** Article as published by Michael “Vass” Vasquez for Binghamton Political Buzz Examiner.com **
President Obama addressed the nation, mid-day November 25, 2015, in what may well be his shortest update ever. But there were 2 very important things that the slightly more than five minute briefing revealed. The conclusions that can be drawn from these two observations, if they are correct, will likely leave few – if any – Americans in a mood to celebrate.
The first thing is what President Obama had to say about ISIS. The statement made to the nation was nearly a retracing of steps to November 12, 2015, even after acknowledging the recent and horrific events in France. Without uttering the phrase ‘ISIS is contained,’ the President today uttered a summary of actions that have been taken over more than a year by the 65 nation coalition created by the Obama Administration. That summary implied that ISIS was reeling even as mourning continues. The President carefully worded his presentation to give the visual of a hammer, while ignoring the lack of substance for that hammer. He said in part,
“…more than 8,000 airstrikes on ISIL [ISIS] strongholds and equipment. Those airstrikes, along with the efforts of our partners on the ground, have taken out key leaders have taken back territory from ISIL in both Iraq and Syria.”
But such statements belie the reality of the situation. A little more than a month and a half earlier Russia entered the Middle East conflict, with results that had little to do with the 65 nation coalition or its goals. This event detailed exactly how effective the international policy of the Obama Administration has been. According to the Daily Signal, October 1, 2015,
“These experts say that by taking a hands-off approach to the Syrian conflict since day one, the Obama administration—seemingly blindsided by the Russian moves—has left itself with few options to deter the behavior, and now, to stop it.”
The options became fewer with the attack on Paris, 24 hours after President Obama described how contained ISIS was. The response to the Paris attacks, and the bombing of a Russian civilian jet, has been led by French and Russian airstrikes and ground attacks by the Kurds. The United States, as per the Obama Administration, has struck ISIS with a hard blow,
“What a powerful rebuke to the terrorists it will be, when the world stands as one and shows that we will not be deterred from building a better future for our children.” – President Obama, November 24, 2015
As many might imagine, ISIS cannot stand before the onslaught of global climate change efforts. Especially if they have been pushed back by French and Russian bombs, and scattered by Kurds ground troops. Not quite the image that President Obama is painting, but the fact that he is doubling down on the strategy that most would call inept while allowing Prime Minister Putin to have more say in the future of the Middle East than America is exactly the apparent goal of US international policy. We won’t lead – even when our allies are at stake. Global warming is far more pressing a concern.
The second thing to take away is that America is safe. Not because of any particular action by the US. Not because of leadership. But because the same Obama Administration that ignored and then underestimated the threat of ISIS has declared America safe. Everyone should be reassured.
If that sounds a bit hollow, it may be why President Obama ended the press announcement at 5:35 minutes and left the room. If it sounds like America has resigned itself to the outcome of the leadership of allies and a resurgent Russia, it essentially is just that. Thus, on Thanksgiving, Americans should be thankful for the vengeance France and Russia want for the lives of their citizens. Oh, and the knowledge that eventually, one day, if China and India ever capitulate, the Middle East (and world) could at some point become a degree cooler.
For years some have asked if President Obama has the ability to lead US forces around the world. But that may have been the wrong question. President Obama has proven that he is more than willing to drop bombs (not an act of war in his opinion, but ended before it could be challenged in court) on Libya and Yemen. Not that either of those actions resulted in positive outcomes for the US, but that is a different article. So the President is willing to use the military, in a manner on a limited scale.
The question it would seem that should have been asked is if President Obama is willing to defend the political interests of the US internationally. That question appears to have been answered today. The answer seemingly is negative.
The President has maintained a globally recognized failed Middle East policy. Effectively equated to using just enough force to create a power vacuum. Then allowing either fanatical religious zealots and/or nations with less than close relationships with America to step in and fill that void. Even the farthest-Left Liberals should recognize that such a policy can’t be defined as leadership. It’s not even capitulation. It may be described as appeasement, or perhaps a form of global social justice – allowing nations and organizations to redistribute power from what previously was the exceedingly powerful US.
This combination of static action in the face of a dynamic threat, and redistribution of power to whomever is willing to grab it translates into national safety as defined by an Administration proven to be unable to see a threat or even react to the most obvious consequences of its actions. President Obama, after years of apparent effort, may have finally achieved his ill-defined goal of transforming America promised in 2007. Just in time for Thanksgiving, so a nation can be grateful and contemplate rescinding the 2nd Amendment rights guaranteed by the Constitution that doesn’t fit with the Obama Administration vision for this new, less powerful, less influential, impotent America.
Of course this is just one interpretation of the five minute announcement of President Obama. Democrat supporters of the President will assuredly see just another declaration that all is well. Conservatives and Republicans that question the all clear and double down on geo-political stakes will be scoffed as extremists. Which could be correct.
Ultimately the question many could be asking this holiday is if our inaction and absentee leadership is worth the partisan dream of a slightly less carbon-filled world (again, if China, India, North Korea, and the developing nations of the world ever join the global warming trend) and an unarmed (which flies in the face of the recommendation of Interpol) populace?