To hear Republicans talk, Obama is ineffective and a complete f*ckup when it comes to combating ISIS.
However, the facts, which admittedly have no meaning to Republicans, indicate otherwise. In a press conference, Col. Steve Warren said, “The enemy is weaker and on the defensive. They have not gained one inch in Iraq since May.”
In fact, military officials report that, contrary to the dire picture of domination painted by the GOP, ISIS has lost 40 percent of its territory in Iraq and 20 percent in Syria.
After splitting from al-Qaeda in February of 2014, ISIS carved a swath through Iraq and reached the borders of Baghdad. It also took advantage of the Syrian civil war and seized towns and cities in that country.
Counter offensives launched by the Iraqi army and Kurdish Peshmerga backed by the United States, Britain and allies have driven ISIS militants from the Iraqi cities of Tikrit and Ramadi. In Syria, ISIS is facing threats on multiple fronts, including Assad’s troops and Syrian rebels.
Coalition air strikes aim to cut off revenue to ISIS by targeting oil fields, which have been a major source of income to the terrorist organization. The strikes also target its supply chain by bombing ammunition depots, vehicles, buildings, and other infrastructure.
In an announcement issued on Tuesday, the American Combined Joint Task Force stated that members of the 14 coalition countries have trained over 17,500 Iraqi soldiers, Peshmerga fighters and tribal forces to hold the areas that have been taken back from ISIS.
The fact is that none of this would ever have happened had we not upset the balance of power in the region by our ill-conceived invasion of the sovereign country of Iraq for no other reason than to get its oil—which didn’t happen. The fact that this debacle was engineered by the Republican administration of George W. Bush makes no difference to the posturing fools who are running to secure the GOP nomination. Instead of recognizing a strategy that is achieving the success they say they want, they choose to attack President Obama by painting him as weak and ineffectual.
We have a responsibility to aid those who are fighting to rid the region of ISIS, and we are doing that without unnecessarily endangering American lives. Instead of American boots on the ground, there are Iraqi and Syrian boots on the ground supported by coalition forces in the air and trainers on the ground.
The GOP alternative is a mix of bluster and veiled calls for launching a nuclear attack.
Republicans started this mess and were unable to clean it up. They simply cannot stand that a Democrat is doing what they failed to do. Lest they forget, that would be the same Democratic president who rid the world of Osama bin Laden after the Bush administration failed to do so.
Ann Werner is the author of thrillers and other things.
Visit her at Ann Werner on the Web