On this somber anniversary the NY Times has the entire above the fold section of the front page devoted to Barack Obama. Among them is the expected sycophantic plug from Gail Collins:
“A Man with a Plan”
But then we come to a article that purports to be serious but either was written by a 12 year old or someone for whom history began on January 21, 2009- Mark Landler.
President Obama on Wednesday authorized a major expansion of the military campaign against rampaging Sunni militants in the Middle East, including American airstrikes in Syria and the deployment of 475 more military advisers to Iraq. But he sought to dispel fears that the United States was embarking on a repeat of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Obama’s not Bush, you know.
The president drew a distinction between the military action he was ordering and the two wars begun by his predecessor, George W. Bush. He likened this campaign to the selective airstrikes that the United States has carried out for years against suspected terrorists in Yemen and Somalia, few of which have been made public.
He notes that after the Obama fanfare of claiming to end the war and bring all the troops home, that Obama now has re-deployed 1600 troops in Iraq. Landler then becomes the dummy to Obama’s ventriloquist “Did I remind you that I got Bin Laden?”
Standing just outside the Blue Room, steps from where he announced the raid that killed Osama bin Laden in May 2011….
Then Landler jumps the shark.
Unlike Mr. Bush in the Iraq war, Mr. Obama has sought to surround the United States with partners.
Wow. Just wow.
George Bush put together a substantial coalition. A total of 40 countries put boots on the ground as part of the Multi-National Force. democrats mocked Bush’s coalition as they sought to downplay the any comparison between the efforts of Bush and Obama. In addition to being patently false, Landler’s assertion is politically charged and biased as hell. All on the front page.
Let’s see how many countries Obama assembles for his “broad” coalition. Let’s see how many of them put ANY boots on the ground.
To his credit, Nicholas Kristof recognizes that the Obama plan is not likely to succeed:
We also need a partner on the ground to take advantage of airstrikes and seize back territory. That means moderate Syrian rebels, but there are many fewer of them now than there were two years ago. The middle has been vanishing.
To be successful, there have to be more military personnel on the ground- controllers and Spec Ops. “Advisors” if you will. A residual force – the kind Petraeus wanted and Romney talked about- would have prevented ISIS from over-running Iraq.
A year ago Obama wanted to arm the Syrian rebels and bomb Assad. Those Syrian rebels were in part ISIS and had Obama done as he wanted Syria would be a piece of the new Caliphate- along with the chemical weapons in Assad’s possession. Not one of the NY Times stories notes that Obama’s plan is dependent largely on the “fantasy” of doctors and pharmacists that he derided a month ago.
“This idea that we could provide some light arms or even more sophisticated arms to what was essentially an opposition made up of former doctors, farmers, pharmacists and so forth, and that they were going to be able to battle not only a well-armed state but also a well-armed state backed by Russia, backed by Iran, a battle-hardened Hezbollah, that was never in the cards,”
Yet now it is.
“We’re not going to let [ISIL] create some caliphate through Syria and Iraq, but we can only do that if we know that we’ve got partners on the ground who are capable of filling the void,” Obama said.
Miraculously, over the last month they apparently have become capable.