It’s a war!
I knew it. I mean, it looked like a war, it walked like a war, and it quacked like a war. And now, after a couple of days of pretending it was some kind of super-duper counterterrorism operation, the Obama administration has decided to take a break from absurdity and acknowledge that yes, we are at war with ISIS.
I mean, dude, that not-in-a-war stuff was like two hours ago. Get with it.
In a coordinated effort to reclaim a sliver of integrity for themselves and their bosses, spokespeople at the White House, the State Department and the Pentagon all said today that we are at war.
Of course, this makes them all – including Secretary of State John Kerry, who said specifically we are not in a war – both more and less credible. More credible because they are telling the truth. Less credible in that they had to switch from not telling the truth.
But, of course, this is an Obama war. And therefore, it’s a special kind of war.
According to White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest:
This is not a situation where it’s the United States against ISIL. The fact is, ISIL has indicated that they’re ready to go to war against the world.
So even though none of our allies will help us bomb the caliphate, it’s not the United States against ISIS. Well I got news for the president, IT IS THE UNITED STATES AGAINST ISIS. And he’s responsible for winning this, not Belgium.
This president, as is expected of American presidents, is stepping up to lead an international coalition to confront that threat and to deny ISIL a safe haven. And ultimately, this international coalition will be responsible for degrading and destroying ISIL . . .
In the same way that we are at war with al Qaeda and its affiliates around the globe, we are at war with ISIL.
The comparison to the war against al Qaeda, which was repeated by Earnest and press secretaries at the Pentagon and State, has important meaning for Obama.
It means, as we discussed in the previous post, that Obama has legal authority to fight ISIS under the 2001 resolution authorizing force against al Qaeda. Which of course he doesn’t.
But it also gives him the green light to go ahead and fight this war antiseptically from the air, picking off leaders and, as he has repeatedly said, “degrading” ISIS by, I gather, killing ISIS fighters and letting the air out of the tires of their pickup trucks.
Unfortunately, the CIA has determined that there may now be up to 31,500 ISIS fighters. And they have an organized military force that controls land, resources, and cities.
And that’s a very different kind of war than incinerating terrorists cowering in caves. The White House now begs the question: If we are fighting a war, why aren’t we fighting like we’re in a war?