- - Monday, June 1, 2015

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

Our president promised he would change America, and indeed in many ways he has. He would change it in still more ways if the courts would allow. But it is for four major initiatives that he has exuded particular passion.

First, he changed health care. With the aid of federal funding insurance coverage has become attainable for millions of those previously without it. For others, new regulations have been put in place to provide direction in selecting plans. President Obama is on his way toward leading the world in the reduction of carbon dioxide that is overheating our planet and, as he says, is an immediate risk to our national security. He is very close to a deal with Iran, that sponsor of regional aggression and terrorism, that will ostensibly forestall Tehran’s production of nuclear weapons. Then, he says, it can rejoin the family of nations. He has ended Bush’s war in Iraq; he is bringing the war in Afghanistan to closure and he is refusing to re-engage on the Iraq/Syria battlefield.

That battlefield is now commanded by the Islamic State, the successor to al Qaeda. Presently it occupies nearly 81,000 square miles, and it is becoming stronger by the day. It is effectively using social media to recruit tens of thousands from the Middle East and from the West to its new caliphate. Those who sympathize but cannot travel are urged to strike out against the West wherever they can.

The Islamic State has billions of dollars in financial resources, is sophisticated in its use of weaponry, is agile in its manpower deployment and is ruthless, with no regard for human life. No one doubts that as it has more time to consolidate, its targets will be in Europe and in the United States. There are already indications that it has chlorine gas in its arsenal, and with its resources and wherewithal it will likely be just a matter of time until it fulfills the boast in its publication, Dabiq, and becomes a nuclear terrorist state.

Mr. Obama said last September that he would destroy the Islamic State. Subsequently he said this destruction would be a multiyear campaign. His military efforts, however, has been halfhearted. Mr. Obama seemingly is marking time until his successor arrives to take over the burden.

BILL WEISS

Columbus, Ohio

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