The U.S. and its allies can defeat ISIS. Joining with Putin, Assad and Iran’s regime would be immoral.
Three days after coordinated terror attacks in Paris killed at least 129 people and put the lie to President Obama’s recent claim that Islamic State was “contained,” Mr. Obama took to the podium on Monday. Speaking from Antalya, Turkey, where he was attending a G-20 meeting, he threw the full weight of his rhetoric behind solidarity with France and behind the French military response against Islamic State, or ISIS. But he offered no policy changes. In other words, once again America is leading from behind.
Mr. Obama’s remarks in Turkey came after he sat down for an impromptu discussion with Russian dictator Vladimir Putin, who has shipped troops and military hardware to Syria to prop up the Bashar Assad regime and to produce desperately needed new war propaganda back home. A suggestion gaining currency in recent days—encouraged by the Putin-Obama photo op—that the U.S. and NATO cooperate with Mr. Putin against ISIS is ludicrous on many levels. The most obvious one being that Russian forces aren’t in Syria to fight ISIS.
Even after the death of 224 people—most of them Russian tourists—in the Oct. 31 Metrojet crash in Egypt that was almost certainly an ISIS terror bombing, Mr. Putin remains focused on his goals. He is in Syria to help Iran and Mr. Assad destroy any legitimate alternatives to the status quo. What is that status quo? The Assad regime and its Iranian backers controlling the region by force.