The speech Obama meant to give at West Point

Let me now address a long-running debate in our foreign policy establishment by willfully misrepresenting it.

There exists today no serious person in punditry or politics who believes that every crisis in the world demands an American military response. But it’s a convenient canard to argue that such people do exist, and that they are many and wrong. To these phantom fanatics I say again: rarely have I seen the exercise of military power provide a definitive answer to a bloody crisis. As someone who believes that his uncle liberated Auschwitz, I know of which I speak.

John McCain does not want to send US troops into Syria. But I like to pretend that he does. My strategic communications team in the White House spent literally minutes coming up with the clever lie that conflated a variety of options for greater US involvement in that country – sorry, there were no good options – with “boots on the ground.”