By Nile Gardiner
The contrast between Friday’s press conference in London by British Prime Minister David Cameron and Thursday’s White House remarks by President Obama could not have been starker.
Mr. Cameron delivered a robust assessment of the scale of the Islamist threat to Great Britain and to the free world.
He told journalists assembled at Downing Street that “what we are facing in Iraq now with ISIL (Islamic State) is a greater threat to our security than we have seen before.”
While David Cameron appeared self-assured and determined in his approach, Barack Obama came across as a deer in the headlights, unable to outline a coherent U.S. response to a rapidly growing crisis in the Middle East.
He made it clear that ISIS must not be allowed to establish an Islamist caliphate in Iraq. If they succeeded, “we would be facing a terrorist state on the shores of the Mediterranean and bordering a NATO member.”
In announcing his government’s decision to raise the UK terrorism threat level to “severe,” the PM announced a series of measures to combat the Islamist threat within Britain itself, including tough new measures against British-born, self-styled “jihadists,” hundreds of whom have traveled to Iraq and Syria in recent months to fight with ISIS.
Cameron addressed the Islamist menace head-on, declaring that “the root cause of this threat to our security is clear: it is a poisonous ideology of Islamic extremism that is condemned by all states.”
In contrast, President Obama’s remarks to the White House press corps Thursday were weak-kneed, meandering and confused, sending mixed messages both to America’s enemies and the American people. ....
Nile Gardiner is Director of the Margaret Thatcher Center for Freedom at the Heritage Foundation and a former aide to Margaret Thatcher. Follow him on Twitter@NileGardiner.