Who Is to Blame for the Rise of ISIS — Bush or Obama?
Obama Should Look to His Own 'Failed Foreign Policy,' Not Bush, for Rise of ISIS, Lt. Gen. Boykin Says
President Barack Obama indirectly blamed the foreign policy of his predecessor, President George W. Bush, for the rise of the barbaric and brutal Islamic State terrorist organization in Iraq.
In an interview with Vice News founder Shane Smith released on Tuesday, Obama was asked how the ISIS terrorist group, also known as ISIL or the Islamic State, which has seized large chunks of Syria and Iraq, was able to become "so popular so fast."
Obama responded saying that the group's rise was aided by the U.S. invasion of Iraq that began in 2003 during Bush's presidency.
"Two things," Obama said. "One is ISIL is a direct outgrowth of Al Qaeda in Iraq that grew out of our invasion, which is an example of unintended consequences, which is why we should generally aim before we shoot."
Lt. Gen. Jerry Boykin, who served as U.S. Deputy Undersecretary of Defense for Intelligence under Bush from 2002 to 2007, told The Christian Post in a Thursday interview that the president is simply looking to find somewhere else to lay the blame.
"I find that an incredible statement," Boykin, who is the executive vice president of the Family Research Council, asserted. "Al Qaeda existed before 9/11. Al Qaeda and Osama Bin Laden were responsible for 9/11. The fact that Al Qaeda in Iraq, under the leadership of Abu Musab al-Zarqawi emerged as a major force there is, I think, a ridiculous statement to say that they emerged there because of the invasion or that we created them."
"The reality is that is an Al Qaeda affiliate in Nigeria that is capturing young girls and is killing people. The events in Tunisia were perpetrated by an Al Qaeda affiliate. Did we create that?" Boykin asked. "The answer is no. I think that the president is scrambling for somebody to blame."
Boykin went on to explain that the reason ISIS has gained so much momentum is because of Obama's own "failed foreign policy."
"I think that one of the reasons that we are seeing them gain strength and momentum is because of failed foreign policy that has done nothing to stop them," Boykin argued. "I think [Obama] needs to look internally at the very poor decisions that he has made and the fact that he hasn't had a policy that in anyway has impeded their growth."
In the Vice News interview, Obama offered assurance of his current plan to defeat ISIS with limited U.S involvement and stated that the international U.S.-led coalition will eventually defeat ISIS in Iraq.
"We got a 60-country coalition. We will slowly push back ISIL out of Iraq," Obama contended. "I am confident that will happen."
Although Obama is "confident" in the coalition efforts to defeat ISIS, Boykin feels there is no way ISIS will be defeated under Obama's current strategy.
"It is definitely not going to in any amount of time destroy ISIS, no matter what he says. The pace at which we are pursuing this so-called strategy, we are not going to destroy ISIS," Boykin argued. "The question is, could we destroy ISIS? And the answer is, it is questionable. Could we destroy them if we had an all-out campaign against them? It is questionable. But, it is for certain that at the current pace, with the current strategy, we are not going to destroy ISIS."
Boykin offered his own strategy for defeating ISIS and said first the president needs to admit to the religious nature of the group's war.
"To begin with, we start by our president acknowledging that ISIS is a component of Islam and that ISIS is fighting in the name of Islam, that ISIS is motivated by the theology of Islam and identifying who the enemy is and what makes them fight," Boykin stated. "Once we do that, then we engage the Muslim communities around the world, who don't want to be part of this grand jihad. There are many, many Muslims who don't but they sit on the sidelines and they watch to see if we are going to take a stand, if we are going to actually recognize who the enemy is. As long as we continue to deny who the enemy is, those components of the Muslim community that also reject jihad, that rejects sharia, they are going to continue to sit on the sidelines."
Boykin also warned against the United States providing weapons to other Islamic groups and said weapons should only be provided to groups that the United States knows it can trust.
"We [need to] arm our friends, not our enemies," Boykin said. "We don't arm these Islamic groups like the Free Syrian Army and the rebel groups in Libya, we arm our friends like the Kurds and the Christian militias that want to fight for themselves."
Lastly, Boykin said that the United States should equip the U.S. Special Operations Command with everything they need to arm, train and lead trusted militia groups in the fight against ISIS.