Obama rallies the nation after second beheading: ‘Shrink’ ISIS until it’s a ‘manageable problem’

posted at 9:41 am on September 3, 2014 by Noah Rothman

When American presidents respond to attacks and rally a shocked and dispirited public to their own defense, their inspired words echo throughout history.

“Always will we remember the character of the onslaught against us,” Franklin Roosevelt declared in the wake of the attack on Pearl Harbor. “No matter how long it may take us to overcome this premeditated invasion, the American people in their righteous might will win through to absolute victory.”

“Let me state as plainly as I can,” Ronald Reagan said in an address to the nation after the Soviet Union attacked and destroyed a Korean civilian airliner, “there was absolutely no justification, either legal or moral, for what the Soviets did.”

Reagan, who approached the Cold War with the novel notion that America should endeavor “win” it, minced no words. “This crime against humanity must never be forgotten,” he insisted.

“It will not end until every terrorist group of global reach has been found, stopped and defeated,” George W. Bush said of the War on Terror before a joint session of Congress 9 days after the September 11th attacks. “The only way to defeat terrorism as a threat to our way of life is to stop it, eliminate it and destroy it where it grows.”

Making remarks in Estonia on Wednesday, just hours after a second American was beheaded by the Islamic State – an act which was called a “terrorist attack” by members of his administration the first time ISIS militants executed an American citizen – Barack Obama made his own contribution to these inspired calls to action.

“We will not be intimidated,” the president said in prepared remarks addressing the beheading of journalist Steven Sotloff. “Those who make the mistake of harming Americans will learn that we will not forget and that our reach is long and that justice will be served.” He added that America’s goal must be to “degrade and destroy” the Islamic State.

When asked what America’s response to this attack on the nation would be, however, Obama reiterated his insistence that the ISIS threat should be considered an international challenge rather than a strictly American problem. Moreover, he seemed to suggest that the idea that ISIS should be defeated was an unrealistic goal.

“We know that if we are joined by the international community, we can continue to shrink ISIL’s sphere of influence, its effectiveness, its financing, its military capabilities to the point where it is a manageable problem,” Obama said. “And the question is going to be making sure we’ve got the right strategy but also making sure we’ve got the international will to do it.”

It is difficult to envision the circumstances that would have led Roosevelt to suggest that the Empire of Japan, or Reagan the Soviets, or Bush al-Qaeda, must be shrunken and made manageable. They were the enemy, and the objective was their unqualified defeat. Obama contradicted the statements he made in prepared remarks when he spoke extemporaneously on the ISIS threat, which indicates that his own instincts are in conflict with those of the members of his administration.

Obama’s strategy is more limited. He seeks to contain the threat of ISIS – a group he routinely calls a “cancer” in its nascent Islamic caliphate in portions of Syria and Iraq. But you don’t contain a cancerous growth; they develop into malignancy, they spread, they kill their host. A cancer must be removed. Obama’s is not a strategy, but a plan to mitigate the political damage an attack on the nation is doing to the president’s political standing.

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cmsinaz on September 3, 2014 at 1:23 PM

I shouldn’t have been.

verbaluce on September 3, 2014 at 12:02 PM

You’ve shown yourself to be an utter idiot. ISIS is here planning a nasty attack and you’re defending the lowlife pond scum seldom in the oval office and when he is, he’s just catching up on his Golf magazines and putting practice.

dogsoldier on September 3, 2014 at 2:28 PM

Resist We Much on September 3, 2014 at 1:43 PM


“Cart out on the course,” he said.

dogsoldier on September 3, 2014 at 2:32 PM

Meanwhile out on the loony farm:


Wednesday at a ceremony to appoint Texas lawyer Shaarik Zafar to be special representative to Muslim communities, Secretary of State John Kerry said it was the United States’ Biblical “responsibility” to “confront climate change,” including to protect “vulnerable Muslim majority counties.”


dogsoldier on September 3, 2014 at 2:35 PM

I’m dreading this September 11th.

txhsmom on September 3, 2014 at 2:35 PM

Obama doesn’t care. He has more in common with ISIS than he would like you to believe. His goal is destroying America. If ISIS was a threat to his goal he would care.

Also, he is so egotistical he truly believed that just his being would end all terrorism and wars and everyone would love us. Remember that is what the idiot leftists believed. So he needs to say that the reason the world looks like it is falling apart is because of social media. Otherwise he would have to recognize that it is his actual incompetence/idiocy/cowardice etc. that is the problem. And he will never ever ever admit that it is his mistakes that are the problem. He is incapable of that. He suffers from many cognitive biases.

The Notorious G.O.P on September 3, 2014 at 2:38 PM

One bit of troubling news. My nephew is NCIS doing counter intelligence and base security at a submarine base. He is also the senior tactical unit officer.

As of Saturday, there were no orders from above regarding any special preparation whatsoever for the upcoming anniversary of 9-11.


Now they are a hard target and he’s confident they’ll be prepared, but they’re doing it themselves with nary a word of instruction or even encouragement from DC.

I have a bad feeling about what’s coming down and it gets worse every time Obama and his tools downplay the threats we face. So, every day.

novaculus on September 3, 2014 at 2:39 PM

txhsmom on September 3, 2014 at 2:35 PM

Me too. AQ in Libya have 11 airliner jets.

Will they use them? If they can fly them close enough to the deck, will anyone see them coming?

dogsoldier on September 3, 2014 at 2:49 PM

Obama’s weakness invites aggression, chaos, and –God help us– he has practically brought the world to the brink of two majors wars at once.

With ISIS (and all jihadis from Pakistan to Libya) and Russia/Putin.

Thank you 51% of the Americans who gave us this incompetent clown not once, but twice.

And whose return to the White House endangers us all.

If we are hit on 9/11, impeachment calls should begin.

For the safety of the nation.

profitsbeard on September 3, 2014 at 2:50 PM

For the first time in my life, I don’t feel safe anymore. Even when I go to the grocery store, gas station…. afraid of the knock out game or gangs of white/black yoots attacking me. As for 9/11 I think we have never been more vulnerable, and I also believe that this is what Obama wants.

He needs to be removed from office.

Key West Reader on September 3, 2014 at 2:59 PM

Hagel is axgood lapdog…..obama wants to destroy Isis not contained
Cnn lets him get away with it,natch

cmsinaz on September 3, 2014 at 3:08 PM

verbaluce on September 3, 2014 at 1:01 PM

Your comments from yesterday were dead-brainers.

Schadenfreude on September 3, 2014 at 1:10 PM

And they usually are…

bimmcorp on September 3, 2014 at 3:36 PM

Obama: More inspiring than Neville Chamberlain.

Arms Merchant on September 3, 2014 at 4:07 PM

Verbal tap dancing, disguised as inspirational motivation.

Your Commander in Chief, ladies and gentlemen.
Look upon him, and weep for our nation.

orangemtl on September 3, 2014 at 4:08 PM

Obama: More inspiring than Neville Chamberlain.

Not really; no.

orangemtl on September 3, 2014 at 4:09 PM

C’mon…what did you expect from the Pro-Islamic Extremist President? I mean, the man…
– Ordered our military to fight a war to help the perpetrators of 9/11/01, Al Qaeda, take over their own country – Libya.
– Aided the Muslim Brotherhood, a terrorist group that has now been outlawed in Egypt, take over the government of our Ally, Egypt
– ARMED the Islamic Extremists in Syria that turned into ISIL and then sat back wathcing and allowed them to take over much of the nation that our military just recently liberated at great expense.
– FREED 5 top Taliban leaders, lying about it by claiming it was part of the Dahlberg Trade (Which it was NOT – The Haqqani network that held Dahlberg was PAID for his release!)

When are people going to realize this nation is being run by a self-admitted student of Communist Frank Marshall Davis, student of Socialist Saul Alynski – even quoting him during an Inauguration speech, mentored student of racist hate-spewing anti-American ‘pastor’ Jeremiah Wright, and announced his intention to run for President out of the living room of his terrorist buddy Bill Ayers who bombed fellow Americans back in the 60s and declared he is not sorry and wishes he could have done MORE bombings! Wake the F* UP, America! When, IF, that happens, and it turns out to be ‘too late’, will the last American out bring the flag?!

easyt65 on September 3, 2014 at 4:09 PM

It’s the Frank Costanza strategy:
“Serenity Now!”

Dr. Carlo Lombardi on September 3, 2014 at 5:09 PM

This feckless “management” was Vienna’s policy until the awakening of Baron von Munchhausen.

Art imitates life…

Terp Mole on September 3, 2014 at 5:38 PM

A modest ISIS “management” proposal.

Obviously the “Americans” ISIS fighters have family members here. Surely the proponents of FDR’s management legacy should hold their families in special internment camps for the ISIS conflict duration.

Terp Mole on September 3, 2014 at 5:40 PM

What a leader our dear president is. Just oozing in leadership abilities. It’s too bad ISIS isn’t a community organizing group. He could lead them.

sadsushi on September 3, 2014 at 6:46 PM

NBC Talks to American Who Tried to Join Islamic State: ‘I Just Consider Myself to Be a Practicing Muslim’

Prior to his return to the U.S. and subsequent arrest on for unlawful weapons possession, NBC News tracked down the 44-year-old american citizen who unsuccessfully attempted to join Islamic State militants in Syria.

Don Morgan, originally from North Carolina, was reportedly born Catholic but later converted to Islam in 2008 after divorcing his wife. In January, he reportedly traveled to Lebanon in an attempt to make his way to Syria to fight with the radical terrorist group known as the Islamic State.

In an exclusive interview previously conducted in Beirut, Morgan told NBC News that he decided to support the Islamic State “because they’ve proven time and time again to put Islamic law as the priority and the establishment of an Islamic state as the goal.”

He also said he doesn’t consider himself to be a “radical,” but rather just a “practicing Muslim.”

“It was months and months and months of asking Allah to guide me or to give me the answers I needed,” he told NBC News.

Resist We Much on September 3, 2014 at 9:05 PM

Maybe it’s time to “shrink Obama’s sphere of influence to a manageable problem.” Elect a GOP Senate.
—Pundit Pete

PunditPete on September 3, 2014 at 11:11 PM

Obama is a narcissist who truly believed his presence would change the world.

He is using a hammer on anything he can domestically to reshape the nation into a muddle of Harvard theory crashing into reality.

Internationally, his “theories” are getting good people killed in large numbers. Eventually, ISIS will strike here as a tit-for-tat response to the bombings. We bomb their sites, they bomb a school here. (Belsan anyone?) Or a mall (Kenya).

Then Obama will be faced with a choice he can’t handle, and he’ll check out even farther than he has.

Yes, he is sympathetic to the Muslims. His dad was one, his step dad was one. But his hatred for the American influence drives most of his decisions. What he did was muddy the waters, pull out and leave a vacuum. And in that vacuum stepped ISIS.

All of this would have never happened if he stayed in Iraq and left Egypt and Libya alone. None of it.

So the next time some lib says “it’s Bush’s fault” punch the idiot in the nose.

archer52 on September 4, 2014 at 8:12 AM

‘Shrink’ ISIS until it’s a ‘manageable problem’

That means only one thing…

ISIS is a bigger problem than the Incredible Shrinking Man can handle.

Willys on September 4, 2014 at 10:17 AM

Obama has all the inspirational qualities of a vibrating chihuahua.

Chowderhead123 on September 4, 2014 at 10:17 AM

Has anyone else noticed how flat the affect in O’s voice has become?

Pest on September 4, 2014 at 10:57 AM

If you have to shrink it to something manageable, you still need a strategy to shrink it. This is like saying, we don’t know what to do unless X, when situation is X + Y.

ConDem on September 4, 2014 at 4:50 PM

As he minimizes expectations of victory, he proposes undefinable goals of “degradation” instead of defeat.

He shrinks from his duty, again.

virgo on September 5, 2014 at 12:43 AM

‘Shrink’ ISIS until it’s a ‘manageable problem’

Is POTUS saying “We shouldn’t lose our heads over ISIS?

Dr. Charles G. Waugh on September 6, 2014 at 2:41 AM