Why is the Administration downplaying the terror threat?

Thank you to Conservative Kentucky for his submission for publication!

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Why is the Administration downplaying current terror threats? The answer may be obvious to those of us who are familiar with the reality of politics, particularly how the Obama Administration tends to work. In using the word “politics” I don’t necessarily refer to running the country, but rather gaining or maintain power. To give some insight, literal definition states that politics are the “activities that relate to influencing the actions and policies of a government or getting and keeping power in a government.” While we generally refer to politics as those who run the country, in reality it is a balance of those who choose to portray a political image that it most likely to garner votes and support. In many cases an action that could be considered politically right will also be considered morally wrong, while what is morally right may be seen as politically wrong. For example, it is not good political imaging if you choose take action against an international terrorist group, and that action turns out to be a travesty. In this case, it is easier and safer to ignore the problem and maintain a good image rather than risk soiling that image.

So, what is the answer to the question of why the Administration is downplaying current terror threats? The simple answer is politics. You may recall seeing President Obama giving a speech on TV back in 2013 regarding the war on terror. To quote Obama’s own words, “The global war on terror is over”. In a separate statement given by the White House in 2009, we heard that “The war on terrorism is over.” (On a side note, John Green said “Never go to war with a noun, you’ll always lose.”) A political triumph had boosted Obama’s approval ratings, and he had scored a political victory by “defeating terrorism” in the eyes of millions. In fact, we still occasionally hear of this listed among his “accomplishments”. Many people, namely those who actually know how politics or human nature works, were (and still are) obviously skeptical, but that did not seem to stop him, or even give him pause. How can Obama, a serial politician with a mind only for politics and nothing else, pass up the opportunity for a political “I told you so!” to the Republican population?

There are many red flags within the obvious glaring claims that Obama has spoken of. One in particular is something as simple as the way that he prefers to address a certain terror organization. I am sure many of you have noticed that the president only refers to the terror group in the Middle East as ISIL, rather than other common titles, such as ISIS. ISIL is an acronym that stands for the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant. The most common name is the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, ISIS. Why does he make this distinction? The answer is that Syria is a much more politically significant area that Obama has touted as safe. Even though the biggest concentration of ISIS is in Syria, President Obama continues to refer to the Levant rather than Syria. The Levant, while it is a larger geographical area with a higher population, is not as politically volatile. The President did not say anything about the Levant other than the subtle reference in the title, but he did attempt to take credit for winning in Syria.

Furthermore, Obama referred to the Islamic State as a “JV” team. That supposed “JV” team has become increasingly wealthy with millions of dollars a day in stolen oil resources all while flaunting the fact that they have publicly killed and tortured countless people, including several American citizens including but not limited to: James Foley, Peter Kassig, and Kayla Mueller. Most recently, and possibly most well-known, they burned alive a Jordanian Air Force pilot and forty-five other civilians. In recent times, they have burned over eight-thousand rare books and hundreds of other pieces of art that are thousands of years old.

Obviously, the president being wrong about a serious terror threat by downplaying it in calling it a “JV” team and even declaring it dead isn’t very good political imaging. In fact, I believe that it is beyond insulting to the many people who have lost their lives fighting against this terrorist group, as well as their families and those who have become innocent casualties.

This brings us back to the original question and the real issue at hand. Why is the Administration downplaying the terror threat? Doing so would admit defeat both militarily and politically. I am not saying that the Administration has done absolutely nothing. There has been an international coalition of airstrikes on targets of the Islamic State that the United States has been involved in – An action that was presidentially approved. While there has been some recognition, I have yet to see anyone within the Administration legitimately call the issue out for what it really is, or to acknowledge the gravity of the situation.

In addition to refusing to acknowledge the gravity of the situation, most conservatives also take issue with the fact that Obama is currently refusing to acknowledge that a terrorist group fueled by their Islamic beliefs can be labeled and viewed as Islamic terror. The real problems lies not in some mediocre religious victory over Islam that many Christians want, but in Obama’s inability to come before the nation and address the problem as a legitimate terrorist threat, especially in relation to the associated religious beliefs.

In refusing to admit that he may have been wrong in his thinking and refusing to admit defeat the President is showing that he values politics, and his political image, over human lives.While there are many changes that I hope for within our current politics, it is not the Republican victory, the results of polls, or even an admittance of wrong doing from the President that I care about most. In the end, the only thing that I care about is our most precious resource – Human life. As we lose this precious resources to senseless terror killings, I find myself wanting our president to make his statement one that declares that we are united against and terrorism and that we will do something. Anything!

What do I want from the Administration? I do not want the President to say he was wrong and see the onslaught of Republicans producing a slew of cheap political ads highlighting this wrongdoing. What I want more than anything is a clear answer and plan. I want the Islamic State to know that the United States is ready and willing to wipe them out. I want the Islamic State to know that the United States has a plan. In 2014, Obama was quoted as staying that “We don’t have a strategy yet.” Unfortunately, that simply does not work and is the embodiment of the current problem. I want a strategy, and I want it now – As should all other Americans.

The answer to the question of why the Administration is downplaying the current terror threats is, simply put, politics. The solution to the problem is a strategy. ISIS is having a field day with thousands if not millions of people while the United States, the humanitarian force of the world, sits idly by as its president plays golf (quite literally).


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