- - Wednesday, September 17, 2014

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

It’s fortunate that my television survived the presidential address last week. There were so many times during the speech that I was almost driven to hysteria. While I cannot remember all of President Jimmy Carter’s addresses, I cannot imagine a speech in which a president was less truthful, more political, or more deceptive than President Obama recently was.

First, our president has made the almost laughable claim that America is now safer. I’ll make no contrary arguments, and leave readers to ponder the validity of this preposterous claim. Then he said, “We can’t erase every trace of evil from the world, and small groups of killers have the capacity to do great harm.” Well, Mr. President, an organized Islamic State army estimated at 31,000 is hardly a small group, and when you consider that up to 2,000 of them have Western passports, it is time for grave concern.

These statements were followed by the most ludicrous and politically correct statement of Mr. Obama’s speech: “[The Islamic State] is not Islamic.” While many of the Islamic faith may not support the Islamic State, it is a fact that the terrorist group’s fighters practice Islam and believe they are fighting in the name of Islam. A caliph (a spiritual leader of Islam, claiming succession from the Prophet Muhammad) has been named and an Islamic State formed. Mr. Obama needs to recognize and identify the enemy before we can effectively fight it.

In support of Mr. Obama’s argument that the Islamic State is not Islamic, he has said that “the vast majority of [its] victims have been Muslim.” What he fails to say is that this majority has been Shiite and that Sunni and Shiite Muslims have been at war since the death of the Prophet Muhammad for control of Islam. I leave it to readers to decide whether Mr. Obama is correct when he claims that the Islamic State is not a state, despite occupying a land mass larger than Indiana and controlling the lives of 8 million people.

The president then went on to describe his program to degrade and destroy the Islamic State. In the words of one military expert, wars are won on the ground when territory is captured and occupied. Even with superior American air power, the reconstituted Iraq army, the Kurds and the Syrian freedom fighters, our “partners” are hapless and hopeless, leaving the chances for victory almost nil.

The truth is our president’s goal is not victory. This was shown in his leaving a vacuum in Iraq by pulling out all U.S. troops and his announcement, simultaneous to announcing a surge, of a pullout date in Afghanistan. The goal is to look tough, maybe get some Democrats elected and kick the problem down the road to the next president.

MIKE FERREER

Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla.

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