ISIS must be destroyed: The murder of James Foley should spur the golfer-in-chief into action

JF

Most Americans, libertarians especially, and the writers on this site in particular, were skeptical about going back into Iraq with military force to defend the Iraqis and Kurds from the Islamic State (ISIS) extremist group’s conquest.

It’s really not our fight anymore. We were there for eight years fighting the Hussein regime, then insurgent forces, and training the Iraqi military to defend itself and maintain the peage. Still, polls showed support for limited airstrikes against ISIS targets to protect especially vulnerable civilian populations

That all changed on Tuesday when a video surfaced (but will not be linked here) of an American, AP photographer James Foley, being horrifically decapitated by an ISIS representative (and apparently British citizen) as a warning over our limited involvement in the situation. This was exactly the wrong tactic if ISIS wanted to keep us away.

However deep your pacifism, isolationism, or non-interventionism runs, the brutal public execution of an American citizen is a red line that must not be crossed without consequence. We can debate Congressional authorization, tactical targets, strategic objectives, operational scopes, or international assistance, but we must respond swiftly and unflinchingly.

To his credit, President Obama gave an atypically emotional statement about Foley’s slaughter from his Martha’s Vineyard sabbatical. To his detriment, he followed it up with an utterly tone-deaf round of golf instead of a trip to the Situation Room to meet with his military commanders and foreign policy team.

Once he finally decides to end his (seemingly perpetual) vacation, Obama should immediately seek authority from Congress for the actions he has already ordered against ISIS in Iraq and the new ones he must now order in retaliation for Foley’s assassination. Ideally, that authority would be in the form of a clear and concise constitutional declaration of war against ISIS itself.

The ensuing military response should look a little something like this:


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