around.” In hand with that has been the suggestion that this would lead to Republicans failing to win the majority in the Senate in this Fall’s election. These pronouncements have come from both the Left and the Right, with the former hoping it’s true and the latter hoping it’s not. I think both are absurd.
I didn’t vote for Barack Obama in either of his successful runs for President and if it was possible for him to run again, I still wouldn’t vote for him. Furthermore, I firmly believe that the Republicans gaining a majority in the Senate would be best for the U.S. Regardless of all that, Barack Obama is our President. With the exception of the threat of mutually assured destruction (MAD), that we lived under for so long during the Cold War, I can’t think of a greater existential menace faced by the U.S. in my lifetime than is represented by ISIL. I see it as near-lunacy for each of us to not find every way we can justify to support the President’s efforts in this regard.
In a January 2009 article entitled “A Prayer in Baltimore”, I noted my joining in with a prayer offered d by Dr. Walter Scott Thomas, of Baltimore’s New Psalmist Baptist Church, in the lead-up to Obama’s inauguration. I added to that by saying, “Although I didn’t vote for Barack Obama, I do want his presidency to be successful.” I said that out of wanting to see our nation succeed. My sentiments remain unchanged. Thus, my choosing to adopt a watch and pray attitude towards President Obama’s present ISIL strategy. For me, this is one of those situations that, growing up in Indiana, we would have defined as, “Says Easy but Does Hard.” Regardless of that, it’s the right thing to do and I want to encourage all my fellow-Americans to do likewise.