The Islamic State is certainly at war with the U.S. But the U.S. is doing its level best to minimize that war. The Obama Administration’s luck in that regard, unfortunately, is unlikely to hold indefinitely. But Kerry has other priorities: after all, Jesus wants us to go to war against global warming.
“Kerry: U.S. not at war with ISIS,” by Elise Labott, Laura Smith-Spark and Ray Sanchez, CNN, September 11, 2014 (thanks to Jerk Chicken):
(CNN) — U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry on Thursday would not say the United States is at war with ISIS, telling CNN in an interview that the administration’s strategy includes “many different things that one doesn’t think of normally in context of war.”
“What we are doing is engaging in a very significant counter-terrorism operation,” Kerry told CNN’s Elise Labott in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. “It’s going to go on for some period of time. If somebody wants to think about it as being a war with ISIL, they can do so, but the fact is it’s a major counterterrorism operation that will have many different moving parts.”
Kicking off meetings with leaders from key Arab countries in Saudi Arabia to enlist regional support for a global coalition to defeat ISIS, Kerry defended the administration’s insistence that the 2001 authority to go after al Qaeda and affiliates applies to ISIS even if the two groups have publicly split from each other. He insisted that the group’s origin as an al Qaeda affiliate is enough to consider them connected.
“This group is and has been al Qaeda,” Kerry said. “By trying to change its name, it doesn’t change who it is, what it does.”
Asked how much of the interpretation lets Congress get away from a vote on going after ISIS — a scenario lawmakers would like to avoid in an election year — Kerry responded “none.”
Kerry said there is a distinction between ISIS and terror groups operating in Somalia and Yemen.
“ISIL is an animal unto itself,” he told CNN. “And it is significantly such a threat because of the foreign fighters that are attracted to it — which you don’t see in Somalia … similarly in Yemen. It is promising to do things externally as those other groups are not. And thirdly, most importantly, it’s attracting a significant coalition to go and destroy it.”
Kerry said the opposition battling the Assad regime in Syria has been outgunned and outmanned but the administration believes that equation can change “if they receive proper training, if there are recruits that come in, and if it grows over a period of time.”
The regime’s legitimacy could never be restored, Kerry said.
“It is going to be our policy to separate Assad, who is mostly in the western part of Syria, in a certain corridor from the eastern part of Syria, which he doesn’t control,” Kerry said. “ISIL controls that part. So it is clearly … not a very difficult task to target ISIL.”…
It will be interesting to see if he can back that up.