President Obama said earlier today that the U.S. will not be intimidated by the Islamic State (ISIS), the group responsible for the filmed beheadings of two American journalists [“Slain US journalist was also an Israeli citizen,” Nation & World, Sept. 3]. Of course, he followed that up by saying we will build a coalition to degrade and destroy them. He also said it will take some time.
Based on past performances I’ll bet the Islamic State leaders are quaking in their boots. The president’s statement follows a familiar pattern of initial outrage and strong words, immediately followed by backtracking and softening of expectations. He has had ample time and information to decide on a course of action, and has elected to stand by and watch events unfold. His supporters will point to the 100-plus bombing missions the U.S. has carried out in recent weeks.
If he was serious about destroying this menace that would be the daily tally. Whether he likes it or not, Obama is the leader of the free world. I sincerely hope he will begin to act like it.
Mark Stratton, Bothell