ISIS victims deserve more than Obama’s 72 mass graves

September 3, 2016

isis-egyptian-christiansPolitical correctness dictates that I warn you now that if you are overly sensitive to truths not in line with the meme that President Obama is the greatest President ever, you should stop reading immediately.

This is not a “we’re all Americans, we just need to get along” column. This is a column about right and wrong; duty vs dereliction; country above self, and of a President who failed all each and every step of the way.

70 years ago, four soldiers of General George S. Patton’s Third Army came across a clearing in the woods northwest of Weimar Germany and discovered the horror that we now knows as Buchenwald.  It was here that a young Elie Wiesel would finally see freedom and it was here that Holocaust historian Raul Hilberg wrote that liberated inmates began making handmade signs with but two words:  “Never Again”.

Which is why the Associated Press survey released this week identifying 72 mass graves in formerly ISIS controlled areas in Iraq and Syria so devastating.  From the report: “Of the 72 mass graves documented by AP [so far], the smallest contains three bodies; the largest is believed to hold thousands, but no one knows for sure,”.

The scale of the atrocities committed in such a short time is devastating. But it’s even worse when you realize that much of it was preventable.

In December 2013 and January 2014 ISIS terrorists were convoying across open Syrian and Iraqi desert in plain sight.  Sitting ducks for United States air and naval power to pick off at will. But lucky for ISIS the American Commander in Chief was on his annual Hawaiian vacation with world events as far from his mind as far could be.  The result was the fall of Fallujah on December 30th and Obama smugly referring to ISIS as nothing more than a “JV team” days later.  A JV team that we now know was just as much an organized, sophisticated killing machine as their Nazi cousins of seven decades past.

The indifference of Obama to the ISIS threat was dereliction of duty enough, but when he ignored the Afghan government’s plea to not trade five top Taliban terrorist for accused Army deserter Bowe Bergdahl in June and then followed that up with his unbelievable return to the golf course after a few forced comments on the ISIS beheading of journalist James Foley during his Martha’s Vineyard vacation in August any hope I had left that this man would put the interests of America over his own vanished.

And where do we stand today?  The Military Times reports that the Taliban now controls more territory today than at any time since 2001, over 4,000 “advisory” troops are now back in Iraq and ISIS has opened a new front in Libya.  Heckuva job, Barry.

Throw in the news that in January Obama overrode senior Justice Department officials and sent $400 million in cash to the world’s number one sponsor of state terrorism and then secretly transferred another $1.3 billion to settle an Iranian claimed “debt” from an arms deal not fulfilled after they took American hostages in 1979 and logic demands asking just who’s side is this guy on anyway?

This isn’t about America being the world’s cop, this is about an American President copping out.  At every critical juncture in his Presidency when Obama found himself between American interests and his political interests he consistently chose the latter, and people died because of it.

The dead have no voice but the living, and whether it’s from mass graves in the Iraqi desert or manicured cemeteries here at home, they deserve to be heard.  And I for one will apologize to no one for giving them that voice.

PUBLISHER’s NOTE:  A version of this column first appeared in the September 3, 2016 print edition of the Joplin Globe.

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