Donald Lambro

Yet, by Sunday, citing "ongoing instability and violence in certain areas," the message from the administration was that it will strengthen security at its embassy in Iraq, while pulling out some of its personnel.

A separate Pentagon statement, that must have elicited cheers from the ISIS high command, said only "a small number" of military personnel were being sent to beef up security at the compound.

Where does it say in the war manual that we should tell the enemy how much security we will add to defend a U.S. embassy?

ISIS terrorists were on the brink of attacking the capital, with the sole aim of toppling its government. That raised concerns here and in Baghdad that they could penetrate the fortress-like Green Zone, and kill U.S. personnel, as al-Qaeda terrorists did in Benghazi, Libya.

These are murderous, cut-throat terrorists who take no prisoners and who have cut a wide swath of slaughtered bodies across Iraq in recent months.

Gruesome photos on Twitter last week showed a line of bound civilian men lying face down in a ditch, their hands tied behind their back, being shot by masked killers. ISIS tweeted that 1,700 Iraqi men have been executed over the course of their war, though that claim hasn't been verified.

It wasn't too long ago when Obama was campaigning for re-election, naively telling us that al-Qaeda terrorists were "on the run" and their command structure had been "decimated."

But now we know that never happened. Al-Qaeda has split and morphed into different armies across the Middle East, North Africa and beyond, more powerful and deadlier than ever.

We struck back after 9/11 in the only way we could have, but since 2009, this administration has mounted a policy of retreat and retrenchment, even to the point of dropping the term "war on terrorism."

"U.S. foreign policy is failing," writes economist Peter Morici. "Russia is pushing into the Ukraine and threatening Eastern Europe, China is bullying Japan... in the East and South China seas, and terrorist groups" were "displaced in one place only to multiply and create more lethal threats in others."

So much so that "U.S. counterterrorism officials worry about what one calls a 'potential competitive dynamic' in which different factions, including [ISIS]... seek to bolster their credibility by attacking the United States," national security analyst David Ignatius writes in a recent blog.

We are not going to send troops back into Iraq under any foreseeable circumstances. But as the world's most powerful nation, we cannot turn a blind eye to a deadlier brand of terrorism that may be close to seizing Iraq's oil fields that would put wealth and power into their hands to conduct another assault on our homeland.

Defeating the terrorist threat will take moral leadership, presidential credibility and cunning foreign policy skills, none of which Obama possesses.

This is reflected in his latest job approval polls which have sunk to 41 percent, with a disapproval rating of 53 percent, according to a recent Gallup poll.

But now we learn that Obama's favorability rating, or what is considered his likability, has dropped to "an all-time low," according three polls by CNN, Bloomberg and Gallup.

Bloomberg news service, for example, found that just 44 percent of Americans express positive attitudes about the president.

"This marks the first time in a CNN poll that a majority of Americans have an unfavorable view of Obama," said CNN Polling Director Keating Holland.

In a little more than four months, voters go to the polls to elect a new Congress, but for many Americans, it will be a vote against Obama.


Donald Lambro

Donald Lambro is chief political correspondent for The Washington Times.