The Cameroon army has reportedly just killed about 100 Boka Haram jihadists and freed 900 hostages, no doubt a bulk of those women and children. This should focus, even for just a fleeting moment, attention on the war on women and girls waged by militant Islamists imposing their particular brand of Sharia law.
Enough with the hyperbole. This is the real war on women, and the Obama administration’s disastrous foreign policies and refusal to identify the root of the problem have allowed the brutal oppressors to thrive.
Women and girls in Nigeria who are murdered or held captive for the sadistic whims of their Boka Haram captors are just one example, but there are countless more. Al-Shabab regularly brutalizes, rapes, and murders women and girls. ISIS has sought out Yazidi women and girls for slaughter and has taken captive thousands who are now victims of torture, systemic rape, and forced abortions, among other horrors. Christian women are also raped and, when they refuse to convert to ISIS’s Islam, are murdered, along with their Christian brothers.
Start Taking the Terrorists’ Word
The members of these militant Islamist groups who have chosen to believe and carry out their particular brand of Islamism are ultimately responsible for the carnage. Despite what the president or anyone else says, they care nothing of climate change or whether Americans are concerned that jihadists might exploit the American refugee program. They care about converting and ruling by the sword. A reasonable person will come to this conclusion by observing that this is what they say and this is what they do.
ISIS, in particular, has been more successful than other jihadi networks at establishing an actual state, which also makes it attractive to impressionable wannabe jihadists in the West. But perhaps paradoxically, it also makes it more of a target. The United States and its allies should develop a comprehensive target list to include ISIS members, supply lines, and governmental infrastructure, and should destroy it all, as quickly as possible, without warning or reservation.
But therein lies the problem: the Obama administration has failed to even begin to put together a serious military campaign to destroy the Islamic State, and the president and his supporters, including Hillary Clinton, are unwilling to identify the motivations of the global movement of Islamist groups. This is why it is fair to blame the administration for allowing the recent success and empowerment of these groups, and, consequently, the increased suffering of women and girls.
At this late stage of the president’s second term, his feeble efforts to degrade ISIS or protect persecuted groups cannot be explained away by excuses of indecisiveness or a failure to develop an effective strategy. No, it is now clear that the president is deciding to wage a war of half measures, with a strategy designed to “diminish” and “contain” ISIS until he can bow out and hand control over to his successor.
Rocks Are More Important than Women
This became all the more evident right after the horrific November Paris attacks when the French retaliated by taking out ISIS sites. This caused many to ask the obvious question: Why hadn’t the United States already included those specific targets on its list? In fact, if the United States were serious about taking out ISIS, it would have already destroyed those targets along with the rest of the infrastructure ISIS has come to rely on to operate as a government authority.
But, exposing just how selectively limited the U.S. strikes remain, former Central Intelligence Agency Director Mike Morrell recently admitted, “We didn’t go after oil wells — actually hitting oil wells that ISIS controls because we didn’t want to do environmental damage, and we didn’t want to destroy that infrastructure.”
Let that sink in. These militants are brutally killing in ways to maximize suffering, selling children into slavery, raping young women and girls, torturing, recruiting citizens of Western countries to join their forces, gaining and holding territory, and exporting their terror in order to convert by the sword. And President Obama refuses to take out their oil wells out of concern for the environment.
Obama Didn’t Use Opportunities to Prevent Terror
The president’s inability to see how his policies share the responsibility for the instability and humanitarian crises is almost unbelievable. Perhaps there’s no better example of this than the way he has inflamed the debate over the Syrian refugees. Waves of suffering Syrian men, women, and children are fleeing their country for fear of their lives.
But just a few years ago, before the refugee crisis, when Assad began terrorizing the Syrian people with chemical weapons and barrel bombs, President Obama could have decided then and there to hit back at Assad. President Obama chose not to empower what was then the more easily distinguishable moderate Syrian forces.
He could have ordered a no-fly zone and demolished Assad’s air fields. Instead, President Obama shamefully and gratefully accepted Vladimir Putin’s offer to broker a deal with Assad to “remove his chemical weapons.” We now know chemical weapons remain in Syria and that Assad’s forces are still using them. With the direct aid of Russian warplanes, Assad has a good chance of remaining the dictator in charge.
Despite the president’s insistence that he is in agreement with his military advisers, there’s plenty of evidence to the contrary. Recall that John Allen, the retired general whom President Obama picked to lead the fight against the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, recently resigned, reportedly over disagreements with the White House’s management of the war.
Last week Defense Secretary Carter told Congress the United States would be deploying a mere 200 special operations troops to Iraq to hunt members of the Islamic State there and in Syria. It’s hard to believe this was the top recommendation of the country’s best military strategists. Obviously, such a small group can only do so much to weaken ISIS, and its small size makes it a prime target. As if on cue, a spokesman for Kata’ib Hezbollah, one of the main Shi’ite militant groups, said U.S. special operators would be a “primary target for our group.”
Meanwhile, the global militant Islamist movement—and the real war on women—rages on.