Speaking at the Pentagon on Monday, Barack Obama once again proclaimed that victory over the Islamic State was just around the corner. He said that the Islamic State's "recent losses in both Syria and Iraq prove that ISIL can and will be defeated. The more he talked, however, the more it became clear that he not only had no plan to defeat the Islamic State, but was sketching out a pathway to surrender.
"Ideologies," Obama declared, "are not defeated with guns, they are defeated by better ideas, a more attractive and more compelling vision."
Ideologies are not defeated by guns? Really? Yet if National Socialism and Shinto militarism were not defeated by guns, what defeated them? Any serious and thoroughgoing effort to refute them as ideologies came after the guns had stopped firing, during the occupation of Germany and Japan, when the Allies worked to turn the hearts of the citizenry away from the beliefs in which they had been relentlessly indoctrinated for years.