On the Hugh Hewitt radio show, Monday, Senator John McCain responded to the president’s speech on ISIS, calling him all but delusional – and panning the US coalition’s ineffective bombing campaign.
After meeting on the military efforts against ISIS with his national security team at the Pentagon, Monday, Obama lectured the American people once again about “radical extremists” and how they come in many different forms.
“Here in the United States, we’ve all kinds of home grown terrorism,” Obama intoned – as if the mass slaughters and genocide we’re seeing perpetrated by ISIS in the Middle East has a comparable counterpart in the west.
Obama continued, “I think it is important for us to recognize the threat of violent extremism is not restricted to any one community. Here in the United States, we’ve all kinds of home grown terrorism. And tragically, recent history reminds how even a single individual can inflict horrendous harm on Americans. So our efforts to counter violent extremism must not target any one community, because of the patriotic Muslim Americans who are partners in keeping our country safe.”
McCain seemed eager to respond to this.
“First of all, why can’t the President, why does he call it violent extremism and not call it what it is. It’s violent Islamic extremism. It’s not violent Buddhist extremism. It’s violent Islamic extremists. So he won’t even recognize that, or in his comments, exactly what it is. Second of all, how many, four years ago, he said he wanted Bashar Assad transitioned from power. There is nothing in what the President said that’s going to change the status quo. And the status quo is ISIS is winning. And don’t ask, don’t say, it’s one thing for me to say it, but the man or woman in the street in any Middle Eastern country believes that ISIS is winning. And I think you could probably make the case that they are correct in that assumption, my friend.”
HH: Let me play for you a couple of clips, Senator McCain, from the President at the Pentagon.
HH: Just moments ago, cut number three, this is where he’s talking about the difficulty of targeting.
BO: I think it’s important for us to recognize the threat of violent extremism is not restricted to any one community. Here in the United States, we’ve seen all kinds of homegrown terrorism. And tragically, recent history reminds us how even a single individual motivated by a hateful ideology with access to dangerous weapons can inflict horrendous harm on Americans. So our efforts to counter violent extremism must not target any one community because of their faith or background, including patriotic Muslim Americans who are partners in keeping our country safe.
HH: Senator McCain, you join me in condemning domestic terrorists and racists. We’ve had one of those. He murdered nine innocent people. Lindsey Graham was on the show speaking eloquently about that last week. But what is the President, is he out of his mind? They are killing by the thousands of people in Iraq and Syria, and soon Libya and Jordan.
JM: You know, I don’t like to analyze people’s psychology, but the fact is the President came to the presidency to get us out of conflict no matter what. He didn’t, what he didn’t understand is that just because we leave does not only mean that the conflict doesn’t end, but it escalates. The classic example, of course, is leaving Iraq without a residual force after the sacrifice of thousands of young Americans. We had it won. It was won. And he pulled everybody out, and unfortunately, Lindsey and I predicted, and Joe Lieberman predicted exactly what was going to happen. I mean, the classic example is delusion. He said there have been five thousand sortees. Did you hear that quote?
HH: Yes, I did. Yeah.
JM: Do you know what percentage of them returns without dropping a weapon?
HH: No, I don’t.
JM: Okay, so…
HH: So there have been, really, 1,250 bomb dropping sortees.
JM: Yeah, yeah.
JM: And I guess the other sortees are to damage people’s hearing. I don’t know else that flying over them…and the fact that he pointed out that we have succeeded in regaining some territory? They still control the second-largest city in Iraq.
HH: Well, here’s what he said, Senator. Let me play for you his rebuke to you, cut number four.
BO: Ideologies are not defeated with guns. They’re defeated by other ideas, a more attractive and compelling vision. So the United States will continue to do our part by working with partners to counter ISIL’s hateful propaganda, especially online. We’ll constantly reaffirm through words and deeds that we will never be at war with Islam. We’re fighting terrorists who distort Islam and whose victims are mostly Muslims.
HH: Don’t you, you know, I’m thinking of the Korean War and the Vietnam War in which you were a prisoner of war, Senator, and I’m thinking about Stalin and Hitler. And it would have been news to them that ideologies can’t be defeated by guns.
JM: And again, the delusion here that somehow this is just simply something that we can win by having nice programs and have Islamic clerics condemn them, and all that would be good, but first, you have to defeat them on the battlefield. Then all the rest of that follows. I mean, there’s no doubt there’s ideological struggle here. There’s no doubt there’s an economic problem in those places in a world where they have gigantic youth unemployment. All of those things are correct. But as, I guess it was Bismarck, the issue will be decided by blood and steel.
HH: Yeah, you used the word delusion. That’s a strong word, Senator. You standing by that word, delusion?
JM: Here’s the delusion. The delusion is going on right now in these negotiations with Iran, that somehow they will consummate a nuclear deal, no matter how back, with Iran. And Iran will now be our partner. You know, in, we are now training young men outside Syria to go back into Syria and fight against ISIS, and not protect them against Bashar Assad’s barrel bombing, this atrocious weapon that slaughters men, women and children. They are having to take an oath that only they will fight against ISIS and not against the guy that’s killed 230,000 of their countrymen and women? I mean, that’s what I call delusion. What do you call it, Hugh?