According to former CIA Deputy Director Mike Morell, President Obama is too concerned about damaging the environment to strike ISIS the way we need to.
“Prior to Paris,” Morell said in an interview with Charlie Rose, “there seemed to have been a judgement that, look we don’t want to destroy these oil tankers because that’s infrastructure that’s going to be necessary to support the people when ISIS isn’t there anymore and it’s going to create environmental damage.”
ISIS is currently supporting their burgeoning caliphate by selling oil on the black market. Some estimates suggest that they are making more than $500 million annually from this sole source of income. And instead of destroying the oil wells, we’re trying to target individual trucks because we don’t want to cause a lot of harm to the beautiful Iraqi countryside.
That’s like worrying about an asbestos leak when you’re currently engulfed in flames.
The other concern – that we won’t leave a profitable infrastructure for the Iraqi people – is more understandable. But still. Maybe if the people who benefit from this oil consistently use that infrastructure to support inhumane dictatorships, sectarian violence, and sickening atrocities, it should not be our goal to preserve it. Besides, isn’t Obama supposed to be saving the Earth from climate change? What better way to reduce our dependence on fossil fuels than to blast the wells out of existence. Surely the environmental nuts would approve.
Morell said that the strategy could change because of Paris. He said there’s “now a sense of urgency that there wasn’t before.”
You would hardly know it. Furthermore, why did the Paris attacks come as a surprise? Is it not consistent with the nature of Islamic terrorists to kill innocent people en masse? How many times do you have to be stung by a wasp before you understand that this is what the wasp does? And yet Obama still seems to think we can gently persuade the wasp to do something else. Mow the lawn, perhaps.
Rose asked Morrell if he thought the Obama administration’s rules of engagement were keeping us from defeating the Islamic State. “Yeah,” he said. “I think so.”
Why can’t Obama understand that arbitrary restrictions give ISIS an enormous advantage? Certainly, we should limit civilian casualties whenever possible, but let’s not forget: these guys are crucifying civilians. Blowing them to kingdom come. Murdering them in the most shocking and barbaric ways they can imagine, just so they can make new videos and attract new disciples. Maybe the best way to limit civilian casualties is to eliminate the psychos who are killing them.
Truth is, we have a choice. We can destroy ISIS now or we can wait until this “sense of urgency” grows even more. Apparently, that means waiting until more than a thousand Americans are killed in an attack. Wouldn’t it be better to save those people before it’s too late?