Although it’s too late to hope President Obama will change his approach to Islamic terrorism, there was an expectation he would say something new after Monday’s Pentagon briefing. Otherwise, why bother going public with a routine update?
Why, indeed? After the president finished, I found myself channeling Peggy Lee by asking, “Is that all there is?”
The president is his least inspiring when he’s talking about combating terrorism, and Monday was Exhibit A. His tone and body language never conveyed resolve.
Even worse was what he said. “Ideologies are not defeated with guns, they are defeated by better ideas and more attractive and more compelling vision,” he declared.
That’s ridiculous. Islamic State is not following a rational script drawn up by a debating society. It’s an army of bloodthirsty jihadists with no compunction about killing anyone and destroying anything that stands in their way.
Better ideas will come into play when their army has been defeated, just as Nazism, fascism and communism had to be defeated militarily before their ideas could be swept into the dustbin of history.
The second bit of presidential preening was Obama’s continuing refusal to utter the phrase “Islamic terrorism.” Usurping a job better left to Muslim clergy, he insisted, “We are fighting terrorists who distort Islam, and its victims are mostly Muslims.”
Whatever. In fact, those innocent Muslim victims are dying for lack of a better military force. But under Obama, America mostly quit the fight, and our allies lack the leadership to win.
Yes, that’s all there is. A catastrophe — bloody, horrible and unnecessary.
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Michael Goodwin is a Fox News contributor and New York Post columnist.