In response to the ISIS-inspired terrorist murders in San Bernardino, President Obama took to the airways to assure the American people they are safe and that he is taking action against ISIS to protect us. But, the collective dud emanating from the Oval Office address was in stark contrast to the thud from the US-led coalition bombing campaign against Syrian army forces fighting ISIS.
Senior White House officials made it clear the President had written the speech himself. Here is a notable highlight: “We will continue to provide training and equipment to Iraqi and Syrian forces fighting ISIL (commonly referred to as ISIS) on the ground so that we take away their safe havens. In both countries, we are deploying Special Operations forces who can accelerate that offensive… With American leadership, the international community has established a process and timeline to pursue cease-fires and a political resolution to the Syrian civil war. Doing so will allow the Syrian people and every country to focus on the common goal of destroying ISIL.” Good on the president, right?
But, according to the UK Independent, “An air strike carried out by the US-led coalition in Syria is reported to have targeted regime forces for the first time, killing at least three soldiers and destroying a number of vehicles. The Syrian government said four warplanes bombed its Saega military camp in Deir al-Zor province, describing it as an ‘act of aggression’ by coalition forces.”
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights group confirmed that an additional 13 military personnel were wounded in the allied bombing on Sunday evening. The Syrian Foreign Ministry said: “The Syrian Arab Republic strongly condemns this flagrant aggression by the US-led coalition forces, which blatantly violates the objectives of the UN Charter.”
Meanwhile on the day of the San Bernardino massacre, law enforcement officers who are treating the mass murder as a counterterrorism case said the radicalized husband and wife team began erasing their digital footprint the day before the deadly attack, deleting email accounts, disposing of hard drives and smashing their cellphones.
At an afternoon press conference the FBI said, “we’re still gathering the facts about what happened in San Bernardino, but here is what we know. We have no evidence that the killers were directed by a terrorist organization overseas (like ISIS or al-Qaeda), or that they were part of a broader conspiracy here at home (despite communicating with terror groups and pledging allegiance to ISIS right after the attack). But it is clear that these killers had embraced a perversion of Islam, stockpiled assault weapons (two rifles, two hand guns, 4,500 rounds of ammunition and assembled a dozen bombs), and committed an act of terrorism.”
By Friday the FBI had clearly refocused its investigation because they said, “This is now a federal terrorism investigation, led by the FBI.” On Friday, Director James Comey told reporters, “The reason for that is that the investigation so far has developed indications of radicalization by the killers and of the potential inspiration by foreign terrorist organizations… We are trying to understand the motives of these killers and trying to understand every detail of their lives.”
Apparently the FBI and the White House aren’t communicating because on Sunday President Obama left out many details of what actually transpired in California, a state with some of the toughest gun laws on the books.
After last month’s Paris terror attacks, French President Francois Hollande promptly addressed a joint session of both houses of parliament, informing them that France is committed to destroying ISIS. He also said “the constitution needed to be amended as we need an appropriate tool we can use without having to resort to the state of emergency.”
The socialist president said he will ask for an additional 5,000 police posts in the next two years, no cuts in the defense budget, make it easier to strip dual nationals of their French citizenship if they are convicted of a terrorist offence, (and) speeding up the deportation process of foreigners who pose a “grave threat to the security of the nation.”
Juxtapose that with President George W. Bush who spoke to a joint session of Congress after its worst terrorist attack on U.S. soil: “Our war on terror begins with al-Qaeda, but it does not end there. It will not end until every terrorist group of global reach has been found, stopped and defeated.”
While President Obama regularly misses in person daily national security briefings, ISIS is taking note and a statement posted in the Long War Journal read, “Today on Dec. 2 [a] terrorist attack in San Bernardino, Calif … The English-language version of Al Bayan reads: ‘California; Two soldiers of the Khilāfah executed an attack on the Inland Regional Center in San Bernardino, California on the 20th of Safar. Light weapons were used, which led to the deaths of 14 disbelievers and the injuring of more than 20 others. An exchange of gunfire with American police followed, eventually ending with both attackers being killed in the path of Allah. We ask Allah to accept them both as shuhadā’ [martyrs]. This is the first time the ‘caliphate’ (Khilāfah) has claimed that the San Bernardino terrorists were its ‘soldiers.’”
Mr. Obama’s ended his address to nation with: “Let’s not forget that freedom is more powerful than fear. That we have always met challenges — whether war or depression; natural disasters or terrorist attacks — by coming together around our common ideals. As long as we stay true to who we are, then I have no doubt that America will prevail.” After which he demonstrated his confidence in the security of the homeland by charging off with his security detail to a Kennedy Center party paying homage to his supporters.
Up Next– Did America miss the red flags?