President Obama was so enraged by the evil doers’ terrorist murder of photojournalist James Foley that he interrupted his golf vacation and tried to sound stern for five minutes. According to the White House transcript, Obama’s obligatory statement on the “brutal murder of Jim Foley by the terrorist group, ISIL,” started at 12:52 P.M. EDT and ended at 12:57 P.M. EDT.
Eight minutes later, after fighting his Golf War for five minutes, Obama was at the Vineyard Golf Club — where he played his seventh round in ten days at Martha’s Vineyard so far. Obama is fast approaching his 200th round of golf as president. Since his reelection, Obama has been playing golf twice as often as he did during his first term. It took Obama three and one-half years to play his first 100 rounds. Obama’s excessive golf makes me appreciate W’s golf restraint more and more.
The evil doers still control huge chunks of Iraq and Syria and have at least one more American Hostage they can murder. Obama, obviously fearful that his pin pick air strikes would be perceived as inadequate by American voters as well as the ISIL terrorists, let some information become public so it might appear that he is doing something besides fundraising and golfing, as what Obama referred to as a “terrorist group” becomes an entrenched caliphate and is considered by some to be more like a terrorist army than a group of terrorists:
- The limited number of air strikes was increased. Within an hour Obama’s statement it was announced that the U.S. had carried out 14 more air strikes bringing the total to 84. That compares to the 68 air strikes conducted during the first 11 days of air strikes after Obama announced he authorized such strikes on Aug. 7. Obama must have seen the new poll finding that a majority supports air strikes against the evil doers.
- It was revealed that a United States Special Operations team tried and failed to rescue Foley.
- And 300 more troops could be headed to Iraq, which would bring the total number of U.S. forces in Iraq back to well over 1,000.
During an interview on the August 18, 2014-edition of NPR’s “All Things Considered,” Lt. Gen. Michael Barbero said for air strikes to be effective, they must be one part of a larger, overarching strategy:
SIEGEL: It’s a given nowadays that the U.S. does not want to send troops in any large numbers to fight either in Iraq, Syria or anywhere else in the region. Is this level of air power that’s now being unleashed – is it comparable to what we were doing when you were there? That is, have we gone to a very active air role in Iraq over these past couple of weeks?
BARBERO: No, Robert, it is not. It is fairly restricted to, quote unquote, “humanitarian targets and also to protect our people in Iraq and Baghdad and Erbil.” We had free reign when I was there during the surge. But you know ISIS, they’re smart. And they’re going to learn that – what these restrictions are and adjust their tactics to protect themselves from these limited airstrikes.
SIEGEL: Are we at a stage now where a $20,000 vehicle on the ground is a worthy target for a missile that costs, you know, half a million dollars?
BARBERO: Well, it appears that way. But, you know, the truth of the matter is we’ll run out of Hellfire missiles and bombs before they run out of guys in the back of pickup trucks. You cannot airstrike your way out of this.
Gen. Barbero was U.S. deputy commander in Iraq and oversaw targeting for air strikes during 17 months of President Bush’s surge.
Obama’s grand strategy against of air strikes to protect “humanitarian targets and also to protect our people in Iraq and Baghdad and Erbil,” coupled with a 1,000 or so troops and a failed rescue mission is not my idea of relentless. Obama needs to find a General Sherman, LeMay, Schwarzkopf or Horner — order the destruction of the evil doers and stay out of the way.