Obama Can’t Afford to Win in Iraq

 

Obama’s half-hearted decision to take on ISIS has confused everyone. Even as the President sends the U.S. military into harm’s way, he hasn’t articulated a clear strategy, nor even defined the action. Some days it’s called a counter-terrorism effort, other days a war, while its purpose meanders between degrading ISIS, destroying ISIS, or following ISIS to the gates of hell.

As Islamists continue to taunt America, ersatz allies are understandably slow to side with a dithering leader. Despite our excellent armed forces, observers wonder if any military action can be successful with a leader so reticent to lead.

Let’s be honest: No effort can be successful if the Commander-in-Chief is unwilling to even define victory. This semantic murkiness is intentional, since it provides maximum political cover for the poll-watching president. Obama can declare that we “degraded” the terrorist threat with a single air strike or a thousand.

The only reason that Obama acted at all is politics. Polls showed that midterm voters demanded a military response to ISIS’ beheading of American journalists and repeated threats to our homeland. Drones, air strikes and military advisors are merely a PR campaign to assuage moderates that their Democratic president is “doing something.”

Obama does not want to win his new Iraq war. He can’t afford to. If the projection of American military power successfully solved the problem of Islamic terrorism, it would shatter Obama’s entire worldview.

A pragmatist would welcome victory regardless of its origins. Sadly, America is stuck with the most rigid ideologue ever to occupy the White House.

Obama adheres to a transnational progressive morality that has replaced “Good versus Evil” with “Weak versus Strong.” As the strongest nation on the planet, America is viewed not as its “last best hope,” but the chief among oppressors. He has been steeped in this intellectual environment from birth.

U.S. military power is an inherently bad thing, causing untold suffering to the peoples of Mexico, Japan, the Koreas, Vietnam, Afghanistan, Iraq and beyond. It is an extension of European colonialism, which is to blame for the broader power imbalances ravaging the Third World.

American force isn’t the solution to terrorism, but the cause. Poor, powerless Middle Easterners are merely rising up against their oppressors with the few weapons they have. This is blowback and America is the root cause. The chickens have come home to roost.

The only way to end terrorism is for America to apologize to those we have oppressed. To make ourselves weaker, and thus, more moral. To surrender our material advantages, making our world more fair.

Obama might employ military solutions here and there to buy a couple more years for his great liberal project. But his ego cannot afford a sweeping military victory against third-world enemies.

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There are 18 comments.

  1. Member

    He’s not fooling anyone – except those who must believe in order to avoid admission of their serial gullibility.

    • #1
    • September 16, 2014, at 5:56 PM PDT
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  2. Thatcher

    Jon,

    By Occam’s razor your argument is correct until proven otherwise. The momentum of the pure stupidity of his world view can not be altered. For a few sentences in one speech he managed to hit the right tone. In one interview he managed to admit that America was the indispensable nation.

    Now the hero of the bus boy’s union membership will blather on and on to no avail.

    Regards,

    Jim

    • #2
    • September 16, 2014, at 5:58 PM PDT
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  3. Coolidge

    You can’t win if you don’t decide. He’s vacillating, because he’s never really had to decide anything before, anything of consequence. It’s his entire life. He lacks seriousness, because he’s never had to *be* serious.

    Which is why allies run away and enemies run toward us. If you want to see a failure of leadership, you don’t get a much shinier example than those two metrics. Shunned by allies, attacked by enemies.

    That’s when you know you’ve really put yourself into an awful, rock-bottom place. Not quite sure Barry’s hit his bottom yet, but it’s coming. I don’t think he’s man enough to take it and get back up again. I don’t think he’s much of a man at all.

    • #3
    • September 16, 2014, at 6:06 PM PDT
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  4. Member

    Actually, the way to end this is not to apologize. I don’t want Obama to bow anymore for fear of herniating L5 and ruining his backswing. No, the truly way to end this is for the entire US to convert to Islam. That would be fair.

    • #4
    • September 16, 2014, at 6:08 PM PDT
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  5. Inactive

    There will be no boots on the ground. In deference to the discontinuance of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” our troops will be rocking Cesare Paciotti Black Leather Studded Gladiator Sandals. It’ll be fabulous.

    • #5
    • September 16, 2014, at 6:10 PM PDT
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  6. Member

    Chris Campion:You can’t win if you don’t decide. He’s vacillating, because he’s never really had to decide anything before, anything of consequence.

    This does not seem to me an accurate characterization of the man. His actions appear confused because they clearly do not substantially deal with the threat posed by ISIS but that is only the case if we assume that is his goal.

    If he believes ISIS is no significant threat, previous comments appear to indicate this is the case, then logic suggests he is only reacting to current poll numbers in view of how they may influence the November elections with reference to the composition of the Senate.

    Indeed current analysis appears to indicate the President understand exactly what he is doing:

    The latest FiveThirtyEight forecast gives Democrats a 47 percent chance of keeping at least 50 seats. Republican chances of winning a majority have dropped from 64 percent when the FiveThirtyEight model launched two weeks ago to 53 percent Tuesday.

    • #6
    • September 16, 2014, at 6:20 PM PDT
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  7. Member

    Jon Gabriel, Ed.: Obama does not want to win his new Iraq war. He can’t afford to. If the projection of American military power successfully solved the problem of Islamic terrorism, it would shatter Obama’s entire worldview

    It would shatter Barry’s entire first six years in office. Citizens would be asking,”Why didn’t We do this years ago?!”

    • #7
    • September 16, 2014, at 6:47 PM PDT
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  8. Contributor

    Jon Gabriel, Ed.: Obama does not want to win his new Iraq war. He can’t afford to. If the projection of American military power successfully solved the problem of Islamic terrorism, it would shatter Obama’s entire worldview. A pragmatist would welcome victory regardless of its origins. Sadly, America is stuck with the most rigid ideologue ever to occupy the White House.

    Like

    • #8
    • September 16, 2014, at 7:52 PM PDT
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  9. Member

    Jon Gabriel, Ed.: Obama does not want to win his new Iraq war. He can’t afford to. If the projection of American military power successfully solved the problem of Islamic terrorism, it would shatter Obama’s entire worldview.

    His worldview is quite safe, Jon. He has no tactical sense or strategic vision. And he certainly wouldn’t deign to meet with any real war fighters who might suggest that “containment” be best achieved with an iron fist as opposed to a Brussels conference table. You are correct that all his actions are poll driven.

    One of the questions I have is whether anyone planning major military or terrorist operations against the US would attack as soon as possible to have the maximum time with a nation led by a dithering President, or wait until, say, December 2016, during Obama’s final political denouement, when any new President barely had their Transition Team Shoes on.

    • #9
    • September 16, 2014, at 10:41 PM PDT
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  10. Inactive

    Jon Gabriel, Ed.: Obama adheres to a transnational progressive morality that has replaced “Good versus Evil” with “Weak versus Strong.” As the strongest nation on the planet, America is viewed not as its “last best hope,” but the chief among oppressors. He has been steeped in this intellectual environment from birth.

    Thank you for this reminder. I find it easy to get confused about what the heck progressives are thinking because I forget how much they hate inequality. ISIS saws the heads of children, but the US is much, much better armed than ISIS. For a progressive, those two things kind of balance out.

    The same rule explains their attitude toward Israel and Hamas.

    • #10
    • September 17, 2014, at 12:22 AM PDT
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  11. Member

    Roberto:

    Chris Campion:You can’t win if you don’t decide.

    This does not seem to me an accurate characterization of the man.

    Roberto, I think Chris has a good point. President Obama had no executive experience before being elected. He consistently voted “present” in the Illinois Senate. He let Reid and Pelosi write Obamacare. His speeches have consistently set out straw men which he then criticizes without taking a firm position. He has consistently refused to take responsibility for the results of the policies he and the Democrats have implemented. Decision makers don’t do that.

    His speech on ISIS will help him bump up his poll numbers by a few points now, but what happens in Iraq and Syria between now and the election as a result of his strategy will have more of an impact on the results than his speech. It is still too early to predict the results of the November election. 

    • #11
    • September 17, 2014, at 2:03 AM PDT
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  12. Member

    Jon Gabriel, Ed.:Obama’s half-hearted decision to take on ISIS has confused everyone. Even as the President sends the U.S. military into harm’s way, he hasn’t articulated a clear strategy, nor even defined the action.

    John, thanks for an excellent post. I think you are right on all counts. Personally, I find it hard to believe that President Obama can “thread the needle” between what his ideology and the Democrat left want and what will happen in the next few months as a result of his “strategy”. The next 28 months are going to be a very difficult time for Obama and for America.

    • #12
    • September 17, 2014, at 2:26 AM PDT
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  13. Member

    You go to war with the army you got, and unfortunately with the leader you got. Let’s pray he rises to the challenge. You would think that his lack of any real accomplishment might spur him on to at least one. Otherwise his presidency will have been dismal.

    • #13
    • September 17, 2014, at 4:18 AM PDT
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  14. Thatcher

    Manny:You go to war with the army you got, and unfortunately with the leader you got. Let’s pray he rises to the challenge. You would think that his lack of any real accomplishment might spur him on to at least one. Otherwise his presidency will have been dismal.

    Manny,

    This is the thinking of a rational mind not painted into an ideological corner. For the sake of the country I wish it were true.

    Regards,

    Jim

    • #14
    • September 17, 2014, at 7:46 AM PDT
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  15. Inactive

    I’m going to be an optimist and assume that the comparison with Pres. Kumbaya and Jimmy Carter is going to hold in the next Presidential election. That sure puts a lot of pressure on the GOP to come up with the right (no pun intended) candidate.

    • #15
    • September 17, 2014, at 7:54 AM PDT
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  16. Member

    James @ #14. Thanks. I know I’m pitching a Hail Mary.

    By the way I haven’t been able to include a quoted comment in my comments all day. Is there something wrong with the system?

    • #16
    • September 17, 2014, at 1:08 PM PDT
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  17. Chief
    Jon Gabriel, Ed. Post author

    Eeyore: One of the questions I have is whether anyone planning major military or terrorist operations against the US would attack as soon as possible to have the maximum time with a nation led by a dithering President, or wait until, say, December 2016, during Obama’s final political denouement, when any new President barely had their Transition Team Shoes on.

    A great question. Terrible, but great.

    And imagine how incompetent and political any transition will be. If a Republican were to be elected, I would expect Obama to hide any news that might make Obama look bad, and also set up several “gotchas” to blow up in the next guy’s face. This administration is a disaster.

    • #17
    • September 17, 2014, at 1:24 PM PDT
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  18. Member

    Nick Stuart:There will be no boots on the ground. In deference to the discontinuance of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” our troops will be rocking Cesare Paciotti Black Leather Studded Gladiator Sandals. It’ll be fabulous.

    I thought this exactly the other day, “If the demand is no boots on the ground, will our soldiers be mandated to wear sandals?”

    • #18
    • September 17, 2014, at 5:13 PM PDT
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