The murderous extremists who make up the Islamic State (ISIS) and other Middle East terror groups are nothing but "thugs" and "cowards" who use fear as a weapon, says Michael Golembesky, a retired U.S. Marine Corps staff sergeant.
Golembesky told "The Steve Malzberg Show" on Newsmax TV
that the latest beheading of an American journalist is the kind of barbarism that is nothing new to combat veterans who have fought in the Middle East.
Story continues below video.
Note: Watch Newsmax TV now on DIRECTV Ch. 349 and DISH Ch. 223
Get Newsmax TV on your cable system – Click Here Now
"This type of brutality is something that we've all experienced first-hand. We don't see ISIS as a separate group from Hamas or the Taliban or al-Qaida. We see them as all the same problem, the same issue," Golembesky said.
"They're a bunch of thugs is what they are. They're cowards. Anyone can slaughter an unarmed person — that doesn't establish anything, that doesn't send any precedents.
"What they're really trying to do is a shock factor. They're trying to shock the Western world into fear, that's basically what it comes down to. The weapon is fear. If you can put fear into a population, then you have control over them."
For U.S. soldiers, however, "these guys are nothing but a bunch of chumps," he added.
Golembesky — author of "Level Zero Heroes: The Story of U.S. Marine Special Operations in Bala Murghab, Afghanistan,"
written with John Bruning and published by St. Martin's Press — said President Barack Obama was wrong to say the U.S. had no strategy against ISIS.
"You don't say stuff like that. You are the president. You are the top of the chain when it comes to military might, power and influence in the world," he said.
"Regardless of how the American people may picture the U.S. these days, a lot of it has to do with the way the media portrays American superiority and dominance.
"But make no mistake, the U.S. is the greatest force on the planet. The U.S. is the greatest nation to ever have blessed this planet. Even in a darkening world, we're still the beacon of hope, and the president needs to reflect that, which he did not."
© 2016 Newsmax. All rights reserved.