While taking questions from a panel of reporters at a luncheon in Milwaukee this Tuesday, Representative Paul Ryan joined the chorus on the right blaming President Obama for the rise of ISIS and its rampage of murder and terror in the Middle East.
Asked about the unconfirmed report of the beheading of American journalist Steven Sotloff, Ryan asked the reporters to join him in a moment of silence — then proceeded to lay the blame for his death and that of James Foley on mistakes made by the Obama administration in the Mideast.
“I do think a good deal of this rise stem(s) from bad decisions made by the administration in foreign policy with respect to Syria and Iraq,” Ryan said.
“If he was going to announce that he doesn’t have a strategy, don’t telegraph it to the rest of the world,” he said.
Dr. Stephen Zunes, professor of Politics at the University of San Francisco and chair of the USF Middle Eastern Studies Department, writes in the Delaware Gazette:
“Ironically, President Obama has been getting high-profile criticism from those wishing he had been more aggressive with projecting American military power. For example, in a well-publicized interview in The Atlantic, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton blamed the rise of ISIS on Obama’s failure to sufficiently arm and support the so-called moderate rebels of the Free Syrian Army (FSA).”
Zune notes that ISIS has a stronger position in Iraq than it does in Syria, which he says is “a direct consequence of the U.S. invasion and occupation” and he thinks that the defeat of ISIS will not come from outside intervention:
“Ironically, the eventual demise of ISIS will more likely stem from the group’s own fanaticism than from any action by Baghdad or the U.S. ISIS — which even the Al-Qaeda network believes is too extreme — sees not just those who aren’t Sunni Muslims as “infidels,” but anyone who doesn’t subscribe to its extremist ideology. Since almost everyone under its rule is therefore at risk, the prospects of the Iraqi and Syrian people eventually rising up against ISIS is high. In fact, Syrian nonviolent activists have already been openly defiant of ISIS.”
h/t: Huffington Post