Opinion: America needs to act tough | PostIndependent.com

Opinion: America needs to act tough

Ken Johnson
Free Press Opinion Columnist

I’m glad to see President Bush is finally back in a “gunslinger” mode. Oops! I meant President Obama.

It’s just that he sounded pretty much like his predecessor, George W., whom he blamed for years of U.S. mistakes in our endless and pretty fruitless wars.

The politically clever timing of his prime-time speech on the day before the anniversary of 9/11 has not been lost on anyone either. The new message then was simple: We’re going to fight ISIS terrorists with a solid strategy; we’re going to use drones and aircrafts, and a few missiles, to shut them down.

The “strategy” we’re following, “no boots on the ground,” requires Arabs to kill Arabs and Sunnis to kill Sunnis. Does anyone in the Grand Valley think that will work?

And like Lyndon B. Johnson with the Vietnam war, our president is going to call the shots. History, it seems, has caught up with our president, our politicians and all of us.

Taking on ISIS was definitely long overdue; by what standard can any group, for any reason, just slaughter anyone who doesn’t believe as they do? Radical Islam is the world’s enemy.

It’s also particularly offensive when they have America at the top of their hit list.

Since the president’s policies are doomed to failure, and since he has now cashiered Chuck Hagel, our most recent secretary of defense, maybe we need a different strategy (one to actually shorten the war by several years).

Let’s not kid ourselves that drones and aircrafts will handle the problem. War is not sanitary. Neither is radical Islam regularly beheading captured foreigners.

Looking at video images of truckload of thugs getting offed by a 500-pound bomb or by rockets looks pretty neat. But, unless we put a whole lot of planes and drones working day and night, we aren’t going to dent ISIS very much. They will hunker down in their captured cities and be really hard to find. After all, they’ve had a three-year head start on us; they have plenty of Saddam Hussein’s old generals guiding them; and they have done a lot of damage to Syrian dictator Bashar al – Asaad’s troops.

Thank goodness we have the Kurds who, when this mess is over years from now, are surely entitled to a country of their own.

With El Presidente telling the world and our enemy, ISIS, that we are not going to put our troops into a “war” again is on the wrong side of stupid. It means the “war” is going to drag on and on for years. Thousands are going to die or be displaced while we waste a huge asset.

Not that we ought to do the fighting for that dysfunctional “democracy” we tried to create (and the “nation” we tried to build called Iraq), but come on; if there are 10,000 to 20,000 ISIS terrorists taking over that whole country plus part of Syria, why not at least send in a SEAL team or two to bloody their noses?

So little is happening right now you probably have noticed the media isn’t even covering the “war” on a daily basis any more.

If we are going to have a war with ISIS, why don’t we use our best asset? We have more than 100,000 of our own troops who have war experience in Iraq and Afghanistan. They understand suicide bombers, IEDs and tribal politics. They are tough, well trained and well equipped. Many speak the language.

It would be over (assuming military is actually allowed to do its mission) in pretty short order.

My vote is simple: If America is ever again going to be a world leader, hadn’t we better be prepared to act tough, not just talk the talk?

Free Press columnist Ken Johnson is founder of the Grand Junction Free Press and former owner/publisher of The Daily Sentinel. He spends his time between the Grand Valley and California.

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