While the U.S.-led coalition to defeat the so-called Islamic State has launched around 5,000 airstrikes against the extremist group, with Central Command posting daily updates on new airstrikes targeting the organization also known as ISIS or ISIL, several Republican politicians appear to believe that the U.S. is not at all engaging in a fight against group.
The same politicians will readily praise the leaders of Egypt and Jordan for launching airstrikes against the terrorist group, while then criticizing President Obama for not following in their footsteps, even though the U.S. is responsible for the vast majority of the airstrikes carried out by the anti-ISIS coalition. Of course, many Republicans and Democrats have expressed legitimate criticisms of the administration’s strategy to defeat ISIS, but some Republicans are acting as if the administration is not at all engaged in fighting the group, whose momentum has been blunted since the airstrikes began.
As Jon Stewart noted, Fox News pundits deny the facts about America’s anti-ISIS airstrikes “even when that fact is spelled out directly next to their face.”
But Fox News commentators aren’t the only one living in this conservative fantasy world.
Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker continued his habit of simply punting on questions by telling journalists in London recently that he doesn’t have a strategy to fight ISIS, but it is “certainly something I will answer in the United States in the future.” Walker nonetheless criticized the current strategy in an interview with Martha Raddatz, saying that the U.S. needs to show “leadership” and “take the fight to ISIS.” When Raddatz pointed out that the U.S. has launched thousands of anti-ISIS airstrikes, Walker simply replied that “we need to have an aggressive strategy.”
Another potential presidential candidate, former New York Gov. George Pataki, also seems to have blocked out of his mind the fact that the U.S. has been attacking ISIS for months, expressing anger that President Obama supposedly doesn’t realize that “we have got to attack these terrorist groups overseas before they have a chance to attack us again here.”
Rep. Scott Perry, R-Pa., went one step further, telling a conservative conference that he faces a “conundrum” about supporting the Authorization for the Use of Military Force against ISIS since “we have a commander-in-chief who seems not only not ready, not unwilling, but really working collaboratively with what I would say is the enemy of freedom.”
The congressman worried that Obama would actually use the resolution “to further their cause and what seems to be his cause.”
Perry isn’t the only GOP House member to hold such views.
Rep. Matt Salmon, R-Ariz., suggested in an interview that Obama does not want to “destroy ISIL,” while Texas Republican Rep. Ted Poe alleged that Obama is “more aggressive toward Americans, Republicans, conservatives, Christians” than he is toward ISIS.
Not to be outdone, American Family Radio host Bryan Fischer claimed that Obama is directing the military to deliberately “minimize the number of dead terrorists” who are fighting for ISIS.