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by
Bridget Johnson

Bio

August 8, 2014 - 3:26 pm

In a January interview with The New Yorker, President Obama said of the ISIS threat:

The analogy we use around here sometimes, and I think is accurate, is if a jayvee team puts on Lakers uniforms that doesn’t make them Kobe Bryant. I think there is a distinction between the capacity and reach of a bin Laden and a network that is actively planning major terrorist plots against the homeland versus jihadists who are engaged in various local power struggles and disputes, often sectarian.

Naturally, when Obama last night decided that ISIS had become enough of a threat to warrant immediate action in the country from which he withdrew U.S. forces, that quote — branded by the New Yorker writer at the time as a “flip analogy” — circulated fast around social media.

At today’s White House press briefing, press secretary Josh Earnest tried to offer an explanation:

Well, I think what is appropriate to say is that there is no question that the Laker uniforms that were worn, to use that analogy a little, to draw out that analogy a little bit, that were worn by the Al Qaida leadership in Afghanistan has been decimated and defeated in Afghanistan. There’s no question about that.

And that is the result of the many decisions that were made by the president and the courageous service of our men and women in uniform and our men and women in the intelligence agencies.

What is also true is that there are other organizations that subscribe to the violent extremist ideology that’s espoused and promulgated by Al Qaida. Many of those groups in nations across the globe are not particularly sophisticated, are focused on local, sectarian conflicts, that don’t pose a significant or immediate threat to the U.S. interests or the U.S. homeland.

There are, of course, a couple of other organizations that do pose a more substantial threat to the United States and our interests. Al Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula is one of them. And you’ve seen the United States in concern with our allies and partners take significant steps, important steps, to mitigate the threat that’s posed by those organizations that do have designs and some capability to try to strike the United States and, in some cases, even try to strike the homeland.

We do remain concerned about the military proficiency that’s been demonstrated by ISIL, and it’s why you’ve seen the president take steps, including the authorization of military force, that would protect American citizens who might be harmed by ISIL.

Bridget Johnson is a veteran journalist whose news articles and opinion columns have run in dozens of news outlets across the globe. Bridget first came to Washington to be online editor at The Hill, where she wrote The World from The Hill column on foreign policy. Previously she was an opinion writer and editorial board member at the Rocky Mountain News and nation/world news columnist at the Los Angeles Daily News. She is an NPR contributor and has contributed to USA Today, The Wall Street Journal, National Review Online, Politico and more, and has myriad television and radio credits as a commentator. Bridget is Washington Editor for PJ Media.
Top Rated Comments   
Just ask all those Christians who were decapitated, especially the children.
10 weeks ago
10 weeks ago Link To Comment
just because a do nothing, know nothing, undocumented, druggie senator from chicago puts on an expensive free suit and swears an oath to principles he doesn't understand and has no intention of following, doesn't make him a Ronald Reagan or an Abe Lincoln either.

more like a benedict arnold or a carl marx from where I stand, and that's being kind.
10 weeks ago
10 weeks ago Link To Comment
All Comments   (21)
All Comments   (21)
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Barry in the last several months seems to be losing his grip. During one speech he kept fidgeting, the next he looked sick, then in another he uses a flip analogy. Looks like our boy is on drugs.
10 weeks ago
10 weeks ago Link To Comment
About 1,000 people were killed by ISIS and its precursers before FCMABBHO made that flippant remark. ISIS wasn't designated as a FTO until May of this year.

Boko Haram wasn't designated until November 2013 despite its long list of attrocities, including bombing churches.
10 weeks ago
10 weeks ago Link To Comment
Electing Obama, America thought they were getting Kobe in the draft and ended up with LaRue Martin...
10 weeks ago
10 weeks ago Link To Comment
That reminds me - no one seems to mention anymore that soon after he became President Obama freed the head of the "JV" ISIS from, I seem to recall, an American military prison in Afcrapistan.
10 weeks ago
10 weeks ago Link To Comment
I doubt FCMABBHO personally knew the history of each of the thousands of detainees in Camp Bucca in Iraq when they were released in September 2009.
10 weeks ago
10 weeks ago Link To Comment
It seems as though Obama makes a stupid statement and the Right jumps him for it. Obama then acts as though the Right is so completely stupid and his sycophants on the Left join in the condemnation. Later it turns out the criticisms were correct and usually to an extreme degree. This has happened with freakish regularity and you would think by now Obama would have learned to keep his ignorant, demeaning opinions to himself, but he just doesn't learn. Is there anything this man does right?
10 weeks ago
10 weeks ago Link To Comment
Barry isn't worried that why he smiles all the time. When things go badly he simply blames others. That along with his pathological lying makes him the quintessential sociopath.
10 weeks ago
10 weeks ago Link To Comment
Just ask all those Christians who were decapitated, especially the children.
10 weeks ago
10 weeks ago Link To Comment
I thought he was talking about an uplifted Southside soup-kitchen expert.
10 weeks ago
10 weeks ago Link To Comment
Obama is hitting 25% of his shots! averaging more turnovers than shot attempts! and liberals want to vote him MVP.
10 weeks ago
10 weeks ago Link To Comment
isis is definitely not jv. they are the terrorist all-stars. if obama was on a baseball team, he'd be sent back to the farm team.
10 weeks ago
10 weeks ago Link To Comment
I haven't heard jive talk like that since the '70's 'Superfly'
Flick. Every time Yo' Bama opens his hole it's like
Watching Three Card Monte on a downtown Chicago
Street corner. Sheeeit, Man. I ain't havin' none o' that Jive!
10 weeks ago
10 weeks ago Link To Comment
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