Great news! The Islamic State is on the run, or at least that’s what Secretary of State John Kerry thinks in light of the recent attack in Nice, France, where a man, who was possibly inspired by ISIS, ran over people watching the fireworks on Bastille Day; 84 people were killed.
On CNN, Kerry spoke to Jake Tapper Sunday, where he said, “they [ISIS] are on the run. I believe what we’re seeing are the desperate actions of an entity that sees the noose closing around it."
“Well, with all due respect sir, I’m not sure it looks that way to the public that ISIS is on the run,” said Tapper.
“Well, obviously,” interjected Kerry.
“In just the last few weeks,” Tapper continued. “We have seen a series of ISIS-inspired attacks; 49 killed in Orlando; 45 killed in Istanbul; more than 200 killed in Baghdad; 83 killed in Nice. This is just the last five weeks, I don’t think ISIS is on the run.”
Kerry, seemingly annoyed, noted that we don’t know if ISIS inspired the attacks in Orlando or Nice.
“If people are inspired, they’re inspired,” Kerry said. But ISIL, which is based in Iraq and Syria, is under huge pressure.
So, how is that supposed to make any of us feel better, Mr. Secretary? We don’t know if Orlando or Nice attackers were fundamentally ISIS, but if they’re inspired, then oh, what the hell—we don’t really know if they’re part of the actual terrorist organization; they’re just heavily, heavily influenced to the point where they kill people. I can see why this man lost handily to George W. Bush in 2004. He’s just awful—and no one really believes this garbage that ISIS is on the run. This is just as bad as when Obama claimed that Russia annexing part of a country–the Crimean peninsula from Ukraine–was done out of weakness. The only weakness that was shown was Obama being painfully taken to school by a world leader who knows he won’t act aggressively against him in his pursuit to be the anti-Bush in American foreign policy—a mindset that has done noting but yield serial failure across the globe. Does anyone remember when Yemen was viewed as a blueprint for the future of counterterror operations? I do—and the Houthi rebels, backed by Iran, have pretty much taken over the country.
Now, Fox News’ Charles Krauthammer noted that ISIS might be falling apart, though that might not be a good thing (via Grabien) [emphasis mine]:
To put this in context, there was a very credible report earlier in the week that ISIS is preparing its members for defeat in its homeland of the so-called caliphate as it’s being squeezed on all fronts, and what we might be seeing is the change in the nature of ISIS from a territorial terror organization to going back to the form that Al Qaeda had of being scattered international, without a center and yet striking from all sides. That would be interesting, because ISIS has done this once before. The organization of which it is descended, Al Qaeda in Iraq, was thoroughly defeated by the U.S. Surge in 2008. Fled into Syria, regrouped, and became what we see now. So it is not as if it’s going to go away, but this could be what the administration has been saying, and I think it sounded rather defensive, but it could be credible that this is an organization losing its territorial grip, and yet responding by showing that it’s international, it’s grown, and it could act in a decentralizing way."
Yeah—they’re not on the run.