Notice Obama’s assessment presumes ISIS wants to avoid a U.S. military intervention. Is this a manifestation of the mirroring effect, where Obama projects its own values and priorities onto its foes? (Think about how often he insists publicly that seizing Crimea and moving into Ukraine isn’t in Russia’s interest, or that bellicose or provocative actions on the part of Iran aren’t in that country’s interest.) ISIS appears to want to send the message, far and wide, that they don’t fear a clash with the U.S. military. Perhaps they want to demonstrate that they can commit horrific crimes against American civilians with no serious repercussion. Maybe they think God wants them to do this. Maybe they’re nuts! In the end, the “why” matters less than the “what.”
Viewed from another angle, President Obama’s comment sounds like a complaint. If ISIS hadn’t beheaded Americans, there wouldn’t be such widespread demand for action against ISIS in the American public.
“If I were advising ISIS…”
Well, you’re not, Mr. President. What, are you looking for another job? Some sort of freelance consulting gig on the job, when you clock out as Commander-in-Chief?
As Geraghty asks, “Are we about to learn what happens when the United States goes to war with a commander-in-chief who doesn’t really want to go to war? A president who’s ordering a particular military action because he feels he has to in order to placate public opinion, but that he has deep doubts about? How can that possibly turn out well?”
Wow — relax, Jim. After the stunning successes of the Stimulus, the GM bailout, diplomacy with Russia, Obamacare, Benghazi, Syria, and Obama’s previous efforts in Iraq, what could possibly go wrong? Failure is so not an option, it’s not even being anticipated!
Related: Of course, if something does go wrong and it impacts Mr. Obama’s approval ratings, the MSM will be quick to inform its viewers, right?
— Mark Hemingway (@Heminator) September 16, 2014