LOWLIGHTS IN STRANGE AFFAIRS
DATELINE: Darknessville, August 9 – Today, President Obama held a press conference on the south lawn of the White House en route to his latest family vacation. His remarks, and the questions from the press, dealt entirely with the state of affairs in Iraq. In listening to the President, one can only conclude that they are very strange affairs indeed.
Several times during the press conference Obama stated that the solution to defeating ISIL is an inclusive, functioning Iraqi government. A U.S. military solution is not an option. The President repeatedly blamed the unexpectedly rapid advance of ISIL on a failure of the Iraqi government on several levels. So, the timetable he is most focused on is not the duration of U.S. airstrikes. It is how long it takes the Iraq government to get “formed and finalized”.
At the same time, Obama stated that the Kurdish capital is under attack and tens of thousands are starving on a mountaintop. Along with its rapid advance, ISIL is seizing and operating infrastructures and putting its own governance processes in place in captured locations. Obama is concerned that ISIL could use Iraqi resources to launch attacks against Western targets, including the U.S.
So, what is the U.S. to do? Taking Obama’s remarks as a whole, we are observing a race between the Iraqi government getting its act together and the expanding presence of ISIL. The President admits that the former will take months while the speed of the latter is up to the invaders themselves. Speaking of which, what’s with the changing name of the barbaric marauders? First, ISIS, then IS and now ISIL. Maybe we’d do better against them if we could settle on a name.
We could also arm the Kurds. They are the last unified force in Iraq. They don’t want our boots on their ground, but they could sure use our armament. They are also a minority that ISIL wants to destroy. It would seem that the Kurds match all of Obama’s aid criteria. What more is the President waiting for now? Maybe to get back from vacation?
Or maybe it’s something else. During his remarks today, Obama stated that pulling troops out of Iraq was the decision of the Bush administration. At this point, they can’t be sent back in because of legal considerations. They might be prosecuted for crimes in Iraq for conducting ordinary military operations.
Seriously? Obama is so inhibited by his microscopic view of every issue that all he does is talk in circles. He sees the world through the lens of a handwringing academic so deep in weeds that the big picture is lost from his view. It’s great for university classrooms, but really dreadful for protecting American security internationally.
Protecting American security is one thing that seems to consistently escape the President’s microscope.