Decoding Obama’s Contrarian ISIS Strategy


US Allies in Syria, the Free Syrian Army
US Allies in Syria, the Free Syrian Army

By Bob Bennett

The black flag of ISIS cast its shadow across France on Friday, November 13th. Terrorists killed some 130 Parisians and injured over 300 others, in France’s worst homeland attack since the Second World War; ISIS took credit for it.

A chilling post on a terrorist website left little doubt an attack on America was coming: “The best blood is American blood; we will taste it soon.”

It came on Wednesday, in San Bernardino, California when 14 people at a Christmas party perished in a hail of bullets—allegedly at the hands of a married couple, Syed Farook and Tashfeen Malik. ABC News quoted sources: “The suspected killer wife, using an alias on social media, pledged her allegiance to Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the leader of ISIS, in the hours before the massacre.” On Sunday, Islamic State announced that the couple were followers of the organization.

FBI Assistant Director David Bowdich announced Friday that the FBI was officially investigating the murder as “an act of terrorism.”

The Daily Mail revealed: “Farook allegedly had ‘some kind’ of contact with Al Nusra Front, an Al-Qaeda backed group in Syria, and al Shabaab in Somalia, according to an unnamed police source”

Al-Nusra is a terror group that has fought side-by-side with the Syrian rebels we arm and support, in our quixotic war on Bashar Assad. More on that, later.

The attacks in Paris and San Bernardino bring Obama’s surreal detachment from terrorism into sharp focus—for Republicans, Democrats, even the media.

His statement, the day before the Paris attack, that ISIS is “contained”; and his press conference afterward, marked by patronizing, often absurd responses to skeptical reporters, have heightened doubts about his tepid ISIS strategy, his perception of the threat, and even his sanity: “It is just beyond delusional,” said Ralph Peters, on Fox News.


Obama doubles down on his strategy, rejects decisive military force

At the bizarre press conference, reporters repeatedly questioned the president’s strategy and his understanding of the enemy. Obama responded, peevishly, at times, saying they’d been “mounting a very aggressive strategy” against ISIS, and that “[ISIS] control[s] less territory than they did last year.” But this is patently false; see the maps comparing ISIS in February to November, at 2:00 of this Fox News video.

Obama said the Islamic State is not a state; it’s “just a network of killers,” asserting that: “We play into the ISIL narrative when we use routine military tactics that are designed to fight a state….”

In his prime-time address Sunday night, he finally admitted San Bernardino was a terrorist attack, but offered no new ISIS strategy to offset his prior vacuous statements. Instead he delivered some new ones. He said, “Air strikes are taking out ISIL leaders…. We will continue to provide training and equipment to tens of thousands of Iraqi and Syrian forces fighting ISIL on the ground.”

Except: he’s been making minimal daily air strikes, but does not plan an intensive bombing campaign. And the Syrian forces are not fighting ISIS; they’re fighting Assad. He spent more time warning Americans about discrimination against Muslims than on anything else.

Most important, he did not say he’d deploy a sizable American force to destroy ISIS. Unquestionably, that is what’s needed.

Rejecting use of our military might is a recurrent WH theme: Back in February, Marie Harf issued this baffling statement, on Chris Matthews’s Hardball: “We cannot win this war by killing them. We cannot kill our way out of this war.” She went on to cite “lack of opportunity for jobs.”

On November 19th, White House communications director Jen Psaki told Alisyn Camerota, on CNN’s New Day, “Military might will not end the war against ISIS.”

Analysts are understandably puzzled. However, Obama’s mystifying reactions to an overt threat, and his “strategy” can be easily decoded—if we view the president as having ideology, alliances and goals profoundly different from what he says they are.


Obama’s war on ISIS is essentially a sham

A Dept. of Defense report from December 5th shows the number of air strikes made on ISIS that day was 11 in Syria and 12 in Iraq; other dates are similar. This is not a serious war effort: During Desert Storm, we made 1100 daily strikes.

In Addition, the Washington Free Beacon reported on November 20th:

“U.S. military pilots who have returned from the fight against the Islamic State in Iraq are confirming that they were blocked from dropping 75 percent of their ordnance on terror targets because they could not get clearance to launch a strike.”

Thus does the world’s mightiest power battle ISIS, the entity that beheads Christians, enslaves and sells women, immolates and drowns prisoners; has made a brutal attack on our oldest ally—and now has at least inspired the murder of 14 people in California.

WaPo reported that the only explanation Iraqis can think of, why we don’t eliminate ISIS, is that America is in cahoots with them.


Salafi event
Salafi event

Obama’s unholy alliances in the Syrian war

Apparently, the White House and its allies actually welcomed the coming of ISIS. Judicial Watch obtained recently declassified documents under a court order, including a Defense Intelligence Agency document revealing that the rise of ISIS was anticipated—and desirable—to help pressure Assad to step down.


The report also shows the “moderate” Syrian rebels we supported in 2012 were primarily terror groups:


But why the obsession with toppling Assad?

Obama has said his unseating must lead to an “inclusive” government, a word the WH also used as he pressed Egypt’s Mubarak to step down, and used after he unleashed military force to force out Libyan dictator Qaddafi. Read that as “inclusive of the Muslim Brotherhood,” which stands to play a dominant role in a new government, as it did in Egypt and Libya. All three dictators were secular and had banned the Brotherhood, an organization Obama has favored abroad and at home.

Last year, revealed that “The President personally issued Presidential Study Directive 11 (PSD-11) in 2010, ordering an assessment of the Muslim Brotherhood and other ‘political Islamist’ movements, including the ruling AKP in Turkey…”

The conclusion was, “the United States should shift from its longstanding policy of …support for ‘stable regimes’ even if … authoritarian, to a policy of backing ‘moderate’ Islamic political movements.”

Unfortunately, the Muslim Brotherhood is not moderate: its general strategic goal is to destroy America from within.

Also, the fabled “moderate Syrian rebels” we support have fought alongside known terror groups like Jabhat al-Nusra, the arm of al-Qaeda in Syria: the Investigative Project reported, in May, 2014 that “Cooperation between the Western-backed Free Syrian Army (FSA) and al-Qaeda’s Syrian affiliate, Jabhat al-Nusra, continues even as the FSA tries to obtain more American arms.”

WND revealed that “Syrian rebels who would later join … ISIS, were trained in 2012 by U.S. instructors working at a secret base in Jordan, according to informed Jordanian officials,” even though they were first vetted for links to terror groups, they said. “The officials said dozens of future ISIS members were trained at the time as part of covert aid to the insurgents targeting the regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in Syria.”

Moreover, evidence indicates that the U.S.-backed FSA worked directly with ISIS, in 2013:

This article from includes a video showing [at 1:34] FSA Col. Abdel Jabbar al-Okaidi, described by The Telegraph as “One of the most senior rebel commanders backed by Britain and the United States,” celebrating with “well-known ISIS commander, Emir Abu Jandal, after conducting a successful joint operation against Syrian Army forces at Menagh Airbase in early August 2013.”

The video also allegedly shows our ambassador to Syria, Robert Ford, with Col. Okaidi. Levant Report says the video “has been authenticated by the top academic Syria expert in the U.S., Joshua Landis, of the University of Oklahoma.”

H/T Our former Ambassador to Syria, Robert Ford, did not deny, in this twitter conversation, that the “moderates” we backed fought beside ISIS and Al Nusra, at Aleppo, in 2013:


This administration has dishonored our national ethic, which now resembles that of Iran more than of America: working with jihadist groups—even, by proxy, with ISIS—is an acceptable strategy for this White House. And Obama’s agenda of deposing dictators who suppressed Islamists has created bases for terror, like the fractured state of Libya—where ISIS has just taken Sirte, on the Mediterranean coast, directly across from Italy.

Our support for Syrian rebel groups has attracted tens of thousands of Sunni jihadis from other countries into Syria, to battle Assad’s Shi’ite government. This has created an enormous wellspring of potential terrorists in Syria. And the campaign itself has destabilized the country. Thus we’ve not only provided a pool of fighters, but we’ve created a vacuum, thus fostered the rise of ISIS. We should not be surprised that terror has spread to Europe, and now to us.


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