In a rare speech to the nation from the Oval Office, on Sunday evening, Dec. 6, U.S. President Barack Obama sought to use the solemn setting to calm a frightened nation, one that no longer trusts his ability to respond to the barbaric terrorism of a now unified-in-hatred-and-modi-operandi global radical Islam.
It is hard to imagine a single person who was nervous about the security of this country before Obama’s Sunday night speech who felt reassured by the President’s pablum.
There was virtually nothing in the President’s speech Sunday night that wasn’t already trotted out during his recent three other speeches during which the President sought to convince the American people that his is the right approach to dealing with terrorism.
On Nov. 16, just three days after the Paris massacre, the President spoke about the threat of global terrorism from the G-20 Summit in Antalya, Turkey. In that speech, the President was adamant that his was the right strategy. He refused to consider the possibility that he may have misjudged ISIS and may have pursued the wrong strategy thus far with the growing barbaric and now global threat to civilization, ISIS.
In Antalya, Obama referred to the Paris massacre as a “setback,” and described ISIS as a “handful of people” with “not wildly sophisticated weapons.”
On Nov. 24, President Obama and French President François Hollande held a joint press conference at the White House. That day Hollande uttered a litany of limited steps the coalition forces intended to employ in order to “destroy Isis.”
These measures, Hollande said, and Obama concurred, would not include sending in ground troops. Instead, the renewed commitment to fighting ISIS would consist of “intensifying strikes, with more specific targets.” They will “focus on cutting off Daesh resources, taking out their command and training centers, reducing the flow of foreign fighters, targeting the hearts of the cities where Daesh is,” and helping to ensure the local forces on the ground are able to complete the tasks of destroying ISIS.
That litany was closely tracked in President Obama’s speech on Sunday night, when he described what his plans include for fighting ISIS in Iraq and Syria.
And Obama spoke to the nation again, on Nov. 25, the day before Thanksgiving, in what appeared to be a hastily-arranged statement to allay the fears of holiday travelers in the face of recent terrorist threats and attacks. Obama entered the briefing room through a side door, accompanied by his national security advisers: FBI Director James B. Comey, Director of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson and Attorney General Loretta E. Lynch.
Obama spoke to the American people following a briefing in the situation room from those advisers. His major point was that “there is currently no specific intelligence indicating there is any plot on the homeland, going into this holiday season.”
Well, here we are, still in the throes of that holiday shopping season. Despite the assurances, the homeland has indeed endured a major terrorist attack, one perpetrated by at least two Americans, one of whom pledged her loyalty to ISIS, and both of whom used bombs apparently built according to instructions found in the online Al Qaeda magazine, Inspire.
The female half of the San Bernardino terrorist couple who slaughtered 14 people and wounded nearly another two dozen came into the United States on a special “fiancé” K-1 visa, and had reportedly supplied a false address on her papers — a home address that was apparently never checked when her eligibility for that visa was being assessed. That doesn’t do much to reassure the American people that the Homeland Security and national security networks are doing their job well enough to rely on their assurances that there are no indications that “there is any plot on the homeland, going into this holiday season.”Lori Lowenthal Marcus