A few days ago President Obama released ten more detainees from Guantanamo Prison where enemy combatants of the United States are held. These are enemy combatants who were captured on the battlefield waging war against the United States forces. They do not care about the Geneva Convention, and have no reservations about committing unspeakable acts of violence through the use of terrorism, in order to further their ideology. These are hardened, committed evil men who are happiest when they spill American blood. Mr. Obama has released a number of the detainees, and according to a recent report on Fox news, one in three of them return to terrorism after being released. One of the most notorious terrorists in the world who was released from Guantanamo is the notorious Abu Bakr al Baghdadi. He is the leader of ISIS and his reputation for brutality is unsurpassed. His ambitions are clear and he will stop at nothing in his effort to achieve his warped vision of establishing a caliphate across the globe. There is a dispute that Bhagdadi was not released by Mr. Obama’s administration, but that matters very little because the danger of wantonly releasing these captives is clearly demonstrated in Bhagdadi. There is a very clear danger that exists that cannot be ignored, in releasing these enemy combatants. The President however seems to be more concerned, and interested in fulfilling his promise to close Guantanamo than he is in protecting America from the dangers posed by these men. He insists that keeping these men detained for the acts that they have committed against the United States poses a greater danger, and threat to this country than releasing them. Without citing any data, he continues to say that they serve as “a recruiting brochure” for terrorists around the world. This argument is akin to saying that we should not fight them because fighting them only makes them angry, and come harder after us. It makes no sense, especially considering how well we treat the detainees.
Mr. Obama believes that trying to pacify our enemies will somehow cause them to see that we really mean them no harm, and as a result they will stop attacking us. This attitude is not borne of any evidence that shows this approach works, in fact; the evidence shows that it is generally perceived as weakness and encourages more defiance. Most insurgencies that get crushed, dictators who are overthrown and defeated, all across the world are beaten through the superior aggressive use of force.
Mr. Obama’s commitment to his ideology is what drives him, not proof that what he is doing works, or that the things he says are true. Diplomacy only works when all participants are equally committed and invested in a common desired outcome. Appeasement as a strategy fails every time. When has it ever worked with an enemy who has no interest in the outcome that the appeaser seeks? There is no way that he does not know this, yet he stubbornly insists that somehow, some way, people (including our enemies) will eventually see the wisdom of what his intentions are and that it will then yield results.
Barrack Obama’s foreign policy architecture has been an abysmal failure, and it seemingly does not matter that the consequences of his actions continue to put the United States at risk. In addressing the concerns of those who were seeing the rise of ISIS, and the danger they posed, he derisively responded that ISIS was a JV group. Despite all of the warnings and the evidence that Iraq would fall into chaos if the United pulled out prematurely, he did it anyway. The United States has lost more troops in the first four years of Barrack Obama’s Presidency than during the entire eight years of the previous administration. Today the Taliban controls more territory in Afghanistan than they did since 2001. We have lost much of the successes gained through the spilled blood of U. S. service members since significantly recklessly reducing our presence in Afghanistan.
Mr. Obama has made all of these blunders and counterproductive moves despite being warned repeatedly that the results we see today would be the likely outcome of his policy of disengagement. This President seems to have a penchant for being on the wrong side of the most important issues, and it does not seem to bother him. By supporting the disastrous Arab spring movement of 2011, the Middle East is now in chaos and the rest of the world is feeling the consequences of this insipid foreign policy.
While the failure of his Presidency is evident to everyone (everyone! Despite what his supporters may say), Mr. Obama continues to act as though no one sees what is happening. With the assurance of one living in the Twilight Zone he touts all of his failures as successes while Americans and the rest of the world of the ask “really?” He doubles down on wishful thinking to get things done, and insists that hope as a strategy is productive, results mean nothing to him and intentions triumph over results. America as a country is the greatest force for good in the world, not because we are better than anyone else, but because of the values that we have espoused to since our founding. We cannot ignore what is going on around the globe and believe that we would have a safer world by extricating ourselves from everything that is happening, or by burying our heads in the sand. There are no easy answers but it is in America’s interest to continue leading the world on these difficult issues.