In an address to the nation Wednesday night, the eve of the 13th anniversary of September 11, 2001, President Barack Obama, who only last week said he didn’t have an ISIS strategy, laid out a detailed plan to “lead a broad coalition” to confront the army of crazed sociopaths also known as ISIS.
Besides moving swiftly through territories in Iraq and Syria and murdering many civilians in their path, ISIS also horrified the world with the videotaped beheadings of American journalists James Foley and Steven Sotloff.
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“I have made it clear that we will hunt down terrorists who threaten our country, wherever they are, ” the president said from the White House. “This is a core principle of my presidency: If you threaten America, you will find no safe haven.”
The president plans to expand the air campaign, so airstrikes will be used to “roll back” ISIS in Iraq, and across the Syrian border.
Obama will send an additional 475 U.S. troops to Iraq to assist Iraqi and Kurdish forces fighting ISIS. However, he vowed that “we will not get dragged into another ground war in Iraq, ” but promised that this effort “will not involve American combat troops fighting on foreign soil.”
Obama also called on Congress to authorize “ramping up” a mission to equip and train what he termed the “moderate Syrian opposition.” Look for armed men with elbow patches who smoke pipes and read the Times.
“Let’s make two things clear, ” the president taught the nation something about religion: “ISIL is not ‘Islamic.’ No religion condones the killing of innocents.”
That would be news to many religious scholars, of course.
“We continue to face a terrorist threat, ” President Obama said. “We can’t erase every trace of evil from the world, and small groups of killers have the capacity to do great harm. That was the case before 9/11, and that remains true today. That’s why we must remain vigilant as threats emerge.”