He scoffed at the premise.
"By that argument you would have 300,000 troops in the
Obama glossed over a crucial distinction. The slaughter in
Of course, as is his wont, Obama covered all of the rhetorical bases. He acknowledged that leaving prematurely would be bad.
"Nobody is proposing we leave precipitously. There are still going to be U.S. forces in the region that could intercede, with an international force, on an emergency basis," he insisted. "There's no doubt there are risks of increased bloodshed in
Then came the patented Obama take-back. "It is my assessment that those risks are even greater if we continue to occupy
As grotesque as Obama's moral argument was, it was unknowable at the time whether his analysis was correct. It's now pretty clear he was wrong on all counts.
When Obama pulled American troops out of
(By the way, what is it with Obama and the word "irresponsible"? In Wednesday's press conference, Obama said that by targeting civilians,
Admittedly, he couldn't have predicted the rise of the Islamic State of Iraq and
But as recently as last November, Obama dismissed ISIS and other al-Qaeda affiliates as nothing more than a jayvee squad. While interviewing Obama, The New Yorker's
The president shot back: "If a jayvee team puts on Lakers uniforms that doesn't make them
Now, that same junior varsity team controls more territory than any terrorist organization in history, has some 5,000 battle-hardened jihadists with Western passports, hundreds of millions of dollars at its disposal, and is earning millions more every day by selling oil on the black market. It is slaughtering Shiites, Christians and other "infidels" with a medieval abandon that makes the alleged A-team of al-Qaeda blanch with horror. At this moment it has cornered tens of thousands of Yazidi villagers on a mountaintop. ISIS presents them with a choice: convert to Islam at gunpoint or die of thirst.
To its credit, the Pentagon is reportedly contemplating airlifting food and water to the Yazidis, though you wouldn't know that from anything the president has said.
You have to give Obama points for consistency. He remains as blasé about mass slaughter today as he was in 2007. Back then he presented our options as a choice between doing nothing and "deploying unilaterally" to put American troops in harm's way. He plays the same rhetorical games today, insisting that critics who want to provide military aid to, say, the Kurds or the Ukrainians are really proposing war. And since no one wants war, we should accept our new role as bystander to slaughter.
It's quite a legacy you're working on there, Mr. President.