Never underestimate your opponent. That should be rule one in warfare and politics.
Yet in the city that is the very symbol of both politics and war, that rule seems to have been forgotten.
This odd amnesia starts at the top, with President Obama, so perhaps it’s oversight by decree. But when he said (ordered?) publicly that ISIS, the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, was neither Islamic nor a state, it bent reality beyond its breaking point.
In Hollywood, that’s called a reboot. It’s a “retcon,” or “retroactive continuity,” in comic books. It’s done when a story line has gotten so screwed up that the creators just want to start over again.
Obama’s retcon is a doozy. Not only is he relying on his media operatives to make the public forget (if they ever knew) that he had been funding the Syrian rebels who founded ISIS for years while they fought against Bashar al-Assad, but he also wants the American public to believe that his pulling our troops out of Iraq had nothing to do with the former al-Qaida mercenaries he had smuggled into Syria turning south and conquering some easy pickings.
But then Obama has lived by the retcon. Everything from the economy being Bush’s fault to the border being secure, it’s all in a constant state of flux as Obama and his cronies spin a new story daily.
But it’s one thing in comic books when you’re trying to explain a fictional story about a guy flying through space because of a magic ring. When you start retconning reality, that’s just the sort of lie that history’s worst dictatorships have engaged in.
In this world, there are serious dangers that go along with that sort of wholesale rewriting, among them the aforementioned problem with underestimating real dangers and enemies.
ISIS is neither Islamic nor a state? Obama did that because of his own weird love for Islam and his desire to be seen as a Muslim savior.
However, even the densest liberals know that Islamic terrorists have been a problem for the U.S. in recent years, and that those terrorists are typically funded by states. By denying the reality of what ISIS is, Obama hopes to minimize the enemy and by extension minimize the actual harm he has done to this country’s interests.
The problem is, the leaders of ISIS know exactly who they are, what ISIS is and what their goals are. The caliph of the Islamic State, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, has sent an open letter to the world, encouraging Muslims to continue to wage jihad.
In his letter, the caliph — a word the media still like to put in quotes to make you think Baghdadi and ISIS are just pretending — makes clear his seething, Nazi-like hatred of Jews, along with his ultimate goal: He’s going to take Rome, symbolically destroying the Catholic Church.
He’s on his way to one day accomplishing the destruction of both Israel and Rome, and the American people, thanks largely to Obama and the media, are still asleep.
We’re inviting Muslims to give prayers in the National Cathedral like we’re one big, happy multicultural community, when the reality is that any property where Muslim prayers are said is considered to be Islamic territory forever after.
Americans are being told, and alarming numbers are believing, that conservative Christians are some kind of terrorist threat, when in reality nearly every terrorist event in this country has been the result of Islamists.
On the news, if we’re told anything, we’re being told about the progress the airstrikes are making against ISIS, when the reality is that ISIS and al-Qaida leaders, at a meeting in U.S.-backed Syrian Free Army territory, just reached an accord to work together in Syria against U.S.-backed “moderate” rebel groups and the Kurds.
While we’re putting our few troops in the area into Baghdad, ISIS is focusing on the north and building secure routes from Iraq, through Syria and into Turkey, where our purported NATO ally is considering all its options.
ISIS hasn’t laid out all its plans, but some things are clear. If Rome is the endgame, that means ISIS aims to take out Israel first, and that implies ISIS will likely try to take Syria for itself, perhaps make an alliance with Iran and Russia, then turn south. Lebanon and Jordan will be the next roadblocks, but probably not huge ones. Baghdad is likely low on the list because there are more ports in Syria.
In other words, the Islamic State is quite real and on the move.
At least in comic books when the villain is underestimated by the authorities, there’s some superhero to fly in and fix things.
We’re understocked on superheroes at the moment. All we have to defend ourselves against the villains of ISIS is ourselves.
And we’re not ready.