Obama not grasping the seriousness of the Foley murder, says … Chris Matthews?

posted at 9:21 am on August 21, 2014 by Ed Morrissey

Barack Obama’s statement on the beheading of James Foley got mixed reviews yesterday, but perhaps tellingly not on MSNBC’s Hardball. Neither Chris Matthews nor Huffington Post’s Howard Fineman appeared too impressed with the anodyne reference to “justice” in the context of the videotaped beheading of an American journalist, but Matthews sounded positively offended by Obama’s vague statement. Let’s just say that Matthews wasn’t feeling any tingles as he demanded that Obama take action rather than allow terrorists to attack Americans with “impunity!” (via Newsbusters):

MATTHEWS: I don’t know why he used the word ‘justice.’ It’s not appropriate here. This is an attack on our country, we have to react to it. This is a national, er, our country versus this group that has declared war on us.

FINEMAN: Well, Chris –

MATTHEWS: What’s justice mean in this con– I don’t know why the word’s used, like we’re going to go to the World Court with this?

FINEMAN: Well, especially since he had previously in that same statement basically depicted them as a, as killers who, cold-blooded killers who deserve no quarter.

MATTHEWS: They’re all in this!

FINEMAN: Yeah, I think he also said they don’t belong in the 21st century –

MATTHEWS: All the ISIL crowd belong –

FINEMAN: — or that they don’t belong in any century. But the question is, Chris, and some of our people at the Huffington Post have been looking into this, there’s a school of thought that says, ‘Obviously, this is exactly what ISIL wants.’ They want to engage us, they want us to attack. Their whole strategy, their whole theory is to push our buttons in a way that we commit –

MATTHEWS: Well, then we’re going to help them out.

FINEMAN: Well, that’s, that’s, that’s the concern, and that’s the conundrum [crosstalk] that the President has right now.

MATTHEWS: The American people — that’s what I’ve been saying, Andrea [Mitchell], for a long time now. No American president can survive if he lets Iran get nuclear weapons, and no American president can survive if he lets Americans be beheaded on international television with impunity. Impunity! He has to strike back, as an American, it’s in our soul!

Matthews may be thinking about two other hostage crises in our past in drawing that conclusion. There was a long stretch in the 1980s when Hezbollah, acting on orders from Iran, abducted Americans and held them for years. Ronald Reagan’s administration ended up trying to cut a secret deal to swap arms for the hostages and wound up dealing with the Iran-Contra scandal. Jimmy Carter had a much more severe hostage crisis with Iran directly, one that (like this one) included a failed military rescue attempt, and for which Iran suffered no penalties other than the economic sanctions. We’ve seen hostage crises corrode two American presidencies based on a lack of action, and neither of those involved videotaped beheadings and taunting, although Hezbollah did execute one hostage by hanging.

Matthews isn’t the only one worried that Obama isn’t taking this seriously. His former deputy director at the CIA, Mike Morell, tells CBS that the White House is greatly underestimating the necessity of direct action and commitment needed to end the ISIS threat:

The U.S. military mission in Iraq is narrowly focused on helping displaced Iraqis by flying in humanitarian aid, and protecting U.S. interests in the country — not on targeting ISIS leadership.

That, says Morell, is not enough. He argues the relatively “small leadership” of the group must become the focus, along with reclaiming territory those leaders now control, and “that means capturing or killing them.”

Morell explains that under current White House policy in order to take lethal action against any individual terror suspect, that person must be a member of a named terrorist organization (ISIS meets this requirement), and they must pose a direct threat — and capture cannot be an option.

“I don’t know if they (Obama administration) have made that determination or not,” said Morell.

The former CIA insider says the only way to effectively combat ISIS, which has re-branded itself simply the “Islamic State,” is to bolster Iraq’s own military force — which literally ran away in many instances from the Sunni extremists as they spread from Syria into north and west Iraq earlier this summer, and to get better intelligence on the leaders’ movements.

Morell also rebuked the White House for leaking the rescue effort. The Obama administration seems ill prepared to deal with this in every conceivable way.


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Bmore

Schadenfreude on August 21, 2014 at 12:40 PM

Enemies within this admin.

Schadenfreude on August 21, 2014 at 12:40 PM

“This is obama’s war now” — Chris Matthews

Schadenfreude on August 21, 2014 at 12:40 PM

Look into this

Years ago I used to watch Matthews…then he moved into obama’s azz.

It looks like he crawled out of it.

Schadenfreude on August 21, 2014 at 12:43 PM

Bump, h/t Bmore, via Iowahawk

Schadenfreude on August 21, 2014 at 12:44 PM

Morell also rebuked the White House for leaking the rescue effort. The Obama administration seems ill prepared to deal with this in every conceivable way.

Maybe they don’t want to deal with it.

Schadenfreude on August 21, 2014 at 12:46 PM

Still no word from Hillary on this?

SmallGovtGuy on August 21, 2014 at 1:07 PM

Where are we going to put them if we capture ‘em? Guantanamo so we can give them lawyers and prayer rugs and Obama’s going to shut it down anyway and they’ll end up on our soil? NO, we have to kill ‘em.

Alibali on August 21, 2014 at 2:27 PM

Many of the drive-by media are moving on now – after they played a major role in inflicting the Obama disaster on this country.

TarheelBen on August 21, 2014 at 3:03 PM

Did anyone see the interview with the parents of Foley? They said that revenge is not the answer and we should be compassionate. I am paraphrasing but they said the killers really believe in their cause and seemed to think that we should negotiate with them.

Vince on August 21, 2014 at 11:25 AM

This odd response from the parents explains a lot.
They never taught their son about danger and evil in the world, which is why their son is dead.

Typicalwhitewoman on August 21, 2014 at 3:19 PM

MATTHEWS: I don’t know why he used the word ‘justice.’ It’s not appropriate here. This is an attack on our country, we have to react to it.

Just out of curiosity, wasn’t the attack on our Embassy in Bengazi, and the murder of our Ambassador and three servicemen, an “attack on our country”? Why didn’t we react to that? Other than arresting someone, 2 years later…

Where was Matthews then?

ReggieA on August 21, 2014 at 3:58 PM

It looks like he crawled out of it.

Schadenfreude on August 21, 2014 at 12:43 PM

I’m sure it’s only temporarily. Tingles is addicted to O’s azz.

Shay on August 21, 2014 at 4:15 PM

If Obama had a son, he wouldn’t look like Foley.

Thats all you need to know.

BobMbx on August 21, 2014 at 5:41 PM

When Matthews goes off, Howard and Andrea look completely lost. You know they’re thinking, “Uh, oh. Matthews is going rogue. Do I want to go there? What do I say now?” They both look ashen.

ncjetsfan on August 21, 2014 at 7:39 PM

If he had any bal_s he would turn JSOC and the CIA loose on these subhuman savages. As it stands we are stuck with the POTUS we have, not the one we want.

rmkdbq on August 21, 2014 at 9:11 PM

Look, Chrissy is only revved up because it was a journalist who got the knife. If it were a Tea Party member or Sarah Palin, he wouldn’t care.

Ricard on August 21, 2014 at 10:26 PM

Chris Mathews finally wakes up and sees he idol is a false idol. Welcome to the real worlds Mr Mathews.

MSGTAS on August 22, 2014 at 9:05 AM

Apparently the squirrels running around inside Matthew’s head took a smoke break.

Whitey Ford on August 22, 2014 at 11:17 AM

Foley is Hillary’s legacy, along with Benghazi and the rest

Whitey Ford on August 22, 2014 at 11:18 AM

Obama not grasping the seriousness of the Foley murder, says … Chris Matthews?

More proof that a stopped clock can still be correct twice a day.

This does not make Chris Matthews credible.

landlines on August 22, 2014 at 11:44 AM

LIBERALS FOCUS on IRAQ, HAMAS, FERGUSON and UKRAINE to WIN midterms, like Clinton did in 1998. All Republicans have is IMMIGRATION, OBAMACARE, INFLATION, THE ECONOMY, KEYSTONE PIPELINE, DREAMERS and VOTER ID to hit on. I think the Republicans can pull this out if they stay on message and away from the president.

oarmas on August 22, 2014 at 3:52 PM

Obama not grasping the seriousness of the Foley murder, says … Chris Matthews?

Matthews own “logic” says that disagreeing with Obama is proof positive of racism.

It’s sad to see the racist Matthews spouting such racism on national television.

RJL on August 22, 2014 at 7:53 PM

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