Some have described President Obama's foreign policy as "lead from behind". It's now been replaced by left in the dust. Meaning all options are on the table which means he'll contemplate on doing nothing.
And it's good to know there is no crisis in Iraq in case anyone was wondering. We know this because if there were a crisis, say terrorists were mere miles away from attacking the city of our embassy in Baghdad, surely the commander in chief would be in his war room consulting with the military and top security analysts. But since he and the First Lady are en route to an Indian reservation in North Dakota for a roundtable discussion with Native American Youth and then off to Palm Springs, CA for the weekend, we can rest easily, while watching Iraq dissenigrate in jihadist Shariah rule.
The president did grace us with a few comments about Iraq on the White House lawn today, just before boarding his ride out of town and even answered a few questions. Let's review what he said. (This isn't the entire speech, although the quotes are in order and any emphasis is mine.)
Yesterday I convened a meeting with my national security council to discuss the situation there and this morning I received an update from my team. Over the last several days we've seen significant gains made by ISIL terrorist organization that operates in both Iraq and in Syria.
Thank goodness he didn't say he just found out about it through the press reports! So we know he had at least one meeting on the subject. And bonus points, he called those causing overseas-man-made-contingencies, terrorists! He has made progress.
In the face of terrorist offenses Iraqi security forces have proven unable to defend a number of cities which has allowed the terrorists to overrun apart Iraq's territory and this poses a danger to Iraq and its people and given the nature of these terrorists, it could pose a threat eventually to American interests as well. This threat is not brand new. Over the last year we've been steadily ramping up our security assistance to the Iraqi government with increased training equipping and intelligence. Now Iraq needs additional support to break the momentum of extremist groups and bolster the capabilities of Iraqi security forces.
Could? So if the threat wasn't new, and he's been supporting Iraq with intelligence for a year, how did he not see this coming? It didn't happen overnight and it's probably too late to break what is more than momentum now. Seems he watched and waited.
We will not be sending US troops back in the combat in Iraq but I have asked my national security team to prepare other options that could help support Iraq security forces and I'll be reviewing those options in the days ahead. I do wanna be clear, up this is not solely or even primarily a military challenge.
He is loud and clear: No. Boots. On. The. Ground. Got that terrorists? So after providing intelligence for a year, on a situation that is not brand new, he'll review his options and wait while Iraq is under siege.
The U.S., we'll do our part, but ultimately it's up to the Iraqis, as a sovereign nation*, to solve their problems. Indeed across the region, we have re-doubled our efforts to help build more capable counterterrorism forces so that groups like ISIL can't establish safe haven.
Oh dear, I'm afraid all that effort was for naught and the president didn't get the news reports that ISIL has nearly established the entire county as a safe haven. Tsk, Tsk.
We're also going to pursue intensive diplomacy throughout this period both inside Iraq and across the region because there's never gonna be stability in Iraq or the broader region unless there are political outcomes that allow people to resolve their differences peacefully without resorting to war or relying on the United States military.
Be afraid terrorists, be very afraid. The full force of the Unite States of America is about to unleash its full might of a #hashtag campaign on you. #StopTerrorizing will be Tweeted around the world by Jen Psaki, Marie Harf. And of course Sec. Kerry who will offer you on off-ramp if you play nice and ratchet down the killings, because we are so out of there.
We'll be monitoring the situation in Iraq very carefully over the next several days.
More monitoring and waiting, as that is his foreign policy.
Our top priority will remain being vigilant against any threats to our personnel serving overseas. We will consult closely with Congress as we make determinations about appropriate action and will continue to keep the American people fully informed as we make decisions about the way.
Too bad you weren't vigilant in Benghazi. And I'll believe he'll consult Congress when pigs fly. Then again, he only does so when he wants shared responsibility for a decision that is messy. Unlike releasing 5 Gitmo terrorists, where his end justified the means. Ditto on pigs flying on keeping Americans informed.
Finally, here's his response to the first question he took before getting out of Dodge, from Chuck (I assumed Chuck Todd, but not sure).
Q: Given the history of Iraq, are you reluctant to get involved in Iraq?
A: I think that we should look at the situation carefully. We have an interest in making sure that a group like ISIL, which is a vicious organization and has been to able to take advantage of the chaos in Syria that they don't get a broader foothold.
I think there are dangers of fierce sectarian fighting if for example, this terrorist organizations try to overrun sacred Shia sites which could trigger Shia Sunni conflict that could be very hard to stamp out.
More looking and carefully looking takes time. But Mr. President, they are just 30 miles from Baghdad, so I think you waited too long since they have a very big footprint now....much bigger than a foothold.
You think there are dangers of sectarian fighting? Huh? Have you seen the news lately? And I know it's not over a sacred site being ruined.
And he closed with this, wait for it.... :
During the course of this week just to give people a sense of timing here, although events on the ground in Iraq have been happening very quickly, our ability to plan whether it's military action or work with the Iraqi government on some these political issues is going to take several days.
So he's going to hold his horses while the terrorists are galloping full speed ahead. It's all back to timing as a foreign policy.
So people should not anticipate that this is something that is going to happen overnight . We want to make sure that we have good eyes on the situation there. We want to make sure that we've gathered all the intelligence is necessary so that if in fact I do direct and order any actions there, that their target at the precise and they're gonna have an effect.
Don't worry, we got it, we got it already! We know the gig by now. Look, wait, watch, monitor and if means no action will be taken in time to change events on the ground. Oops, no boots on the ground. The man does know his foreign policy as he repeats it ad nauseam.
Just to be fair, these are his very last comments. I really only left out the other 2 Q & A's.
And as I indicated before, I want to make sure that everybody understands this message. The United States is not simply going to involve itself in a military action in the absence of a political plan by the Iraqis that gives us some assurance that they're prepared to work together. We're not gonna to allow ourselves to be dragged back into a situation in which while we're there we're keeping a lid on things and after enormous sacrifices by us, as soon as were not there, suddenly people end up acting in ways that are not conducive to the long-term stability and prosperity the country. Alright. Thank you very much.
Wow. I just wish he would've thought about that before announcing our end date and pulling out every last soldier without getting a Status of Forces Agreement. But that would have required negotiating with the Iraqi president and if his negotiating skills were anything like we've witnessed with the 5 Taliban, well know we know why.
But I did hear the Iraqi Ambassador to the U.S. tell Chuck Todd this morning that Mr. Obama was the one that didn't want the SoFA. Because after spending a trillion dollars and losing the blood of over 4,000 men and women, I'm pretty sure we could have demanded a SoFA or else.
Perhaps this crisis could have been prevented, at least to this degree and speed. But they were apparently watching and monitoring the situation for a year now, so maybe not.
"That’s part of what the Counterterrorism Partnership Fund that I am going to be calling for Congress to help finance is all about, giving us the capacity to extend our reach without sending U.S. troops to play Whac-a-Mole wherever there ends up being a problem in a particular country."
*Have you noticed he's very concerned about the sovereignty of every other nation but ours? More on that another day.
All photos are from http://morguefile.com