We’ve had several posts up dealing with the Obama Administration’s stunning inability to talk about ISIS without digging itself into a rhetorical trench—and a new op-ed by Obama just made things a whole lot worse.

Right now, the Administration has a budding—nay, flowering—PR problem with their Middle East policy, so it makes sense that the man himself would take to the media to attempt to explain what they’re thinking with this strategy. What doesn’t make sense is that the finished product would clash so fundamentally with what the American people actually need to hear.

From his op-ed:

More broadly, groups like al Qaeda and ISIL exploit the anger that festers when people feel that injustice and corruption leave them with no chance of improving their lives. The world has to offer today’s youth something better.

Governments that deny human rights play into the hands of extremists who claim that violence is the only way to achieve change. Efforts to counter violent extremism will only succeed if citizens can address legitimate grievances through the democratic process and express themselves through strong civil societies. Those efforts must be matched by economic, educational and entrepreneurial development so people have hope for a life of dignity.

Finally — with al Qaeda and ISIL peddling the lie that the United States is at war with Islam — all of us have a role to play by upholding the pluralistic values that define us as Americans. This week, we’ll be joined by people of many faiths, including Muslim Americans who make extraordinary contributions to our country every day. It’s a reminder that America is successful because we welcome people of all faiths and backgrounds.

There’s a reason why we shouldn’t elect a foreign policy novice to the position of Commander in Chief, and this is it.

In my recent post about ISIS’ latest act of barbarism, I conceded that poverty, hunger, and top-down neglect and disenfranchisement all contribute to an environment conducive to terror activity. Groups like Boko Haram and al-Shabaab have both capitalized on the human rights crises in Africa to present what looks like an acceptable alternative to the status quo, and that’s a problem that the West will eventually have to address if we’re serious about eradicating terrorism.

All that is irrelevant, however, when the President of the United States and his minions take to the soapbox and insist that we won’t win the war on terror by getting rid of the terrorists.

It’s irrelevant because it’s not what the American people—and the rest of the world—need to hear from the leader of the free world. As I said previously, the underlying socioeconomic issues in terrorist hotbeds are, in the eyes of the public, secondary to the immediate issue of hostages being burned alive and beheaded.

This is what the Obama Administration doesn’t understand—and it could end up tanking what’s left of their strategy in the fight against ISIS. They don’t understand the idea of asserting their power, because they’re too busy worrying about all the ways that their power may or may not be offending the rest of the world. They would rather throw a balm on an open wound than admit that they’re neck-deep in the world’s next big disaster, where every move means life and death and there’s no room for the type of “diplomacy” that has defined this rudderless Administration since day one.

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