On Thursday, President Obama held a press conference in which he humiliated himself entirely on the question of America’s handling of the terror group ISIS. Explaining that he had to consult Congress and check the pulse of Americans, Obama stated, “I don’t want to put the cart before the horse. We don’t have a strategy yet.”
Which begs the question: what the hell does this guy do for a living?
ISIS has been on the move since April 2013, when Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi announced that ISIS was moving into Iraq as well as Syria. On June 29, 2014, ISIS announced that it would now call itself the Islamic State, since it had established a new caliphate.
Since then, ISIS has run roughshod through northern Iraq, taking over major cities and sites, raping women, beheading enemies, and generally making a hash of a country America left to chaos in 2011. It has now been two months since ISIS declared its caliphate. It’s been a year and a half since ISIS announced its move into Iraq. And Obama still has no strategy.
That’s a disappointment, given that the State Department announced a whopping two days ago, “The reason we’ve been engaged as we have been in boosting moderate opposition…is because we’ve been watching this closely.”
And on June 18, CBS News reported, “intelligence agencies have been tracking the ISIS for years, officials say, watching closely as it grew stronger in the Syrian civil war and began to challenge the Shiite-dominated Baghdad government.”
That intelligence has clearly not translated into anything actionable.
This is not the first time that the Obama administration has announced it had a grand scheme, only to later announce it had no plan. When the United States led military action in Libya, effectively becoming the air force for the opposition forces, President Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton assured Americans that there was indeed a plan of action in Libya.
As State Department security officer in Libya Eric Nordstrom stated in sworn testimony regarding the September 11, 2012 attacks in Benghazi, “I raised that specific point in a meeting with the DS director in March, that 60 days there was no plan. And it was hope that everything would get better.” Obama himself admitted that the administration had no plan for Libya after the invasion in an interview with The New York Times‘ Thomas Friedman:
I absolutely believed that it was the right thing to do….Had we not intervened, it’s likely that Libya would be Syria….And so there would be more death, more disruption, more destruction. But what is also true is that I think we [and] our European partners underestimated the need to come in full force if you’re going to do this. Then it’s the day after Qaddafi is gone, when everybody is feeling good and everybody is holding up posters saying, ‘Thank you, America.’ At that moment, there has to be a much more aggressive effort to rebuild societies that didn’t have any civic traditions….So that’s a lesson that I now apply every time I ask the question, ‘Should we intervene, militarily? Do we have an answer [for] the day after?’
Except that he still has no plan in Libya, which has effectively become Syria.
In Egypt, of course, Obama pursued the same strategy: he told Americans that he had a plan, then proceeded to leave the country in shambles. “America cannot determine the future of Egypt,” Obama said in August 2013, shortly after backing the ousting of American ally Hosni Mubarak, lending credibility to the new Muslim Brotherhood quasi-dictator Mohammed Morsi, and then wavering on whether to back the rule of General Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi.
Obama poses as an expert on virtually every element of American foreign policy. He does so by slamming strawmen to the ground, claiming that his opponents either back every war or no war. But the truth is that Obama has been riding by the seat of his pants on foreign policy from his first day in office, hoping that the world would cut him some slack based on his starry-eyed idealism. Instead, Obama’s plans – whatever there were of them – have crashed and burned.
Ben Shapiro is Senior Editor-At-Large of Breitbart News and author of the new book, The People vs. Barack Obama: The Criminal Case Against The Obama Administration (Threshold Editions, June 10, 2014). He is also Editor-in-Chief of TruthRevolt.org. Follow Ben Shapiro on Twitter @benshapiro.