President Obama made clear by his speech laying out his grand plan to address the threats from ISIS that he would once again be leading from behind, probably far behind and virtually out of site. Stepping up to take the lead was Egyptian President Sisi who schooled United States Secretary of State John Kerry during the Secretary’s visit to Egypt in his tour to gather backers to follow from the lead for President Obama to stand behind. Secretary Kerry has presumably secured the backing of ten Arab governments including Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon and six Gulf States, amongst them Saudi Arabia and Qatar, despite their current disagreements. There has even been some tentative support for fighting ISIS from European governments. Britain has previously said it is sending arms to Kurdish fighters who are battling the group, and is supporting American airstrikes with surveillance and intelligence and the French have offered to also provide air support in Iraq but has expectedly stated total refusal to assist with operations in any form in Syria. It remains to be seen what effect the latest beheading of David Haines, a forty-four-year-old father of two from Scotland who was working for the French aid agency ACTED, will have on the European governments now that a European has followed the two American victims of ISIS and their loathsome Islamist extremist practices.
Egyptian President Sisi discussed with Secretary Kerry that any gathered coalition of nations which has been assembled to deal with the threats posed by ISIS and their spread across Syria and Iraq and now potentially threatening Lebanon that the mission should be expanded to include others of the numerous Islamist terror entities in the Middle East and across North Africa, in particular the Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis terrorists who have taken to the Sinai and have murdered a number of Egyptian forces as well as possibly having bombed the Egyptian pipeline which provided Jordan and Israel vital energy needs. Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis was unfortunately the only other group which Egyptian President Sisi named but it can be hoped that should the targeting be broadened, as he intimated was desirable, as long as Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis was one of the additional targets, would also include such Islamist terrorist groups as Boko Haram as well as, dare we dream, Hamas, Hezballah, Islamic Jihad and even the Muslim Brotherhood along with the remains of al-Qaeda in all its disparate splinter groups across the Middle East and North Africa, the Taliban, the terrorists in the Kashmir, tribal areas of Pakistan, those operating in Yemen, Somalia, and even the groups being formed in the Western world. That, of course, would be way too much to ask, especially of President Obama who appears incapable of addressing even one single threat from abroad, let alone the plethora of Islamic groups who have resorted to violence and the sword following the laws exactly as written in the Koran and the Hadiths. There exists at least a half dozen tribal warlords causing insecurity and perpetrating violent attacks while ignoring the completely impotent government in the former nation of Libya. These same warlords and terrorists fighting within Libya have also been known to attempt and too often succeed in transferring weapons and weapons systems to Hamas and Hezballah since the United States led NATO from behind in toppling Moammar Kaddafi.
I’ll not be holding my breath as I am fully aware that President Obama only spoke of a grand plan so as to remove ISIS and their beheading off the front pages so he could tee off without a care once again. Whenever President Obama will be queried over the progress being realized and what comes next in his grand plan he will respond that he had laid out a plan that was comprehensive and that he let it be known from the very outset that the wearing down and degrade of ISIS and their ability to take and hold areas and pose a threat to the areas of the Middle East and that the plan will take a good many years to reach fruition and the media and people need to show determination and patience as results will be made even if they are not initially apparent and seen by all. Obama will claim that everything is right on track as he had promised and that everything that can and needs to be done is being addressed and we just need to stay the course. “Stay the course”, why does that sound so familiar?
It is often bemusing to me how the politicians, especially those who have the fortune of sitting in the White House, if given sufficient time will begin to sound just like their predecessors as if there is a playbook of acceptable phrases to be used in certain situations. Maybe we should be at least thankful that the phrase “Peace in our time” has been so completely devastated by its most infamous use that it now is relegated to political cartoons and comedians. I still sometime lean forward fully expecting somebody to use that phrase just because it is so well known and politicians have been known for saying the ridiculous as well as reusing worn to death phrases when they end up speaking without an actual script on the teleprompter in front of them. Fortunately, I am among those who have no difficulty and great empathy for President Obama and his dependence on a script on a teleprompter in front of him. Having run for office I get to realize the necessity at times to have such a script before you, such as when taping a spot for release or making a short video for use in the coverage of the campaign when asked for a spot by the network. Still, I preferred the forum of debates, especially those where the audience, the voters, got to ask the questions as that put me on an even playing field against my opponents who spent almost five-million-dollars each on their campaigns against my pittance by comparison.
My most treasured memory of that traumatic experience was after a question about support for the death penalty where both my liberal leaning opponents made definitive, strong statements describing in detail their unwavering opposition. Then came my turn and I spoke of the very few cases where there is no possibility to rehabilitate people who were beyond any definition of anything but evil and that needed to be permanently removed from society as anything else left the possibility, which no matter how slight was still a possibility that they would be released. I gave a few names from famous cases, not all of which resulted in death penalty being applied. During rebuttal both my opponents modified their unwavering opposition to mostly unwavering opposition accepting that there might be rare incidents where such was possibly a consideration. I barely resisted laughing hysterically; I just jumped up and screamed really? Well, I did so in my mind while remaining reserved, austere and without anything more overt than a small smirk of satisfaction. In my rebuttal I thanked in name both of my opponents for validating my position and coming around and seeing the light. Now if only the politicians could come around and see the darkness that is spreading over our planet and realize that it must be cut down and eradicated now or the price will only get higher and higher, and it has been high enough already. We only need to start adding up the cost, Madrid, New York, London, Mumbai, Bali, Washington D.C., Iraq, Israel, Lebanon, Syria, Belsan and on and on. Just one question followed by the answer. What was the first high profile newsworthy terrorist strike on United States soil and how many were killed and name of the most prominent victim?
Answer: The attack took place on June 5, 1968, in Los Angeles, California, in the Ambassador Hotel’s Embassy Room ballroom just after midnight. This was the scene of the Democrat candidate for President who had just won two more primaries. Senator and Presidential hopeful Robert Kennedy was gunned down by Sirhan Sirhan who in interrogations repeatedly confessed that he was a Palestinian and was defending the Palestinians from this supporter of Israel and he had murdered Senator Robert Kennedy for political reasons and for the cause of the Palestinians. This was not emphasized and virtually untold by the media. It remains such a secret that most people I tell of this immediately demand proof and claim they will need to look this up. At least some have had the rare ability to thank me for giving them the information once they validate the information.
Beyond the Cusp