Chad’s Morning Brief: President Obama’s Speech Falls Flat, Ted Cruz Offers His Solution to ISIS, and Other Top Stories
Here is your Morning Brief for the morning of September 11, 2014. Give me your feedback below and tune in to The Chad Hasty Show for these and many more topics from 8:30 to 11am. Remember, you can listen online at KFYO.com or on your iPhone/Android with the radioPup App.
Today on the show we will discuss President Obama's address to the nation last night. If you missed it, below is the text.
My fellow Americans – tonight, I want to speak to you about what the United States will do with our friends and allies to degrade and ultimately destroy the terrorist group known as ISIL.
As Commander-in-Chief, my highest priority is the security of the American people. Over the last several years, we have consistently taken the fight to terrorists who threaten our country. We took out Osama bin Laden and much of al Qaeda’s leadership in Afghanistan and Pakistan. We’ve targeted al Qaeda’s affiliate in Yemen, and recently eliminated the top commander of its affiliate in Somalia. We’ve done so while bringing more than 140,000 American troops home from Iraq, and drawing down our forces in Afghanistan, where our combat mission will end later this year. Thanks to our military and counterterrorism professionals, America is safer.
Still, we continue to face a terrorist threat. We cannot erase every trace of evil from the world, and small groups of killers have the capacity to do great harm. That was the case before 9/11, and that remains true today. That’s why we must remain vigilant as threats emerge. At this moment, the greatest threats come from the Middle East and North Africa, where radical groups exploit grievances for their own gain. And one of those groups is ISIL – which calls itself the “Islamic State.”
Now let’s make two things clear: ISIL is not “Islamic.” No religion condones the killing of innocents, and the vast majority of ISIL’s victims have been Muslim. And ISIL is certainly not a state. It was formerly al Qaeda’s affiliate in Iraq, and has taken advantage of sectarian strife and Syria’s civil war to gain territory on both sides of the Iraq-Syrian border. It is recognized by no government, nor the people it subjugates. ISIL is a terrorist organization, pure and simple. And it has no vision other than the slaughter of all who stand in its way.
In a region that has known so much bloodshed, these terrorists are unique in their brutality. They execute captured prisoners. They kill children. They enslave, rape, and force women into marriage. They threatened a religious minority with genocide. In acts of barbarism, they took the lives of two American journalists – Jim Foley and Steven Sotloff.
So ISIL poses a threat to the people of Iraq and Syria, and the broader Middle East – including American citizens, personnel and facilities. If left unchecked, these terrorists could pose a growing threat beyond that region – including to the United States. While we have not yet detected specific plotting against our homeland, ISIL leaders have threatened America and our allies. Our intelligence community believes that thousands of foreigners – including Europeans and some Americans – have joined them in Syria and Iraq. Trained and battle-hardened, these fighters could try to return to their home countries and carry out deadly attacks.
I know many Americans are concerned about these threats. Tonight, I want you to know that the United States of America is meeting them with strength and resolve. Last month, I ordered our military to take targeted action against ISIL to stop its advances. Since then, we have conducted more than 150 successful airstrikes in Iraq. These strikes have protected American personnel and facilities, killed ISIL fighters, destroyed weapons, and given space for Iraqi and Kurdish forces to reclaim key territory. These strikes have helped save the lives of thousands of innocent men, women and children.
But this is not our fight alone. American power can make a decisive difference, but we cannot do for Iraqis what they must do for themselves, nor can we take the place of Arab partners in securing their region. That’s why I’ve insisted that additional U.S. action depended upon Iraqis forming an inclusive government, which they have now done in recent days. So tonight, with a new Iraqi government in place, and following consultations with allies abroad and Congress at home, I can announce that America will lead a broad coalition to roll back this terrorist threat.
Our objective is clear: we will degrade, and ultimately destroy, ISIL through a comprehensive and sustained counter-terrorism strategy.
First, we will conduct a systematic campaign of airstrikes against these terrorists. Working with the Iraqi government, we will expand our efforts beyond protecting our own people and humanitarian missions, so that we’re hitting ISIL targets as Iraqi forces go on offense. Moreover, I have made it clear that we will hunt down terrorists who threaten our country, wherever they are. That means I will not hesitate to take action against ISIL in Syria, as well as Iraq. This is a core principle of my presidency: if you threaten America, you will find no safe haven.
Second, we will increase our support to forces fighting these terrorists on the ground. In June, I deployed several hundred American service members to Iraq to assess how we can best support Iraqi Security Forces. Now that those teams have completed their work – and Iraq has formed a government – we will send an additional 475 service members to Iraq. As I have said before, these American forces will not have a combat mission – we will not get dragged into another ground war in Iraq. But they are needed to support Iraqi and Kurdish forces with training, intelligence and equipment. We will also support Iraq’s efforts to stand up National Guard Units to help Sunni communities secure their own freedom from ISIL control.
Across the border, in Syria, we have ramped up our military assistance to the Syrian opposition. Tonight, I again call on Congress to give us additional authorities and resources to train and equip these fighters. In the fight against ISIL, we cannot rely on an Assad regime that terrorizes its people; a regime that will never regain the legitimacy it has lost. Instead, we must strengthen the opposition as the best counterweight to extremists like ISIL, while pursuing the political solution necessary to solve Syria’s crisis once and for all.
Third, we will continue to draw on our substantial counterterrorism capabilities to prevent ISIL attacks. Working with our partners, we will redouble our efforts to cut off its funding; improve our intelligence; strengthen our defenses; counter its warped ideology; and stem the flow of foreign fighters into – and out of – the Middle East. And in two weeks, I will chair a meeting of the UN Security Council to further mobilize the international community around this effort.
Fourth, we will continue providing humanitarian assistance to innocent civilians who have been displaced by this terrorist organization. This includes Sunni and Shia Muslims who are at grave risk, as well as tens of thousands of Christians and other religious minorities. We cannot allow these communities to be driven from their ancient homelands.
This is our strategy. And in each of these four parts of our strategy, America will be joined by a broad coalition of partners. Already, allies are flying planes with us over Iraq; sending arms and assistance to Iraqi Security Forces and the Syrian opposition; sharing intelligence; and providing billions of dollars in humanitarian aid. Secretary Kerry was in Iraq today meeting with the new government and supporting their efforts to promote unity, and in the coming days he will travel across the Middle East and Europe to enlist more partners in this fight, especially Arab nations who can help mobilize Sunni communities in Iraq and Syria to drive these terrorists from their lands. This is American leadership at its best: we stand with people who fight for their own freedom; and we rally other nations on behalf of our common security and common humanity.
My Administration has also secured bipartisan support for this approach here at home. I have the authority to address the threat from ISIL. But I believe we are strongest as a nation when the President and Congress work together. So I welcome congressional support for this effort in order to show the world that Americans are united in confronting this danger.
Now, it will take time to eradicate a cancer like ISIL. And any time we take military action, there are risks involved – especially to the servicemen and women who carry out these missions. But I want the American people to understand how this effort will be different from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. It will not involve American combat troops fighting on foreign soil. This counter-terrorism campaign will be waged through a steady, relentless effort to take out ISIL wherever they exist, using our air power and our support for partner forces on the ground. This strategy of taking out terrorists who threaten us, while supporting partners on the front lines, is one that we have successfully pursued in Yemen and Somalia for years. And it is consistent with the approach I outlined earlier this year: to use force against anyone who threatens America’s core interests, but to mobilize partners wherever possible to address broader challenges to international order.
My fellow Americans, we live in a time of great change. Tomorrow marks 13 years since our country was attacked. Next week marks 6 years since our economy suffered its worst setback since the Great Depression. Yet despite these shocks; through the pain we have felt and the grueling work required to bounce back – America is better positioned today to seize the future than any other nation on Earth.
Our technology companies and universities are unmatched; our manufacturing and auto industries are thriving. Energy independence is closer than it’s been in decades. For all the work that remains, our businesses are in the longest uninterrupted stretch of job creation in our history. Despite all the divisions and discord within our democracy, I see the grit and determination and common goodness of the American people every single day – and that makes me more confident than ever about our country’s future.
Abroad, American leadership is the one constant in an uncertain world. It is America that has the capacity and the will to mobilize the world against terrorists. It is America that has rallied the world against Russian aggression, and in support of the Ukrainian peoples’ right to determine their own destiny. It is America – our scientists, our doctors, our know-how – that can help contain and cure the outbreak of Ebola. It is America that helped remove and destroy Syria’s declared chemical weapons so they cannot pose a threat to the Syrian people – or the world – again. And it is America that is helping Muslim communities around the world not just in the fight against terrorism, but in the fight for opportunity, tolerance, and a more hopeful future.
America, our endless blessings bestow an enduring burden. But as Americans, we welcome our responsibility to lead. From Europe to Asia – from the far reaches of Africa to war-torn capitals of the Middle East – we stand for freedom, for justice, for dignity. These are values that have guided our nation since its founding. Tonight, I ask for your support in carrying that leadership forward. I do so as a Commander-in-Chief who could not be prouder of our men and women in uniform – pilots who bravely fly in the face of danger above the Middle East, and service-members who support our partners on the ground.
When we helped prevent the massacre of civilians trapped on a distant mountain, here’s what one of them said. “We owe our American friends our lives. Our children will always remember that there was someone who felt our struggle and made a long journey to protect innocent people.”
That is the difference we make in the world. And our own safety – our own security – depends upon our willingness to do what it takes to defend this nation, and uphold the values that we stand for – timeless ideals that will endure long after those who offer only hate and destruction have been vanquished from the Earth.
May God bless our troops, and may God bless the United States of America.
My initial feelings? "What the hell did I just listen to?" We have a President who doesn't believe the Islamic State is Islamic, we have a President who can't decide on whether or not he wants to roll back, degrade, or destroy ISIS, and we are arming rebels that the President slammed last month. Oh and his broad coalition? That would be 9 countries. Bush had 30 when we went into Iraq.
What Would Ted Cruz Do?
In an editorial to CNN, Senator Ted Cruz laid out what he would do to stop ISIS.
This week, as we mark the 13th anniversary of horrific attacks on our home soil, Americans should have no illusions about the terrorists who have repeatedly declared their intent to strike America again.
We know the threat of the vicious terrorist organization known as ISIS has concerned the intelligence community for more than a year. And the group's atrocities have been well-documented since it began attacking northern Iraq, and it is deeply concerning that it has taken President Barack Obama so long to develop any kind of strategy to address these increasingly powerful terrorists who have now gruesomely killed two American journalists before the world stage.
On Wednesday evening, the President will finally share with the American people his "game plan," as he calls it, to combat ISIS. It is my hope that he will propose a clear plan, consistent with the Constitution, to keep Americans safe, and that it is not laden with impractical contingencies, such as resolving the Syrian civil war, reaching political reconciliation in Iraq or achieving "consensus" in the international community.
There are three specific steps that should be taken.
First and foremost, Washington should resolve to make border security a top priority finally, rather than an afterthought, of this plan in light of concerns about potential ISIS activities on our southern border, cited in aTexas Department of Public Safety bulletin reported by Fox News. As long as our border isn't secure, the government is making it far too easy for terrorists to infiltrate our nation.
Second, Congress should make fighting for or supporting ISIS an affirmative renunciation of American citizenship. Numerous Americans have joined ISIS along with hundreds of others from the European Union.
We know that some of them are trying to return to their countries of origin to carry out terrorist attacks. How do we know that? It's already been attempted. On May 24, a suspected French jihadist with possible ISIS ties traveled to Belgium, where he isaccused of attacking innocent visitors at the Jewish Museum of Belgium in Brussels and slaughtering four people -- and it was reported earlier this week that he allegedly had been plotting a larger attack on Paris on Bastille Day. In August, an accused ISIS sympathizer, Donald Ray Morgan, was arrested at John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York trying to re-enter the United States.
On Monday I filed the Expatriate Terrorist Act of 2014, which would amend the existing statute governing renunciation of U.S. citizenship to include fighting for a hostile foreign government or foreign terrorist organization as an affirmative renunciation of citizenship. By fighting for ISIS, U.S. citizens have expressed their desire to become citizens of the terrorist group, which calls itself the Islamic State. We should not permit them to return to America, with a U.S. passport, to carry out acts of terror at home.
It is my hope that this legislation will attract bipartisan support, and will bring Washington together with one united voice in support of keeping Americans safe from ISIS acts of terror.
Third, we should do everything possible to make ISIS understand there are serious ramifications for threatening to attack the United States and for killing American civilians. While damaging ISIS' financial assets is certainly a part of this action, because of the very nature of ISIS, the response must be principally military.
We should concentrate on a coordinated and overwhelming air campaign to destroy the capability of ISIS to carry out terrorist attacks on the United States.
The President's previously stated goal -- to "shrink" ISIS' "sphere of influence" until it is a "manageable problem" -- is not encouraging. The objective should not be to make ISIS "manageable"; the objective should be to protect the United States and to destroy the terrorists who have declared jihad on our nation.
The White House's suggested ways of countering ISIS have, so far, been naive and ineffective.
Now, faced with the growing threat of the group, Americans are being told Syria and Iran may suddenly be our friends, and ISIS is now our enemy. This is nonsense.
The enemy of our enemy is not always our friend.
Other possible objectives the White House is considering are equally worrisome. We must reject the notion that any U.S. action be contingent on political reconciliation between Sunnis and Shiites in Baghdad. The Sunnis and Shiites have been engaged in a sectarian civil war since 632. While we all wish the Iraqis success in their most recent attempt to form a government, it is the height of hubris and ignorance to make American national security contingent on the resolution of a 1,500-year-old religious conflict.
Likewise, any action we take to stop ISIS should not be contingent on any consensus from the so-called international community.
Obama to Congress: No vote needed on ISIS strategy
America is blessed to have good friends and allies who understand the threat of ISIS, and we welcome their support. Indeed, this is an opportunity to reverse the destructive policy of the last five years of reaching out and appeasing our enemies while giving our allies the cold shoulder. Instead, we should partner closely with our friends in the region who are already engaged in this fight, notably Israel, Jordan and the Kurds.
This mission must be led by the United States if it is to be done right, and we cannot make the assembling of a coalition a higher priority than the execution of our mission.
National security hawks call for airstrikes targeting ISIS leaders
And, leading that mission requires a clear articulation of the mission. Finally, the President appears to have ruled out making any formal authorization request from Congress to take military action. This is wrong.
I ask the President to reconsider.
Only Congress has the authority to declare war. While our commander in chief has constitutional authority to respond to an imminent danger, Obama has not suggested that is the case. He is reportedly planning a mission that could last as long as three years and may require a range of actions.
Therefore, congressional authorization is required by the Constitution.
Making this formal request would provide the President with an opportunity to present the American people with a clearly defined military objective, tethered to national security, to protect our nation and to unite everyone in the mission to eradicate ISIS.
Other Top Stories:
These and many more topics coming up on today’s edition of The Chad Hasty Show. Tune in mornings 8:30-11am on News/Talk 790 KFYO, streaming online at kfyo.com, and now on your iPhone and Android device with the radioPup App. All guest interviews can be heard online in our podcast section after the show at kfyo.com.