Mr. President, Please Resign

George Mullen  January 20, 2016

Mr. President, it is strikingly clear that you are not up to the task of facing ISIS, let alone leading the fight to annihilate them.  And annihilate them we must.

Your description of ISIS as the “JV team“, claims that ISIS is “contained“, statements that our homeland is “protected“, callous reference to the Paris attack as a “setback“, and pushing of San Bernardino as “work place violence” and a “gun control issue“, reveal you unfit to lead in the all-important bipartisan pursuit of keeping Americans safe.  Simply put, we are facing the Nazi death-cult of our day, and you don’t even see it.

You clearly have a pathological aversion to seeing the ISIS situation as it actually is.  You even refuse to admit that our enemy is derived from radical branches of Islam, when they call themselves the “Islamic State“.  Likewise, you force all levels of our government and military to name ISIS by the different acronym of ISIL, again subverting a unified approach to identifying our enemy.  (Nearly all media use ISIS; #ISIS has over 625,000 Instagram postings (93%), while #ISIL only 48,000 postings (7%).  Which is the obvious naming choice for building a cohesive global front against our enemy?)

ISIS may strike you as a pinprick nuisance to your agenda, but its exponential growth rate is the ominous indicator the rest of us see.  Do you understand what happens with exponential growth?  The first Apple iPhone was sold in just 2007, and, via exponential growth, has now sold over 700 million units.  Cancer begins with but one cell; via exponential growth it soon becomes millions, then billions, and quickly wreaks havoc.  Think about ISIS with such growth rates.  Therein lies the problem: ISIS is global cancer.

If ISIS continues along its current growth trajectory, Paris, Sinai and San Bernardino will be mini-previews of a horror film starring us.  ISIS’s string of successes is selling globally and driving their exponential growth – and nothing sells like success.  These successes are largely, if not completely, due to five critical mistakes made by you, Mr. President:

First, against nearly all advice to the contrary, you prematurely withdrew all U.S. troops from Iraq, abandoning the Sunni population to Iraq’s Shiite government and their Iranian masters – effectively driving the Sunni population right into the hands of ISIS.  (How long did we stay in Germany and Japan to stabilize those nations after World War II?)  Second, you naively instigated regime-change in Egypt and Libya, creating a massive Sunni power vacuum across North Africa with ISIS and Boko Haram (pledged to ISIS) stepping in to fill the void.  (This after you repeatedly criticized President Bush’s regime-change in Iraq.)  Third, you drew a Red Line threat in Syria over chemical weapons, and when that line was crossed, you did nothing.  (This signaled the U.S. as a paper-tiger to ISIS and everyone else around the globe.)  Fourth, you openly courted and have now cut a deal with Iran.  Iran is a terrorist-state threat to America, but even more consequentially, is viewed as an imminent existential Shiite threat to the Sunni Arab world, from which ISIS emanates and recruits.  Saudi Arabia’s escalating confrontation with Iran is a direct result of this deal that they see as American betrayal.  (Ironically, Mr. President, you repeatedly demand Syria’s President Bashar al-Assad be removed from power – and yet, you release $150 billion to Iran, Assad’s largest financial backer?)  Fifth, you refuse to acknowledge the magnitude of these four mistakes, and instead, steadfastly continue to rationalize what has transpired since.  Thus not seriously addressing ISIS, and aiding their continued string of successes and exponential growth.  (Note – this critical analysis does not exonerate President Bush’s decision to invade Iraq in the first place.)

In the mid 1930’s, the Allies allowed Hitler and the Nazis a string of big gambles and successes.  By the time the Allies finally confronted him, Hitler had built one of the strongest war machines the world had ever seen.  The Allies’ delay-to-action cost the world over 60 million lives.  Does anyone doubt that ISIS is actively seeking to capture (or purchase with their vast war chest) chemical weapons, nuclear weapons, and fissile radioactive material for building dirty bombs?  Must we wait for 10,000 or 50,000 casualties in a single attack at the hands of ISIS before we take serious action?

The Middle East is always in some stage of crisis; this we know.  But in our lifetimes, this is by far the worst – and ISIS is thriving on it.  Your mistakes are the reason, Mr. President, and hundreds of thousands of people have (and are) paid for it with their lives.  In light of ISIS’s exponential growth, we need a leader determined to annihilate ISIS now – we simply cannot wait another year for the inauguration of your elected successor.  Every day matters as this monster grows.

Recognizing when you are not up to a task is one of the most difficult things for anyone to acknowledge, let alone a sitting U.S. President.  But doing so defines an individual with deep inner strength, character, and a willingness to do what is right.  There is no shame in this, Mr. President; only honor.  The terminal cancer flowing from the Mid-East must be addressed with Churchillian strength, and you, unfortunately, are not that leader.  We hope Vice President Joe Biden is.

Mr. President, for the good of America and the civilized world, please resign.

About the Author: Mullen is a principal of in San Diego, and author of the book Peace in the Middle East