Barack Obama

The Deep Roots of Obama's "We Don't Have a Strategy Yet" Problem—and What to Do Next.

|

Like a lot of people, I was perplexed by President Obama's decision to talk to the press yesterday. He really had nothing to say, which he made perfectly clear, especially when it came to talking about ISIL and the situation in Iraq and Syria:

"The options that I'm asking for from the Joint Chiefs focuses primarily on making sure that ISIL is not overrunning Iraq," Obama said using another acronym for the militant Islamic group ISIS.

"We don't have a strategy yet. We're seeing some news reports suggesting we are further ahead than we are," he said.

WTF, really? Just a week ago, he was talking about "rooting out a cancer like ISIL," right? 

Folks on the right are saying this is because Obama is a foreign-policy wimp who is at best a reluctant warrior. Such a reaction may work politically, at least in the short term. According to a new USA Today/Pew poll, Americans are increasingly saying the U.S. is doing "too little" to fix the world. A plurality still (wisely, IMO) believes that we're "doing too much," but the numbers are shifting compared to a year ago. Something on the order of 54 percent say Obama is "not tough enough" when it comes to foreign policy and national security.

Yet the idea that Obama is slow to military action or willing to go over the top in the name of national security is clearly at odds with his record as president. He tripled troop strength in Afghanistan and only reluctantly pulled out of Iraq in 2011 (according to the schedule originally put in place by George W. Bush). Then Defense Secretary Leon Panetta was promising up until the end that a large U.S. military presence was going to stick around for the foreseeable future. However constitutionally dubious U.S. action in Libya was, it happened, and it seemed clear Obama was gung-ho to start bombing Syria to dislodge the Assad regime until public and political opinion fomented by Sen. Rand Paul and others made that too costly. When it comes to surveillance (legal and otherwise) and abrogating civil rights (including claiming he has the right to unilaterally execute American citizens), Obama has taken a back seat to no president.

The problem, then, isn't that the president isn't hawkish enough. It's that he really doesn't have a plan for figuring out if, how, and when to use force effectively in the pursuit of U.S. goals. In this, he is yet again extending the legacy of George W. Bush, who mired the country in two long wars that quickly became aimless.

In the wake of what can only be considered a disastrous appearance yesterday, the Obama administration is already scurrying to do damage control. From the Hill:

State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki appeared shortly after Earnest on the network, also looking to clean up the president's remarks.

"I think it's important to note here that the president has already begun implementing his strategy to defeat [ISIL]," Psaki said, noting that the administration was working toward "building international coalitions" to combat the terror group.

This sort of response is just sad. When Jen Psaki—who famously provoked laughter from the press earlier this year when she complained that Obama doesn't get enough credit for all his foreign policy achievements—is contradicting her boss, you know the wheels have totally gone off the bus. Or maybe that there isn't even a bus.

Over at The Daily Beast, Eli Lake and Josh Rogin have an exhaustive piece up about the failure of the Obama administration to come up with a policy and it's about what you would expect from a bunch of people that include John Kerry. Read the whole thing and shudder at what comes next.

A politically weak president who heads a party that since George McGovern has worried about looking weak on defense (and who has been called out as weak by his own former secretary of state). A crap economy at home, disastrous midterms looming. Russia invading Ukraine. The odds of a poorly planned intervention that escalates U.S. involvement in the Middle East are getting better every minute.

From Lake and Rogin's article:

"The whole international community should act against ISIS in Iraq and Syria at the same time. Their advance inside Syria needs to be halted and the only way to do that is to conduct airstrikes against their forces," Hadi AlBahra, the President of the Syrian National Coalition, told The Daily Beast in an interview. "The political process is in a coma…"

Obama, too, is in a coma. Waking up would entail actually building an international coalition to deal with the situation in Iraq and Syria (the idea of the United States unilaterally going into Syria during its civil war would surely rank as one of our country's great strategic blunders; it would either simply strenghten Assad's regime, thus leading to expanded set of problems down the road, or create absolute chaos throughout the region, causing more problems immediately and in the future). And Obama also needs to lead on putting together a coherent, effective, and defensible policy for the war on terror—one that he can sell to Republicans, allies, and especially the American people who he has treated as an afterthought in all this. Despite the claims of hawks and ISIL itself, the terrorist group is hardly an existential threat to the West any more than al Qaeda was. It can and should be contained and squeezed down everywhere as much as possible (this is not something that mandates either an interventionist foreign policy or expansive security state at home).

It's way late in a presidency not to have a strategy yet but that doesn't mean Obama is off the hook for, you know, actually doing his job.

NEXT: Friday A/V Club: The Nazi Summer Camps of New York

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  1. “We don’t have a strategy yes, but rest assured, we’ll soon think of something *really* stupid.

    1. what is really stupid is stating that we dont have a clue how to stop ISIS.

      I think what is getting lost in the process is the fact that the Muslims are to blame for all of this and not the US or its incompetent president.

      If the Muslims weren’t such a bunch of moronic idiots and were able to be reasonably civilized the US wouldn’t have to be involved in the region at all
      which is preferable to dealing with these idiots.
      Bush went in to the region because we were attacked by muslims in the area, not because he wanted to go start a war.
      Obama has no clue how to run foreign policy and neither does anyone on his staff. He hates the military and doesn’t believe in its mission. He would rather use the fund for the military to go buy votes or transfer wealth to blacks and reward loyal constituencies such as the teachers unions and the government employees.

    2. Sebastian . I just agree… Helen `s artlclee is astonishing, I just bought Chevrolet when I got my cheque for $6747 this-last/month and would you believe, ten k last-month . without a doubt it is the nicest work Ive had . I actually started 8-months ago and straight away made myself over $78, p/h .
      100% free registration——- http://www.jobsfish.com

  2. Yes we tan! Obama ridiculed for wearing a ‘used car salesman’ suit to discuss crises in Iraq and Ukraine

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/new…..raine.html

    1. “Fine. But I’m not wearing the Sea World hat”

      Now, *that’s* funny!

    2. I was making fun of his suit myself during the presser. He looked like a total asshole.

      1. And the suit didn’t help.

      2. I was making fun of his suit myself during the presser. He looked like a total asshole.

        What is wrong with the suit. Not “power suity” enough for you?

        He not only looked like, but is a total asshole.

        1. Only Samus can wear the power suit.

          1. I realize that Samus is not a name you hear everyday, but it’s totally a man’s name. Never understood why they didn’t make it a girlier name.

            1. Then they wouldn’t have been able to do the gender reveal at the end of the game.

              1. Sad to think that some people have gone their whole lives knowing that Samus Aran is a ladyperson.

    3. Honestly we need more tan suits. All the politicians have adopted the navy jacket/blue or white shirt/open collar look of recent CEOs, in an attempt to appear effective. The political class really appears to be trying to co-opt the look of successful (or at least crony) businessmen.

      Politicians ought to be required to wear shitty clothes.

      1. Orange jumpsuits would be appropriate for most of them.

      2. Exactly. What is this “approved color” bullshit? We really want groupdress to go along with our groupthink? Maybe they finally noticed there was an actual idiot inside the suit for the first time.

      3. With sponsor patches like NASCAR drivers.

    4. That suit is a terrible color. Especially with his skin color. I mean…Jesus. Have some dignity.

      1. Also…he looks like he’s 1000.

        1. We should’ve just elected Morgan Freeman.

          1. Morgan can rock the all-white suit like he did in “Bruce Almighty”…

      2. It is tough for black guys to experiment with suit colors. A little bit of white can go with almost anything, but brown is tough to complement.

        The worst is a white guy with a sunburn… good luck finding a suit you don’t look terrible in. Gray is probably your best bet but it’s going to be tough to pull off.

        1. Half white. He’s half white…

          1. Of course, but his coloration is not that of a white man, and that’s all that matters for the color choice. Fashion is racist, sorry.

            1. SG, this is America. Everything is racist.

    5. You guys really make way too big a deal out of clothes.

      1. Obama has always been all about image. This indicates there’s a paradigm shift happening in his persona.

        1. *Gasp*!… not his ‘paradigm’?!

  3. It’s that he really doesn’t have a plan for figuring out if, how, and when to use force effectively in the pursuit of U.S. goals.

    FTFY

  4. I wouldn’t say Bush didn’t know how to use the military effectively to enhance U.S. national interest.

    He and a lot of people thought that installing stable, U.S. allied governments in Iraq and Afghanistan would be in the U.S. interest. These were impossible goals, but the military components invading and conquering those areas, destroying what enemy military formations that stood in their way were done quite adroitely.

    I feel that wars of conquest were inappropriate, and in my naval officer days I would have recommended punitive campaigns in their stead. But that is an argument over where U.S. interests lie, and separate to whether or not the military executes its portion of the plan well.

    1. I didn’t agree with Bush’s strategy or necessarily think it was fully achievable, but at least he had a strategy. I didn’t need Obama to say anything to know he and his administration have none. They just react to events as they happen, first taking the political temperature, then responding accordingly.

      What’s the point in doing just enough to piss everyone off? We’d be better off occupying the region again than in pussy-footing around.

      1. We’d be better off occupying the region again than in pussy-footing around.

        Er… no, not really. Obama’s problem isn’t that he’s not interventionist enough.

        1. I’m not sure how we got to blowing shit up and killing people isn’t war. And if we’re doing war, we should have a fucking reason for it. If we’re just gung-ho to impose stability, then a long-term occupation is probably the only way to do that.

          Personally, I’d leave the region entirely and tell Europe they can meddle if they like.

          1. If we’re just gung-ho to impose stability, then a long-term occupation is probably the only way to do that.

            No. The events in Iraq should have made that abundantly clear by now. There is nothing we can do in the Middle East that won’t be a complete clusterfuck, and occupation is absolutely the worst option.

            1. This

            2. It doesn’t matter, as we’re not going to do that and we’re not going to leave. We’re going to steer a course to ensure upsetting the maximum number of people possible.

            3. Yes, yes, a thousand times yes!

              (Form someone who’s been there, done that, got the T-shirt)

        2. Overthrowing Qaddafi and not replacing him with a pro-US strongman was the worst possible policy for the US wrt Libya.

          1. A pro US strongman couldn’t regain power there. Qaddafi was the closest thing we were going to get. Now that he and Saddam and Mubarak (the sane dictators of yesteryear) are gone, how can any sane(ish) person retake power in the region?

            1. No one can with the current borders. They will be redrawn before this is over.

              1. Doesn’t ISIS ISIL or whatever want a caliphate? One giant Islamostate?

                1. They won’t get it. They’re just going to precipitate the breakup of Iraq.

                  1. They won’t get it. They’re just going to precipitate the breakup of Iraq.

                    Which is going to be a total mess. Our supposed ally Turkey is not going to stand for an independent Kurdistan wooing their own Kurds; southern Iraq would immediately ally with Iran, which would likely spook the Saudis into some very rash actions.

                2. Yes, but they only have about 10,000 members, so good luck with that.

              2. US policy is that borders can never ever be re-drawn.

                Same lunatic mindset as “climate change is bad.”

            2. Qaddafi was the closest thing we were going to get. Now that he and Saddam and Mubarak (the sane dictators of yesteryear) are gone, how can any sane(ish) person retake power in the region?

              What a fucking insane world we live in when Qaddafi, Saddam, and Mubarak are/were the least bad options.

              The good old days of Qaddafi, Saddam, and Mubarak.

              1. I agree. They weren’t ideal, but at least they didn’t behead journalists and attempt to conquer the world. They were perfectly happy torturing their own people and minding their own business.

                1. **Cough**

                  Excuse me, but Saddam Hussein invaded two of his neighbors!

                  Qadaffi was forever meddling in Chad, and had camps where the IRA could train.

                  Also, Saddam Hussein lost control of parts of his own country several times. He may not be the awesome ruler everyone thinks he is.

                  Imagine Hussein dying. (See Asad.)

                  Which son takes over?

                  Do you think they would stay in power?

                  Aging dictators fall when they get sick. There can be revolutions when that happens.

                  People who think that Iraq would have been fine with Hussein are fooling themselves. They need only look next door to Syria to see that supposedly “safe and stable” regimes can collapse very quickly.

            3. Qaddafi was the closest thing we were going to get.

              And as much a bastard as he may or may not have been, he had at least resigned himself to U.S. interests.

              1. Overthrowing a dictator after we convinced him to give up his WMDs, probably wasn’t the best message to send to current and prospective WMD-possessing dictators.

      2. Isn’t our attempt to occupy the region the only reason ISIS even exists in the first place? Saddam would have just put them down like dogs.

        1. Well, this guy agrees:

          http://www.huffingtonpost.com/…..61346.html

          1. I think most people would agree that creating a power vacuum in an area that is populated by backwards, violent, religious zealots is a bad idea…

            1. True. But I’m just fascinated by the “Bush as container of all that is wrong with the world” idea.

              As opposed to the Kochs who are responsible for all that is evil.

              1. You mean “Bushitler.”

                FTFY

            2. If the Red revolution (1917) taught us anything, it’s that zealots don’t need to be involved. Being a zealot who’s willing to violate NAP is all that’s necessary.

        2. ISIS started in Syria without any help from our Iraq invasion.

          1. I don’t know if we actually did arm them or not, but we were aligning ourselves (as a nation, I mean) with them while they fought Assad.

            The supreme irony is Obama totally screwed up with his “red line” speech w/r/t Syria and chemical weapons, and now he is doing a 180 against a group that has American hostages and executes Americans on camera.

            It’s bizarre to watch him waffle around like a child on a sugar high.

            1. It would be funny if it wasn’t real life.

          2. Saddam would also be 77 years old now.

            Aging dictators often get deposed. Or their sons get put in power.

            Bashar Assad shows you how “Stable” that is.

      3. I didn’t agree with Bush’s strategy or necessarily think it was fully achievable, but at least he had a strategy.

        “Everyone has a plan until they get punched in the mouth.” –Mike Tyson

        He had a strategy at the beginning. Once things didn’t go according to plan in Iraq and Afghanistan, the Bush administration was rudderless too. First it was stay the course, then surge, then pause….

        1. First it was stay the course, then surge, then pause….

          That sounds like how I make love!

          1. And all Obama did was pull out and ignore them.

            1. :)))))))))

      4. And stop and wonder for a moment how this latest move/nonmove affects ISIS thinking.

        Heh Heh Heh. We cut off American devil journalist head on internet and threaten to cut off more if bombs don’t stop. Bombs stop.

        Bring me some more of Satan’s spawn in case bombs come again!

    2. Indeed – both times I deployed, we really did have concrete goals, etc. The question is the efficacy of them.

      Coming out and saying “I don’t have a clue” is an invitation for everyone to bite their thumb at us and do whatever they want without the remotest concern. I’d rather have a quiet, ambiguous threat laid out.

      1. I agree. I also think it’s not warmongering to neutralize a threat that has commandeered our own military hardware in a warzone we created and who are using said hardware against our allies.

      2. Coming out and saying “I don’t have a clue”

        The real problem is this is the first time Obama has ever told the truth. It’s a sign that he has given up the will to live. Might have to put him on Xanax for something before it’s all over.

        1. It’s his inner Jimmy Carter coming to the surface.

          1. Carter had competing well-informed advisors who disagreed. I don’t think Obama can claim that.

        2. We can only hope Obama doesn’t succumb. The world isn’t ready for President Biden.

    3. He and a lot of people thought that installing stable, U.S. allied governments in Iraq and Afghanistan would be in the U.S. interest.

      Actually that’s not quite right. Replacing Saddam with a pro-US Saddam was never on the table. Instead, Bush accepted the progressive belief that installing ‘democratic’ governments in those countries would be in the US interest. And then pushed the belief up to eleven by imagining that doing so would transform the entire region and arab culture.

      1. George Bush, ever the zealot.

  5. Let’s face it, there are some serious problems happening in the world right now: ISIL, Ukraine vs. the Nu Soviets, the ebola outbreak in West Africa, and we have one of the worst Presidents of all time occupying the White House right now. I’m all for bringing in some sort of voodoo priest to raise Lincoln and Eisenhower from the dead to deal with all of this shit, because BO sure as hell can’t do it.

    1. Why in the world do you think these are our problems?

      1. Politicians will make them our problem. I’m presently reading books on the Crimean War as I fully expect raw incompetence to lead me to conduct a repeat of the “Charge of the Light Brigade soon. “

    2. The only one that’s even remotely related to the US is the ebola issue because a little bit got home. Why do we care about ISIL or the Ukraine. They are very very far away.

      1. ISIS has threatened to bring terrorism to the US.

        I agree with you about Ukraine, I don’t know why people are getting their panties twisted about that, other than nostalgia for the cold war.

        1. ISIS has threatened to bring terrorism to the US.

          *Yawn*

        2. ISIS has threatened to bring terrorism to the US.

          So has every other two bit organization. When they do, then you can go kill them VGZ.

          1. This. What’s progs miss is Bush was bad because he felt it was appropriate for the US to use force preemptively to try and stop bad shit from happening.

            I suppose if he had engaged in genocide it might have worked out. Instead, we have raised another generation that hate the US (roughly speaking referring to Iran post WW 2 – fall of the Shah).

            This shouldn’t be a hard concept. If my neighbor eyeballs my wife washing her car I don’t get the shotgun and shoot him.

      2. ISIL is far away…for now. I think that they are radical enough and so well funded that they will make their presence felt in the US at some point in the near future. I don’t want the US to wait around until that happens.

        1. And so the terrorists have won.

          #sigh*melodramaticoversimplification

        2. You sound like my mother in law.

        3. TwB|8.29.14 @ 10:06AM|#
          “ISIL is far away…for now. I think that they are radical enough and so well funded that they will make their presence felt in the US at some point in the near future.”

          That’s nice.
          I don’t think so, and if you do, why, get right on that plane and go over there to see what you can do.

        4. Irrational fear-mongering. Get a grip and use your head.

          There is absolutely NO reason to believe ISIS/ISIL will be on US soil at any point in the future, much less near future. They’ve got their hands full over there.

          Not only has there been only one terror attack on US soil since 9/11 (Boston, which was not even related to anything in the middle east so is beside the point here) – and the majority of any “plots” that the FBI/CIA/NSA/etc. have “prevented” were schemes the damn agencies cooked up themselves to entrap suspects.

          Even if there was – “do something” isn’t going to cut it – and there is not good option for action here.

          Don’t you freakin understand that your lilly-livered hand-wringing and hawkishness is what GOT ISIS/ISIL and every other organization all riled up and powerful anyway? US occupations breed resentment for generations.

          1. Actually the Islamist have been riled up since WWII. The Muslim Brotherhood was conceived in Munich Germany and birthed in Cairo in 1945. ISIS and the other organizations you mention are just different team names in the same sports league.

        5. I think that they are radical enough and so well funded that they will make their presence felt in the US at some point in the near future. I don’t want the US to wait around until that happens.

          Well, then supplying their allies’ bid to overturn Assad probably wasn’t too good an idea, was it?

      3. Not only is Ukraine very, very far away, we know nothing of the people quarreling there.

        1. Let Russia have Crimea and Eastern Ukraine. It’s not like Khrushchev actually meant to give it away…or like it’s that great.

          1. I think it’s the warm water port thing that they’re worried about.

          2. Don’t forget Poland.

            1. They know more a lot about those places than we do…I wouldn’t want Russia trying to fuck with us if we decided to take Baja California…

              1. First we have to take California.

                Otherwise our supply lines would be too long.

            2. Estonia has lots of Russians in their Northern border region, why not invite Vlad to take a chunk of that country?

              1. I’m not inviting him. Just saying that we don’t need to do anything about it.

                1. There’s that NATO thingy, you know.

                  1. Ukraine?

                  2. And we should not renew our membership to NATO.

              2. Estonia’s northern border is in the Baltic Sea.

            3. Poland was a gift from the Nazis. They didn’t really want to give that one back either. 🙂

        2. I heard they’re all bears on unicycles.

      4. Our entire economy is based on global trade and people far away wanting dollars. We need things far away to go right. And Putin is highly unlikely to stop at Ukraine.

    3. Lincoln? Why?

      Although, I.admit.it would be an.interesting thought experiment to consider how the civil war would have gone if Lincoln had had a general of Eisenhower’s caliber early on.

      1. “Although, I.admit.it would be an.interesting thought experiment to consider how the civil war would have gone if Lincoln had had a general of Eisenhower’s caliber early on.”

        Prolly the same eventual outcome with several hundred thousand fewer dead.

        And no evil bastard like Sherman Genghis Kahn to rape, burn and pillage an all but defeated enemy’s civilian population.

      2. Lincoln’s generals didn’t have the Red Army creating a second front.

        1. Eisenhower didn’t have a General McCllean (sp) dithering like Barako Bama before he finally decided to start thinking about what to do or not do.

          If McCllean had acted decisively very early on, many civil war historians claim ( with 20/20 hindsight I admit ) that the war would have been over much much sooner.

          He dithered around and made a few half ass moves and let the Confederates dig in and have a few early victories.

          It is, of course, just historian hindsight but it’s not a rare position.

          1. I don’t believe that. The Confederacy had to be totally subjugated and humiliated to end the war. That was going to take a long time regardless.

            It’s also likely that if the war had ended quickly that slavery wouldn’t have been eliminated.

            1. Who’s to say that a couple of quick and devisive victories wouldn’t have done just that.

              Hindshight and what if’s are a fun game to play sometimes though. But I agree that a quick end wouldn’t have ended slavery in total though since slavery wasn’t a single issue that begat the war. It was a side issue to demonize the opponent It would probably have died out by attrition though. Unless the slaves could reproduce enough to replinish their population. what a horrid thought.

              Nothing can excuse Sherman’s march of destruction, rape, pillage and destruction of the civilian population at the end of the war.

              1. Squirrels posted that for me before I had a chance to proof it.

                NOTE:

                Any and all errors in the above post belong to and are the sole property of Reason Squirrels.

              2. Sherman destroyed property not people. He wrecked the supply lines and the South’s capability to provide.

                1. Sherman may have ordered only property to be destroyed.

                  Sherman’s foot soldiers raped , pillaged, and burned out people.

                  He might as well have been the blueprint for the Japanese Rape of Nanking.

                  Look deeper than the school books you were given in junior high.

                  Sherman left a swath of destruction and death and rape, 60 miles wide by hundreds of miles long.

                  Fuck Sherman and his legacy.

          2. I voted for John Brown.

    4. Lincoln was a monster. Zombie Lincoln would probably be worse. Washington would know how to deal with all of this: do fuck all.

    5. Who says correlation can’t be causation?

  6. Obama is a true believing progressive, who simultaneously holds the two contradictory core beliefs –

    a) That the US government is an all powerful, omniscient benevolent power.

    b) That America (the federal government really) is the source of all evil in the world and fundamentally flawed.

    Additionally, Obama has been conditioned by reaction to him, for his entire life, to believe that he’s the ultimate special flower and that the magic of his words can persuade anyone to do the right thing (by his point of view) and bridge any divide.

    So he completely paralyzed when events occur that contradict both of his core beliefs and are immune to his magic words.

    1. I can’t imagine BO thinks that the federal government is flawed. It just doesn’t have enough power to make all of the necessary changes for his utopia because of those pesky laws!!!

      1. Yeah, to the extent that he believes the government has done bad things, he thinks it’s only because it was led astray by the wrong TOP MEN (i.e. Republicans).

      2. But he does think that the US has a legacy of doing wrong (and yes part of the problem is not realizing that it was the federal government not some abstraction).

    2. Are you actually going to sit there and argue, with a straight face, that the US didn’t CAUSE this conflict by preemptively invading a sovereign nation?

      Why can’t you get it through your warmongering nugget that the correct solution is to stay the fuck out of the business of other nations until they actually harm you?

      1. I think it would be wrong to say “the invasion” of Iraq caused the subsequent ‘middle-eastern sectarian cold war’.

        I think its *failure* probably was a main cause.

        same difference, maybe, if you presume that the failure was inevitable.

        1. Uh, the invasion succeeded. The entire country was brought under US domination and the previous government removed. That’s what an invasion is.

          1. Semantics.

            Some people like to draw a hard line when the ‘invasion’ ended for convenience’s sake – call it December 2003, when Saddam was captured.

            (i think the military likes to call it, ‘When Franks gave up command’ to Abazaid… so that at least one commander can avoid blame for the subsequent shitshow)

            Do you make the case that if the US had then pulled up and left at that point, that everything would have worked out much differently and for the better?

      2. Because there were no wars in the Middle East until we…oh wait, they’ve been at war for the last 1400 years or more.

        1. So what? I don’t care if they fight each other. It doesn’t concern me in the slightest. We don’t need their oil anymore. Fuck em.

          And you are going to tell me that ISIS would be in Iraq under Saddam?

          Not a chance. We took something bad and made it 10x worse.

          Leave.

          Other.

          People’s.

          Shit.

          The.

          Fuck.

          Alone.

          The correct thing to do is nothing.

          1. In your opinion, the correct thing to do is “nothing”. In my opinion, the correct thing to do is to eliminate the threat before it makes it’s way to my back yard. In my opinion, you fucking utterly destroy these savages before they decide to reenact the Islamic Conquests.

            1. Anon E. Mouse|8.29.14 @ 4:47PM|#
              …”In my opinion, you fucking utterly destroy these savages before they decide to reenact the Islamic Conquests.”

              Great. Have at it. Not with my money.

            2. When do you next deploy? Or is that for someone else to do.

              1. “When do you next deploy? Or is that for someone else to do.”

                I’ve deployed 12 times between Afghanistan and Iraq since 2003, my oldest son deployed to Afghanistan for a year as a Marine, and my youngest son is currently deployed to Afghanistan. Is that good enough for you?

                1. So you’ve participated in a failed mission TWELVE times? And then you want to continue with the same? I suppose if you are getting combat pay that is funded by others then it really isn’t a problem. How about you deploy without taxpayer backing.

                  I am less safe now than I was a decade ago because of the US military bungling around in the Middle East. Without the US military, there would be no ISIS/ISIL. But you wouldn’t have gotten a paycheck or time towards your pension. Guess folks need the latest version of the Islamist boogeyman to justify military adventurism.

                  1. What “failed mission”? Perhaps you’d like to tell me what our “mission” is/was in Afghanistan and/or Iraq there, General Chumby, and how we “failed” that mission? Go ahead; I’ll wait.

                    1. The mission in Iraq was apparently to locate WMDs. Because Saddam was working with Al Queda. Then it was to create a stable government. No WMDs were located (other than some 20 year old mustard has shells the US military transferred to him as part of our proxy war with Iran. You know, the country whose government we overthrew in the 50s and then installed a hard line dictator.). I don’t recall seeing non-fabricated evidence to show Saddam was working with Al Queda. As for stable government, frequent bombings and the loss of northern territory to ISIL/ISIS suggest Iraq is anything but.

                      The Afghanistan mission was to find Bin Laden and end Al Queda. We found Bin Laden. Ten years later. In Pakistan. Al Queda is still in Afghanistan. They are also in Iraq and Syria. We gave them military equipment to fight Assad. And now they are using that equipment against Iraq. They also have chemical weapons that they used in Syria. We gave them these weapons. Some of the US military equipment they have they took from the Iraq government. The one we set up.

                      Neither has made me more safe. Per CIA blowback doctrine, I’m now less safe. And both missions have unnecessarily spent trillions of tax dollars. And both resulted in the unnecessary loss of life. American soldiers and residents of those areas.

                      Soldier of fortune mouse, how about you deploy without using my tax money.

            3. So you are going to kill anyone who poses a threat BEFORE they actually initiate force?

              That’s the initiation of force. It makes you immoral.

              Grow a pair.

              1. Oh bullshit. If someone says they’re going to punch you in the face, and you stand there like a fucking moron until they knock you on your ass, it’s you who needs to “grow a pair”.

    3. Progressives are adherents of Rousseau’s “civil religion.” The State is their ideal god: all-seeing, all-knowing, all-powerful, yet created by the hand of man, enforcing only such morals as they find personally agreeable.

    4. I knew it. Obama is bipolar.

    5. Yes.

      Domestically the Fed Gov is a blessing to mankind but internationally they are the devils spawn.

      Same damn government. Must be split personality type stuff.

  7. Wut? Obama doesnt have a speech to throw at it? Wow.

    http://www.CryptAnon.tk

    1. It grows sentient…

  8. Nick tells us all about his views when he quotes war hawks Josh Rogin and Eli Lake as sources for his own thoughts. Those two pushed US military involvement first in Iraq, then in Libya, and then in Syria. Those two would have had boots on the ground in all three and accomplished it in in one (Iraq)…catastrophically. And those two Nick is always sourcing.

    Nick, your neo-con roots are showing.

    1. Jackand Ace|8.29.14 @ 10:11AM|#
      “Those two pushed US military involvement first in Iraq, then in Libya, and then in Syria. Those two would have had boots on the ground in all three and accomplished it in in one (Iraq)…catastrophically.”

      Shorter JA
      “Hey. look over there! Those guys are worse than my guy!”
      Thanks, twit.

    2. Bill Kristol and Charles Krauthammer are busy being wrong 100% of the time.

      1. clearly you’re just bigoted against people with palsies.

      2. You should be happy for the company.

        1. Turd isn’t right that often.

        2. Ha! I own you Peanuts.

          HYPER-INFLASHUN IS A COMIN!

          BUY YER GOLD NOW!

          1. Palin’s Buttplug|8.29.14 @ 10:47AM|#
            “one more stupid post”

            1. It’s not sentient.

              1. Do you deny all the predictions about hyper inflation that were posted here?

                You’re one of the anti-Fed clowns. I was right back in 2009 when I said that inflation would not occur here with so much excess capacity.

                1. And you missed the housing bubble (and the current equity bubble), just like your beloved central banker clowns.

                2. “You’re one of the anti-Fed clowns. I was right back in 2009 when I said that inflation would not occur here with so much excess capacity.”

                  Since 2000, we’ve averaged somewhere between 2% and 4% annual inflation every year. Where do you get “no inflation” from? Inflation is one of the Fed’s stated goals and they’re scared to death of deflation.

                  Do yourself a favor and stop commenting on financial matters as you clearly don’t know what you’re talking about.

                3. You’re still denying that inflation has occurred? Ask the caretakers how much they are spending on your meals compared to 5 years ago.

                4. This year, I can carry $100 worth of groceries with one hand. 30 years ago, $100 worth of groceries would have fed a family of four for a week. A hundred years ago, $100 was enough for a down-payment on a house. Nope, no inflation here. Move along.

                  1. No inflation caused by military adventurism. Nope. Move along.

              2. But it is a turd.

                1. I think that’s an insult to turds.

          2. Oh! Did I mention recently that the link on your handle is super fucking gay?

            1. You see gay everywhere it seems.

              1. I’m using the term pejoratively. Like as a substitution for stupid and effeminate.

                1. (S)he pees sitting down?

      3. Krauthammer’s latest piece was praising Obama on Iraq. You’d think he’d been up to his old tricks of diving into empty swimming pools again.

    3. “Those two pushed US military involvement first in Iraq, then in Libya, and then in Syria”

      examples, please

  9. Until the Middle East drags itself into modernity, the only thing that will maintain stability is an iron fist. If you’re not prepared to accept that, give it up.

    1. If by modernity, you mean valuing human life regardless of their beliefs, then I agree. The problem is that some people just don’t want to be free or live and let live. See, e.g., Russians, Muslims, many Europeans, many Americans, etc.

      I’m starting to believe that America in the late 18th century was in fact the zenith of modern secular civilization and thought. Of course someone will cry “slavery!” in attempt to refute all the great ideas about life, liberty and happiness that sprung forth at that time.

      1. I don’t think that slavery exemplifies modernity. It was Britain that was moving away from slavery, and that’s one thing what goaded some Americans into seeking independence. Americans are still dragging behind other Anglo nations on the matter of race – interracial marriage for one.

        1. “Americans are still dragging behind other Anglo nations on the matter of race – interracial marriage for one.”

          Cite missing.

            1. mtrueman|8.30.14 @ 11:13AM|#
              “Search.”
              Cite or STFU.

        2. Because all over Europe they bring bananas to soccer games to throw at black players, while in the US players can openly call their coach a racist for no reason and no one blinks an eye.

    2. “the only thing that will maintain stability is an iron fist”

      If anything is lacking in modernity, that’s certainly a winner. How many Americans are willing to accept that in the modernity derby the Middle East may actually be pulling ahead of America, a country whose motto might be ‘stability above all.’

      1. The same middle east with religious police that stones women on the allegations of adultery? Culturally and politically speaking, these people are closer to cave men than modernity.

        1. If there is anywhere in the world right now where feminism is making an impact, and coming to the fore in public consciousness, it’s in the middle east. I think you are mistaken to dismiss these currents, if you are indeed aware of them. The idea that the middle east is some kind of unchanging medieval backwater seems to comfort Americans, but I think the cliche has outlived its usefulness.

          1. I’m guessing you’ve never been to Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Yemen, the UAE, Iran, Afghanistan, Pakistan, or any other middle-eastern nation?

            1. You guess correctly. I have been to places in the far east where I witnessed the same sort of thing happening with the impact of feminism. I also saw much earlier how feminism impacted North American culture. Very interesting times. Did you know that thanks in large part to feminist activism, genital mutilation of females was made illegal in Egypt not all that long ago and perhaps for the first time in history, the number of women who are genitally mutilated there is on the decline?

              I understand your interest in discussing my personal history, and if you have any other specific questions about me, I’ll try to answer, but why not stick to the discussion at hand?

              1. You stated: “If there is anywhere in the world right now where feminism is making an impact, and coming to the fore in public consciousness, it’s in the middle east.” My point is that you have nothing to base that assertion on. The only “impact” feminism is having in most of the middle east is the impact of rocks on feminist’s heads. Genital mutilation of females may have been made illegal in Egypt, but it still happens. Honor-killing your 15 year-old daughter for kissing her boyfriend is illegal in Pakistan, but it still happens. Throwing acid into the face of the girl who spurned you is illegal in India, but it still happens.

                The middle east, is in fact, an unchanging medieval backwater. The currents of feminism and modernity run so slow, that they sometimes back up like an over-task sewer spewing shit into every home. The fact of the matter is that had it not been for the discovery of oil some 100 years ago, the middle east would not have changed much over the last 1000 years.

                1. “The only “impact” feminism is having in most of the middle east is the impact of rocks on feminist’s heads”

                  I don’t know why you’d discount this. In Britain feminism was also characterized by beating and brutalizing women some 100 years ago. Many conservatives and anti-feminists react violently to change, and I see nothing you’ve written to convince me that the middle east should be any different.

                  I think you are missing the point. As long as we have women willing to brave the impact of rocks to their head, change is on its way.

                  The rest of your comment is silly and I suspect you are simply parroting things you’ve read elsewhere.

                  1. “How many Americans are willing to accept that in the modernity derby the Middle East may actually be pulling ahead of America,”

                    First you said they were pulling ahead.

                    Now you say , ” well at least they are changing”.

                    Which one is it ?

                    1. OneOut|8.29.14 @ 7:52PM|#
                      …”Which one is it ?”

                      He prides himself on ‘not holding consistent positions’; he is a self-identified hypocrite.

                    2. Could be both. What’s your opinion?

                  2. Unlike you, I’ve actually spent many years in the Middle East. I’ve spent hundreds of hours talking to the people and learning how and what they think. I can tell you unequivocally that women are seen as nothing more than livestock throughout most of the region. Daughters are a burden to be fattened-up and sold to the highest bidder at the earliest opportunity.

                    There is no braving “the impact of rocks to their head”, you fucking moron. It takes nothing more than a rumor to be beaten, bound, buried up to your waist, and have your skull caved in by rocks the size of softballs. A wrong glance can result in being murdered and buried in the back yard, having your ears and nose cut off, or having acid thrown in your face. Women are seen as “the root of all evil”. Islam teaches that women are created evil, and they’re only to be tolerated because it’s not entirely their fault. Islam teaches that women are inferior to men. It’s a belief that pervades their culture, and it has not changed in 1400 years.

                    1. ” It takes nothing more than a rumor to be beaten, bound, buried up to your waist, and have your skull caved in by rocks the size of softballs. ”

                      And yet these women continue, in louder and louder voices, to demand justice. Strange, isn’t it? It’s almost as though these uppity women were humans or something.

                    2. mtrueman|8.30.14 @ 5:53PM|#
                      “And yet these women continue”…

                      Right, both of them.
                      As I mentioned; self-identified hypocrite who prides himself on changing his ‘mind’.
                      Worthless POS.

                    3. Arab women demanding justice.

          2. Well, yes, “feminism” is going to be a bigger topic of debate and make more substantive gains in places where women are treated like absolute shit.

            How is this evidence of their modernity, when the progress is based on their backward views and practices?

            1. “progress is based on their backward views and practices?”

              I don’t agree that feminism is a ‘backward view or practice.’ Feminism traces its roots to the time of the French revolution. That’s why we think of it as modern even if it dates back some 200 years. You’re sure to find other expressions of Enlightenment modernity if you look at the demands of young Egyptians at Tahir Square couple years back. You want to base the notion of progress on something other than their own history?

              ” make more substantive gains in places where women are treated like absolute shit.”

              These gains don’t come ex nihilo (from nothing) but from the demands of courageous risk takers, not in New York or Hollywood, but from the streets of middle east cities. “Feminism” doesn’t make gains. It’s people, Arab people in this case, that are making gains.

    3. Until the Middle East drags itself into modernity, the only thing that will maintain stability is an iron fist.

      You think your penis is the answer to everything.

    4. I think the Middle East tries to drag itself into modernity, but there are 40x as many hands dragging it back to the past. Not necessarily the past that pushed the Middle East forward during the Middle Ages, but a past that their holy books claimed needs to exist.

      I agree. We should give it up. Leave the Middle East to its own devices. Let them solve their own problems. Whatever comes of it should be interesting, but it won’t be a European model.

      1. That model works fine for Zaire and Somalia and Rwanda, and for the most part we have followed it there. Not for the world’s highest concentration of oil reserves.

        1. We get a paltry amount of oil from the Middle East. Let Europe meddle if they need the oil.

          1. Something about global markets, supply and demand, $10 a gallon gasoline, increased costs for everything, etc..

      2. Iraq used to have a secular government in which women held public office and positions of power and Christians held high office, then someone decided to impose “democracy” on them by use of military force.

  10. Just a week ago, he was talking about “rooting out a cancer like ISIL,”

    something something obamacare patients with cancer something something

  11. I’m confused. I thought Mr. Fucking Dolt Michael Czin said the Democrats are spreading American credibility throughout the world.

    1. +1 Russian Reset

  12. “We’re seeing some news reports suggesting we are further ahead than we are”

    Uh, well, everybody’s gotta be somewhere.

    1. Wherever you go, there you are.

      1. And you’re further (sic) ahead than you are!

  13. He really had nothing to say, which he made perfectly clear

    He wants us to know how concerned he is.

  14. So, to be clear…

    Obama says, “We don’t have a strategy yet.” His State Dept spokesman says, “I think it’s important to note here that the president has already begun implementing his strategy to defeat [ISIL].”

    Nothing to see here…

  15. I sure would hate to be Clint Eastwood’s postman. Because I bet he has to haul a shitload of “I’m sorry” cards to his house every day from the people who criticized him when he called Obama an empty chair.

    1. Someone should do a video composition of Obama’s various too the less speeches on, well, *name any subject*, so that he appears to be delivering them from the empty chair while Eastwood looks on.

  16. Reason once again all over the so called Russian “invasion” of Ukraine, even quoting the NY Times as a reliable source!!! Obama has refused to confirm this, but calls for more sanctions anyway. Antiwar.com reports the blurry pictures of so called Russian armored vehicles include some that are recycled from Ukraine stock photos of its own vehicles. Why is Reason so anti Russian?

    1. Why is Russia so anti-reason?

    2. Oh, good, Raimondos. I guess they’re better than our usual nuts.

    3. I’m glad I’m not alone. Surely others in the commentariat can see something’s wrong when Russian humanitarian convoys are an “invasion,” but the idea that we can bomb whatever we want in Syria is our responsibility to protect.

      1. Oh good, the war commissariat is here to explain why intervening to protect the soviet liberties of the Warsaw Bloc is necessary for freedom and greater justice. Even threw in a “humanitarian” buzzword for us.

        Thanks!

        1. Try reading that again.

  17. The correct strategy is to find another Saddam Hussein to run Iraq but Obama cannot say that.

    1. How can we? He was left over from when Muslims were still relatively sane. No one who wants to run a Middle Eastern country like an actual state has a chance for power now that we went in and fucked them all to death.

    2. Palin’s Buttplug|8.29.14 @ 11:02AM|#
      “The correct strategy is to find another Saddam Hussein to run Iraq but Obama cannot say that.”

      Sure, turd, that lying POS screwed it up once and now you want him to screw it up again.

    3. “Palin’s Buttplug|8.29.14 @ 11:02AM|#

      The correct strategy is to find another Saddam Hussein to run Iraq but Obama cannot say that.”

      Actually I believe part of the problem is that the Shiite led Iraqi Gov was trying to do a reverse Saddam and punish the Sunnis. We have been told in the MSM that that is why the Sunnis are supporting ISIS ( who are Sunnis).

      I haven’t been over there to see for myself ( I like my head just where it’s at) so I don’t know for sure.

      1. “We have been told in the MSM that that is why the Sunnis are supporting ISIS ( who are Sunnis).”

        There’s probably also the not being tortured and murdered along with your wives and children thing.

  18. Somehow I much prefer Obama’s dithering to the war drums being pounded by Fox. “The barbarians are coming here and will be chopping off our heads. Then what will you do????”

    1. Could be, but FOX is a TV station, not ‘the leader of the free world’.
      FOX can’t do much, while Obo has proven himself capable of screwing things up royally by ‘dithering’.

      1. Yes. this.

        Obama’s (and our) problem isn’t any one action he’s taken or not taken. It is the absolute absence of any clearly articulated larger goal or purpose beyond, “Don’t do stupid stuff.”

        Or:

        What the fuck are you doing and WHY are you doing it?

        1. …”beyond, “Don’t do stupid stuff.””

          I wish he’d at least accomplish that goal.

    2. One of the Sunni tribal leaders was interviewed on TV. He said that the Sunni tribes were using ISIS to get rid of the Shiite just like they did with AL Oueda. When they were through using them then they would cast ISIS off like a blanket in summer.

      He didn’t mention that they had the help of 50,000 US warriors and the USAF when they cast off AL Queda and that they won’t have that help this time.

      Unless he knows something we don’t ??

  19. The problem, then, isn’t that the president isn’t hawkish enough. It’s that he really doesn’t have a plan for figuring out if, how, and when to use force effectively in the pursuit of U.S. goals.

    This isn’t the entire problem. The problem is he’s not able to voice a strategy using all of our tools including military action to reach a clearly understood goal.

    What’s the goal in the Middle-east? And how do we get there from here? Why is it strategically important to the US? Or, is it?

    We need to think through these questions in light of: 1) our decreasing dependents on oil from the region 2) the end of the Cold War 3) the rise of radical Islam and the threat it poses to America and American interests

    1. The only sensible goal for the middle east is “They ain’t us so it ain’t our business.”

      1. The only winning move is not to play.

        1. Unfortunately that’s not a winning move, either.

    2. Oil is fungible. We don’t want those currently dependent on ME oil to have to start competing with us for our suppliers.

      And, of course, we are more dependent than ever on the dollar being OPEC’s official currency, and that status is getting ever more precarious.

      1. Some say that Gadaffi was killed because he was building some Islamic banks that were gonna use gold back Islamic currency to sell the oil. That would be catastrophic for the US and therefore the West.

        Sometimes rummors are true and that one makes more sense than “Arab Spring”.

        1. Ding ding ding – we have a winner!

          If “spreading Democracy” was really the objective, there would be an US invasion of Saudi Arabia and we would support the winners of the 2006 Palestinian election.

        2. The gold dinar. Saddam was selling Iraqi oil in euros for about six months before we realized he had WMDs.

  20. In my opinion it seems like a lost cause. I’m not sure what we could do to fix things over there, but I know we never fail to make things worse.

    1. Short of creating a 51st state and vigorously defending our new borders or turning Iran and Saudi Arabia into parking lots, not much.

  21. Waking up would entail actually building an international coalition to deal with the situation in Iraq and Syria

    …to what end? There is no strategy; why the fuck would we do anything or build an “international coalition” when we don’t even know what we would be doing? An international coalition’s willingness to do shit would be contingent on what those things are; the more members in that coalition the less shit it’s willing to do. Why the hell would we bind ourselves to that coalition when we don’t even know what intervention will entail? We shouldn’t be getting involved unless we have an idea of the consequences and what we want out of intervention — period!

    1. We could always just nuke the whole Middle East, Detroit, and Minneapolis…Wouldn’t that solve the problem?

      1. It would be the most final solution, if you know what I mean.

        1. 😉 😉

      2. What’s wrong with Minneapolis?

        1. One of those American ISISs was from there! DUUUUUHHHH!!!

    2. It’s the foreign policy equivalent of forming a select committee.

    3. The strategy is to go on vacation and then a Dem fundraiser afterwards stating that Congress is obstructing his fixes.

  22. The problem, then, isn’t that the president isn’t hawkish enough. It’s that he really doesn’t have a plan for figuring out if, how, and when to use force effectively in the pursuit of U.S. goals.

    This. Exactly this. In boldface. And all caps.

    Unfortunately, this has been the hallmark of the American foreign policy discussion for the last decade plus. Essentially, foreign policy has become little more than a theater for domestic political posturing (for politicians to signal to their supporters that they’re tough or sophisticated or whatever). As such, the entire discussion of any kind of strategic framework for our geopolitical positioning gets not only given the short shift, but an immediate ticket to getting written off by either Team.

  23. “As such, the entire discussion of any kind of strategic framework for our geopolitical positioning gets not only given the short shift, but an immediate ticket to getting written off by either Team.”

    I think American strategy is all about maintaining stability and the status quo. With the world changing and moving forward, this strategy is becoming untenable. I think you are right that any discussion by Americans on the subject is a one way ticket to Palookaville.

    1. I don’t think this is quite right. I think you can make a case that it should logically be about maintaining stability and the status quo. But, that entails a discussion of strategic interests and long range objectives. The discussion has degnerated to the point where those sort of concepts aren’t welcome. It’s all being everyone’s friend or kicking someone’s ass.

      1. “strategic interests and long range objectives”

        It’s called the Carter Doctrine, a policy that essentially annexed the Persian Gulf to ensure the flow of oil and money. No president, and only precious few pundits, have since repudiated it. I think any questioning of the status quo means less energy consumption and economic stagnation. Hardly surprising that nobody wants to discuss it.

        1. “No president, and only precious few pundits, have since repudiated it.”

          And none have bothered to claim it has any validity, either.

          1. “And none have bothered to claim it has any validity”

            And no one is about to. At least not if it means uttering the word “Carter” in public. Again you excel at stating the obvious. Good effort though.

            1. mtrueman|8.29.14 @ 4:35PM|#
              “And no one is about to”

              So it is totally irrelevant, and yet you mention it as if it had some application

              1. “So it is totally irrelevant”

                Irrelevant? You must be one of the clever ones. The ones who don’t pay taxes.

                1. mtrueman|8.29.14 @ 5:45PM|#
                  “Irrelevant? You must be one of the clever ones. The ones who don’t pay taxes.”

                  Are you simply copying and pasting random comments from some other site?
                  I mean even your normal imbecilic comments usually have some identifiable connection to the thread.

                  1. I guess you aren’t one of the clever ones. Carry on.

    2. mtrueman|8.29.14 @ 11:59AM|#
      “I think American strategy is all about maintaining stability and the status quo”

      You pulled that our of a hat, didn’t you?

      1. Beware, the hour of the hat is nigh.

        1. The hour of the self-described hypocrite and liar not so much.

          1. “self-described hypocrite and liar”

            I was lying about my being a hypocrite. Instead of Sevo, how about Sea-gullible?

            1. I presume you think that’s clever?

              1. It is both clever and funny. Next question?

                1. It’s neither.

    3. 1. Wouldn’t every successful country be interested in maintaining the status quo? And when has the world never been “changing and moving forward”?

      2. If this were true, why did the US invade and depose Hussein?

      1. “Wouldn’t every successful country be interested in maintaining the status quo?”

        Not to be flippant, but are you so sure that USA is among the successful countries? Certainly their military adventures over the past half century have not been successful. Why cling to a status quo of failure?

  24. We’re seeing some news reports?

    Can we just eliminate the intelligence budget in this country? Apparently the chief executive just gets his info from the papers.

    1. The intelligence budget goes to all those hard drives NSA needs to store our emails.

  25. I think we’re beginning to see the real Obama come out now. His handlers have basically given up and let him go free range, or maybe he’s fired all the ones that are not total sycophants.

    How do I know this? Look at that picture. He looks awful. The jacket he’s wearing is a terrible color for his complexion (not to be racist or anything but it just looks bad). Not to mention what he said, which wasn’t a slip of the tongue at all (like his “you didn’t build that” two years ago), he was really insistent on it and it’s polling horribly.

    Obama was ALL ABOUT image. And he doesn’t seem to care about it anymore.

    1. “the jacket he’s wearing is a terrible color for his complexion”

      You were thinking something more purple?

  26. Maybe it is time for a Reason contributor to write a thoughtful book on “A Sensible American Foreign Policy for the 21st Century?”

  27. “Shit. I know shit’s bad right now, with all that ISIS bullshit, and the ebola plague, and we are running out of monopoly money and legitimacy. But I got… nah, fuck it, I got nothin.”

  28. Shouldn’t be surprising that Obama wants to talk in front of a camera. Even less surprising that he doesn’t have anything to say. A little more surprising that he didn’t have a teleprompter or even a prepared text.

    1. THIS

      He’s either fired his handlers or they just don’t care anymore.

  29. my friend’s step-sister makes $60 hourly on the internet . She has been without work for 7 months but last month her paycheck was $15772 just working on the internet for a few hours. This Site…….
    ==================== http://www.netjob70.com

  30. “We don’t have a strategy yet. We’re seeing some news reports suggesting we are further ahead than we are,” he said.

    Seriously? News reports? That’s his source for intel now?

    1. I think he’s saying that news reports are making it sound like they’re well on their way to accomplishing something, but they are not. At least I think that’s what he’s saying.

      It’s like saying, “The professor says I’m maintaining a B right now, but I haven’t turned in one piece of work all semester! Sucka!”

  31. We need to appoint a blue ribbon committee to meet and publish a white paper outlining all of the potential action plans. That should keep things under control until January 2017.

    This is the libertarian publication right, not Free Republic?

  32. What an awful sound bite.

    I believe the real problem is that many pundits think we need to do something, and doing nothing looks weak. And the human suffering is real. But the options for action are all terrible.

    Obama’s favorability numbers are terrible on foreign policy because he is not fixing all the foreign problems, as if he could.

    1. His numbers are terrible because he is not anticipating and preventing problems from arising, and because his policies are making problems worse.

      Democrats can’t keep blaming Bush for problems that arise well past his term while exonerating Obama by saying presidents just can’t fix problems.

      Obama’s deliberate weakening of America on the world stage invites this aggression and chaos. His worldview that American leadership causes world conflict is naive and plainly wrong, and he can justly be blamed for the consequences of his own policies.

  33. This feels way off:

    “Yet the idea that Obama is slow to military action or willing to go over the top in the name of national security is clearly at odds with his record as president. …”

    Yes, he tripled troop strength in Afghanistan to salvage something there; but the idea that he only reluctantly pulled out of Iraq in 2011 is at odds with the Dexter Filkins account, in which he was portrayed as too eager to leave. I believe he tried hard to stay out of Libya until the rebels were about to be defeated — recall at the time the commentary was that it was UK/FRance leadership with the US “from behind”. And I do not believe he was gung-ho to start bombing Syria — the reason he presented to Congress was so that the idea would be killed.

    I am disappointed in the continuation of the surveillance. I believe living in a free society can mean that bad things happen and perhaps even people die. The political problem is that one person dying will trump 300 million people having less surveillance that in many cases they would not notice anyway.

  34. Obama “…only reluctantly pulled out of Iraq in 2011”? LMAO! He nearly broke his neck in his haste to get completely out of Iraq in time for his campaign bumper sticker for 2012.

    Leaving a US presence in Iraq would have maintained influence with the government and the military, and provided on the spot intelligence that might have anticipated the coming of ISIS. That force, especially if it maintained an air base, would have been able to strike ISIS at their first battle, strengthened the Iraqi army to resist, and avoided the current dire situation.

    But that would require a competent President who understood the situation and who put his own political needs lower in his priorities.

  35. What bothers me when he talks, he inspires no confidence. First of all, how can he not have a strategy? He’s known about ISIL/ISIS for months now, didn’t President Kennedy have literally 72 hours to stand down the Russians during the very real Cuban Missile Crisis? Second, Why tip your hand? Bluff you know what your doing, try playing a little Texas hold em’ Mr. President. Or just do what you always do and lie. Never tell the enemy what your holding especially if you have nothing! I heard crazy talk that he wore this tan suit and said what he said because he’s somehow sending a kind of message to our enemies that we indeed are not ready and that our borders are unguarded, so come on in. I’m not putting anything past this un-American president.

  36. my roomate’s sister-in-law makes $65 /hr on the computer . She has been without a job for 8 months but last month her pay was $18375 just working on the computer for a few hours. navigate to this website…….
    ============== http://www.netjob70.com

  37. No strategy for Syria? GOOD!

    The less we do over there the better.

  38. Even if you don’t have a plan ready to go, isn’t it kinda stupid to admit as much in public? Whatever happened to keeping the bad guys guessing…

  39. Olivia . you think Elaine `s st0rry is inconceivable, last week I bought a top of the range Ariel Atom since I been earnin $9671 thiss month and-over, ten-k this past-munth . it’s by-far the most comfortable work Ive had . I began this six months/ago and immediately began to bring in more than $71, per hour .
    Get More Info——- http://www.jobsfish.com

  40. My job as an American is to try to profit from Obama’s buffoonery. Made some money on health care stocks, shorting some Euro trash. Go Obama, Go Obama!!!

Please to post comments

Comments are closed.