On Wednesday, President Obama, speaking from Estonia, launched a series of bizarre comments at the Islamic State. After announcing that America “will not be intimidated” by the Islamic State – a bizarre statement from the most powerful man on the planet about a terrorist group he called “jayvee” just a few months ago – Obama explained that America could make ISIS a “manageable problem” if it could mobilize the “international community.”
“We know that if we are joined by the international community, we can continue to shrink ISILl’s sphere of influence, its effectiveness, its financing, its military capabilities to the point where it is a manageable problem,” said Obama.
Acne is a manageable problem. Terrorist groups threatening the United States while making massive territorial inroads and beheading all religious dissenters should be eliminated.
Of course, this is not the first time that Obama has utilized America’s most powerful weapon: his mouth. And it’s not the first time that nothing has happened in the aftermath of his tough talk.
Ukraine. At the same time he addressed the ISIS crisis, Obama addressed the situation in Ukraine, where Russia is busily invading. Obama said that Europe’s peace was “threatened by Russia’s aggression against Ukraine.”
“We will defend our NATO allies,” Obama bloviated, “and that means every ally. We will be here for Estonia….You lost your independence once before. With NATO, you will never lose it again.”
Of course, Obama did make similar noises about Putin’s invasion of Crimea back in May. He condemned Russia’s “intervention” in Ukraine and said the United States would “mobilize the international community to condemn this violation of international law.” Then Putin annexed Crimea and invaded Eastern Ukraine.
Syria. In August 2012, Obama drew a red line over Syria’s use of chemical weapons:
We have been very clear to the Assad regime, but also to other players on the ground, that a red line for us is we start seeing a whole bunch of chemical weapons moving around or being utilized. That would change my calculus. That would change my equation.
After Assad used chemical weapons on his own people, Obama backtracked, stating, “I didn’t set a red line. The world set a red line.” Sadly, both Obama and the world then un-set the red line, brokering a deal in Syria via Russia – a deal that ended with Assad remaining in power interminably, Russia feeling its oats in the Middle East and Eastern Europe, and the rise of ISIS in Syria.
Iran. Speaking in September 2012 before the United Nations, President Obama brought out his mouth-missiles against the Islamic Republic of Iran. He said that a nuclear Iran was “not a challenge that can be contained,” and said that a “coalition of countries” would hold Iran accountable. He also said that the “United States will do what we must to prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon,” and said that the time would not be unlimited.
Then he signed a nuclear deal with Iran that eased sanctions, and did nothing to stop Iran’s nuclear program.
Libya. In the aftermath of the September 11, 2012, terrorist takeover of the American consulate complex in Benghazi, Libya, and the murder of four Americans including Ambassador Chris Stevens, President Obama stated that his “biggest priority” was “bringing those folks to justice and I think the American people have seen that’s a commitment I’ll always keep.”
Thus far, Obama’s detective skills have been lackluster at best. After touting the capture of militia leader Abu Khattalah as a big win, despite the fact that Khattalah was doing open interviews with media in the months after the Benghazi attacks, Obama has arrested no one else. According to CNN.com, suspects including Al-Shibli, Ali Ani al Harzi, Mohammed al-Zahawi, Sheikh Nasser al-Tarshani, Sufian bin Qumu, and others are at large.
China. In January, China issued restrictions on ships in the South China Sea; China began requiring all such ships to notify them of their presence. The US condemned the restrictions as “provocative and potentially dangerous.” That didn’t stop China. In May, the United States condemned China for moving a Chinese oil rig into Vietnamese waters. “Given the recent history of tensions in the South China Sea, China’s decision to operate its oil rig in disputed waters is provocative and unhelpful to the maintenance of peace and stability in the region,” said State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki.
None of this has had any effect.
All over the world, America’s enemies are on the move. And all over the world, the Obama administration is ready to talk tough and do nothing.
Actually, that’s not entirely fair. Sometimes, the Obama administration doesn’t even talk tough. After Nigerian terror group Boko Haram kidnapped over 250 girls and Michelle Obama hashtagged about it, President Obama stated, “Tragically, no American security operation can eradicate the threat posed by an extremist group like Boko Haram. That is why we must focus both on rescuing those girls, but also on supporting Nigerian efforts to educate its youth.”
President Obama’s foreign policy is a mixture of braggadocio and inaction, punctuated by woeful fulmination and inaction. The common factor: inaction against those who threaten America and her interests.
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.