A Letter to President Obama

Dear Mr. President, it has truly been a month of terror, an immense spike in Islamic terrorism on a scale we have not seen in a long time. First came Orlando, then Istanbul, and just a couple of days ago, Bangladesh. If there is one thing that I am sure of, it is that whatever doubt I might have had about the danger ISIS poses to America was shot to pieces on June twelfth in Orlando, when Omar Mateen stormed into the Pulse Nightclub and gunned down forty-nine people.

Now, Islamic State is not an organization that spontaneously formed out of thin air. As a matter of fact, it was quite the opposite just a few years ago. It was once little more than a small group of men with Kalashnikov rifles on the backs of pickup trucks in Iraq. A “JV Squad” as you so eloquently put it. Then came the Belgium Jewish Museum shooting, followed in due time by the Bataclan mass shooting in France and more recently, massacres in Orlando and Istambul. In just a matter of years, what you initially blew off as a JV squad became one of the largest and deadliest terrorist armies that history has ever seen.

For a moment, let us imagine a man named Bobby, who in this case, has a cancerous skin tumor. It is easy to spot and is easily recognizable. He knows what it is, but he chooses to ignore it. He thinks that it will just go away on its own. Over time, what started out as a small and almost innocent looking skin growth transforms into life-threatening skin cancer. Eventually, Bob gets around to seeing his local dermatologist and have this tumor examined. Tragically, at this point, it has spread so far in his body that the doctor can do little more than tell Bob of the inevitable fate that awaits him.

Now all sentiments aside, ISIS is in many ways similar to this cancerous tumor; it started out small and weak. Harmless to us in the West. However, it did not attempt to hide what it was, nor what it intended to do. It remained unchecked, unimpeded, and until recently, largely ignored. As a result, it grew, expanded, and before we knew it, ISIS became an organization that makes Al Qaeda minuscule by comparison.

What is even more striking is that just like in Bobby’s case, we have someone who knows what he is dealing with yet for some reason, does not want to. Curious who that might be? Here is a hint: it is the same man who just a few years ago called Islamic State a JV Squad, and who has banned everyone in the White House from uttering the term “radical Islam.” Apparently calling an enemy by what it preaches to be is somehow offensive and politically incorrect.

You are not blind Mr. President, You know ISIS is out there, and you know better than anyone how much of a threat it is to our country. I cannot fathom why you are choosing to ignore it. Is it because you want to preserve your legacy as a president who did not get America into another war? Like cancer, ISIS will continue to grow unless you make a concerted effort to eliminate it. The longer you ignore it and pretend like it is not a threat to our way of life, the more dangerous it will become and harder it will be to destroy.

I have heard time and time again from Republicans on the Hill that you do not understand how dangerous ISIS is to our country. I would like to disagree staunchly with such a ridiculous accusation. I believe you know exactly what ISIS is capable of, and do not care. You are willing to risk the lives of Americans if that is what it will take to preserve your legacy as a “Man of Peace.”

Regardless of who wins the November presidential election, you are leaving the White House in no less than six months. I am sure it is much easier for you to leave your head jammed under the snow and refuse to acknowledge the approaching avalanche. Since you have already proven time and time again that no matter how many innocent Americans die at the hands of radical Islam, you still do not believe it is a threat to us; I would honestly expect little more from you at this point. I think it is time for you to face the harsh reality that Radical Islam is, as a matter of fact, at war with us.

Our peace and freedom are not just handed down from generation to generation. It has been fought for time and time again. If you do not believe that the peace and freedom that we as Americans enjoy is not worth fighting for, that what is worth fighting for, Mr. President? Should the colonists have not raised their guns and fired the shot heard around the world at the British in pursuit of independence? Should we have responded with inaction to the advance of Nazi Germany in Europe? Should Rosa Parks have moved to the back of the bus and not have stood up for the rights she deserved as an American?

Whether you like it or not, there is no fast forward button through the next six months. The safety of the greatest nation in the world rests solely on your shoulders. You alone can make the choice between standing up for American values and pulverize those who threaten our way of life, or you can be a placeholder president, do nothing, and watch Americans die while you sit in the comfort and safety of the Oval Office.

About the Author
Benjamin Jaffe currently lives in Israel with his family and is a soldier in the Armored Corps of the Israel Defense Forces.
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