On Wednesday’s “The Kelly File” following President Barack Obama’s prime time address to the nation about his policy to deal with ISIS in the Middle East, Fox News senior political analyst Brit Hume reacted to the speech.
According to Hume, nothing really came unexpected from a policy standpoint and Obama was very guarded with the language he used on how he would deal with the ISIS threat.
“Well, Megyn, nothing that we heard tonight was really beyond what we expected,” he said. “I was eager to describe him the threat because there’s a certain logic to these things. If the threat is sufficiently great to American interests and to America itself, then it seems one would do whatever it takes to eliminate the threat. He didn’t quite go that far. He said he was determined to destroy ISIS, but you heard him at the end when he was talking about what we do in these situations. He said we do what it takes. He didn’t say we do whatever it takes. Of course he couldn’t. Because this campaign he’s describing with U.S. air power, supporting action on the ground by forces that he has belittled in the past or in the case of the Iraqi military have performed poorly in the past, doesn’t work, where does that leave us? This raises again, the question of why the president insists on announcing ahead of time what he will and will not do in some instances. It may be that in the end in order to finish this job American ground forces would be needed. Will he commit them? Well, of course he says not. So there is a there is what I would call a certain uncertainty in all of this in terms of the sound of the trumpet that he is blowing in order to try to rally forces behind him. We can all hope and pray this works, but one can understand why there might be doubts.
That, as Hume explained, led to the change in public opinion and thus Obama’s ISIS policy to date.
“[R]emember what happened here — there’s a sequence of events,” Hume continued. “He inherited an Iraq that had been in pretty bad shape but by the time he got it was in pretty good shape. And indeed, he and his administration claimed it as a victory of his success. That of course was the result of a surge of troops that he himself had opposed. But never mind, he said it was a success. He said Iraq was a stable and safe place. The American troops pulled out, agreement was never reached and the whole thing fell apart. And it left the opportunity in Iraq and its instability and division for the arrival of ISIS and for ISIS to move as freely as it has up until now inside Iraq committing these hideous atrocities. What turned this president around was not even recognition of that. It was a couple of videos. This president has quite a history of videos with videos in the Middle East. And in this case it was those videos that woke up American public opinion. American public opinion changed and the president followed. This is what you call leading from behind. In this case he was leading from behind American public opinion reversing himself and reversing course on a number of ways and going back of course without ever acknowledging it on things that he had claimed to be true.”
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