Wednesday, September 10, 2014
President Obama's Speech On ISIL: Shoveling It
For those of you who didn't catch the president's latest teleprompter fed offering, as always, I watch this stuff so you don't have to. The president's full remarks are here, if you're that much of a masochist.
This one wasn't as bad as some of his State of the Union outings, but it was obvious that the president was not really engaged in what he was saying..just an unpleasant chore to get through so he could check off the box and go back to his usual routine.
The president started off with some chest thumping (bin-Laden, yadda yadda) talked about how he had eliminated "much of al Qaeda’s leadership in Afghanistan and Pakistan" (blatantly untrue) and again talked about all the troops he'd brought home and how we'll be retreating from AfPak and letting the Taliban take over at the end of this year.
He didn't mention fiascoes like Libya or his covert arming and training the rebels who became ISIS, or the fact that he's known about them for quite some time but avoiding doing anything about them, but I digress.
The president then began shoveling the stuff in earnest, and all of it reveals that his 'startegy' will ensure that the Islamic State not only isn't defeated but actually grows stronger.
First there was the expected part appeasing Islam, in which a non-Muslim Barack Obama informed the Muslims in ISIL that there nothing Islamic about what they're doing. That's not quite what the Qu'ran says. and many of ISIL's supporters would disagree with him, but he felt it necessary to make sure that no one would actually identify the ideology we're fighting, a necessary condition for victory.
The president then announced that he's going to rely on airstrikes to take out ISIL, but underlined that no American troops are going to be sent in..no boots on the ground. He plans to rely on the Shi'ite Iraqi army for that, except for a few hundred U.S. soldiers to actually do the dirty work. Think 'advisers' in South Vietnam circa 1962 or so. Of course, with no US boots on the ground, it isn't going to happen, especially given the performance of the Iraqi army against ISIL fighters. I only hope this president doesn't constantly expand the number of American advisers as this becomes evident.
The president also mentioned that he's going to arm and finance the Syrian rebels again. After all, look how well that worked out last time!
Meanwhile, President Obama talked a great deal about a 'coalition' he's assembling to fight ISIL, which of course includes Iran something the president saw fit not to emphasize, as well Iraq's Iran-supported Shi'ite militias and the Shi'ite Iraqi Army. How Iran is going to react to President Obama arming and training fighters to depose Iran's ally, Syria's Basher Assad is another little detail President Obama decided to gloss over.
He'll also throw money at the problem. Of course.
President Obama also mentioned humanitarian aid for Muslims and for Christians 'driven from their ancient homelands'. Those Christians have been being driven from their homes since Barack Obama became president and especially since we left Iraq. It's nice that he finally noticed, I suppose..although helping them is not going to sit well with many of the local Muslims in his 'coalition' especially in Iraq and Syria.
Details, mere details.
He then went on to tout the removal of Syria's chemical weapons (really untrue) and his providing rations for Christians and Yedizis trapped on a mountain top ( true, except a lot of the stuff was dropped from 15,000 feet up with no chutes and simply exploded on impact with the ground).
So what we have here is not some kind of forceful strategy so much as a political speech to massage his far left base while hopefully convincing average American he's involved.
As I pointed out earlier, there's nothing here that's going to destroy ISIL, but I'm sure President Obama is not particularly concerned with that...he's concerned about whether it looks like he's doing something and if it maybe improves his dismal approval ratings.
That's what tonight's shoveling job was all about And no matter how it's polished or packaged by the president or his friends in the media it still smells the same...