Senator Tom Cotton (R-AR) said that President Obama calling terrorism “violent extremism” was him “underestimating our enemies, just like when he called the Islamic State the JV team” on Thursday’s broadcast of “The Lead” on CNN.
“The president seems so concerned to prove the West is not waging war on Islam, but he won’t recognize the fact that radical Islamists are waging war on the West, and the United States as the leader of the West. That’s why this summit that he just called over the last three days, I think shows that he’s not yet taking the threat seriously. To call it violent extremism, and not to call it radical Islamic jihadis just goes to show that the president is, once again, underestimating our enemies, just like when he called the Islamic State the JV team a year ago, or just last month when he talked to Vladimir Putin at the State of the Union for having been outfoxed by the president and other Western leaders, and now Vladimir Putin is in control of more territory in Ukraine than he was a month ago. Further, it emboldens our enemies the fact we won’t call them by their own name, it goes to feed into the myth that America is a paper tiger that won’t confront the threat that they pose to us and defeat the threat militarily” he stated.
Cotton continued, “the Islamic State doesn’t need any credibility or legitimization from Barack Obama, they get that on their own, by the successes they’ve achieved in Iraq and Syria. They appear, to many radical Muslims all around the world, to be winning this war right now, and people like a winner. That’s the lesson that Osama Bin Laden taught in the 1990s when he said when people see a strong horse and a weak horse, they by nature they root for the strong horse. And as vicious as the Islamic State has been towards Jews and Christians, killing them, cutting off their heads, burning them alive, they’re just as vicious to most Muslims in Iraq and Syria who are struggling under their yoke right now and–where they are only expanding to gain more territory and control of more people. The reason they’re doing that is not because they’re representative of the Muslim faith the reason they’re doing it is because they have more arms and weapons and more soldiers and no one is standing up to them, and that’s what this president needs to do.”
Regarding the strategy to combat ISIS, Cotton argued “we certainly need to do a lot more than we are doing, because since we started this campaign in august, the Islamic State has only continued to expand. if you compare the amount of daily bombing activity since then to what George Bush did in the early days of Afghanistan or what Bill Clinton did over Kosovo, you would see the president and his West Wing advisors are severely constraining the military. As you rightly point out, we have thousands of troops back in Iraq right now. The Islamic State is only a few miles from them in some places by some reports, but if it’s necessary to have an effective strategy to defeat the Islamic State that we put forward air controllers on the ground to help guide in more effective bombing campaigns or special operations forces, then we have to be ready to do that. The Islamic State is certainly not taking options off the ground in Iraq, or Syria, or Libya or anywhere else, and the United States should not either.” And “if it’s the best judgment of our military commanders that we need to increase our presence and we need to increase the close air support we’re providing for those troops on the ground, then that’s what we have to be prepared to do. That’s a question, again, for our military commanders, but right now, the president is restricting them, and choosing the targets out of the West Wing. And when I turn on the TV, I see big convoys of Islamic State fighters flying Islamic State flags, and I want to know why we weren’t attacking those, why we aren’t striking them with bombers or fighters, why we don’t have A-10s in the area to blow them off the ground, why are we not taking the gloves off our military so they can actually fight and defeat the Islamic State?”
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