California shooting duo embraced ‘perverted interpretation of Islam’ says President Obama

Pres. Barack Obama

President Obama addressed the attacks in California last night, and in this speech said that the California killing duo, Syed Rizwan Farook and his wife Tashfeen Malik, went down a “dark path of radicalization.” Obama added that they also embraced “a perverted interpretation of Islam that calls for war against America and the West.”

Making the national, prime-time statements from the Oval Office of the White House, which Wolf Blitzer of CNN stated Obama has rarely done before, the President began his speech by wishing everyone a “good evening.” And then he launched right into his message.

“On Wednesday, 14 Americans were killed as they came together to celebrate the holidays. They were taken from family and friends who loved them deeply. They were white and black; Latino and Asian; immigrants and American-born; moms and dads; daughters and sons. Each of them served their fellow citizens and all of them were part of our American family.

Tonight, I want to talk with you about this tragedy,” the President continued, “the broader threat of terrorism, and how we can keep our country safe.

”

The ‘victims were brutally murdered and injured’

“The FBI is still gathering the facts about what happened in San Bernardino,” Obama stated, “but here is what we know.

 The victims were brutally murdered and injured by one of their co- workers and his wife. So far, we have no evidence that the killers were directed by a terrorist organization overseas, or that they were part of a broader conspiracy here at home. But it is clear that the two of them had gone down the dark path of radicalization, embracing a perverted interpretation of Islam that calls for war against America and the West.”

Killers stockpiled ‘weapons, ammunition, and pipe bombs’ 

The President next labeled the actions of the two as being “terrorism.” This was the first time he said it, but many citizens were already thinking and saying it. “They had stockpiled assault weapons, ammunition, and pipe bombs. So this was an act of terrorism, designed to kill innocent people.”

9/11, al Qaeda and defending ourselves

“

Our nation has been at war with terrorists since al Qaeda killed nearly 3,000 Americans on 9/11. In the process, we’ve hardened our defenses — from airports to financial centers, to other critical infrastructure. Intelligence and law enforcement agencies have disrupted countless plots here and overseas, and worked around the clock to keep us safe. Our military and counterterrorism professionals have relentlessly pursued terrorist networks overseas — disrupting safe havens in several different countries, killing Osama bin Laden, and decimating al Qaeda’s leadership. 

Over the last few years, however, the terrorist threat has evolved into a new phase.”

In an official WhiteHouseBlog of the speech, the President is quoted as stating that “[f]or seven years, I have confronted this evolving threat each morning in my intelligence briefing. And since the day I took this office, I have authorized U.S. forces to take out terrorists abroad precisely because I know how real the danger is. As Commander-in-Chief, I have no greater responsibility than the security of the American people.”

Presidential key points

Obama then laid out what he believes are his key points in the U.S. strategy which are “needed to combat the threat of terrorism abroad and here at home.”  Among these are the President’s desire to continue to hunt down “terrorist plotters in any country necessary,” as well as to establish a “process and timeline to pursue cease-fires and a political resolution to the Syrian civil war.”

As for what he believes the U.S. Congress should do, Obama laid out a few suggestions, too. One of those actions suggested the President would be to make certain that “no one on a NO Fly list is able to buy a gun or buy powerful assault weapons.”

The other thing which the President believes Congress should do is to put in place “stronger screening for travelers to the U.S. without a visa check if they’ve travelled to warzones.” And his final proposal is that Congress also “vote to authorize the continued use of military force against ISIL.”

Becoming ‘sitting ducks’ for enemies

A businessman living near the San Bernardino killing area had an important thought about the issue of people who want to suddenly kill you. “Without a firearm, we are sitting ducks for our enemies,” writes Jay Clarke on AmericanThinker website. Further, Clarke writes that the attacks at the Inland Regional Center “… occurred about 2 miles from the hospital where my wife works and where a number of the wounded were taken. We attend church about a mile away on the same street where the terrorists were killed, and we routinely drive past their condo as we go about our daily lives.”

He states he is like others now, “I am deeply saddened and enraged at what has happened,” but sees the evidence that the enemy can “[q]uietly … work alongside us,” but it is all while they “plot to murder in cold blood their neighbors, co-workers, and friends.”

A ‘stay-the-course’ strategy

Another reaction to the President’s message comes from Daniel W. Drezner, a professor of international politics at Tufts University. His statements come via the WashingtonPost. “There are times when being a wonk and a news junkie makes it difficult to evaluate political speeches, and President Obama’s prime-time speech on counterterrorism Sunday night falls into that category.”

Professor Drezner tries to sum it up with a few points. He notes there will be a continuation of the “Stay the course” strategy, and also believes that the president “is not very good at assuaging the American people in response to terrorist attacks.”

Drezner also observed the tweets posted on 2016 Presidential candidate Donald Trump’s account. (See here: TrumpTweet.) “Wish Obama would say ISIS, like almost everyone else, rather than ISIL” and “Obama said in his speech that Muslims are our sports heroes. What sport is he talking about, and who? Is Obama profiling?”

ISIS and ‘White House aides micromanaging military operations’ concerns House Armed Services Chairman

Complaints of “White House aides micromanaging military operations” were repeated by the Chairman of the House Armed Services Committee yesterday in his opening remarks on the panel discussion on “U.S. Strategy for Syria and Iraq and its Implications for the Region,” and the subject is one of concern for many people.

As news media gives more time to cover threats and events of terrorism and the group called ISIS, ISIL or Daesh, we learn that Pope Francis has become a target as well. (See FoxLatino report regarding Police in Italy and Kosovo detaining “… four Kosovars with Islamic State contacts Tuesday for making threats against the pope and a U.S. diplomat.”) This Pope has previously condemned the killing of Christians by ISIS (See BreitbartNews article for this information) and this discussion on politics, military and possible “micromanaging” is troubling.

WH ‘micromanaging military operations’

Telling Defense Secretary Ashton Carter that “all three of your Obama Administration predecessors have complained openly about White House aides micromanaging military operations,” Representative Mac Thornberry, Chairman then said in his opening remarks that “I  myself have heard from service members in the field about such instances which would have been unthinkable at any other time in history.”

Congressman Thornberry looked forward to hearing from both Secretary Carter as well as General Joseph F. Dunford, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, he stated. “The Committee meets today to hear testimony from the Secretary and the Chairman on our strategy against ISIS and the implications for the Middle East.  Today is the first hearing we have had with Secretary Carter and Chairman Dunford together in their current roles, and I think it is appropriate that it be on this topic which is foremost on the minds of the American people.  Thank you both for being here.”

ISIS requires ‘greater effort’

Thornberry stated there seemed to be “widespread consensus on at least three points” since the Paris attacks by ISIS.” He listed first that “ISIS presents a significant threat to the United States,” and the next point was that the “approach we have used to degrade and destroy ISIS is inadequate to meet the threat.” His third point was that a “different approach” and a “greater effort is required” making reference to decisions to “use half-measures” against them.

See Chairman Thornberry’s link here.

Last October, a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, (see Senator Thom Tillis link), questioned Secretary Carter and Chairman Dunford on “whether they were consulted by President Obama before his veto of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for Fiscal Year 2016.” In reply, General Dunford said he was not consulted by President Barack Obama while Secretary Carter answered that he was consulted and he did in fact support that veto.

Senator Tillis believes, as he stated in that link to his website, “… it is clear to me this Administration is not willing to confront the challenges our men and women in uniform face today. Taking a step back in these times just does not make sense.” 
U.S. soldier Joshua Wheeler
The case of Master Sargent Joshua Wheeler came up in that previous discussion last October. Wheeler was killed in a raid to rescue 70 hostages from ISIS in Iraq on October 22, 2015, and Senator Tillis then stated “Secretary Carter, you testified that in that particular operation, those are the operations that are happening frequently where American soldiers are at risk. I would consider that as a combat operation.” Secretary Carter replied that Wheeler was “indeed in combat at the time of his death.”

Wheeler has become “the first American to die in the war against ISIS,” per the Senator, who also believes that Secretary Carter and the Obama Administration, in “an effort to comport with President Obama’s vow to keep U.S. troops out of combat in Iraq,” were previously hesitating to call Wheeler’s death a combat death.

Søren Kierkegaard and understanding ISIS

David Ignatius, reporting on ISIS in an article available at theAtlantic recently, quoted a journal entry made in 1843 by the Danish philosopher Søren Kierkegaard. “It is perfectly true, as the philosophers say, that life must be understood backwards. But they forget the other proposition: that it must be lived forwards.”

Ignatius, who believes that we have perhaps “… been living the Islamic State forwards, surprised at every turn, but we can perhaps begin to understand it backwards. Although ISIS took most of the world by surprise when it swept into the Iraqi city of Mosul in June 2014, the group and its forebears had been proclaiming their goals for a decade. Like many consequential events, this one didn’t sneak up on policymakers; they simply didn’t see what was taking shape in front of them. ISIS told us exactly what it was going to do, and then did it. This was a secret conspiracy hiding in plain sight.”

And Senator Thornberry quoted Ignatius’ other idea.  That maybe “…the halfway measures taken by the U.S. thus far have only helped the jihadists.” He asked Secretary Carter and General Dunford not to give them a repeat of “White House talking points, but to give us your best professional and military judgments on what is required to actually degrade and defeat this enemy and to protect our people.”