If Ronald Reagan were president today, he would handle the Islamic State (ISIS) threat very differently, and he certainly wouldn't be looking for "cover" from the "international community," Michael Reagan tells Newsmax TV.
In 1986, Reagan ordered airstrikes against terrorist and military targets in Libya after two American servicemen were killed in the bombing of a nightclub in Berlin that was linked to the North African country. Libya had also killed five Americans when it attacked airports in Rome and Vienna.
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"For us to ignore by inaction, the slaughter of American civilians and American soldiers, whether in nightclubs or airline terminals is simply not in the American tradition," Ronald Reagan said in a speech he gave about the reason for the attack on April 14, 1986.
"When our citizens are abused or attacked anywhere in the world on the direct orders of a hostile regime, we will respond so long as I'm in this Oval Office," he added.
On Wednesday, while President Barack Obama was speaking in Estonia about how the United States plans to handle the growing threat of ISIS, the group that has beheaded two American journalists, he said, "We know that if we are joined by the international community, we can continue to shrink ISIL's sphere of influence, its effectiveness, its financing, its military capabilities to the point where it is a manageable problem."
By comparison, the son of the 40th president told J.D. Hayworth on "America's Forum" Friday that "you did not hear within my father's statement anything to do with the 'international community.'"
"He was the president of the United States. Barack Obama's trying to be president of I don't know what, certainly not the United States of America," Michael Reagan said.
"He wants cover from the international community to be able to do what is in fact correct," he said. "Ronald Reagan wasn't looking for cover from the international community.
"He was sworn to uphold the laws and protect the citizens of the United States of America no matter where they lived, and that's exactly what he did," Michael Reagan said. "That is the major difference between the two of them."
The conservative political commentator said it was a major error for Obama to admit that he has no plan on how to deal with ISIS.
"To announce he had no plan, even if he had a plan, to announce he had no plan does not help the United States of America against ISIS and terrorism throughout the globe," Michael Reagan said.
"My father . . . didn't announce what he was going to do," he said. "He just, in the middle of the night, sent a couple of planes into Tripoli, took out a couple of the homes real quick and [Moammar] Gadhafi stayed quiet for 20-plus years.
"Sometimes just an action of that nature can solve so many of your problems," he added.
However, "we have done none of this with ISIS . . . because we're afraid what the U.N. is going to say."
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