According to President Obama ISIL is Contained
A few hours ago in an interview with George Stephanopoulos, President Barack Obama said of ISIL, “I don’t think they’re gaining strength. What is true, from the start our goal has been first to contain and we have contained them. They have not gained ground in Iraq and in Syria they’ll come in, they’ll leave. But you don’t see this systemic march by ISIL across the terrain.” While ISIL may not be readily adding territory to their Caliphate, they are far from contained.
Just a few hours after Obama’s interview, Islamist terrorists struck six targets in Paris and according to the latest reports at least 158 people have been killed. One of the attacks occurred at the Bataclan Theater, where an Eagles of Death Metal concert was interrupted by four gunmen who took hostages and proceeded to lob grenades into the crowd and to machine gun people. When French forces intervened three of the men detonated their suicide vests furthering the carnage. At the end of the ordeal a 118 concert goers and 4 French policemen were dead.
Another attack occurred at the Stade de France during an international soccer match between France and Germany, which was attended by President Francois Hollande. Suicide bombers detonated themselves outside the stadium killing at least three and prompting the evacuation of the French President to safety. In response to these unprecedented attacks, over a thousand troops have been deployed in Paris, a state of emergency has been declared throughout the country and the borders have been closed.
It is odd how the ‘contained’ ISIL was able to launch such a coordinated attack in another continent, to prepare and conduct such an attack under the noses of the presumably capable French intelligence services and to plunge an entire nation into a state of emergency. Of course one may argue that I am hastily jumping to conclusions, that we are dealing with lone wolf terrorism, which may or may not be associated with Islam.
Yes it is more likely that some obscure men, with no specific training and no support, just decided to don explosive vests, which they learned to make from the internet, take hold of their AK-47’s and grenades and in a concerted manner attack six targets in Paris, including one where the President was present. Yes that is what probably happened. Let us ignore the reports that some of the attackers yelled “Allahu Akbar” and “this is for Syria,” or that a suspected attacker has been arrested who has claimed he was recruited by ISIL. All of these are just unreliable initial reports.
Or maybe they are not. Just because we do not have all of the facts pertaining to the attacks in Paris, does not mean that prudence demands we ignore the obvious. Most likely this was an ISIL operation and if this is in fact the case, then Obama’s words that “we have contained” ISIL are hollow indeed. The hollowness of these words are further amplified when we consider ISIL’s recent bombing attacks in Lebanon which killed 44 and their probable downing of the Russian passenger plane in Egypt.[*] How can ISIL be considered contained when they repeatedly conduct successful and deadly attacks in territory outside of their Caliphate?
In my opinion if Obama’s comments and their timing with the Paris attacks do not illustrate the inanity of Obama as President and of his ‘strategy’ against ISIL, then I am not sure what will. Unfortunately while Obama dithers and speaks nonsense, ISIL and other radical Islamists are plotting their next moves. I fear that the terrible scenes of death and carnage in Paris will be repeated in other cities throughout the West. One can only hope that Paris attacks may provide an impetus for Western nations to actually take concrete steps to counter the jihadi menace, but with leaders like Obama, I remain skeptical.
If interested here are some other posts on the Paris attacks:
Jihadis Attack Paris, Salon is Concerned with Conservative
Possibility Some of the Paris Attackers were Migrants
Will France Finally Wake-up to the Threat of ISIL?
[*] Officially the cause of the crash of flight 9268 has not been officially determined, but the context and available evidence all point to an extraneous explosion, most likely a bomb planted inside the plane. Furthermore, ISIL has claimed responsibility for the crash.