Obama has launched strikes against Islamist terror targets in several countries. He has devastated the leadership of core al Qaeda, and just this week — as Washington opinion-makers collectively decided that he was hopelessly weak on terror — the president launched a (quite possibly successful) strike in Somalia against the leader of al-Shabab, a terror group nearly as bloodthirsty as Islamic State.
And here’s the important bit — at the same time the White House is the target of relentless complaints that it has not done enough to combat Islamic State, Obama is actually combating Islamic State, launching what appear to be, at this early stage, fairly effective strikes against Islamic State targets in Iraq. The rhetoric is not inspiring, but the actions should count for something. “Obama is the only outside player taking real and serious action, however limited, against ISIS in Iraq,” said Hussein Ibish, of the American Task Force on Palestine.
The second large point has to do with Obama’s statement concerning U.S. strategy. Yes, it is disconcerting to hear a president say that he possesses no strategy against a not entirely new threat, but it would have been more disconcerting to have heard him lie about the existence of a strategy.