Quotes of the day

posted at 10:41 pm on August 28, 2014 by Allahpundit

President Obama said Thursday he has not decided on stepped-up military action against the Islamic State in Iraq or Syria, cautioning that he remains committed to a strategy that protects U.S. interests and builds broader partnerships to combat the threat posed by the militant group.

“We don’t have a strategy yet,” Obama said during a White House news conference, referring to increased military action. “Folks are getting a little further ahead of where we’re at. …The suggestions seems to have been we’re about to go full-scale on some elaborate strategy for defeating ISIL [the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant] and the suggestion has been we’ll start moving forward imminently and somehow with Congress still out of town, they’ll be left in the dark. That’s not going to happen.”

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Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., quickly responded with a demand for a regional strategy to defeat the Islamic State and for Obama to attack it:

“The President needs to develop a regional strategy, working with our allies, to defeat ISIL and to use the full extent of his authorities to attack this enemy force. The President needs to present this plan to the Congress, and the American people, and where the President believes he lacks authority to execute such a strategy, he needs to explain to the Congress how additional authority for the use of force will protect America. If the President is prepared to engage Congress with a strategic plan to protect the U.S. and our allies from ISIL, I believe he will have significant congressional support. But don’t forget, the threat from ISIL is real and it’s growing—and it is time for President Obama to exercise some leadership in launching a response.”

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American forces face formidable challenges as President Barack Obama considers an air assault on Islamist fighters in Syria, including intelligence gaps on potential targets, concerns about Syria’s air defenses and fears that the militants may have anti-aircraft weapons, current and former U.S. officials say…

Efforts to hit the right targets in Syria will be more difficult than in Iraq, hindered by a shortage of reliable on-the-ground intelligence, in contrast to northern Iraq where Iraqi and Kurdish forces provided intelligence…

Syria’s Russian-built air defense system is another concern. It remains largely intact more than three years into the country’s civil war…

Of greater concern to Western military planners is anti-aircraft weaponry Islamic State fighters might have acquired.

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Currently, 48% say the U.S. is a less important and powerful world leader than it was 10 years ago; 34% think the U.S. is as important and powerful as it was a decade ago while 15% think it is more important. In November, 53% said the U.S. was less important globally, while 27% said it was as important (17% said it was more important).

In 2009, President Obama’s first year in office, opinions about U.S. global power were more mixed: 41% said the U.S. was less powerful and important than it was a decade earlier, 30% about as powerful, while 25% said the U.S. was more powerful.

tough

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The problem for the president is that the longer these airstrikes go on, the shakier his legal footing becomes. Obama’s initial authorization relied on what is usually termed the president’s Article II powers – a shorthand for article II, section II of the Constitution, which names the president as the commander-in-chief of the U.S. military. But in many ways this is also the weakest and most controversial justification for the use of military force, as it allows the president to make decisions about war and peace on his own, without receiving explicit permission from Congress. Article II is typically used in emergency situations, a sort of self-defense provision that allows the president to protect the country without simultaneously trying to gather support in Congress. But it is a stop-gap, not a solution. Not surprisingly, given how often president’s fall back on Article II, the validity of any claim is in the eye of the beholder. Prior to taking office, Obama often criticized then President George W. Bush for an over-reliance on Article II powers and what many Democrats came to see as the dangers of an unchecked executive. That worry, it seems, is now gone.

Powerful presidents wandering into ill-conceived wars is nothing new. In 1973, as the U.S. was struggling to find its way out of Vietnam, Congress passed the War Powers Resolution, which basically put a 60-day clock on presidential war-making. Either Congress authorizes a military operation within 60 days or the president has to end it. There are no other options, or at least there aren’t supposed to be. In 2011, the Obama administration tried to short-circuit the 60-day timetable by claiming that bombing Libya didn’t constitute “hostilities” and therefore there was no clock. That argument was not well received, and the Obama administration hasn’t brought it out for a second round. This time, the 60-day clock to get Congressional approval is in full effect, and it runs out on October 5. If Obama wants to keep bombing ISIS after that date he has four options, and none of them is good.

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“We don’t have a strategy yet” seems to vindicate both at the same time. It sounds like Obama is admitting that he has no idea what he’s doing in Iraq.

There’s also a more sympathetic interpretation.

Viewed in context with the rest of his remarks, Obama’s point might be that there is no good strategy available for fully defeating ISIS in both Iraq and Syria — which is both consistent with his approach the crisis in those countries, in which he has primarily avoided risky escalation, and perhaps true.

Throughout Obama’s addresses on ISIS, including this press conference, he’s emphasized the need for a political strategy to defeat ISIS, one that focuses not on Washington but on Baghdad and, in an ideal world, Damascus. Barring political reform in the Iraqi government, and the development of some sort of peace in Syria, it’ll be really hard to fully defeat ISIS. In a changing, complicated situation, Obama’s thinking has long seemed to be, it’s better not to prematurely commit to a specific problem that might not fit the changing situation.

You can’t have a strategy for what can’t be done, in other words.

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Liberals, by and large, took away an altogether different lesson from Vietnam. For them, there was always something tragically flawed about the way policymakers insisted on seeing the conflict through a prism of good versus evil, when the reality on the ground was so much more nuanced. This simplistic notion of falling dominoes was to them a kind of madness, locking leaders into the same trajectory year after year, long after it was clear they were headed nowhere useful…

But what this summer’s tumultuous events have done is to expose the limits of an anti-doctrine doctrine. It’s fine to say you’re not going to twist all the disparate challenges in the world so that they fit into a neat little box, requiring a one-size-fits-all response. But it’s another thing if you refuse to offer any comprehensive explanation for the dangerous disorder we read about every day, so we can at last make sense of our times…

[A]s some of our more visionary politicians have been warning for decades now, the moment of rampant statelessness has finally arrived, on Obama’s watch. Sure, there will still be profound ideological conflicts with other militarized states, like an expansionist Russia, or Chinese pilots menacing American planes. But now this struggle among rival governments is complicated by the fight between order and chaos, between societies that arrange themselves within borders and extremist movements that would obliterate them…

I can’t say what American foreign policy should look like in a world like this, or whether there has to be a Cold War-like doctrine for it. But before we can have that debate, someone has to take all of these crises and put them in a rubric that’s coherent and less overwhelming. And that someone should probably be a president.

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Via the Examiner.

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nick kristoff more likely to shoot a black guy and quicker to holster his gun when it was a white guy.

its called survival.

idiot libs.

renalin on August 29, 2014 at 7:42 AM

What is Obama supposed to do? Send in ground troops? Declare Iraq War part 3? The American people unequivocally don’t want another war. Our military service members are still healing the physical and psychological wounds suffered in Iraq. There just aren’t enough people willing to fight these wars and we are enacting a cruelty on kids whose poverty leaves them little choice for upward mobility than the military.

libfreeordie on August 29, 2014 at 6:17 AM

What is he to do? His job.

First tell Congress that their 2002 CAUF has been left wide open to continue the conflict in Iraq due to the language they created and that he, Obama, walked away from the peace process of the SOFA agreement system and that he still considers that CAUF actionable. There are multiple parts that address ‘international terrorists’ separately from al Qaeda and those who did 9/11, and that was intentional on the part of Congress to state it that way. That is part of his job. He could have had peace on the cheap by working with the SOFA and then seeking to slowly withdraw US presence over years but he didn’t. That, too, is intentional and it is walking away from a peace process, therefore the prior authorization is still in force.

Yeah it is an awfully wide CAUF that Congress put out and I have been pointing that out for YEARS. It could have been brought to an end by an official peace treaty with the new government of Iraq or by a continuing peace process that puts the onus of going after terrorists on the new government… but that means utilizing that process, working with it and not walking away from it.

If the military is as broken down as you say, then as CinC Obama can go to Congress and ask that they draw up means for citizens to be authorized with Letters to go after ISIS as pirates with no pay and only for what they can garner for confiscating goods going to ISIS that can be proven to be such. Those are then auctioned off by those who get them to the highest bidder. Congress can also put in language that any means of shipping such weapons and the vehicles containing them are ALSO considered part of the deal so that entire vehicles can also become part of the deal as they are used to give material support to a terror organization. Obama can then give those privately armed volunteer citizens with proper mandate and Letters jobs to do when they are not freelancing on their own to go after ISIS equipment, vehicles and personnel.

That, too, is the job of the President when he sees that the proper military of the US is not the right tool for the job and in this case it is NOT the right tool for the job. A demonstration of proof of goods being directed to terrorists and a no questions asked policy on how they were obtained would then give private citizens the incentive to step forward and take on the job that our military can’t do.

You may not like that idea as being, you know, 18th or 19th century in its approach, but it is far more civilized than the savages of ISIS who can’t even get to the 7th century in their dealings with others. By invoking the Piracy Codes, asking for Congress to hand out Letters for private citizens to take Private War to the enemy, then Obama puts additional tools of statecraft at his disposal when working with other Nation States in pointing out the threat of ISIS to all Nations and international law as a whole.

The Left always complains that the US is a fossil in these regards and they are 100% correct… it is a living fossil well suited to the environment that can go suddenly harsh in a matter of months that does not allow for proper military means to be deployed but can get those willing to take on the job on their own into the field quickly. It is a fossil that survives where other, more modern forms of Nation are failing and failing badly, and yet it is adaptable to the harshest of times.

If the military is truly out of it, unable to do anything, and America as a whole is unwilling, then find the Americans as individuals and corporations that ARE WILLING to take the fight to the enemy, put down proper legal authorization methods for them, and then certify their takings and allow them to gain all funds from their auctions tax free as the Nation can’t figure out how to use its tax receipts to properly fund a military to do a job but volunteers willing to take on the risk can.

Better a living more modern fossil than ancient savagery spreading through many lands. That is if you dare to think not in the ways of post-WWII but in the rougher ways of warfare that are the standard ways of war that are anathema to all and must be addressed. Of course you will also need to recognize that the positive Natural Liberty and Right of self-defense against war and the proper legal methods for private citizens to go after our private enemies is valid, as well. And it is that positive Natural Liberty that built civilization before the first government was ever convened so it, too, is a fossil and one that our very civilization depends upon.

ajacksonian on August 29, 2014 at 7:42 AM

So your complain isn’t that he should do something different, just that he should put on a better show for you? Child, boo.

libfreeordie on August 29, 2014 at 6:41 AM

The filthy stupid rat-eared bastard should do something different. Fundraising for Democrats, stealing from the national treasury for long vacations, concerts at the White House for his liberal cronies, and golf do not seem to be doing much to help the situaton in Ukraine, Israel, Iraq, Iran, North Korea, or Ferguson.

In other words, I want the bastard to stop shucking and jiving and start doing his job.

Happy Nomad on August 29, 2014 at 7:43 AM

My my eyes – that suit! The only thing that would have made it better would if it had been white or plaid.

gophergirl on August 29, 2014 at 7:47 AM

There was a change of plans for this hunt. We are going to a different “secret” location for the hunt.

Walter L. Newton on August 29, 2014 at 7:31 AM

Well yeah! That’s how you get to find the important Yeti and not the tourist Yeti sitting around a campfire making S’mores.

Happy Nomad on August 29, 2014 at 7:53 AM

Out of here.

All have a good day.

Don’t let LibFree off the rhetoric hook.

Bigfoot or Bust.

Walter L. Newton on August 29, 2014 at 7:53 AM

What is Obama supposed to do?

libfreeordie on August 29, 2014 at 6:17 AM

He could start by identifying the enemy instead of dancing around the issue.

Cleombrotus on August 29, 2014 at 8:02 AM

My my eyes – that suit! The only thing that would have made it better would if it had been white or plaid.

gophergirl on August 29, 2014 at 7:47 AM

He’s even stopped dressing like a President.

My favorite was the photoshopped picture where the rat-eared wonder was sporting a Century 21 logo on that suit.

Happy Nomad on August 29, 2014 at 8:05 AM

He could start by identifying the enemy instead of dancing around the issue.

Cleombrotus on August 29, 2014 at 8:02 AM

He need only look in the mirror for that one.

Happy Nomad on August 29, 2014 at 8:05 AM

What is Obama supposed to do?

libfreeordie on August 29, 2014 at 6:17 AM

Either lead or quit slave. My preference, resign in shame, better than he deserves. He is beyond any doubt the worst POTUS ever.

Bmore on August 29, 2014 at 8:09 AM

P.S. What bothers you most?

Bmore on August 29, 2014 at 8:12 AM

He’s even stopped dressing like a President.

My favorite was the photoshopped picture where the rat-eared wonder was sporting a Century 21 logo on that suit.

Happy Nomad on August 29, 2014 at 8:05 AM

VERY few men can pull off a suit of that color. He is not one of them.

The suit reminded me of one a 13 year old would have when he needed to dress up for a wedding and that’s all his Mom could find at the store.

gophergirl on August 29, 2014 at 8:17 AM

Looked like dear leader was wearing a yellow suit. How appropriate. How much are we paying those people in the Pentagon who are supposed to do nothing but dream up strategy against our enemies all day. We’re not getting our moneys worth. Rep. Gohmert was disrespectful to Barney Fife. The good deputy at least carried a weapon and a bullet.

Kissmygrits on August 29, 2014 at 8:20 AM

There just aren’t enough people willing to fight these wars and we are enacting a cruelty on kids whose poverty leaves them little choice for upward mobility than the military.

It seems libfree is synonymous with fact free

More recruits are coming from families in the mid-scale and upper socioeconomic strata, while fewer are coming from families with lower earnings.

In addition, most deaths and injuries have been whites, which is not surprising as caucasians are over represented in the combat arms.

F X Muldoon on August 29, 2014 at 8:47 AM

It seems libfree is synonymous with fact free

F X Muldoon on August 29, 2014 at 8:47 AM

Hey! You’re raining on one of the left’s most favorite lies about today’s military (which they hate with a passion).

Don’t you understand that that the military is made up of nothing but poor uneducated black and Hispanic folk who hated to sign up but had no choice to do it because the establishment is preventing them from fulfilling their real goals of becoming something of worth to the nation like community organizers, social workers, or union officals. The military is nothing but an employer of last resort for those denied the opportunities enjoyed by whites.

Happy Nomad on August 29, 2014 at 8:55 AM

My my eyes – that suit! The only thing that would have made it better would if it had been white or plaid.

gophergirl on August 29, 2014 at 7:47 AM

That suit is as empty as the content of jug ears speech.

bobthm3 on August 29, 2014 at 10:25 AM

Happy Nomad on August 29, 2014 at 7:43 AM

Aw yeah, babe! Exactly. He is a child boo (bear)! New suit, same disaster. He and his “progressive” cohorts are going to get us all killed or kill the Constitution trying. Some new attire for Dear Leader – a suggestion only.

Chuck Ef on August 29, 2014 at 10:36 AM

So your complain isn’t that he should do something different, just that he should put on a better show for you? Child, boo.

libfreeordie on August 29, 2014 at 6:41 AM

English is tough, especially for the choomed ‘erudite’ in America.

Schadenfreude on August 29, 2014 at 12:34 PM

just aren’t enough people willing to fight these wars

libfreeordie on August 29, 2014 at 6:17 AM

I may have to agree with you. There are two many chicken-s**t-lazy-Kardashianized-pot-smoking-welfare-queens-race-baiting-zombies ready to defend their county.

Like you.

Walter L. Newton on August 29, 2014 at 7:03 AM

The majority still oppose obama’care’ and the slave doesn’t give a shit about those stats. Same ol’, different day in CO.

Schadenfreude on August 29, 2014 at 12:36 PM

I think he’ll be cleared but I think the boy’s father will sue him.

kcewa on August 29, 2014 at 5:11 AM

In a live press conference just now from Atlanta..
Mike Helton cleared Tony Stewart for a chase birth..
should he happen to win in the next 2 races…

exactly as I predicted..

going2mars on August 29, 2014 at 2:12 PM

exactly as I predicted..

going2mars on August 29, 2014 at 2:12 PM

I saw that. Tony looks in a bad way, though.

kcewa on August 29, 2014 at 2:42 PM

kcewa on August 29, 2014 at 2:42 PM

shows he is human.. and not some monster like the press has been saying..
now getting that W might not be as easy ..
with two races left.. the racing will be a donnybrook..
(TS is 16th on the speed chart so far)

going2mars on August 29, 2014 at 2:52 PM

kc…did you watch the presser from the WH today…
wow what a bunch of lying scum we have in the WH..
I doubt PT Barnum would hire any of them..

going2mars on August 29, 2014 at 2:58 PM

31giddyup on August 29

are you out there ??

going2mars on August 29, 2014 at 7:12 PM

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