Last week, Americans were horrified by a video released by terrorist group ISIS, in which they beheaded American journalist James Foley. The group blamed the execution on the recent American airstrikes against ISIS in Iraq and forced Foley to deliver an anti-American statement before killing him. The video came as a shock. This one hit home. This one was an American.
Following the release of the video, President Barack Obama rankled the ire of many when he returned immediately to the lush golf courses of Martha’s Vineyard. That outrage is growing hotter with the release of new information in the Sunday Times. They report that Obama may have had an opening to rescue Foley way back in June. Unfortunately, the window for a successful rescue came and went as Obama considered and re-considered the pros and cons of going in.
It’s a part of being the commander-in-chief to carefully weigh every decision that puts American lives at risk. For putting careful thought into the decision to put troops on the ground in Syria – even in a limited capacity – we cannot blame the president. That said, indecision has become the watchword of the Obama administration. Over and over again, we see policies languish and tasks go unfinished because the president can’t make up his mind on a direction to take.
In that way, the story that James Foley could have been rescued with some more decisive action comes to represent the entirety of this administration’s character. By waiting a month before authorizing the mission in Syria, Obama missed those crucial weeks during which a rescue could have been possible. He finally gave the mission his authorization on the 4th of July. Fighters from several dozen Special Forces teams took part in the secret operation, moving ahead without any cooperation from Syrian authorities.
According to officials in the know, Foley’s Syrian captors engaged the troops in a firefight once the Americans closed in on their hideout. One special forces solider was wounded by gunfire, but there were no U.S. fatalities. Alas, there was no rescue, either. The president’s decision to delay the operation left ample time for ISIS to move Foley to another location, thus ruining any chance we might have had.
Last week, Obama had some of his strongest words yet for ISIS, calling them a cancer in the Middle East that needed to be rooted out. Unfortunately, many Americans have begun to see Obama and the Democrat Party as another type of cancer back home. This cancer doesn’t kill as wantonly or indiscriminately as ISIS, but it has just as ruinous an effect on the foundation of the country. It is wrought with constant indecision, rampant socialism, and gross overspending. If, for all of that, we could at least be assured that the country was being protected, it might be a great comfort to all of us. Unfortunately, guarding the country is perhaps the job Obama is least suited for, and the continued threat of ISIS goes to show just how negligent he’s been.