Unexamined Premises

End the War on ISIS Now

On this day, less than 24 hours after president Obama’s dreadful, dispirited and disheartening speech from the Oval Office, we do well to ponder the reaction of the United States — the country, its people and its president — in the wake of the electrifying news from far-off Hawaii of the sneak attack on our fleet at Pearl Harbor. Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s words to Congress on Dec. 8, requesting a declaration of war against the Empire of Japan, still have an authoritative and inspiring ring to them today. Watch and listen:

Yesterday, Dec. 7, 1941 — a date which will live in infamy – -the United States of America was suddenly and deliberately attacked by naval and air forces of the Empire of Japan. The United States was at peace with that nation and, at the solicitation of Japan, was still in conversation with the government and its emperor looking toward the maintenance of peace in the Pacific.

Indeed, one hour after Japanese air squadrons had commenced bombing in Oahu, the Japanese ambassador to the United States and his colleagues delivered to the Secretary of State a formal reply to a recent American message. While this reply stated that it seemed useless to continue the existing diplomatic negotiations, it contained no threat or hint of war or armed attack…

The attack yesterday on the Hawaiian islands has caused severe damage to American naval and military forces. Very many American lives have been lost. In addition, American ships have been reported torpedoed on the high seas between San Francisco and Honolulu…

Japan has, therefore, undertaken a surprise offensive extending throughout the Pacific area. The facts of yesterday speak for themselves. The people of the United States have already formed their opinions and well understand the implications to the very life and safety of our nation.

As commander in chief of the Army and Navy, I have directed that all measures be taken for our defense. Always will we remember the character of the onslaught against us. No matter how long it may take us to overcome this premeditated invasion, the American people in their righteous might will win through to absolute victory.

I believe I interpret the will of the Congress and of the people when I assert that we will not only defend ourselves to the uttermost, but will make very certain that this form of treachery shall never endanger us again.

Hostilities exist. There is no blinking at the fact that our people, our territory and our interests are in grave danger. With confidence in our armed forces – with the unbounding determination of our people – we will gain the inevitable triumph – so help us God.

I ask that the Congress declare that since the unprovoked and dastardly attack by Japan on Sunday, Dec. 7, a state of war has existed between the United States and the Japanese empire.

A state of war has existed between the West and bellicose elements of the Islamic ummah for many years now, from the Iranian hostage crisis of the Jimmy Carter years, through the fatwa issued by Osama bin Laden in 1996, through the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, and down the next fourteen years, right up to the spontaneous detonation of two more “holy warriors” in San Bernardino, Calif., just last week.

And did the American president go before the public, from the symbolically sacred space of the Oval Office, and declare war on ISIS? He did not. Did Obama identify the “character of the onslaught against us”? He did not. Did he speak of “righteous might” and “absolute victory”? He did not.

Did he guarantee an increasingly fearful — and increasingly armed — public that “this form of treachery shall never endanger us again”? He did not. Did he invoke the Deity in his determination to win through to the end? He did not. And did he ask Congress for a declaration of war against a readily identifiable and organized enemy, who holds great swaths of territory in what used to be the Sykes-Picot “countries” of the Middle East?

Of course not.

He certainly showed not a whit of the righteous anger that fueled FDR’s memorable address to the Congress and the nation, nor the determination — under God — to achieve total victory; indeed, the very word “victory” is foreign to him, as is the concept of total war. But this is to be expected from our nation’s first foreign-raised president, a man who clearly does not identify with the American people, bears them little or no love, and who shares almost no cultural lineage with them, whether black or white.

It is worth recalling that when the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor, the U.S. had relatively little military capability — and much of it lay smoking and sinking in Oahu’s principal harbor. The country had to go on a war footing almost immediately (Germany declared war on the U.S. on Dec. 11) and for the first two years, the outcome was very much in doubt. By contrast, the American military of today, even after seven years with Obama as commander-in-chief, remains the world’s foremost fighting force. Does anyone seriously doubt that, were it unleashed with all the weapons in its arsenal, including tactical nuclear weapons, and with the only rule of engagement to destroy the enemy utterly and completely, that this war would be over very quickly?

Instead, the modern Democrat Party and its amen chorus in the media can think of a million reasons why such a thing could not be done. “That’s not who we are” they say. (Says who?) Response must be proportional and measured — says who? Attacking ISIS at its source would only breed more terrorists. Ask Herbert Kitchener, who dealt with a similar situation at Omdurman in the aftermath of Gordon’s death at Khartoum. The Maxim gun ended the “dervish” threat for nearly a century.

But ISIS is only a symptom of the larger disease, which is the spread of fundamentalist Wahhabist Islam from Saudi Arabia all over the world. This has become such a problem that even Germany — which has precipitated the current “migrant” crisis in central and western Europe — has publicly warned the Saudis against their fifth-column work.

German Vice Chancellor Sigmar Gabriel urged Saudi Arabia on Sunday to stop supporting religious radicals, amid growing concern among some lawmakers in Berlin about the funding of militant mosques by the world’s biggest oil exporter. The unusual criticism of the Gulf state follows a report by Germany’s foreign intelligence agency which suggested that Saudi foreign policy was becoming more “impulsive“.

The German government rebuked the BND agency for making such suggestions about Saudi Arabia, an important business partner that is involved in international talks to find a political solution to the Syria crisis. “We need Saudi Arabia to solve the regional conflicts,” Sigmar Gabriel, the head of the Social Democrats (SPD) who share power with conservative Chancellor Angela Merkel, told the mass-circulation newspaper Bild am Sonntag. “But we must at the same time make clear that the time to look away is past. Wahhabi mosques are financed all over the world by Saudi Arabia. In Germany, many dangerous Islamists come from these communities,” he said.

Until Saudi Arabia is forcefully and directly confronted over its international financing of extremism, events like Paris and San Bernardino will continue and multiply. That’s a fact, however, that the president has yet to face up to; it goes against every fiber of his painfully politically correct world view. That world view, however, is getting Americans killed. The oath of office is clear about what the president’s overriding duty is:

I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the Office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.

The United States is not a nation-state in the sense the European countries are; it is not a country of blood relations, but of fealty to a document of western, Enlightenment principles regarding the relationship of citizen and state. By defending the Constitution — something Obama is increasingly loath to do — the president is defending the country. Because the Constitution, not some vague leftist bromide about our “values”  or “the arc of history,” is exactly who we are.

When Roosevelt (who, prior to his election, had been assistant secretary of the Navy, a losing vice-presidential candidate and governor of New York state) suddenly found himself in his third term with an existential crisis on his hands, he did whatever was required to preserve, protect and defend the United States of America. Roosevelt understood that his domestic agenda would have to, from that moment on, take a back seat to his prosecution of the war. He called the enemy by name — the Empire of Japan — and vowed to crush the Japanese and their bushido culture by any means necessary. In the end, under his third vice-president and successor, Harry Truman, that involved atomic weapons. It also ended the war in the Pacific.

The treachery of which Roosevelt spoke and warned has now returned, and it is up to our generation to deal with it the same way FDR dealt with it.

Alas, Barack Obama — who aside from a brief seat-warming stint in the U.S. Senate as the Chicago Machine’s hand-picked tomato can has held no significant public office — cannot win the war against ISIS because he refuses to call the enemy by name. He refuses to admit the motivational force of Islamic supremacist doctrine. He refuses to untie the hands of the military. Obsessed with such domestic ephemera as “climate change” and unconstitutional attempt to disarm the American people in the face of grave, individual danger, he cannot bring himself to see the truth, even as he becomes a national laughingstock.

Nor can he bring himself to uphold his oath of office. There are words for men like him, and none of them is pretty.