Et tu, Di Fi? Feinstein sours on Obama’s ‘too cautious’ approach to ISIS

posted at 12:31 pm on August 31, 2014 by Noah Rothman

Most Democratic officeholders who have sought out the press to register their dissatisfaction with Obama’s approach to the situation in Iraq and Syria, Reps. Adam Schiff (D-CA) and Peter Welch (D-VT) most notably, expressed their concern that Obama is going too far.

The president’s administration, which had floated the proposition of mounting airstrikes against Islamic State targets in Syria, would be inviting more problems than he would solve, they reasoned. If the White House was determined to strike in Syria, he should come to Congress to seek their authorization.

Not every Democrat is urging the president to adopt a dovish position on the ISIS threat. Appearing on Meet the Press on Sunday, Senate Select Committee on Intelligence Chairwoman Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) told NBC’s Andrea Mitchell that Obama, a cautious figure on all matters foreign, is being “too cautious” in this case

“I think I’ve learned one thing about this president, and that is he’s very cautious. Maybe in this instance, too cautious,” Feinstein said. “And so hopefully, those plans will coalesce into a strategy that can encourage that coalition from Arab nations.”

“I know that the military, I know that the state department, I know that others have been putting plans together,” she added, in a direct rebuke of Obama’s insistence that his administration does not “have a strategy yet” to roll back ISIS in Syria.

Her subtle savaging of the president went a step further. When asked if ISIS is, as Obama said in January, al-Qaeda’s “jayvee team,” Feinstein flatly disagreed. “I think it’s a major varsity team, if you want to use those kinds of monikers. But I see nothing that compares with its viciousness,” she noted.

She noted that this is the first group with the funding, training, and expertise to present a global military threat as well as an international terror threat.

“I mean, they crossed the border into Iraq before we even knew it happened,” Feinstein added, contradicting a series of administration officials who have insisted that they watched the ISIS group’s activities in western Syrian and Iraq closely and with great anxiety for over a year. “So this is a group of people who are extraordinarily dangerous. And they’ll kill with abandon.”

This was a pretty heavy volley of shot across the White House’s bow. No one in the West Wing is happy with DiFi this morning, but she is only one name on the president’s mounting list of critics.


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Facilitation and cautious are not synonyms.

Akzed on August 31, 2014 at 12:35 PM

It’s a feckless policy….

sorrowen on August 31, 2014 at 12:36 PM

No $#!+, Sherlockina.

Attila (Pillage Idiot) on August 31, 2014 at 12:36 PM

“So this is a group of people who are extraordinarily dangerous. And they’ll kill with abandon.”

How long before the Pimp-in-Chief starts sleeping in the bunker?

WhirledPeas on August 31, 2014 at 12:39 PM

He just wants to make sure he doesn’t get blamed for anything. Takes a bit of time to plan all that out.

butch on August 31, 2014 at 12:40 PM

She’s still a Nazi gun grabbing lefty loon idiot POS so what she says means nothing to me.

bgibbs1000 on August 31, 2014 at 12:42 PM

Obama is a supporter of a caliphate.

darwin on August 31, 2014 at 12:43 PM

He actually doesn’t want to defeat them. He’s willing to kill a few around the edges for show. Elections vs. safety of the United Sates of America?? It’s party loyalty all the way chumps.
The United States of America has been fundamentally transformed.
How do you like it?

Mimzey on August 31, 2014 at 12:46 PM

Do we just not have a CIA anymore or what? How do they just cross the border from Syria without us knowing about it?????

Allahs vulva on August 31, 2014 at 12:46 PM

Revealed: U.S. has been secretly training Syrian rebels in anti-tank and anti-aircraft weapons for months
posted at 2:31 pm on June 21, 2013 by Allahpundit

Quoting the LA Times (link no workie):

CIA operatives and U.S. special operations troops have been secretly training Syrian rebels with anti-tank and anti-aircraft weapons since late last year, months before President Obama approved plans to begin directly arming them, according to U.S. officials and rebel commanders…

The two-week courses include training with Russian-designed 14.5-millimeter anti-tank rifles, anti-tank missiles, as well as 23-millimeter anti-aircraft weapons, according to a rebel commander in the Syrian province of Dara who helps oversee weapons acquisitions and who asked his name not be used because the program is secret…

The rebels were promised enough armor-piercing anti-tank weapons and other arms to gain a military advantage over Assad’s better-equipped army and security forces, said the Dara commander.

But arms shipments from Qatar, Saudi Arabia and other Arab countries, provided with assent from the Americans, took months to arrive and included less than the rebels had expected.
~

I guess we made the rebels cross their hearts and hope to die not to misuse these weapons, thereby segregating the “moderates” from the actual Muslims.

Akzed on August 31, 2014 at 12:46 PM

Do we just not have a CIA anymore or what? How do they just cross the border from Syria without us knowing about it?????
Allahs vulva on August 31, 2014 at 12:46 PM

Stop! Yer killing me!

Akzed on August 31, 2014 at 12:48 PM

Yawn Diane. Two terms too late. All of the ‘Barack is weak” stuff is adorable now. What about when it counts like during election time?

Hawkerflyer on August 31, 2014 at 12:53 PM

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2008_Mumbai_attacks
Inadequate armed civilians to shut this down earlier. I hope DiFi reads history.

butch on August 31, 2014 at 12:56 PM

wonder what her partner Sen Fallujah 4 Boxer thinks of ISIS.

dmacleo on August 31, 2014 at 12:56 PM

Do we just not have a CIA anymore or what? How do they just cross the border from Syria without us knowing about it?????

Allahs vulva on August 31, 2014 at 12:46 PM

I recall reading something years ago in which the former head of the CIA admitted that the agency had no clue that the Berlin Wall was going to fall until it broke on CNN (they were the only cable game in town) and that the NYT Moscow correspondent knew more about what was going on in the Soviet Union and the Kremlin in the late 80s and early 90s than they did.

Resist We Much on August 31, 2014 at 12:57 PM

Feinstein explains as “cautious” what is really “cowardice”

How “cautious” was Patton as he marched across Europe?

BobMbx on August 31, 2014 at 12:59 PM

Duh. Just ban terrorism.

rogerb on August 31, 2014 at 1:00 PM

and create terror free zones.

CW on August 31, 2014 at 1:02 PM

Notice that senator Frankenstein, a member of the Intelligence Committee, reveals at the end of this segment that ISIS crossed the border “before we even knew it happened”.

Well, how helpful, to inform ISIS on TV that not only does the president have no strategy, we also have no intelligence!

If this is true, it’s worse than we thought.

virgo on August 31, 2014 at 1:04 PM

Allahs vulva on August 31, 2014 at 12:46 PM

Silly goose! Allah doesn’t drive a vulva!

Judge_Dredd on August 31, 2014 at 1:04 PM

Resist We Much on August 31, 2014 at 12:57 PM

Do you mean the actual event, or the larger fall of East Germany?

If you mean the night the wall “came down”, no one knew it was going to happen. It was a mistake in communication.

Excerpts from Schabowski’s press conference were the lead story on West Germany’s two main news programs that night—at 7:17 PM on ZDF’s heute and at 8 PM on ARD’s Tagesschau; this, of course, meant that the news was broadcast to nearly all of East Germany as well. Later that night, on ARD’s Tagesthemen, anchorman Hans Joachim Friedrichs proclaimed, “This is a historic day. East Germany has announced that, starting immediately, its borders are open to everyone. The GDR is opening its borders … the gates in the Berlin Wall stand open.”[42][74]

After hearing the broadcast, East Germans began gathering at the wall and at the six checkpoints between East and West, demanding that border guards immediately open the gates.[74] The surprised and overwhelmed guards made many hectic telephone calls to their superiors about the problem. At first, they were ordered to find the “more aggressive” people gathered at the gates and stamp their passports with a special stamp that barred them from returning to East Germany—in effect, revoking their citizenship. However, this still left thousands of people demanding to be let through “as Schabowski said we can.”[42]

It soon became clear that no one among the East German authorities would take personal responsibility for issuing orders to use lethal force, so the vastly outnumbered soldiers had no way to hold back the huge crowd of East German citizens. Finally, at 10:45 pm, the guards yielded, opening the checkpoints and allowing people through with little or no identity checking. As the Ossis swarmed through, they were greeted by Wessis waiting with flowers and champagne amid wild rejoicing. Soon afterward, a crowd of West Berliners jumped on top of the wall, and were soon joined by East German youngsters. They danced together to celebrate their new freedom.

The problem was, many of those crossing over were East German border guards, police, and other government “employees”.

The bell have been rung, and there was no way to un-ring it.

BobMbx on August 31, 2014 at 1:06 PM

DiFi is in the tradition of Wilson and FDR: a pro American progressive.

And we did know, it’s simply that Dear Liar refuses to listen. He’s been coddled his whole life and so doesn’t feel accountable.

rbj on August 31, 2014 at 1:07 PM

You know.. Obama didn’t have a strategy for the ObamaCare rollout either.

I think he’s just there for the photo-ops.

faraway on August 31, 2014 at 1:08 PM

All Obama would have to do is pull all Americans out of Iraq and Afghanistan and wash their hands of the entire region except for Israel and Russia would have to fight the war that needs to be fought that America can’t fight because of the conventions with which we’ve limited ourselves.

If we’re truly in it for our own national security, which is laughable when you have unaccompanied children flooding across the borders, than let Americans decide at the polls who has the better vision for national security.

Buddahpundit on August 31, 2014 at 1:09 PM

This was a pretty heavy volley of shot across the White House’s bow. No one in the West Wing is happy with DiFi this morning, but she is only one name on the president’s mounting list of critics.

Cracks are appearing in the last solid inner wall’s protecting that false image that Obama was the greatest of all time, that he had all the answers and that he knew what he was doing.

In other words, don’t expect to see any more polls from left leaning outfits (I’m looking at you Wapo and NY Times) testing Obama’s popularity and how well the public supports his Domestic, foreign, economic, you name it policies or performance.

The semi-retired president is officially lame some two months before his last mid-term election cycle.

Say, by-the-by, aren’t there some Obamacare mandates coming out in a couple of months that are suppose to knock tens of millions more out of their current insurance plans at God knows what cost for new plans? And just what was the final number of fully paid enrollees from last year? They have had over four months to get those numbers together. Hmmm.

parke on August 31, 2014 at 1:17 PM

I think DiFi secretly wishes she could come out as a conservative, just so she wouldn’t have to associate with lunatics. But she chose her path, and seems unable to walk it back. As long as she stays on the lunatic fringe in CA, she’ll be in office.

BobMbx on August 31, 2014 at 1:27 PM

She has more bags under eyes than years Obama has been President.

albill on August 31, 2014 at 1:29 PM

Too cautious? Heck, Barry is doing his best to facilitate his Muslim friends in the Middle East.

Obama ♥ the Muslim Brotherhood.

albill on August 31, 2014 at 1:32 PM

Cracks are appearing in the last solid inner wall’s protecting that false image that Obama was the greatest of all time, that he had all the answers and that he knew what he was doing.

parke on August 31, 2014 at 1:17 PM

.
The danger at this point is that Teh Ø will do something stupid that will bring us into a shooting conflict. The other thing he might do is manufacture an event that will cause escalation of an military alert, along the lines of the Tonkin Gulf “Incident.”
.
It’s dangerous to have a democRAT cornered by his own arrogance and deprived of his golf course time, his standing in the minds of his supporters, and his perception of his own legacy. Dangerous times.

ExpressoBold on August 31, 2014 at 1:34 PM

Is it just me, or does that pic of Di Fi makes her look like she is slipping into her Sith Lord/Emperor personna?

parke on August 31, 2014 at 1:36 PM

Dems change clothes for the upcoming election cycle. Slow spin..lather, rinse, repeat.

Mimzey on August 31, 2014 at 1:37 PM

Good job, Noah … that’s one of the most “sour faced” images of Diane Feinstein I’ve seen.

listens2glenn on August 31, 2014 at 1:42 PM

You don’t go to war with the President you want, you go to war with the President you have.

exhelodrvr on August 31, 2014 at 1:44 PM

Carter made Iran.

Obama will make the caliphate.

jukin3 on August 31, 2014 at 1:45 PM

Diane just bought stock in defense companies, obviously.

Meanwhile, Barry didn’t have a strategy in Libya, Egypt, Iraq, Afghanistan, for Obamacare, or for ISIS. He limits his strategy to the golf course and campaign trail.

azpatriotsdotcom on August 31, 2014 at 2:07 PM

It must be rough inside her head with two dogs fighting inside. The blue dog pro america/defense and the yellow dog full on progtard. Which dog does she feed the most?

AH_C on August 31, 2014 at 2:07 PM

Just goes to show, how far we’ve strayed when she becomes the voice of reason.

FREEDOM4906 on August 31, 2014 at 2:29 PM

Just goes to show, how far we’ve strayed when she becomes the voice of reason.

FREEDOM4906 on August 31, 2014 at 2:29 PM

She’s 81 years old.

Del Dolemonte on August 31, 2014 at 2:33 PM

Obama is a supporter of a caliphate.

darwin on August 31, 2014 at 12:43 PM

You got it.

rlwo2008 on August 31, 2014 at 2:36 PM

“On one end of the spectrum, we’ve heard the implication that my candidacy is somehow an exercise in affirmative action; that it’s based solely on the desire of wide-eyed liberals to purchase racial reconciliation on the cheap. On the other end, we’ve heard my former pastor, Reverend Jeremiah Wright …” — March 18, 2008, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Apparently, there was too much attention to the wrong end of the spectrum.

J_Crater on August 31, 2014 at 2:38 PM

The senile scumhag should retire.

Her husband rips you off, by the multi-millions, by cheating Medicare…now in his 3rd company name…She is poison to the land.

Schadenfreude on August 31, 2014 at 2:40 PM

It’s past time to recognize and say it. Mr. Obama is playing for the other team.

Mason on August 31, 2014 at 2:41 PM

Akzed on August 31, 2014 at 12:46 PM
Thanks for posting those facts, that was my thought too, we have trained and aided these radical Muslims . They blossomed into ISIS, how is it we didn’t know this? John McCain was for them before he was against them….right.
We have foolishly unleashed a scourge from Pandora’s box that we can’t put back.
Obama hesitates, dithers because as he told us ” he will stand with the Muslims when the wind of change shift” paraphrased.

Bakokitty on August 31, 2014 at 2:46 PM

Is it just me, or does that pic of Di Fi makes her look like she is slipping into her Sith Lord/Emperor personna?

parke on August 31, 2014 at 1:36 PM

All she needs is the cloak with the hood.

Bakokitty on August 31, 2014 at 2:49 PM

No one in the West Wing is happy with DiFi this morning…

Because how No-No-Bambi is treated carries far more weight in the West Wing than whether or not he’s right. In a government populated by grownups, they should be more concerned with the merits of Feinstein’s point… perhaps even going to the extraordinary step of having her over for a coffee to talk about it… than with her audacity in questioning The Great One’s omniscience.

[Apologies to Wayne Gretzky for borrowing (and tarnishing) his nickname to make a point.]

IndieDogg on August 31, 2014 at 2:51 PM

virgo on August 31, 2014 at 1:04 PM
Good catch! Why don’t we just tell the world we don’t have nukes, weapons, and Barry has our white flag behind his back!

Bakokitty on August 31, 2014 at 2:56 PM

When queried on ISIS a wasted and probably stoned sex-offender preznit Slick Clinton replied:

“That depends on what your meaning of IS-IS…”

/

viking01 on August 31, 2014 at 2:57 PM

Too little, too late! Fix your home state, then, maybe, we will hear what you have to say about the world!

LastRonin on August 31, 2014 at 2:58 PM

Neo-cons want war.
How about she gets on a plane and fight ISIS by herself?

weedisgood on August 31, 2014 at 2:58 PM

DiFi is Jewish. Her wrinkly behind is on the line more than Barry’s scrawny one.

Unless of course, IS hates him just for being POTUS.

formwiz on August 31, 2014 at 2:59 PM

Another obama/Hillary/Power/Rice success story.

Schadenfreude on August 31, 2014 at 3:05 PM

IS will chop off choomed heads just the same.

Schadenfreude on August 31, 2014 at 3:06 PM

If we’re truly in it for our own national security, which is laughable when you have unaccompanied children flooding across the borders, than let Americans decide at the polls who has the better vision for national security.

Buddahpundit on August 31, 2014 at 1:09 PM

Indeed, if DiFi is so concerned about national security, how does she square the circle that our borders are porous and that her fellow party members and the RINOs are encouraging the invasion?

onlineanalyst on August 31, 2014 at 3:31 PM

If I recall correctly, her hubby is in the ammo biz. Things must have gotten a little slow for him since dear leader pulled out of Iraq.

Kissmygrits on August 31, 2014 at 3:51 PM

She’s still a Nazi gun grabbing lefty loon idiot POS so what she says means nothing to me.

bgibbs1000 on August 31, 2014 at 12:42 PM

You left out “old hag”.

leftamark on August 31, 2014 at 4:15 PM

Carter made Iran.

Obama will make the caliphate.

jukin3 on August 31, 2014 at 1:45 PM

And Cruz will unmake both!

J.B. Say on August 31, 2014 at 4:15 PM

Neo-cons want war.

weedisgood on August 31, 2014 at 2:58 PM

Islamists are neo-cons??

Mimzey on August 31, 2014 at 6:19 PM

Could it be that Obama’s reticence is due to his being a Muslim with sympathy for certain “radical” Islamic militant causes? Pamela Geller thinks so and puts out Clare M. Lopez expressed opinion as evidence

“Clare M. Lopez is the Vice President for Research and Analysis at the Center for Security Policy and a Senior Fellow at The Clarion Project, the London Center for Policy Research, and the Canadian Meighen Institute. Since 2013, she has served as a member of the Citizens Commission on Benghazi. Also Vice President of the Intelligence Summit, she formerly was a career operations officer with the Central Intelligence Agency, a professor at the Centre for Counterintelligence and Security Studies, Executive Director of the Iran Policy Committee from 2005-2006, and has served as a consultant, intelligence analyst, and researcher for a variety of defense firms. She was named a Lincoln Fellow at the Claremont Institute in 2011. “

Chessplayer on August 31, 2014 at 6:30 PM

Neo-cons want war.

weedisgood on August 31, 2014 at 2:58 PM

But remember what is said about stopped clocks and blind squirrels.

VorDaj on August 31, 2014 at 6:42 PM

and create terror free zones.

CW on August 31, 2014 at 1:02 PM

You are thinking too small. Require international arms dealers to register with the ATF and only terrorists that are not on the watch list will be able to buy explosives or firearms. No magazines allowed to hold more than seven rounds. I mean how many rounds do you need to shoot an unarmed hostage? Also serrated knives suitable for beheading should be required to be registered and have blade guards. Jihadists with mental issues or living with people that have mental issues will be banned from keeping weapons in their homes. Imams that become aware of violent tendancies among their terrorist flock must report them to their local US embassy. All this can be done by executive order because the US constitution doesn’t even apply internationally and if the Congress won’t ban war, the executive can’t wait to act until they agree on something. Right? Why do GOP politicians keep denying the science of violence control?/s

KW64 on August 31, 2014 at 6:56 PM

She’s still a Nazi gun grabbing lefty loon idiot POS so what she says means nothing to me.

bgibbs1000 on August 31, 2014 at 12:42 PM

x100, miserable k u n t…

Doomsday on August 31, 2014 at 7:25 PM

“Cautious”

The new liberal Democrat term for ‘rudderless buffoonery’.

orangemtl on August 31, 2014 at 9:16 PM

Putin and ISIS and war, oh my: It’s a natsec extravaganza on the Sunday shows this morning featuring all of your old favorites. Watch Dianne Feinstein warn of a dire threat to the homeland on “Meet the Press”! Thrill to Mike Rogers calling for new sanctions on Russia on “Fox News Sunday”! Gasp as John McCain demands U.S. arms for the opposition in Syria and Ukraine on “Face the Nation”! With special guests Peter King (also “Face the Nation”), Bob Menendez (“State of the Union”), and Adam Kinzinger (ditto), all offering similarly hawkish takes!

Beautiful context to Feinstein’s remarks, Allah. Thank you for your humor and insightfulness.

Burke on August 31, 2014 at 10:52 PM

To cautious or a strategy? No strategy is a strategy. Buying time for ISIS?

TheNakedEye on September 1, 2014 at 11:18 AM