Our 'What, Me Worry' President reassures his well-heeled supporters that these current foreign policy distractions are just distractions:
Obama: Media makes you think ‘world is falling apart’
President Obama on Friday said social media and the nightly news are partly to blame for the sense that “the world is falling apart.”
"I can see why a lot of folks are troubled," Obama told a group of donors gathered at a Democratic National Committee barbecue in Purchase, N.Y.
But the president said that current foreign policy crises across the world are not comparable to the challenges the U.S. faced during the Cold War.
Acknowledging "the barbarity" of Islamist militants and Russia "reasserting the notion that might means right," Obama, though, dismissed the notion that he was facing unprecedented challenges.
“The world’s always been messy ... we’re just noticing now in part because of social media,” he said, according to a White House pool report.
“If you watch the nightly news, it feels like the world is falling apart,” said Obama.
He's right! The original Cold War is over, and we aren't protesting the Vietnam war or eyeballing Russia over nukes in Cuba (or Germany)! So, per Obama, are you better off now than you were forty years ago?
And please - don't ask whether we seem safer now than we were three years ago, when Obama claimed "we’re leaving behind a sovereign, stable and self-reliant Iraq", or six - the world has always been messy. Russia invading a neighbor that borders NATO? Been there! An Islamic terror state in the heart of the Middle East? Done that! There is nothing that Barry hasn't seen before, so chillax. Like him.
And did I hear a question about ISIS? Don't ask. In Britain they are raising the terror alert level because so many ISIS members have British passports, but not over here:
The alarm in Britain contrasted with reassurances in the United States, where Mr. Obama told supporters at a fund-raiser in Newport, R.I., that the tumult in the Middle East did not “immediately threaten the homeland” and added that the country had hardened its defenses since Sept. 11, 2001, so that it is “pretty safe.”
We're "pretty safe"! Well, Obama certainly is - he has the Secret Service and I guess there is no intel suggesting ISIS has managed to plant IEDs on golf carts. Send in the clowns? We have to wake them up first.
The WaPo editors are exhorting Obama to talk to his own team, including his Secretary of State and Attorney General:
Similarly, his senior advisers uniformly have warned of the unprecedented threat to America and Americans represented by Islamic extremists in Syria and Iraq. But Mr. Obama didn’t seem to agree. “Now, ISIL [the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant] poses an immediate threat to the people of Iraq and to people throughout the region,” he said. “My priority at this point is to make sure that the gains that ISIL made in Iraq are rolled back.” Contrast that ambition with this vow from Secretary of State John F. Kerry: “And make no mistake: We will continue to confront ISIL wherever it tries to spread its despicable hatred. The world must know that the United States of America will never back down in the face of such evil.”
The discrepancies raise the question of whether Mr. Obama controls his own administration, but that’s not the most disturbing element. His advisers are only stating the obvious: Russia has invaded Ukraine. The Islamic State and the Americans it is training are a danger to the United States. When Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. says the threat they pose is “in some ways . . . more frightening than anything I think I’ve seen as attorney general,” it’s not because he is a warmonger or an alarmist. He’s describing the world as he sees it. When Mr. Obama refuses to acknowledge the reality, allies naturally wonder whether he will also refuse to respond to it.
Well, that is just more media noise, and why Holder and Kerry are contributing to it I don't know. And for whatever reaason, Kerry takes up space in the NY Times (on the Saturday of a holiday weekend) to spread a message of fear:
IN a polarized region and a complicated world, the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria presents a unifying threat to a broad array of countries, including the United States. What’s needed to confront its nihilistic vision and genocidal agenda is a global coalition using political, humanitarian, economic, law enforcement and intelligence tools to support military force.
In addition to its beheadings, crucifixions and other acts of sheer evil, which have killed thousands of innocents in Syria, Iraq and Lebanon, including Sunni Muslims whose faith it purports to represent, ISIS (which the United States government calls ISIL, or the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant) poses a threat well beyond the region.
He leaves us laughing:
Coalition building is hard work, but it is the best way to tackle a common enemy. When Saddam Hussein invaded Kuwait in 1990, the first President George Bush and Secretary of State James A. Baker III did not act alone or in haste. They methodically assembled a coalition of countries whose concerted action brought a quick victory.
Extremists are defeated only when responsible nations and their peoples unite to oppose them.
Bush, Baker and Thatcher - do we see their like today? And if memory serves (and I know it does!), Kerry felt obliged to vote for the war in Iraq in 2003 because he voted against the Bush coalition in 1990. Say it with me - he was against the Bush Middle East coalition beofe he was for it.
MORE HERE: A partial transcript of Obama's remarks includes this Freudian slip relating to the idea that we are safer (my emphasis):
"But -- and here’s the main message I have for you -- the truth of the matter is, is that American military superiority has never been greater compared to other countries. Our men and women in uniform are more effective, better trained, better equipped than they have ever been. We have, since 9/11, built up the capacity to defend ourselves from terrorist attacks. It doesn’t mean the threat isn’t there and we can’t be -- we don’t have to be vigilant, but it means that we are much less vulnerable than we were 10 or 12 or 15 years ago.
The full transcript is at WhiteHouse.gov. and includes the same admonition against vigilance.