President Obama today acknowledged ISIL jihadists in Iraq and Syria, whom he once derided as “the JV team,” present a serious terrorist threat to the United States, asserting that an extended counterterrorism operation against them is underway but not offering details on how it will be carried out.
Obama, who spoke at the White House today before departing for a two-week vacation to Martha’s Vineyard – to be interrupted at midpoint by a brief return to the White House – continued to be vague on the U.S. military commitment to Iraq, refusing to put a timetable on it. Other than declaring there would be no involvement of U.S. combat troops – even though some are currently in the country – and invoking the “leading from behind” doctrine with the assertion that Iraqis must ultimately solve the problem, it’s not quite clear what Obama is going to do.
Obama pointedly tried to suggest that he’s been on the terrorism case, which he DIDNT’ EVEN MENTION in his address to the nation on Iraq Thursday night, for a long time:
My team has been vigilant, even before ISIL went into Mosul, about foreign fighters and jihadists gathering in Syria, and now in Iraq, who might potentially launch attacks outside the region against Western targets and U.S. targets. So there’s going to be a counterterrorism element that we are already preparing for and have been working diligently on for a long time now.
Okay, so what does that mean? Special forces? A supply of virgins to make heaven less attractive?
Obama had previously suggested that the main thrust of U.S. military intervention would be to help refugees stranded on a mountain and protect Americans in the Kurdish capital of Irbil.
But today, in a possible sign of lightening-fast mission creep, he spoke not only of counterterrorism, but of seeking to prevent ISIL from destroying the country’s infrastructure and wanting to “bolster” the Iraqi government and “preserve a space” for them while they sought to get their act together.
We can assist and our military obviously can play an extraordinarily important role in bolstering efforts of an Iraqi partner as they make the right steps to keep their country together, but we can’t do it for them . . .
We have to make sure that ISIL is not engaging in the actions that could cripple a country permanently. There’s key infrastructure inside of Iraq that we have to be concerned about.
So we now have an vague, open-ended military commitment to Iraq. Even after Obama won reelection just 21 months ago on an “I ended the war” platform.”
The president apparently thinks that bombing people is not an act of war. That using the air power alone isn’t a serious military commitment. It’s about like saying cavalry charges were wars between horses.
Obama does not want to admit he’s back in Iraq, right where Bush was. The level of self-deception is frightening. But he is in fact a president at war in Iraq again; he’s has taken on ISIL, and he’d better win.