In less than 24 hours the “comprehensive and sustained counter-terrorism strategy” sinks, torpedoed by the left and right, leaving the clueless nincompoops at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue grasping rhetorical life-vests and petulantly parsing the meaning of “war”. No need for the Islamic State propagandists to write a script, all they need to do is play Obama administration video clips running away from saying “war” to embolden their tens of thousands of fighters (more than 30,000 if our CIA analysis is in the ballpark). They’re attracting recruits globally and our leader from behind keeps emphasizing that he isn’t putting any Americans boots on the ground for his comprehensive and sustained fight to destroy them. This chicken little man continued his political rubber chicken circuit with barbarians, who rely on wringing real necks or chopping them off to emphasize their commitment to their “war” His entire strategy rests on fighters on the ground who are no match for IS and a whole bunch of fancy political maneuvering within Iraq to unify the fractured country. His vaunted coalition rests on building trust in American leadership, where diplomatic success relies on deft confidence-building by Mr. “I was for it, before I was against it” Kerry, in a world which has watched Obama’s waffling, changes in direction, obfuscations and disastrous Mid-East foreign policy blunders since 2009. Witnessing just this past 24 hour administration semantical tap dance undercut their credibility and commitment to destroying the Islamic State.
To demonstrate the difference between those committed to the battle, let’s just compare the messaging. The ISIL/ISIS/IS camp openly declared war against America and unbelievers everywhere, while we get President Obama and John Kerry parsing their “counter-terrorism efforts” and going to great pains to downplay the military actions that compose their newly-minted “comprehensive and sustained counter terrorism strategy”. The absurdity of the Obama clown mobile drives on, with this shameless mountebank offering up snake oil like this:
“I have made it clear that we will hunt down terrorists who threaten our country, wherever they are,” he said. “This is a core principle of my presidency: If you threaten America, you will find no safe haven.”
The irony of proclaiming no safe havens for ISIL (his preferred designation), when his disastrously short-sighted and misguided policies created the very safe haven ISIL now controls should propel responsible elected representatives in Washington to speak up. You could not make this stuff up, even in your wildest imagination. While vast blobs of Americans meander through life, fat, dumb and happy to be part of the low-information voter, 5-second-attention-span group, you can be certain that in Iraq, Syria or the Levant (Obama’s spin to avoid saying Syria) and beyond the people in Iraq are listening to his lies, but worse than that their very lives are at risk, from his failed policies. They are forced to live out his lies and on the ground that grim truth feeds a rising tide of recruits for ISIL/ISIS/IS.
American influence and global power, which President Obama frittered away, now leaves him truly leading from behind, with John Kerry chasing after potential coalition members, who no longer trust this administration. The big picture power dynamics in the region elude this administration, with tossing olive branches to Iran, sticks and stones to Arab leaders who did our bidding, like Mubarak and Qadaffi, and a deaf ear to Israel.
The parsing may work for partisan politicos, but to half-hardheartedly commit US Armed Forces to his announced military action September 10,2014 and then walk back that declaration the following day speaks volumes that the speech to the nation was a disingenuous and opportunistic PR gambit.
On September 11, 2014 CBS reports: “We’re engaged in a major counterterrorism operation, and it’s going to be a long-term counterterrorism operation. I think war is the wrong terminology and analogy but the fact is that we are engaged in a very significant global effort to curb terrorist activity,” Kerry told CBS News State Department Correspondent Margaret Brennan in an interview from Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, where he is traveling as part of American effort to build a global coalition to battle ISIS.
President Obama’s address to the nation serves a mixed-messaging 16-bean soup that’s bound to cause enough flatulence to provide alternative energy to fuel America for the next year. What a gigantic crock pot with the emphasis on crock. Keep the Tums handy.
The big picture situation for the entire region shows a culture suffering major hemorrhages and dying . America alone can’t stop this bleed out. David Goldman, in his Spengler column, “14 Million Refugees Make The Levant Unmanageable”, states:
“The Arab states are failed states, except for the few with enough hydrocarbons to subsidize every facet of economic life. Egypt lives on a$15 billion annual subsidy from the Gulf states and, if that persists, will remain stable if not quite prosperous. Syria is a ruin, along with large parts of Iraq. The lives of tens of millions of people were fragile before the fighting broke out (30% of Syrians lived on less than $1.60 a day), and now they are utterly ruined. The hordes of combatants displace more people, and these join the hordes, in a snowball effect.”
“When I wrote in 2011 that Islam was dying, this was precisely what I forecast. You can’t unscramble this egg. The international organizations, Bill Clinton, George Soros and other people of that ilk will draw up plans, propose funding, hold conferences and publish studies, to no avail. The raw despair of millions of people ripped out of the cocoon of traditional society, bereft of ties of kinship and custom, will feed the meatgrinder. Terrorist organizations that were hitherto less flamboyant (“moderate” is a misdesignation), e.g. the Muslim Brotherhood (and its Palestine branch Hamas), will compete with the caliphate for the loyalties of enraged young people. The delusion about Muslim democracy that afflicted utopians of both parties is now inoperative. War will end when the pool of prospective fighters has been exhausted.”
For a far better explanation of the situation than I could ever muster, Henry Kissinger lays out the disintegrating geopolitical situation in an August 31, 2014 piece in The Sunday Times, “The world in flames”. His analysis breaks down to this one ominous line:
“If order cannot be achieved by consensus or imposed by force, it will be wrought, at disastrous and dehumanising cost, from the experience of chaos.”