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Comments made by President Obama during his final State of the Union address demonstrated the commander-in-chief’s “complete disconnect” with the reality of the threat Islamic State terrorists pose to the United States and his lack of a strategic plan to defeat them, former congressman Allen West told CNSNews.com.
During his speech Tuesday night, Obama characterized ISIS as “masses of fighters on the back of pickup trucks and twisted souls plotting in apartments and garages.” Although they “pose an enormous danger to civilians and must be stopped,” Obama said, “they do not threaten our national existence.”
“Once again, President Obama presented the reality that he would like to have, which is not reflective of what is actually on the ground and what is happening,” West, a retired lieutenant colonel, told CNSNews.com.
“And if you listen to the president, and if you listened earlier to his former acting director of the CIA, Mike Morell, testifying before the House Armed Services Committee, there was a complete disconnect,” said West, who is currently president and CEO of the National Center for Policy Analysis.
“Again, we have a president that could not refer to ISIS for what it is: an Islamic terrorist organization, probably one of the most lucrative terrorist organizations we’ve seen. He just called them ‘killers and fanatics’,” West said. “He does not understand how their ideology drives them.”
“President Obama has to castigate ISIS in this very dismissive manner. Once he called them the JV team. Now they’re just a bunch of guys in pickup trucks because therefore, he does not have to take any responsibility to rectify the situation, to truly defeat ISIS and its ideology,” West continued.
“We continue to see the president talk about the things we’re doing, but in actuality, we’re not achieving anything against ISIS. And that’s very disturbing for me, because this is going to be passed on to the next president of the United States of America…
“Last night he called for Congress to present an authorization for use of military force. Well, the Congress doesn’t need to do that until the president of the United States of America recognizes this enemy and develops a strategic plan which, as you saw last night, he does not have.”
Obama’s assertion that ISIS does not pose an existential threat to the U.S. “is a total falsehood because Mr. Morell had just testified earlier that day that they do pose a threat to our homeland, and a strategic threat,” West continued.
“Morell said that ISIS and its affiliations have grown incredibly, far more than al-Qaeda. We keep hearing how ISIS numbers are down, but he said they now have some 36,000 fighters from 120 different countries.
“ISIS is a huge problem. Of course, if you listen to the president, he thinks that ISIS recruiting and Islamic terrorist recruiting is all because of Guantanamo Bay, which is, again, him living in a world of unicorns and rainbows.”
West pointed out that Islamic terrorists were busy during the first two weeks of 2016 in the absence of strong leadership by the U.S.
“Let’s just sit back and look at what has happened in the first two weeks of 2016,” West continued. “We had a US Army Special Forces A Teamtrapped in Marja down in [Afghanistan’s] Helmand Province. We have had these arrests [of terror suspects in Sacramento, Houston and Philadelphia], we have had terrorist attacks in Baghdad and Istanbul, we found out about an ISIS bomb-making university, we see what is happening between Iran and Saudi Arabia, that descending relationship.
“This is a world where we don’t have American leadership. And I don’t care what the president says, sitting back and lofty rhetoric is not a symbol of leadership.
“If we continue down the path of these first two weeks, it’s going to be one incredibly horrific 2016,” West predicted. “And I believe this presidential election cycle will now be about national security and foreign policy.”