Like it or not, the Paris attacks have placed us in a situation where war is probably inevitable. These people aren’t going to go away, and they won’t ever make peace. What’s more, it has to be done soon, not just because ISIS will continue to grow and metastasize, but more importantly because it’s vitally important that there be a Democrat in the White House if we’re to have any possibility of victory.
I know that sounds counter-intuitive. But consider: If we wait until after the next election they will paint it as a purely Republican war and hamstring it at every opportunity, whereas Republicans are unlikely to hamper a war effort. (Yes, yes, the GOP has its own set of shameful tactics, But that’s not one of them.) Our only hope of winning the war is if both halves of America are behind it. And this, my friends, is a war we absolutely cannot afford to lose.
This is what the President needs to say:
My fellow Americans,
I have hoped with all my heart not to speak the words I am about to say. For several years we have watched the rise of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria with growing concern. Up until now their predations have been confined to the Middle East, a region far from our shores. Those actions have been reprehensible - genocide, slaughter and destruction - but America has taken only limited measures, primarily aiding and supporting our Kurdish and other allies in the region. We have seen ISIS take the form, not of a shadowy terrorist organization, but of a full-fledged territorial nation bent on expansion. ISIS has made it abundantly clear that they will not countenance peace, that they intend to dominate all other nations and will never recognize another nation as its equal.
The attacks upon our French allies in Paris have changed the situation drastically. As members of NATO, we are obligated to come to France’s defense. Therefore, as soon as I have finished speaking, I intend to call a joint session of Congress and ask them to declare that a state of war exists between ISIS and the United States.
I do not take this action lightly. If the last 14 years have taught us anything, it is that the American people do not relish the roles of conquerers and occupiers. We prefer to leave others in peace and live in peace ourselves, often at great risk or cost to ourselves. But this, ISIS will not have. In light of their intransigence, it is better to stop them while they are relatively small rather than allow them to grow larger and more dangerous. War will come, whether we like it or not; the only question is when and what size foe we will face.
Let me be clear: this is not a war on Islam itself. I spent much of my childhood among Muslims whom I knew to be good and decent people. Many of our own citizens are Muslim. Indeed, the vast majority of ISIS’ victims have been Muslim. I call on American Muslims to demonstrate their loyalty to this country, and non-Muslims to treat them with the respect you would show any other compatriots. Your neighbors are not your enemies. Nor are many of the people in the regions we intend to invade. Our enemy, rather, is any person who identifies as a subject of ISIS’ caliphate or bears arms on its behalf.
American soldiers have a long tradition of protecting civilians from harm. I will direct our troops to continue this tradition. Unfortunately, civilian casualties cannot be completely avoided. Innocent people will be hurt and killed despite our best efforts. For this I take full responsibility, and may God judge me for it as He sees fit.
Our men and women in uniform have been through a great deal in recent years, in Iraq and Afghanistan. Against our wishes, we must call on them once again to place their bodies between their beloved home and an enemy who would destroy it. I thank them for their service and honor them for the work they are about to do.
I call on Americans of all faiths to join Michelle and me in prayer for the safety of our troops and a quick end to this war. Thank you, and God bless and defend the United States of America.