“If you threaten America you will find no safe haven.” – President Barack Obama
WONDER IF the anti-Hillary obsessors have swallowed their tongue since President Obama uttered the words rousing our nation to war. We are at war now, with former anti-Iraq war Senator Barack Obama declaring it in a way that makes certain the next president will be handed the boots on the ground baton. There are boots on the ground, you know. Hey, but as foreign policy expert Brian Katsulas writes, “Obama’s plan is the only game in town.”
“We’re engaged in a major counterterrorism operation, and it’s going to be a long-term counterterrorism operation. I think war is the wrong terminology and analogy but the fact is that we are engaged in a very significant global effort to curb terrorist activity.” – Secretary John Kerry on CNN [The Hill]
I realize this is very impolitic to write, but looking to 2016 as announcements are pending in January, let’s hope anti-Clintonites check themselves before saying something very foolish, as Michael Moore did yesterday, which I’ll get to in a moment. Bill Maher went from Rand Paul on Tuesday to Elizabeth Warren on Thursday, even though both made statements about ISIS that could have come from Hillary Clinton.
As for my feelings about President Obama declaration of war, which is exactly what it was, I was a lot more comfortable with targeting Syria’s Bashar al Assad for war crimes, as he slaughtered tens of thousands of his own citizens using chemical weapons, human rights violations always a worthy rallying point, if short of war. Two beheaded American journalists could simply not be ignored, that American DNA thing again, but I would have been content with an Osama bin Laden like WANTED poster.
PRESIDENT OBAMA’s declaration of war against the terrorist group known as the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria marks a decisive break in the American constitutional tradition. Nothing attempted by his predecessor, George W. Bush, remotely compares in imperial hubris.
Mr. Bush gained explicit congressional consent for his invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq. In contrast, the Obama administration has not even published a legal opinion attempting to justify the president’s assertion of unilateral war-making authority. This is because no serious opinion can be written.
The bookend to sober analysis is Michael Moore’s statement, which no one picked up or considered it serious enough to discuss. And people say women are emotional.
“When the history is written of this era, this is how you’ll be remembered: He was the first black president.” – Michael Moore [Hollywood Reporter]
Beheadings make us all want to “kill them all,” which is exactly what I wrote. It’s an honest reaction. What it’s not is a foreign policy plan and shouldn’t be confused with one.
What President Obama has learned the hard way is that being commander in chief isn’t like giving an anti-Iraq war speech as an unknown senator. A president dealing with the American DNA that is threaded with the code of vengeance when one of our own is butchered before our eyes requires representing a country that expects payback. Barack Obama has found that his better instincts aren’t enough when no one is listening anymore and you’ve lost the ability to reach the citizens you are to lead.
No one has to convince me that President Obama had little choice after the beheadings of James Foley and Steve Sotloff were broadcast on YouTube. I wrote back in 2007-2008 that Barack Obama would react like all establishment players in Washington, which is inevitable to see play out.
What has now been cemented is that if Hillary Clinton runs in 2016 one of the things she would inherit should she win is Obama’s ISIS war, which has a far wider expanse than anything we’ve seen in the last 13 years. It changes the landscape of candidates for Republicans, paving a way for something unpredictable.
The presidency is a continuum and so is the criticism from people on the outside who don’t have the responsibility to Americans who give a thumbs up or down in the political coliseum, which is as precarious as a teenage boy’s emotional maturity.
“Last night, our mom-jeans-wearing, socialist-muslim-dictator-tyrant-pacifist went full ‘America, Fuck Yeah!'”
– Jon Stewart
Screen capture via The Daily Show