In last week’s State of the Union (“SOTU”) address, Mr. Obama focused on domestic policy but glossed over many of the world’s troubled areas. In one example, earlier this year, Mr. Obama cited American policy in Yemen as a “model” in fighting the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (“ISIS”). However, in recent days, Shiite rebels aligned with Iran overthrew the Yemeni government. Yemen borders Saudi Arabia, and therefore Iran and its allies now directly threaten Saudi Arabia. The SOTU, however, did not mention one word about Yemen. Further, Mr. Obama declared progress in stopping Iran’s nuclear program. However, as I have written on these pages, the progress actually consists of an extension of negotiations on an agreement with Iran, after the previous round failed, and after billions of dollars have been released to Iran, with billions more to be sent in the coming months. Mr. Obama did briefly mention the Ebola epidemic of West Africa in the SOTU, but did not make any reference to Boko Haram, the radical Islamic terrorist group in Nigeria, which is expanding and committing ever-greater atrocities against Christian believers in northern and central Nigeria. Boko Haram has even announced its own caliphate modeled on ISIS. This is not to suggest that Mr. Obama pretends that no threats exist to world peace. In the SOTU, he did declare that “climate change” is an “immediate risk to our national security.” (No, I am not making this up.)
I have written on these pages about the war on women by ISIS, and how they are enslaving thousands of Christian and Yazidi women in areas under their control. Further, under the barbaric theology of ISIS, thirteen teenage boys in the Iraqi city of Mosul were recently executed for the “crime” of watching the Asian Cup soccer match between Iraq and Jordan. Media reports indicate that the teens were arrested and then publicly shot to death by machine guns. The boys’ bodies “remained lying in the open and their parents were unable to withdraw them for fear of murder” by ISIS. Moreover, this past weekend, ISIS beheaded one of two Japanese hostages it held because Japan refused to pay a $200 million ransom. ISIS released a photo in which one of the hostages, Kenji Goto, a journalist, is in shackles and holds a photo of what appeared to be the decapitated body of the other hostage, Haruna Yukawa. Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe condemned the killing of Mr. Yukawa as an “outrageous and unforgivable act of violence,” and demanded the immediate release of the other hostage, Mr. Goto. Finally, Jurgen Todenhofer, the first Western reporter to embed with ISIS (and not be killed), spoke to Al Jazeera about his time with ISIS. Mr. Todenhofer said the following:
I always asked [ISIS fighters] about the value of mercy in Islam, but I didn’t see any mercy in their behavior. Something that I don’t understand at all is the enthusiasm in their plan of religious cleansing, planning to kill the non-believers. They also will kill Muslim democrats because they believe that non-ISIL-Moslems put the laws of human beings above the commandments of God.
Mr. Todenhofer then said how shocked he was about how “willing to kill” ISIS fighters are and even ready to commit genocide. “They were talking about [killing] hundreds of millions [of non-Moslems]. They were enthusiastic about it, and I just cannot understand that,” said Mr. Todenhofer. Emphasis added.
Well, we can no longer say that we were not warned about ISIS. In the 2nd century B.C., during the latter years of the Punic War against Carthage, Roman senator Cato the Elder would conclude his speeches with a short statement commonly abbreviated as Carthago delenda est, which is translated as “Carthage must be destroyed.” Carthage had been defeated twice before by Rome, but after each defeat, Carthage rebuilt its forces and engaged in further warfare against the Roman Republic. In his statement, Cato reminded the senate and people of Rome that a peace treaty with Carthage would never be enough. History records that in 146 B.C., after the Third Battle of Carthage, the city was razed (and according to popular legend, strewn with salt so that nothing could grow there ever again), and its entire population sold into slavery. Carthage never again posed a threat to Rome. Perhaps Mr. Obama in his Indonesian schools or at Punahou School in Hawaii did not focus much on ancient Roman history, which is a pity. But I say, ISIS delenda est.