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Michael Swartz / January 15, 2016

Chill Out, Obama Says Terror Ain’t No Big Thing

We don’t need “over-the-top claims that this is World War III.”

While Barack Obama failed to acknowledge the 10 Navy sailors detained by Iran hours before his State of the Union speech, he assured us the state is strong when it comes to fighting terrorism. Oh, and the Islamic State JV team isn’t a real threat to our existence anyway.

“As we focus on destroying ISIL, over-the-top claims that this is World War III just play into their hands,” he lectured. “Masses of fighters on the back of pickup trucks, twisted souls plotting in apartments or garages — they pose an enormous danger to civilians; they have to be stopped. But they do not threaten our national existence. … We don’t need to build them up to show that we’re serious, and we sure don’t need to push away vital allies in this fight by echoing the lie that ISIL is somehow representative of one of the world’s largest religions. We just need to call them what they are — killers and fanatics who have to be rooted out, hunted down and destroyed.”

Those “killers and fanatics,” however, have in the last year put together 13 terror plots and attacks in the U.S., the most since 9/11 and more than we had endured in the three previous years combined. And those “masses of fighters on the back of pickup trucks” today may well be the Syrian refugees Obama fails to vet but allows into our country tomorrow. “Almost every day there is a new case that documents the relentless attacks being waged against our nation,” said Senator (and presidential candidate) Ted Cruz. To back up Cruz, reports indicate that we have almost 1,000 Islamic State-related cases being investigated within our borders.

And it’s not just in the U.S. The Wall Street Journal notes, “On Monday ISIS murdered 51 people in suicide attacks in Baghdad and other Iraqi cities. On Tuesday an ISIS suicide bomber in Istanbul killed 10 German and one Peruvian tourists.”

Thursday’s mall attack in Indonesia, described as “like Paris, but on a smaller scale,” left two innocents dead — though five attackers are now with their 72 virgins. These “soft target” attacks are similar in nature to the San Bernardino and Boston terror incidents, where a group not directly connected to al-Qaida or the Islamic State acted out on their radical beliefs.

Indeed, the Journal continues, “This bloody spate follows last month’s murder of 14 office workers in San Bernardino by an ISIS husband-and-wife team, November’s Paris massacre by ISIS of 130 people, the killing a day earlier of some 43 people in Beirut, and October’s downing by ISIS of a Russian jetliner over Egypt, in which 224 civilians perished. Last June’s attack at a Tunisian beach resort, in which 38 mainly British tourists were murdered, is already beginning to feel like a distant memory.”

Obama boasts the U.S. is “the most powerful nation on Earth, period,” but we sure seem to be having problems dealing with a force that’s estimated to be about 30,000 fighters. We’ve gone to extraordinary lengths to ward off this terrorist threat since 9/11, yet any good result we earned under the Bush administration has been squandered by this one. Granted, we knew at the outset this would not be a brief battle but rather the Long War. And the list of attacks above may not be on the scale of a World War, but it sure is global.

Domestically, the question of whether to welcome an influx of Syrian refugees and an occasional terrorist — which the Obama administration seems hell-bent on doing, just to prove we’re not racist — should be a no-brainer given the common thread connecting many of those who have pulled off terrorist attacks around the world. Perhaps the pictures of ragtag militias riding around in pickup trucks promote the image of ISIL as the “JV team,” but the death and mayhem in Jakarta, Paris, Boston, San Bernardino and elsewhere show it’s a team that has come to play. We need to step up our game accordingly, starting with the defense.

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