Mark Thompson has written a devastating piece on President Obama’s gaffe* about his lack of an ISIS strategy:
President Obama rattled off a list of what has gone wrong in the U.S.-led fight against the Islamic State of Iraq and Greater Syria during a wrap-up press conference Monday following the G-7 summit in Germany. Although he didn’t come out and say it, he made clear that while ISIS militants are “nimble and they’re aggressive and they’re opportunistic,” those fighting them — led by his Administration — are not.
Reading between the lines, he also suggested that responsibility for the poor showing thus far can be blamed on the Pentagon, Iraq and Turkey — but not him or his White House staff. It was a deft example of blame shifting that also has the consequence of relegating the presidency to the status of an also-ran.
“We don’t yet have a complete strategy because it requires commitments on the part of the Iraqis,” Obama said, in words that quickly ricocheted around the world. The comment unfortunately echoed one from last summer that sent aides and Pentagon officials wincing: “We don’t have a strategy yet,” he had said in August.
Read the whole thing.
I’d add that “nimble” starts at the top, and then just one more thought.
Yesterday everyone pinged on the first half of Obama’s statement, “We don’t yet have a complete strategy.” But the second half is truly the revealing part — “Because it requires commitments on the part of the Iraqis.”
See, Obama does have a strategy, one which requires the Iraqi Army to do things it is no longer equipped or willing to do. In other words, Obama’s complete strategy is wishful thinking, but I think you already knew that.
Just imagine General Eisenhower ordering the boys back on the boats by lunchtime on June 6, 1944, telling FDR that “I’d never dreamed that the Germans would shoot back,” to get a feeling for the degree of Obama’s lackadaisical ineptitude.
*Michael Kinsley’s definition: “A gaffe is when a politician tells the truth – some obvious truth he isn’t supposed to say.”