This week’s MSM outrage was about Obama’s comment regarding strategy or the lack thereof with respect to ISIS. Echoing his catty colleague in making frivolous criticisms of the President, Frank Bruni of the New York Times wants the President to not be frank when it comes to foreign policy but mouth platitudes like the younger Bush did and may be start a war or two in the Middle East.
There are things that you think and things that you say.
There’s what you reckon with privately and what you utter publicly.
There are discussions suitable for a lecture hall and those that befit the bully pulpit.
These sets overlap but aren’t the same. Has President Obama lost sight of that?
It’s a question fairly asked after his statement last week that “we don’t have a strategy yet” for dealing with Islamic extremists in Syria. Not having a strategy, at least a fixed, definitive one, is understandable. The options aren’t great, the answers aren’t easy and the stakes are enormous.
But announcing as much? It’s hard to see any percentage in that. It gives no comfort to Americans. It puts no fear in our enemies.
At this moment, Iraq is in much worse shape than it was when Saddam was alive and was holding the lid shut to the Pandora’s box of strife that Bush’s Mesopotamian misadventure pried open. The rise of ISIS is the direct result of what has happened in Iraq since 2002-03. I am no middle-east expert but wouldn’t crippling ISIS in Syria strengthen Bashar Al-Assad? Not so long ago, didn’t Senator McWar and sidekick Lindsay Graham want to arm the Syrian rebels, which I guess would have been ISIS? Even someone with the most rudimentary knowledge of the events of the past decade can conclude that current crisis is complicated and neither Obama nor anyone else can wave a magic wand and make it all go away.
One of the NYT readers commenting on Bruni’s opinion piece said it better than I can,
I find the President’s candor rather refreshing and astute. I don’t need to hear bluster. I ‘m tired of politicians pretending to have bumper-sticker answers for everything. Obama puts things in perspective. He’s very wise that way. Past Presidents have all too often become reactionary in their attempts to be decisive. I prefer the Obama way, thank you very much.
Is it too much to ask that someone who writes for the opinion pages of the New York Times have a better handle on current events than their average reader? Instead Bruni and most of the chattering class are like toddlers who want the President to act tough and make all the monsters disappear, while he tucks them in and gives them a binky to suck on. I on the other hand am glad to have a President who treats me like an adult and is deliberate and cautious before he commits troops unlike the cheerleaders in the media who have learnt nothing from the Iraq misadventure. The Bush administration could not have sold the war of choice without their complicity. Yet, I haven’t seen a talking head or an opinion writer even acknowledge that the rise of ISIS is directly related to the war they so enthusiastically supported.
Note: By the media I mean the Beltway opinion writers and analysts, not the reporters on the ground who risk their lives to bring us the story.