ISIS Speech Snap Judgements

 

Last night, President Obama announced that American forces would “will degrade, and ultimately destroy, ISIL through a comprehensive and sustained counterterrorism strategy,” largely constituting an air campaign in both Iraq and Syria, and in coordination with the Iraqis and other allies.

What’d you think?  Here’s some quick commentary from Ricochet contributors, and fellow-travelers:

Jonah Goldberg:

I thought that this was a fine speech, grading against the curve of my expectations. But my expectations were low. The problem for me, and I suspect for others, is that it’s very difficult to see him as anything other than a political creature. It’s obviously the case that he is doing this not because the facts on the ground convinced him he had to do what was necessary to protect America but because the polls and the political climate convinced him he had to plug a hole in the hull of his presidency. I really have no problem with politicians being led by the people, when the people are right. And I think they are here. But I have serious doubts that Obama has any desire to stick it out beyond the moment the American people stop paying attention. I hope I’m wrong.

Senator Rand Paul:

Senator Ted Cruz:

More coming as it comes in.

There are 19 comments.

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  1. Nick Stuart Inactive
    Nick Stuart
    @NickStuart

    Fully cognizant of what ISIS/Islamist terrorists can do to hurt us, I’m even more concerned about the great likelihood of Obama FUBARing this (whether through action, or omission).

    Will he put American military (even if there aren’t “boots on the ground” now) in harm’s way and hang them out to dry?

    Given the low hanging fruit left untouched (securing our borders; unshackling domestic oil, gas, and coal production and use; assisting the Kurds) that could materially help in this fight, it’s very hard to see this as anything other than political theater to get the mainstream media’s attention onto something else so he can get back to whatever it is he’s really interested in.

    • #1
  2. SallyVee Inactive
    SallyVee
    @GirlWithAPearl

    Rand Paul reaction? Seriously what a waste, but whatever.

    I recommend listening to all four broadcast hours of The John Batchelor Show from last night.

    But if you only have 8 minutes, please listen to the first segment of Hour 2 featuring Ms. Kori Schake of the Hoover Institute. It is the best summation I’ve heard so far. Keep going after the first segment and you’ll hear more excellent analysis including Victor Davis Hanson’s:

    Kori Schake Snip [any errors mine]:

    “what the commanders in our military will hear [in Obama’s speech] is: the enormous gap between the president’s description of the threat and the timid, stingy means that he is willing to put forward to address it. He wants to win a war without engaging in combat. He wants to build a ‘broad based’ military coalition while limiting us to the margins of contribution. It just doesn’t work. There is not a strategy in the president’s ‘strategy.’ ”


    CLICK HERE TO HEAR HOUR 2 of JBS, 10 SEPTEMBER:

    https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/17329754/Wed%209_10_14%20Hr%202%20JBS%20Gordon%20Chang%2C%20Forbes.com.%20Kori%20Schake%2C%20Hoover.%20Paul%20Gregory%2C%20Hoover.%20Victor%20Davis%20Hanson%2C%20Hoover.%20Andrew%20Collier%2C%20Orient%20Capital%20Research%20Hong%20Kong..mp3

    • #2
  3. SallyVee Inactive
    SallyVee
    @GirlWithAPearl

    Rand Paul reaction? Seriously what a waste, but whatever.

    I recommend listening to the entire John Batchelor Show from last night. But if you only have 8 minutes, please listen to the first segment of Hour 2 featuring Ms. Kori Schake of the Hoover Institute. I’s the best summation I have heard so far. Keep going and you’ll hear more excellent analysis including Victor Davis Hanson’s:

    Kori Schake Snip [any errors mine]:

    “what the commanders in our military will hear [in Obama’s speech] is: the enormous gap between the president’s description of the threat and the timid, stingy means that he is willing to put forward to address it. He wants to win a war without engaging in combat. He wants to build a ‘broad based’ military coalition while limiting us to the margins of contribution. It just doesn’t work. There is not a strategy in the president’s ‘strategy.’ ”

    HOUR 2 of JBS, 10 SEPTEMBER IS HERE:

    http://johnbatchelorshow.com/podcasts/2014/09/10/second-hour

    • #3
  4. SallyVee Inactive
    SallyVee
    @GirlWithAPearl

    Rand Paul reaction? Seriously what a waste, but whatever.

    I recommend listening to the entire John Batchelor Show from last night. But if you only have 8 minutes, please listen to the first segment of Hour 2 featuring Ms. Kori Schake of the Hoover Institute. It’s the best summation I have heard so far. Keep going and you’ll hear more excellent analysis including Victor Davis Hanson’s:

    Kori Schake Snip [any errors mine]:

    “what the commanders in our military will hear [in Obama’s speech] is: the enormous gap between the president’s description of the threat and the timid, stingy means that he is willing to put forward to address it. He wants to win a war without engaging in combat. He wants to build a ‘broad based’ military coalition while limiting us to the margins of contribution. It just doesn’t work. There is not a strategy in the president’s ‘strategy.’ ”

    HOUR 2 of JBS, 10 SEPTEMBER IS HERE:

    http://johnbatchelorshow.com/podcasts/2014/09/10/second-hour

    • #4
  5. SallyVee Inactive
    SallyVee
    @GirlWithAPearl

    Rand Paul’s reaction? Seriously what a waste, but whatever.

    I recommend listening to the entire John Batchelor Show from last night. But if you only have 8 minutes, please listen to the first segment of Hour 2 featuring Ms. Kori Schake of the Hoover Institute. It’s the best summation I have heard so far. Keep going and you’ll hear more excellent analysis including Victor Davis Hanson’s:

    Kori Schake Snip [any errors mine]:

    “what the commanders in our military will hear [in Obama’s speech] is: the enormous gap between the president’s description of the threat and the timid, stingy means that he is willing to put forward to address it. He wants to win a war without engaging in combat. He wants to build a ‘broad based’ military coalition while limiting us to the margins of contribution. It just doesn’t work. There is not a strategy in the president’s ‘strategy.’ ”

    HOUR 2 of JBS, 10 SEPTEMBER IS HERE:

    http://johnbatchelorshow.com/podcasts/2014/09/10/second-hour

    • #5
  6. SallyVee Inactive
    SallyVee
    @GirlWithAPearl

    ERROR

    • #6
  7. user_86050 Inactive
    user_86050
    @KCMulville

    I agree with Nick … I’m open to doing something militarily, but I’m not crazy about letting Obama be the one to lead it.

    I’m worried that Obama is going to do something stupid, like announce that the bombing will continue for two weeks, and then he’ll re-evaluate. He has a habit of announcing cutoff dates, to appease his domestic base, but which unintentionally defeat the purpose of the attack. He does things like that. His past behavior is an open alert that all he cares about is his domestic polls, and so terrorists know Obama can be manipulated by bad news.

    More importantly, for any of the brave talk last night, I don’t know if Obama has the stomach for a fight. It isn’t a macho thing. It’s a recognition that a violent and brutal enemy can only be stopped at the cost of human lives. People are going to get killed. A fight like this can’t be won for free. These guys behead enemies without concern – they will ratchet up the cruelty against innocent civilians, and Obama will be accused of all kinds of moral complicity. Can his ego stand it?

    • #7
  8. Whiskey Sam Inactive
    Whiskey Sam
    @WhiskeySam

    Is there a reason the President persists in using ISIL when the group itself has changed to IS or ISIS?  Is it a semantic thing?

    • #8
  9. cdor Member
    cdor
    @cdor

    Whiskey Sam:Is there a reason the President persists in using ISIL when the group itself has changed to IS or ISIS? Is it a semantic thing?

    WS, I believe, besides being so haughty and cool, Obama uses the term ISIL, whose last letter stands for “Levant” as a means of casting a certain respect to the Muslim entity. The Levant being a term describing an ancient time, perhaps a time of greater strength for Islam. I believe he is sending a message to those who are cutting off American heads and murdering Christians by the thousands that even though he is forced by politics to strike at these scum, he really doesn’t want to, as he really respects them.

    Just mt guess as I too find it very strange and believe he has a reason for using the term which is not immediately apparent.

    • #9
  10. user_138562 Moderator
    user_138562
    @RandyWeivoda

    Whiskey Sam:Is there a reason the President persists in using ISIL when the group itself has changed to IS or ISIS? Is it a semantic thing?

    I think it’s just to show he’s more worldly than provincial America, the same way he’ll use different pronunciations for Pakistan and Taliban than most Americans do.

    • #10
  11. virgil15marlow@yahoo.com Member
    virgil15marlow@yahoo.com
    @Manny

    Obama as I see it did the minimum to get over the political hump.  Will a bombing campaign degrade ISIS.  Yes.  Will it eliminate them?  No.  We needed troops on the ground to eliminate and control the terrain and provide future support for the Iraq government and military.  Obama is hoping that Islamic countries take up the physical slack of troops on the ground.  I’m skeptical that will happen and even if they do and control the ground circumstances, where does that put the US for future influence in the region?  No where.  This is more of the same treading water approach of the last three years.  All talk; no stick.

    • #11
  12. Instugator Thatcher
    Instugator
    @Instugator

    @Randy

    Let us not forget his pronunciation of corpsman either.

    • #12
  13. Instugator Thatcher
    Instugator
    @Instugator

    BTW, you can’t have a bombing campaign (Close Air Support or Interdiction) without “boots on the ground” – someone has to Positively Identify (PID) the targets. There will be boots on the ground, just not that many of them.

    • #13
  14. 3rd angle projection Member
    3rd angle projection
    @

    I think he’ll do air strikes for quite awhile. He’ll leave the real dealing with the IS’ers for the next president. Because that’s what community organizers do.

    • #14
  15. Ryan M Member
    Ryan M
    @RyanM

    Didn’t watch the video links, yet, but here is what I think about Obama’s speechifying.  I saw a few clips with montages of Obama saying “degrade, dismantle, and ultimately destroy,” about a million times in different contexts.

    Now, I’ve been in the position of having to explain the same thing to many people.  Inevitably, I end up repeating myself a bit.  But not like that.  Those are talking points that sound like a man who has no idea what he is talking about.  When I explain something, it sounds at least a little different each time, because it is coming from an understanding of the material and a sincere desire to convey that.  Additionally, there is a confidence in my understanding of the material, so I’m not worried about saying something wrong (and not being able to clarify if called on it).  Obama was given several words and phrases before the speech, and that is all we will EVER hear from him.  Giving no clarity whatsoever, no idea of what the actual plan is, no confidence in our leader or his administration…  no impression that he has the slightest clue what is going on.

    To say this is a failed administration is an insult to failed administrations everywhere.

    • #15
  16. Ryan M Member
    Ryan M
    @RyanM

    cdor:

    Whiskey Sam:Is there a reason the President persists in using ISIL when the group itself has changed to IS or ISIS? Is it a semantic thing?

    WS, I believe, besides being so haughty and cool, Obama uses the term ISIL, whose last letter stands for “Levant” as a means of casting a certain respect to the Muslim entity. The Levant being a term describing an ancient time, perhaps a time of greater strength for Islam. I believe he is sending a message to those who are cutting off American heads and murdering Christians by the thousands that even though he is forced by politics to strike at these scum, he really doesn’t want to, as he really respects them.

    Just mt guess as I too find it very strange and believe he has a reason for using the term which is not immediately apparent.

    I am inclined to agree with this.  Correct me if I’m wrong, but I’m hearing ISIL from left-wingers and ISIS mostly from conservatives.

    • #16
  17. Last Outpost on the Right Inactive
    Last Outpost on the Right
    @LastOutpostontheRight

    This morning, I saw the clip of the president saying, “It’s been a core principle of my presidency that …” in the lead-up to the ‘no safe haven’ comment (emphasis mine). It’s all I saw of the speech, because there are approximately 42,400,389 things I’d rather do than listen to that man drone on and on. But from that limited sample, I have two questions for those that paid attention:

    This is a principle of Obama’s presidency? Really? Isn’t that the primary corollary of the Bush doctrine?

    Was the entire speech that narcissistic?

    • #17
  18. user_82762 Inactive
    user_82762
    @JamesGawron

    Jon,

    I think his key phrasing is the emphasis on ISIS as a terror group and the direct threat they pose to Americans.  This means Obama has not given up his world view in any way.  As soon as he can con us into believing that there is no more direct terror threat to the United States he will break off any engagement or commitment.

    He avoids recognizing the full scale strategic threat of Jihad.  He fails to engage us in a strategy that can produce any stability in the Middle East with governments that will be harmonious to our interests.  This is a continuation of his fantasy disengagement from the world as a foreign policy.

    This speech was a political stop loss.  He was cornered by the reality of events unfolding and the election coming up.  He just wants enough wiggle room to slide out from under it and win the mid-terms.

    I suspect that Gd won’t let him.  His fundamental core beliefs are garbage and they have caught up to him.  Gd isn’t going to give him that wiggle room.

    Regards,

    Jim

    • #18
  19. user_158368 Inactive
    user_158368
    @PaulErickson

    Nick Stuart:Fully cognizant of what ISIS/Islamist terrorists can do to hurt us, I’m even more concerned about the great likelihood of Obama FUBARing this (whether through action, or omission).

    Will he put American military (even if there aren’t “boots on the groundnow) in harm’s way and hang them out to dry?

    Given the low hanging fruit left untouched (securing our borders; unshackling domestic oil, gas, and coal production and use; assisting the Kurds) that could materially help in this fight, it’s very hard to see this as anything other than political theater to get the mainstream media’s attention onto something else so he can get back to whatever it is he’s really interested in.

    Nice comment, Nick.  Worthy of Taranto’s “Metaphor Alert” feature!  ;-)

    • #19
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