Pres. Obama Admits No Complete Strategy Against ISIS in Iraq

Green Bay TV  |  Media Blackout  |  6-8-15

Green Bay news stations have engaged in a pattern of omitting news which puts President Obama in a negative light. On June 8, 2015 President Obama admitted during a news conference that he does not yet have a complete strategy for defeating ISIS.

He made the admission by deflecting responsibility and by blaming the Iraqis and the Pentagon for his failure regarding ISIS; journalists who reported the story, however, called him out. CNN reporters expressed shock over the admission. After all it has been 18 months since President Obama dismissed ISIS as the “jayvee”.

It has been one year since ISIS captured Mosul. It has been 10 months since Mr. Obama first revealed to the world that he didn’t yet have a strategy regarding ISIS. After all this time, all the beheadings, all the live burnings of Christians and others, after all the territory gained by ISIS, one can make the case that Mr. Obama’s admission is newsworthy.

It is his job, after all, to have a strategy. WBAY ABC 2, WFRV CBS 5, and WGBA NBC 26 engaged in a blackout of this story. WLUK FOX 11 reported President Obama’s admission only during its 9 p.m. broadcast.

According to TIME: President Obama rattled off a list of what has gone wrong in the U.S.-led fight against the Islamic State of Iraq and Greater Syria during a wrap-up press conference Monday following the G-7 summit in Germany. Although he didn’t come out and say it, he made clear that while ISIS militants are “nimble and they’re aggressive and they’re opportunistic,” those fighting them — led by his Administration — are not.

Reading between the lines, he also suggested that responsibility for the poor showing thus far can be blamed on the Pentagon, Iraq and Turkey — but not him or his White House staff. It was a deft example of blame shifting that also has the consequence of relegating the presidency to the status of an also-ran.

“We don’t yet have a complete strategy because it requires commitments on the part of the Iraqis,” Obama said, in words that quickly ricocheted around the world. The comment unfortunately echoed one from last summer that sent aides and Pentagon officials wincing: “We don’t have a strategy yet,” he had said in August.

Obama’s remarks generated predictable ire from Republicans. “I fear his incomplete strategy has only emboldened ISIS and put our national security at greater risk,” said Senator Tom Cotton (R., Ark.), a veteran of both Afghanistan and Iraq.

More critically, it also sparked concern among retired military officers, increasingly echoing what some of their active-duty counterparts are saying privately. “Did anyone tell him that it’s his job to develop a strategy?” wonders Anthony Zinni, a retired four-star Marine.

The U.S. has been debating its anti-ISIS strategy longer than Saddam Hussein’s 1990 invasion of Kuwait and the 1991 Gulf War that drove his forces out, says David Deptula, a retired Air Force lieutenant general who planned that 38-day air campaign. “In about the same period of time, Saddam had invaded Kuwait with half-a-million forces, and the U.S. had devised a strategy, deployed the required forces to execute it, and eliminated the Iraqi military as an effective force, removing them from Kuwait,” Deptula says. Noting Defense Secretary Ashton Carter’s recent complaint that Iraqi forces did not have the “will to fight” for the western Iraqi city of Ramadi, Deptula adds that “it does not appear that our Commander in Chief does, either.” …

The Wall Street Journal opined: … last summer, Mr. Obama announced his anti-ISIS strategy in a September speech, promising to “degrade” and “destroy” the self-styled caliphate.

Nine months later here we are: ISIS has overrun Ramadi, a gateway to Baghdad, the grand alliance that Mr. Obama promised barely exists, the Kurds in the north are fretting publicly about the lack of weapons to forestall a major ISIS assault, the U.S. bombing campaign is hesitant, and now Mr. Obama tells us the training of Iraqis is barely under way.

“So part of my discussion with [Iraqi] Prime Minister [Haider al-] Abadi was how do we make sure that we get more recruits in. A big part of the answer there is our outreach to Sunni tribes,” Mr. Obama added.

That sounds good, but one reason it’s hard to recruit Sunnis in Anbar province is because they are betting their lives if they side with the coalition. They saw Mr. Obama withdraw all American forces after 2011, and in the last year they’ve witnessed a fitful U.S. commitment that includes no American ground forces—not even bombing spotters near the front lines. The U.S. is having trouble recruiting allies for the fight because Mr. Obama gives every sign that he’s not all that committed himself. …

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