Return with us now to those thrilling days of yesteryear—when Obama said he was going to kick ISIS’s ass.
Although ISIL calls itself the “Islamic State,” the President emphasized that the terrorist group is neither Islamic nor a state.
“ISIL is not ‘Islamic.’ No religion condones the killing of innocents, and the vast majority of ISIL’s victims have been Muslim,” President Obama said. “And ISIL is certainly not a state. … It is recognized by no government, nor the people it subjugates.”
Isn’t one of the most important rules of warfare to know your enemy? He sounds ignorant, willfully so, and even gets the name wrong. Oh well, maybe he makes up for it later.
“Our objective is clear: We will degrade, and ultimately destroy, ISIL through a comprehensive and sustained counter-terrorism strategy.”
So how’s that working out for you (us? them?)?
Exclusive: ISIS Gaining Ground in Syria, Despite U.S. Strikes
American jets are pounding Syria. But ISIS is taking key terrain—and putting more and more people under its black banners.
ISIS continues to gain substantial ground in Syria, despite nearly 800 airstrikes in the American-led campaign to break its grip there.
At least one-third of the country’s territory is now under ISIS influence, with recent gains in rural areas that can serve as a conduit to major cities that the so-called Islamic State hopes to eventually claim as part of its caliphate. Meanwhile, the Islamic extremist group does not appear to have suffered any major ground losses since the strikes began. The result is a net ground gain for ISIS, according to information compiled by two groups with on-the-ground sources.
And then, in a classic example of military-sepak:
“Yes, they have gained some ground. But we have stopped their momentum,” one Pentagon official told The Daily Beast.
That’s a neat trick. How do you stop momentum as they gain ground?
ISIS’s gain is a loss for gays, Christians, women, children, pigeon-breeders, and anyone else I might have left out.
During a Jan. 6 press briefing, for example, when a reporter asked “where ISIS’s relative strength is right now,” Navy Rear Adm. John Kirby replied by talking exclusively about the U.S. effort in Iraq, naming cities were the military believed ISIS’s momentum has been “halted.”
When the reporter pressed for an answer on what was happening in Syria, Kirby struggled, saying, “I couldn’t give you a—a specific point at which, you know, we believe, well geez, we’ve halted their momentum. It—it’s come slowly, in various stages. But I think it’s safe to say that over the last three to four weeks, we—we’ve been confident that that momentum has largely been blunted.”
On Friday, Kirby proclaimed that ISIS had lost 700 square kilometers since the campaign began—over half the size of New York City or about four times the size of the District of Columbia. But the Pentagon spokesman could not say what percentage that area marked of total ISIS-controlled land. Nor could he say if that loss was in Iraq, Syria, or combined in both nations. As Kirby asserted: “I’m frankly not sure how relevant that is.”
But Obama said:
“I have made it clear that we will hunt down terrorists who threaten our country, wherever they are. That means I will not hesitate to take action against ISIL in Syria, as well as Iraq. This is a core principle of my presidency: If you threaten America, you will find no safe haven.”
Sorry, Syrians, but if you thought you could keep your country if you liked it, you’re as big a bunch of saps as we are.