The lecturer-in-chief said on Sunday that what he hopes to accomplish in his address on the threat from ISIS  in the Middle East tomorrow is to get "the American people to understand the nature of the threat  and how we're going to deal with it."

Mr. President, we, the American people, already understand the nature of the threat.  What we are wondering is whether you understand the nature of the threat. Recent comments and actions have not given us much hope that you do. We should probably be giving you the talk on foreign policy.

Knock off the condescension, Mr. President, and let us know that you get it. But does he get it? The Hill report that President Obama  “dined” with foreign policy “experts” fewer than 48 hours before his address is not encouraging. Hasn’t he been meeting with foreign policy experts all along? (Stephen Hadley, a Bush foreign policy adviser, was on the list but some of the dining experts were less encouraging: here.)

Given that we the people appear to have a deeper appreciation of the dangers than the president, we can only hope that the president is reading Ryan Crocker’s piece on the situation in today’s Wall Street Journal. Crocker is a former ambassador to Iraq and Syria and is now dean of the Bush School of Government and Public Service at Texas A&M.

Crocker writes that the Islamic State is growing stronger and that it is targeting the United States.  The strategy the president will lay out tomorrow will likely involve a coalition (is President Obama on the phone assembling it?) and it could take years. Crocker writes:

 Less clear is whether the president will commit to strikes inside Syria and substantially expanded special-forces deployments to Iraq and as soon as possible to Syria. We will not win unless he does.

There is no time left to argue, dither and wonder what should be done about those who are butchering Americans— and anyone else they care to—across a growing portion of the Middle East.

The enemy has no such doubts. They are not going away. They are getting stronger. The war, ladies and gentlemen, is truly on. We're just not a meaningful part of it yet.

It is hard to overstate the threat that this organization poses. I call it al Qaeda Version 6.0. The Islamic State is far better organized, equipped and funded than the original….

Crocker writes that the threat must be confronted militarily. Military force is essential, he argues, if Iraq and Syria are to become stable. We all hate to hear this, but closing our ears and wishing away the threat won’t help.

IWF stands for a strong national defense but I am sure there is a variety of opinions among us on the course of action that the U.S. should follow in the Middle East. But I think we can all agree on one thing: now is the time for leadership.  It does no good for the president to lecture us when we are way ahead of him on this. We will find out tomorrow if he can rise to the occasion.