Militant Islamist fighters parade on military vehicles along the streets of northern Raqqa province on June 30, 2014.
Stringer/Reuters

‘People like this ultimately fail’

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President Obama spoke today on the ISIS murder of photo journalist James Foley, and the president’s condemnation of the terrorist group was as broad as it was explicit. For all the Beltway chatter about Obama’s willingness to emote, the president seemed genuinely angry about Foley’s slaying.
“Jim Foley’s life stands in stark contrast to his killers,” Obama said in his address. “They abduct women and children, subject them to torture and rape and slavery. They’ve murdered Muslims – Sunni and Shia – by the thousands. They target Christians and religious minorities, driving them from their homes and murdering them when they can.”
 
“People like this ultimately fail,” he continued. “They fail, because the future is won by those who build and not destroy, and the world is shaped by people like Jim Foley, and the overwhelming majority of humanity who are appalled by those who killed him.”
Obama added, “ISIL speaks for no religion. Their victims are overwhelmingly Muslim, and no faith teaches people to massacre innocents. No just God would stand for what they did yesterday, and for what they do every single day. ISIL has no ideology of any value to human beings. Their ideology is bankrupt. They may claim out of expediency that they are at war with the United States or the West, but the fact is they terrorize their neighbors and offer them nothing but an endless slavery to their empty vision, and the collapse of any definition of civilized behavior.
 
Soon after, Secretary of State John Kerry said in a statement, “The world must know that the United States of America will never back down in the face of such evil. [ISIS] and the wickedness it represents must be destroyed, and those responsible for this heinous, vicious atrocity will be held accountable.”
 
And it was right around this time that the Weekly Standard’s Bill Kristol, whose track record for being hilariously wrong about practically everything has become the stuff of legend, decided to start complaining about the Obama administration’s indifference towards ISIS.
 
From Kristol’s piece with the one-word headline: “Appalling.”
The president is appalled. Indeed he said this afternoon that “the entire world is appalled by the brutal murder of Jim Foley by the terrorist group, ISIL.” The act of violence that killed Jim Foley, the president continued, “shocks the conscience of the entire world.”
 
What happens in the age of Obama to a group that does something that appalls and shocks the conscience of the entire world?
 
Nothing.
There’s quite a bit about Kristol’s worldview that I find odd, but it never occurred to me the Republican editor was confused by the meaning of the word “nothing.”
 
I don’t doubt that Kristol would prefer a massive U.S. military invasion of, well, lots of places, but this isn’t “nothing.”
Obama announced two weeks ago that he had authorized airstrikes in northern Iraq to protect thousands of Americans and the U.S. consulate in Erbil, the capital of the Kurdish semi-autonomous region, and to prevent the genocide of tens of thousands of religious minorities threatened by ISIS. The airstrikes, which began within hours of the president’s authorization, marked the U.S. military’s first direct operation in Iraq since leaving the country in 2011.
 
The State Department on Wednesday requested up to 300 additional military personnel be sent to Iraq, a senior U.S. official told NBC News. The U.S. has sent hundreds of military service members to Iraq as ISIS has made gains in the country.
 
According to NBC News, U.S. warplanes and drones launched at least 11 airstrikes Tuesday night against ISIS targets in Iraq.
So, it would appear Kristol – whose column included an obligatory reference to the president’s golf game, as if this lazy line of attack hasn’t grown tiresome – either isn’t keeping up with current events or he can’t tell the difference between airstrikes and nothing.
 
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Barack Obama, Bill Kristol, Foreign Policy and ISIS

'People like this ultimately fail'

Updated