Guy Benson

A difficult video to watch, but I'd encourage you to do so anyway. This is the brutality of the enemy we face. They're zealously dispatching fellow Muslims -- sectarian differences aside -- without a second thought, so it's clear they would harbor no humanity or empathy for Americans if and when they take their horror show on the road (strong content warning):


With the rise of the ISIS savages, which the Obama administration has watched passively for years now, Americans are re-acquiring something of a taste for hawkishness:


Then again, the appetite for anything beyond air and drone strikes is pretty low, and even on those two fronts, people aren't sure about expanding the mission into Syria -- which is ISIS' base of operations, and where the gruesome beheadings have reportedly taken place.  Speaking of Syria, is it already time for a 'told you so'?


The U.S. expressed concern on Thursday that the Syrian government may still have chemical weapons, violating its agreement with the international community last September. Following a meeting at the U.N. Security Council, U.S. envoy Samantha Power told reporters that doubts about existing “discrepancies and omissions in Syria’s original declaration” on its chemical arsenal have yet to be cleared up. “I want to stress that much more work still needs to be done on Syria’s chemical-weapons program,” Power told reporters. “We must ensure that the Syrian government destroys its remaining facilities for producing chemical weapons within the mandated time frames and without the repeated delays by the Assad regime that plagued earlier removal efforts.” Power also expressed fears that the myriad rebel groups in Syria could potentially get their hands on chemical weapons, and chided President Bashar Assad’s regime for its apparently continued use of chlorine gas against insurgents.


Here's what I wrote last weekend:


In Syria, the president drew a red line against the Assad regime, threatened an air campaign when Assad repeatedly defied it, then failed to follow through on his public threats. Obama's escape hatch was an accidental policy of chemical weapons disarmament, which we're now told has been successful. Buying that line requires (a) ignoring the fact that multiple deadlines were missed along the way as chemical weapons were used again, and (b) believing that all of Assad's illegal weapons were throughly catalogued and handed over, which seems highly unlikely.

Bomb ISIS, help Assad. Bomb Assad (which we nearly did last summer), help ISIS.  The latter isn't even an option at this stage, but what message does that send beyond the messy specifics of this dilemma?  Openly defy a US president, then drag your feet and cheat in complying with a bogus face-saving deal…and face zero consequences?  

I repeat: "We don't have a strategy yet" could be this administration's sweeping foreign policy slogan.


Guy Benson

Guy Benson is Townhall.com's Senior Political Editor. Follow him on Twitter @guypbenson.

Author Photo credit: Jensen Sutta Photography