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Terror attacks spark reckless rhetoric

Irv Randolph | 1/7/2016, 12:05 p.m.
After the horrific terrorist attacks in Paris and San Bernardino, Calif., that was inspired but not directed, by members of ...
Republican presidential candidates have attacked President Obama on his efforts to fight terrorism.

After the horrific terrorist attacks in Paris and San Bernardino, Calif., that was inspired but not directed, by members of the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria some politicians and pundits are calling for “boots on the ground,” in Syria.

Boots on the ground is a euphemism for sending American soldiers to war.

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Irv Randolph

But the Republican presidential candidates and commentators that are calling for sending U.S. forces into Syria are not explaining what this would mean including how many soldiers and how long they would stay.

Those who call for sending U.S. ground troops into the region should be honest with the American public by first admitting that this could not possibly work unless the U.S. was committed to being an occupying force in the region for years to come. Even then as seen with the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan the outcome is unpredictable.

Advocates for sending American soldiers to another war in the Middle East have an obligation to speakly clearly to the American people about their intentions.

The recent terror attacks have also unleashed an outpouring of reckless rhetoric against President Obama’s foreign policy from those on the right.

Former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum is typical of the shameless politicians using the real fears of terrorism to launch a partisan attack.

"This President doesn't plan. ... This President has completely abandoned ship," the Republican presidential hopeful told reporters at the Sunshine Summit in Florida.

Santorum said Obama "has no intention of winning" the fight against the Islamic State, also known as ISIS or ISIL.

Republican presidential candidate Jeb Bush said Obama lacked not the resources but “the will” to defeat ISIL, and called his policy “incremental, just kind of running out the clock so the next president has to deal with this.”

Another Republican presidential candidate, Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) charged that Obama was doing “the bare minimum” to fight the radical group.

Obama concedes that the Paris terror attacks were a “terrible and sickening setback” in the fight against the Islamic State.

Facing growing pressure to take aggressive action, the president gave a rare prime-time televised address from the Oval Office on Dec. 6. after the terrorist attack in San Bernardino, Calif. The speech was designed to underscore the government’s campaign against Islamic extremists.

Since the attacks, polls show fears of terrorism are soaring in the U.S. and also about terrorism and immigration leading to a rise in support for right-wing populists in Europe similar to Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump, who made the outrageous call for banning immigration of Muslims into the United States.

The president has sought to calm fears and to urge Americans not to give in to fear or language that casts suspicions on all Muslims.

“We cannot turn against one another by letting this fight be defined as a war between America and Islam,” said Obama. “That kind of divisiveness, that betrayal of our values, plays into the hands of groups like ISIL.

But the president is also right to dismiss critics who have called for the U.S. to expand its military campaign against the extremists by sending in ground troops.