by Jim Kouri
Clash Daily Contributor
President Barack Obama condemned the horrific terrorist attacks in Paris and pledged whatever help the United States can provide to French authorities. But his critics aren’t about to let Americans forget how Obama practically claimed victory in a television interview on Friday morning with ABC’s George Stephanapolous
For example, Republican presidential candidate Carly Fiorina on Saturday lambasted President Obama for saying the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) was “contained” hours before a terror attack massacred Paris. Fiorina said she was “angry that just yesterday morning, hours before the Paris attacks began and against all the evidence, President Obama declared ISIS ‘contained’ and took a victory lap.”
Initial media reports indicate that dozens of people were killed in the attacks, and that dozens of others are being held hostage in a theater. ”Once again, we’ve seen an outrageous attempt to terrorize innocent civilians,” the president said. “This is an attack not just on Paris and not just on people of France, but this is an attack on all of humanity and the universal values that we share.”
Obama vowed to work with France and other nations to bring the terrorists to justice and to “go after any terrorist networks that go after our people.”
But Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) says he believes that the lame duck Obama isn’t really interested in protecting the United States from terror attacks. “I recognize that Barack Obama does not wish to defend this country. He may [be] tired of war, but our enemies are not tired of killing us,” Cruz said during an appearance on “Fox and Friends”.
GOP presidential candidate Donald Trump didn’t bash Obama, but did take a swipe at the Democratic Party’s stance on firearms in the hands of civilians. Trump claims that the victims of the terrorist attacks in Paris would have had a better chance of defending themselves if they were allowed to carry concealed firearms
“When you look at Paris, you know, the toughest gun laws in the world, nobody had guns except for the bad guys, nobody,” Trump said at a campaign rally in Beaumont, Texas, on Saturday. “Nobody had guns, and they were just shooting them one by one.”
“And I’ll tell you what, you can say what you want, but if they had guns, if our people had guns, if they were allowed to carry, it would have been a much, much different situation,” he said. Trump also called President Obama’s plan to take in displaced Syrian refugees “insane.”
Meanwhile, Defense Secretary Ash Carter spoke by phone this Saturday morning with French Defense Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian to convey his condolences for those killed during Friday night’s terrorist attacks in Paris, Pentagon Press Secretary Peter Cook said.
In a statement summarizing the call, Cook said Carter told Le Drian that the men and women of the Defense Department stand with France entirely and are committed to helping France in any way they can. “The U.S. and France maintain a close relationship in countering terrorism around the world, including direct action in North Africa, Syria, and Iraq,” he added.
Jim Kouri, CPP, is founder and CEO of Kouri Associates, a homeland security, public safety and political consulting firm. He’s formerly Fifth Vice-President, now a Board Member of the National Association of Chiefs of Police, a columnist, and a contributor to the nationally syndicated talk-radio program, the Chuck Wilder Show.