Today on the Mark Levin show, Eli Lake said that he is hearing from Obama administration officials sympathetic to the president’s point of view that they are worried about who will administer Raqqa if they liberate it from ISIS control.
ELI LAKE: Even this administration which is known I think with Hagel and Kerry for not exactly hawkish figures, they have all said we’ve never seen anything like this, the threat is to the United States and it’s the president who I think is the last hold out.
MARK LEVIN: And why, why is he the last hold out?
ELI LAKE: Oh I think the president is in some ways a prisoner of his own ideology which is in many ways defined as he will do the opposite of what he perceived the last administration would do in a situation.
But I think he also worries that what comes after, what comes next. So, let’s say the US forces liberate Raqqa which is a Syrian city where we know that ISIS is in control because of the Vice News video. Well then who would administer Raqqa? That’s what I’m getting from administration officials sympathetic to the president’s view.
But at a certain point you have to say what’s worse than this new caliphate beheading journalists in the middle of Syria right now. And it’s hard to imagine what would be worse than that.
MARK LEVIN: I’m a little confused by that last statement. Who would administer that town, is that what you said?
ELI LAKE: Well the idea is, let’s say you succeed in driving ISIS out…
MARK LEVIN: I know, but I mean we’ve had other wars throughout our history. And there’ve been other wars throughout history. And this issue wasn’t who’s gonna administer that country or that town, rather. The issue is gonna be victory, victory, we have to have a victory and we’ll figure all that out later.
ELI LAKE: Well I think that we’re so far away from that at this point. The president himself said something a few months ago in one of these press conferences that is so revealing. He said ‘this is how wars end right now, it’s not pretty, it’s not satisfying.’
But I think that’s the problem, he can’t bring himself to say America must destroy ISIS. The phrase he used last week was ‘we can degrade them‘ but that’s the key. If you can’t bring yourself to say the goal is to kill and capture their leaders and liberate the cities that they’ve taken over, take all of their money — all of the things you do in the course of a war, then everything is just tactics at that point. And if there’s no real strategy if you can’t get that basic point right.
Isn’t that like worrying about who will replace Hitler if we destroy the Nazis? After all, what is worse than ISIS right now? And as Levin suggests, why can’t we worry about that once Raqqa has been liberated?