Before leaving for his annual Hawaiian Christmas vacation, President Obama found an odd way to wish Americans “Mele Kalikimaka!” In an interview with National Public Radio, he discussed Islamic State, also known as ISIS. While admitting that “they can hurt our people and our families,” the president once again played down the terrorist threat.
“It is also important for us to keep things in perspective,” Mr. Obama told NPR’s Steve Inskeep. “This is not an organization that can destroy the United States. This is a not a huge industrial power that can pose great risks to us institutionally or in a systematic way.”
Furthermore, he said, “the strength of the United States and its allies are not threatened.” He then compared Islamic State to al Qaeda, which he said “was able to carry out one spectacular attack,” but “at no point was there ever a sense that in fact it could do catastrophic damage to us.”
Mr. Obama should try telling the families of the nearly 3,000 people killed on 9/11, and the Americans who saw two great buildings topple, that al Qaeda’s attacks that day were not “catastrophic.”
Not only was the statement tone-deaf, the president’s description of Islamic State reveals his terribly shortsighted vision. This is something you might expect from a man who, just last year, referred to ISIS as the “jayvee team,” and who, the day before the Paris massacres, said the group was “contained.”
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Photo Credit: By Staff Sgt. Amanda Currier, USA [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons