Almost a year ago, the President stood in front of America following a breakdown of strategy in Syria, dressed in a tan suit – even though tan suits are reserved only for tropical climates and men with cell phone holsters and yellow Corvettes – and assured us that he was working on a way to upend ISIS. He had a couple of rounds of golf to get off his plate and then he was going to get right to it.
Here we are a year later and the G7 has made handling the threat of ISIS a hot topic – especially now that Europe has felt the sting of terrorist attacks. The President, speaking on the subject this morning, wanted to make sure everyone knows that he’s, well…he’s still working on it.
The problem with ISIS is, of course, that if Obama engages, he’s mired himself back into a war – or series of wars – he promised he’d exit. And as far as he’s concerned, the resultant destruction in Iraq and Afghanistan may be his fault, but at least he’s not considered to be actively pursuing military activities across the globe. If he takes on ISIS, as National Journal points out, his theory on the Middle East becomes a failure if he has to re-engage. So he’ll keep saying he’s well on his way to solving the problem, pretending he’s a deep-thinker on such important issues, while basically pushing the problem down the line to whichever Presidential contender is ready for the job in 2016. Conveniently, his “ongoing strategic development” program is on a three-year timeline – that ends well after Obama exits office.
Unfortunately, it’ll probably become a failure whether Obama re-engages it or not. Just because Obama is waiting for the end of his term doesn’t mean that ISIS is also waiting. Jimmy Carter, of course, found this out the hard way, as have many famed characters in literature. Once you’re ready to tangle with the enemy, they’ll already be over your borders.
But at least Obama looked spiffy in that suit.