In a recent Democratic presidential debate, Hillary Clinton said: “The United States isn’t at war with radical Islam.” Hillary’s competitor, Bernie Sanders, claimed climate change poses a greater threat than terrorism ever will.

They’re taunting us with some delusional themes.

France has been hit by terrorist attacks twice in 2015.  Earlier in the year, employees of a magazine were slaughtered because they made light of the Prophet Mohammed in a cartoon.  In November, Paris was struck by another terrorist attack and many innocent people were killed.

But … those orchestrated acts of violence with a religious theme don’t really seem to resonate in the minds of some influential people.

Ironically, an expert in foreign affairs recently said Barack Obama is the first anti-American President to occupy the White House.  On the same day, former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich said Mr. Obama is the most dangerous President America has ever had.

At the G20 summit in Turkey on November 16th, President Obama stood at the podium there to entertain questions from reporters.   After about forty minutes of pointed questions from the press Mr. Obama became obviously frustrated with their interrogation.

The first question from an unidentified reporter was: “Mr. President.  One hundred and twenty-nine people were killed in Paris on Friday night.  ISIS claimed responsibility for the massacre, sending the message that they could now target civilians all over the world.  The equation has clearly changed.  Isn’t it time for your strategy to change?”

Margaret Brennan asked: “A more than year-long bombing campaign in Iraq and in Syria has failed to contain the ambition and the ability of ISIS to launch attacks in the West.  Have you underestimated their abilities?  And will you widen the rules of engagement for U.S. forces to take more aggressive action?”

Jim Avila’s question was: ”In the days and weeks before the Paris attacks, did you receive warning in your daily intelligence briefing that an attack was imminent?  If not, does that not call into question the current assessment that there is no immediate, specific, credible threat to the United States today?  Secondly, if I could ask you to address your critics who say that your reluctance to enter another Middle East war, and your preference of diplomacy over using the military makes the United States weaker and emboldens our enemies.”

Ron Allen then asked: “I think a lot of people around the world and in America are concerned because given the strategy that you’re pursuing – and it’s been more than a year now – ISIS’s capabilities seem to be expanding.  Were you aware that they had the capability of pulling off the kind of attack that they did in Paris?  Are you concerned?  And do you think they have that same capability to strike in the United States?  Do you think that given all you’ve learned about ISIS over the past year or so, and given all the criticism about your underestimating them, do you think you really understand this enemy well enough to defeat them and to protect the homeland?”

Jim Acosta followed up with: “This is an organization that you once described as a JV team that evolved into a force that has now occupied territory in Iraq and Syria and is now able to use that safe haven to launch attacks in other parts of the world.  How is that not underestimating their capabilities?  And how is that contained, quite frankly?  And I think a lot of Americans have this frustration that they see that the United States has the greatest military in the world, it has the backing of nearly every other country in the world when it comes to taking on ISIS.  I guess the question is – and if you’ll forgive the language – is why can’t we take out these bastards?”

President Obama meandered around the prodding questions with theatrical precision, but the synopsis of his replies was highlighted by this statement: “If folks want to pop off and have opinions about what they think they would do, present a specific plan.  If they think that somehow their advisors are better than the Chairman of my Joint Chiefs of Staff and the folks who are actually on the ground, I want to meet them.  (But what I’m not interested in doing is posing or pursuing some notion of American leadership or America winning, or whatever other slogans they come up with … I’m too busy for that.”)

Greg Allen’s column, Thinkin’ Out Loud, was published bi-monthly from 2009 to 2017.  He’s an author, a former nationally syndicated columnist and the founder of Builder of the Spirit Ministries in Jamestown, Indiana.  He can be reached at

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