Dan Gilmore / July 7, 2015

Obama Plans to Debate Islamic State Into Submission

Barack Obama should be more up front with what he’s trying to do to the Islamic State. Why doesn’t he just say he’s practicing a strategy of non-intervention? On Monday, Obama touted the “success” of his strategy to “degrade and ultimately destroy” the Islamic State. Still, he had one caveat: “Our strategy recognizes that no amount of military force will end the terror that is ISIL unless it’s matched by a broader effort — political and economic — that addresses the underlying conditions that have allowed ISIL to gain traction. … Ultimately, in order for us to defeat terrorist groups like ISIL and al-Qaida, it’s going to also require us to discredit their ideology. This broader challenge of countering violent extremism is not simply a military effort. Ideologies are not defeated with guns; they’re defeated by better ideas — a more attractive and more compelling vision.” Clearly, we didn’t win independence from Britain with superior debating skills, nor did we defeat the Nazis or Soviets with speeches. Furthermore, debate works amidst a civil society, but not when one side is enslaving minorities, burning prisoners alive and beheading others, while vowing further violence against people with which it disagrees. However, when Obama believes no further debate can be had and the gloves must come off, there’s always the IRS.

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