On ISIS, Obama is all talk, Putin is all action
President Obama proposed a war of words to combat Islamic State jihadists while Russia flourished fire and steel.
Obama told a United Nations summit on countering terrorism Tuesday that ideas, jobs and good governance are essential to “degrading and ultimately destroying” ISIS.
“It is not going to be enough to defeat ISIL in the battlefield,” Obama declared. Victory requires “defeating their ideology. Ideologies are not defeated with guns; they’re defeated by better ideas – a more attractive and compelling vision,” he said.
But the “more attractive and compelling vision” Obama outlined bears a striking resemblance what the U.N. has been preaching for decades, even as terrorism has steadily grown more militant and deadly.
“Sustainable development – creating opportunity and dignity, particularly for youth – is part of countering violent extremism,” Obama said, because terrorists exploit resentments among people who “are impoverished and hopeless and feel humiliated by injustice and corruption.”
Further detailing the “compelling vision” to counter ISIS’ recruitment efforts, Obama prescribed “more democracy in terms of free speech, and freedom of religion, rule of law, strong civil societies.”
The president did not explain why he believes a person drawn to jihad would find Western-style secular democracy an attractive alternative. Many ISIS recruits are coming from Western societies.