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Drumbeat of war vs. bagpipes of extended golf vacation

In response to ISIS and the Obama Administration’s Drumbeat of War:

This is one of the reasons Obama’s dogged insistence on showing himself a good time in a moment of crisis – laughing and fist-bumping with his golf buddies within an hour of claiming to be shattered with grief and anger over the beheading of James Foley – is so inappropriate.  Part of this Administration is beating the war drums, while the White House is acting like it’s no big deal, a few airstrikes here and there, no boots on the ground, no risk to American soldiers, the whole thing will be wrapped up in time for whatever domestic-policy horror Obama’s planning to unleash in September.

Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel says ISIS is a threat “beyond anything that we’ve seen,” while State Department spokeswoman Marie Harf simultaneously insists the Islamic State isn’t at war with the United States, no matter how many times they say they are (and how many severed heads they brandish to emphasize the point.)  Attorney General Eric Holder is assigned to come up with a criminal investigation of the head-choppers, as if taking Foley hostage, murdering him in a videotaped declaration of war, and threatening further attacks against Americans is only marginally more serious than the average Saturday night killing spree in the gun-free but bullet-riddled liberal paradise of Chicago.

The Administration is all over the map on this.  They’re playing domestic and global politics, not making a sober assessment of a terror threat that makes its progenitors in Osama bin Laden’s cave-dwelling crew look like small-time operators.  They’re floating trial balloons and keeping a nervous eye on polls, because political situations (resistance to Obama’s upcoming executive-order amnesty for illegal aliens, the midterm elections) are Team Obama’s focus.

Speaking of which, the idea of handing out amnesty to illegal aliens and triggering a fresh invasion across our wide-open southern border is even more insane than ever.  ISIS is already here.  Giving them a new human tidal wave to surf across is damn near suicidal.  Mike Morell, former deputy director of the CIA, made some headlines this week by musing, “If an ISIS member showed up at a mall in the United States tomorrow with an AK-47 and killed a number of Americans, I would not be surprised.”  

This is precisely the scenario envisioned in Tom Clancy’s “The Teeth of the Tiger,” a book that’s five or six years old now, but feels fresher than ever.  It’s primarily about the creation of a black-bag team that sets about assassinating key figures in the financial infrastructure of terrorism – the money men who live in the Western world, and never get hit by normal counter-terror operations.  The event that sets the story in motion is a chillingly plausible, extremely simple terrorist attack: a group of small teams armed with heavy weapons bursts into a half-dozen shopping malls around the country on an otherwise placid weekend and slaughters everyone in sight, until the cops take them down.  We got a glimpse of what this kind of attack would look like in practice in Nigeria last year.  ISIS teams would probably be much better organized.  If they hit a dozen malls at once, they could easily rack up a body count to rival 9/11.

But we’ve got an open border, an almost completely disabled system for internally enforcing our immigration laws, and a political class hell-bent on taking the kind of actions that will bring even more people across the border.  As it stands right now, ISIS could march a battalion into Texas.  We’ve heard from other CIA veterans that there is “a lot of communication” between the Islamic State and Mexican cartels.  Why wouldn’t there be?  Tom Clancy’s book didn’t anticipate a terror state flush with hundreds of millions of dollars of cash seized from conquered territories, plus high-end military equipment, much of it American.  

But immigration is an aspect of national security Barack Obama is not only ignoring – he’s actively bent on weakening it further.  It’s as though the King is telling us, in between feasts and fox hunts, to feel secure in the fine castle he’s garrisoned for our protection… and hoping we don’t notice one of the walls is missing.  There’s no sense at all from this Administration that they have a coordinated response to a deadly terror threat and formidable military enemy under construction.  Playing politics means they’re entirely reactive.  They’re more interested in keeping options open, and managing their exposure to largely cooperative media, than rallying the American people behind a course of action that might irritate some of the kooks in Obama’s base.  That means the enemy still has the initiative, and is likely to eventually do something that forces Obama to put some of his cards on the table.

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