Bush derangement syndrome has evolved once again. Paul Rosenberg writes that Obama, in his recent speech announcing war against ISIS denounced them in terms similar to President Bush. According to him this bodes badly for our chances to defeat them. The President went rogue when he said “It (ISIS) has no vision other than the slaughter of all who stand in its way.” This is too black and white, too Bush esque for Rosenberg’s taste. He quotes Sun Tzu’s Art of War to show us that you need to know your enemy to be able to defeat him. By ignoring ISIS vision of the establishment of an Islamic State President Obama is taking the neo conservative route of “mindless violence.”
There is much wrong with Rosenberg’s logic. To begin with he tells us an example of Obama being nuanced is when in his ISIS speech he says “We cant erase every trace of evil from the world.” This is really just another of the Presidents famous straw man arguments since no one is arguing that we do such a thing. He says this to make himself look more responsible and reasoned than his political opponents. In reality President Bush never stated we should erase all evil from the world or even that all Islam was the problem. Bush’s nuanced view of the war on terror was on display when he said “ours is a war not against a religion, not against the Muslim faith. But ours is a war against individuals who absolutely hate what America stands for.”
Further President Obama has never shown he understands the vision terrorist organizations have going all the way back to 2001. He sat in Jeremiah Wrights church when he said that America was to blame for 9/11, that our chickens had come home to roost. Obama was then quoted as saying that the main reason for the attacks was that the terrorists lacked empathy. Then again after the attacks on our embassy President Obama blamed it on a video that degraded the prophet Muhammad.
Contrast that with Bush’s view of the terrorists vision, “their attacks serve a clear and focused ideology, a set of beliefs and goals that are evil but not insane…whatever its called this ideology is very different from the religion of Islam. This form of radicalism exploits Islam to serve a violent political vision: the establishment, by terrorism and insurgency, of a totalitarian empire that denies all political and religious freedom.” This is exactly the vision Rosenberg wants Obama to recognize in ISIS.
What Rosenberg believes is the Presidents nuance are his attempts to obfuscate the real motivation of terrorists because he is unwilling to confront them. The beheading of an American citizen awakened the public to the threat ISIS poses, forcing the Administration into action. We can only hope Obama takes the Bush approach which led to victory in Iraq instead of his nuanced approach which led to an ISIS on the march.