Though I am increasingly convinced that Obama is not the least bit displeased with the state of the world, his policy of withdrawal has proven to be a wholesale disaster by most objective standards, at least by those who love this country, and as midterm elections approach he is flailing wildly to rewrite recent history to project a more favorable image. It's nothing short of pathetic.
He who would "lead from behind" participated in a press conference this morning with the president of Estonia, and in response to one question about the mess in Syria and Iraq he attempted to indicate that he has been "concerned" for some time about the emergence of ISIS and similar groups - terrorist organizations with military capabilities. He asserted that he had "anticipated" such groups, long before ISIS began dominating the headlines, and that he had indicated as much in his West Point speech.
Obama has been elected twice, in large part because the collective attention span of American voters has become stunningly short. It seems that a brief review might be in order.
ISIS did not rise up over night. They have been fighting against Assad's regime in Syria for years, and Obama's administration sided with them and against Assad in that conflict. They've long since spilled out of Syria and into Iraq with an eye toward establishing an Islamist state there. They took advantage of the U.S. withdrawal from Iraq to accelerate military action and took the cities of Fallujah and Ramadi in January of this year. That's correct - January. ISIS' intentions have been clear for all to see, at least since then. This week we also learned that Obama has been treated to detailed intelligence specific to the progress of ISIS since at least June, 2013 in his daily briefings, and there are indications that he was provided good and reliable information as far back as the chemical weapons "line in the sand" ultimatum in 2012. Even with all of this knowledge, he sat by while ISIS grew stronger and continued to gain territory in Iraq, taking Mosul and Tikrit by June, and still, Obama merely watched while claiming that his administration was taken by surprise by ISIS, and by the quick disintegration of the Iraqi military.
Obama's West Point speech was delivered on May 28, and ISIS was well on their way to seizing some of Iraq'a largest cities. Even so, there was no action by this administration until early August when limited air strikes on select targets were ordered.
So, what are we to conclude? Well, it's clear again that he has lied, and that his administration was NOT taken by surprise by ISIS. - to the contrary, they knew well and watched while ISIS engaged in heinous acts of cruelty against many, including Christians, up to and including burying hundreds of women and children alive. In fact, if he did in truth "anticipate" ISIS, and still did nothing to even hinder them early in their assault on Iraq, he's even more hapless than had he just continued to assert surprise, though it may be that the recent disclosure that he's been given accurate intelligence about ISIS for well over a year may have made sustaining that lie impossible.
Obama was dragged kicking and screaming to responding to ISIS, as he had been promising that the region would finally be a happy place after we withdrew, from Iraq, from Afghanistan. He's championed cessation of military involvement in the middle east for years, and the initiation of bombing missions in Iraq would not merely disturb his base, but would also result in a realization that his policy of withdrawal has been a failure.
As is always the case with this bunch, when the facts don't support your narrative - lie, and be thankful for short attention spans.