Two Stories About Obama, Clinton, ISIS, and Iraq. One Is By Dana Milbank, And One Is Correct
Dana Milbank wants to know why Barack Obama keeps going on vacation even though Dana Milbank assures you that even busy presidents should get vacations and they can keep on presidenting even while they are on vacation but still why is Barack Obama on vacation? Jeb Lund, also known as that dick Mobute, wants you to know that Hillary Clinton can suck a cock. One of these pundits is correct.
Mr. Milbank, you may begin.
Obama stood on the South Lawn on Saturday updating Americans on the new bombing campaign in Iraq — and then he boarded Marine One for a two-week trip to Martha’s Vineyard. There, half an hour after arriving at his vacation home, he was already on his way to a golf course. He played again Sunday, then had a beach outing Monday followed by a political fundraiser.
Even presidents need down time, and Obama can handle his commander-in-chief duties wherever he is. But his decision to proceed with his getaway just 36 hours after announcing the military action in Iraq risks fueling the impression that he is detached as the world burns.
Rebuttal, Mr. Lund?
It’s so great to be bombing again. And not like any of this BS remote-controlled bombing where we only admit to it two weeks later, after photos surface of some remote-control jockey from the 38th Chairborne precision-striking a Yemeni funeral. I’m talking real deal bombing. Maybe we even get another Outkast song out of it.
These aren’t my sentiments, but if you watched the Sunday American talk shows this week, you could get the impression that these were the attitudes of an entire nation: There is a humanitarian crisis in northern Iraq, and the only way to stop the killing is to kill our way our of it. No, dig UP, stupid. The president has already authorized several strikes in just a couple days, but, like, what is the freaking holdup?
Counterpoint, Mr. Milbank?
By Monday afternoon, the crises had already forced Obama to revise his schedule. The White House announced that the president, after returning from the beach, would make an unscheduled statement about Iraq. He freshened up at his 8,100-square-foot vacation home, then stepped outside, in a blue blazer and open collar; his aides wisely chose a wooded backdrop rather than one with the infinity pool and the sweeping water views. Obama finished his four-minute statement and then hopped in his motorcade for the ride to a Democratic fundraiser.
Such visuals probably won’t enhance Obama’s standing. An NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll last week found only 36 percent approving of his handling of foreign policy, a low for his presidency. And now even his former secretary of state is distancing herself from his policy.
Clinton, in the interview, took a harder line than the administration has on Iran, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and Syria, saying she argued unsuccessfully for earlier arming and training of the Syrian opposition. “I know that the failure to help build up a credible fighting force . . . left a big vacuum, which the jihadists have now filled,” she said.
[Candy] Crowley wondered why it would not be enough to continue Obama’s air strikes while also continuing drops of humanitarian supplies to the 40,000 Yazidi “Christians” who fled up Mount Sinjar, exposed to the elements and awaiting the coming cleansing by the Islamic State (Isis). “That’s not a strategy. That’s not a policy,” McCain replied, failing to supply the latter himself, and offering the former only in I-was-right, kill-’em-all knee-jerk terms. “That is simply a very narrow and focused approach to a problem which is metastasizing as we speak. Candy, there was a guy a month ago that was in Syria, went back to the United States, came back and blew himself up.”
Shit, there was a guy? Scramble all fighters.
The no-confidence vote from Clinton (who, as luck would have it, also will be on Martha’s Vineyard this week) comes as Obama is smarting from criticism by hawks that the current mess in Iraq might not have occurred if he had kept U.S. troops there. “That entire analysis is bogus and is wrong,” the president said Saturday. “But it gets frequently peddled around here by folks who oftentimes are trying to defend previous policies that they themselves made.”
It’s understandable that Obama would want to get away from it all, but for a president struggling to build support for his foreign policy, vacationing during a crisis is no day at the beach.
But now Hillary Clinton wants to seem reliably martial for her will-she/won’t-she 2016 run, and that means taking those unintended consequences and erring on the side of more bombs, more guns and more farmed-out proxy wars where we don’t want any telegenically dead Americans. And that means gainsaying the administration’s hesitant Syria policy and throwing credit to the McCains, Kings and Grahams who said that we should have been arming those rebels all along.
Many of whom turned out to be Isis. Who are now arming themselves with materiel the US military left behind in Iraq. What a blast.
White House press secretary Josh Earnest reminded reporters Friday that Obama was traveling to the Vineyard “with an array of communications” and advisers. But when it came time for the president to speak, there was a 20-minute delay because the TV feed didn’t work, and when he finally spoke, the audio and video quality were poor.
McCain went on to say that there are “over 100 Americans” currently over there fighting for Isis, which you know is probably bullshit and surely a talking point, since Rep Peter King (R – 9/11) said the same thing over on Meet the Press. McCain later said “metastasizing” twice more; whereas King didn’t say that word at all, so you know that was just John crushing it on his own.
But King was in fine form, which basically means we’re all in danger, right now, and you should probably punch a hipster on your way to work and use his WWI centennial retro gas mask to save yourself.
And we shall leave it there, with Mr. Milbank having mostly exhausted his jokes about the beach and golfs and his measured opinion that the TV feed looked grainy, and Mr. Lund reminding us that we have outlawed ISIS and the bombing begins in five minutes.
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