The vaunted Obama “National Security Team” tells us their “broad-based coalition” is “succeeding” against the savages who variously describe themselves as ISIS, ISIL, IS or “The Caliphate.” That’s according to White House spokesman Josh Earnest in press briefings on October 14 and 15. Don’t believe it.

Here – from friends with “boots on the ground” – are facts about what’s really happening that the Obama administration either doesn’t know, doesn’t want you to know – or both:

First, the number of ISIS “jihadis” in Iraq and Syria is much greater than we are being told. According to multiple sources in Baghdad, Irbil and elsewhere “down-range,” there are upwards of 40,000 IS fighters in Syria and an equal or greater number in Iraq.


The very visible fight for Kobani on the Syria-Turkey border is a “diversion” – a military distraction – created by Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi – the “Islamic State’s” self-proclaimed “caliph.” He is a vicious butcher, but no fool. He and his underlings understand their neighborhood and our western media.

Expecting reporters to come – and they have – he sent 4,000 ISIS fighters to assault the Kurds in Kobani – while holding another 5,000+ in reserve – with orders not to cross the nearby border with Turkey. Western media outlets flocked to the frontier and lined up their cameras next to Turkish Army tanks and armored vehicles.

American pundits ask, “Why aren’t the Turks intervening to save the Kurds? Al-Baghdadi knows the Kurds desperately holding on in Kobani are predominantly affiliated with the PKK – the Kurdistan Workers Party – against which Turkish governments have been waging bloody civil war for three decades. In Ankara, the Erdogan regime isn’t about to further the cause of an independent Kurdistan – or prevent a sanguinary end for the Kurds in Kobani.

Meanwhile in Iraq, where the real battle is being fought – there are no western cameras to record the serial defeats ISIS is inflicting on the Shiite-led government of Haider al-Abadi. All but unnoticed, Anbar Province – the heart of Iraq’s “Sunni Triangle” – has fallen to highly mobile IS units.

During the past month, while we focused our lenses on Kobani, Al Baghdadi’s terror army killed, captured and murdered more than 3,500 Iraqi soldiers – all those unable to flee. Now, ISIS is poised to seize Haditha Dam, source of nearly one third of the nation’s hydroelectric power and Al Asad, the Iraqi government’s last remaining airbase west of Baghdad.

ISIS forces have invested Baghdad on three sides and Sunni jihadists are conducting near daily suicide bomb attacks in the capital city’s Shiite neighborhoods. One U.S. officer told me, “These SVBIEDs (Suicide Vehicular-borne Improvised Explosives) in Baghdad are ISIS probes and rehearsals for the attack they plan to launch on the U.S. embassy.”

“Worse yet,” says a retired senior intelligence official, “nobody in Washington seems to comprehend this is all part of the bloody ‘holy war’ between Sunnis and Shiites that’s been going on since the seventh century. ISIS is gaining ground, recruits and military prowess because al-Baghdadi has succeeded in portraying himself as the ‘protector of Sunni Islam.’ He claims his ‘Sunni Caliphate’ will prevent Shiites from establishing a hegemon from the Mediterranean to the Persian Gulf. His propaganda not only shows IS fighters as brutally victorious, it also depicts the U.S. and the ‘Obama coalition,’ as allied with the Shiites in Baghdad, al-Assad’s Alawite dynasty in Damascus, Hezbollah in Lebanon, and the Ayatollahs in Tehran. That’s why al-Baghdadi continues to attract Sunni militants by the thousands from every part of the planet – including the United States.”

All with whom I have recently communicated about these matters agree it’s unlikely ISIS can seize and occupy Baghdad – at least for now. But they also say too little attention is being paid to the risk of an attack on the largest U.S. embassy in the world; that “ISIS ethnic and religious cleansing” cannot be stopped by undirected airstrikes alone; and “the Kurdish Peshmerga are not receiving sufficient help to make a difference.”

Meanwhile, Americans here at home are preoccupied with whether we can “defeat” Ebola as if a pandemic was about to sweep the nation. Though the virus has killed fewer people around the planet this year than ISIS has murdered in Syria or Iraq this month, it’s clear the O-Team wants us to believe Ebola is our greatest peril.

Commander-in-Chief Obama has already dispatched nearly 4,000 U.S. military personnel to West Africa to battle Ebola – almost four times as many as he has sent to “degrade and destroy” ISIS. We can only pray none of those committed to the “Ebola Battle” become infected or get taken hostage by Boku Harum terrorists.

POTUS and fellow travelers in the so-called mainstream media keep telling us Ebola is our most imminent threat. But Defense Secretary Hagel is more concerned about a more lethal adversary. In a speech on Monday, Oct. 13 to the “Conference of Defense Ministers or the Americas” in Peru, Mr. Hagel described “Climate Change” as our primary enemy.

Confused? You’re not alone. So is our president. On October 14 he attended a mini-military “summit” at Joint Base Andrews. After 2 hours at this “How To Fight” gab-fest with “more than 20 leaders of the Anti-ISIL Coalition” cameras were allowed in so POTUS could inspire us by saying, “…There will be days of progress and days of setbacks.” He was apparently speaking without the aid of a Tele-Prompter.

News flash, Mr. Obama: The barbarians are at the gates of Baghdad. They are coming for us.

Oliver North is the host of “War Stories” in FOX News Channel, the bestselling author of Counterfeit Lies and founder of Freedom Alliance a 501(c)(3) organization providing college scholarships to the children of military personnel killed in the line of duty.

Lt Col Oliver L. North (ret.) serves as host of the Fox News Channel documentary series "War Stories with Oliver North." From 1983 to 1986, he served as the U.S. government's counterterrorism coordinator on the National Security Council staff. North is the founder of Freedom Alliance, an organization providing college scholarships to the children of military personnel killed in the line of duty and author of the new nationwide bestseller, "Counterfeit Lies," a novel about how Iran is acquiring nuclear weapons and the means of delivering them. Click here for more information on Oliver North