While the right-wing echo chamber continually lambastes President Obama for his “weak” and “ineffective” policies for dealing with the Islamic State (ISIS/ISIL/Daesh), his patience and precision have been quietly bearing fruit – crucially, without unnecessarily risking the lives of American or drastically destabilizing the region, as the Republican calls for a ground invasion would certainly do. Over the past month, ten major ISIS leaders have been killed in airstrikes, including the men behind the shockingly brutal terrorist attacks in Paris that killed over 130 people.
U.S. Army Colonel Steve Warren announced recently that “over the past month, we’ve killed 10 ISIL leadership figures with targeted air strikes, including several external attack planners, some of whom are linked to the Paris attacks. Others had designs on further attacking the West.” These targets include Abdul Qader Hakim, a key planner for ISIS operations outside of their territory, and Charaffe al Mouadan, the “ringleader” of the unit that carried out the Paris attacks.
In addition, with US air support, Iraqi security forces and militas have liberated the key city of Ramadi from ISIS hands. This crucial victory, following close on the heels of the liberation of Sinjar province in Syira by Kurdish peshmerga (people’s militia) units, shows that despite the weeping and moaning of right-wingers determined to soil our president’s reputation and disparage his pragmatic and calculated policies, the President has in fact inflicted major and lasting damage on the group and their ability to hold territory in Iraq and Syria.
While the long-term effects are still unknown, it is clear that the President’s strategy is working as intended – for the good of our nation, carefully treading the line between achieving success against the group without getting our fighting men and women bogged down in another outrageously expensive and deadly ground campaign. It’s not working the way that Republicans and their defense contractor donors would like, and for that reason, you’ll never hear a word of credit given to POTUS or his military staff. But given the enormously complex situation on the ground and the huge number of factions involved in this conflict, he’s putting the good of the American people and our military men and women first.
Colin Taylor is the editor-in-chief of Occupy Democrats. He graduated from Bennington College with a Bachelor's degree in history and political science. He now focuses on advancing the cause of social justice and equality in America.