Ahead of President Barack Obama’s prime time do-over about ISIS, Jeffrey Goldberg has laid down some cover fire, insisting that Obama has a long list of achievements in the Middle East for which he gets no credit. En route to this “Rodney Dangerfield” defense, Goldberg actually claims that Obama is responsible for removing Syria’s chemical weapons, and that he is “the greatest terrorist hunter in the history of the presidency.”
The first claim is simply untrue, and ludicrous–not only because the Assad regime has likely retained many of its weapons, and not only because it is using different kinds of chemical weapons, but also because the Obama administration failed to do anything at all to stop the slaughter of hundreds of thousands of Syrians by conventional means. The Syria deal saved face and little else, and boosted Russia’s power at America’s expense.
The claim about Obama hunting terrorists has at least some basis in reality, in that he accelerated a drone program begun under the Bush administration. Yet there are serious questions about whether drone attacks really are the best way to hunt terrorists, as opposed to detaining and interrogating them, which leads to more intelligence and more terrorists. Obama has ruled out such detentions and interrogations–so we cannot know.
Goldberg refuses to see any merit in Republican opposition to Obama’s foreign policy: “Republicans will not credit him with any achievements in this endeavor because they won’t credit him with any achievement ever, for anything.” Wrong.
I wish President Obama nothing but a roaring, legacy-enhancing success in his war against ISIS.
— John Nolte (@NolteNC) September 9, 2014
That is a flagrant distortion by a man who has often bent over backwards to cover for Obama. Conservatives would love to cheer Obama. If only he cared about defeating America’s enemies as much as hating on the GOP.