I watched Chuck Todd’s debut as host of NBC’s Meet the Press to watch his interview with President Obama which was conducted yesterday.
Obama looked like he just got out of bed. He did later note that he hasn’t been getting much sleep.
But he does finally have a strategy concerning ISIS – make a speech and ask Congress for more money.
As Todd noted, Obama will be making a speech concerning ISIS on Wednesday, the day before the 13th anniversary of the September 11th attacks.
Despite being called out by Glenn Kessler of The Washington Post on it, Obama also doubled down on the White House spin that he never referred to ISIS as the “jayvee team”. Obama made the comment in an interview with David Remnick of The New Yorker this past January. Here’s the relevant excerpt from that interview:
In the 2012 campaign, Obama spoke not only of killing Osama bin Laden; he also said that al Qaeda had been “decimated”. I pointed out that the flag of Al Qaeda is now flying in Falluja, in Iraq, and among various rebel factions in Syria; Al Qaeda has asserted a presence in parts of Africa, too.
“The analogy we use around here sometimes, and I think is accurate, is if a jayvee team puts on Lakers uniforms that doesn’t make them Kobe Bryant,” Obama said, resorting to an uncharacteristic flip analogy. “I think there is a distinction between the capacity and reach of a bin Laden and a network that is actively planning major terrorist plots against the homeland versus jihadists who are engaged in various local power struggles and disputes, often sectarian.
So if Obama isn’t specifically referring to ISIS a the jayvee team then what other organization is present in Falluja, Iraq and Syria? The Presbyterians?
But if one compares the interview with Remnick and the interview with Todd, it is clear that Obama still doesn’t think ISIS is currently a threat to carry out attacks on U.S. soil. Given the ability of ISIS to recruit American Muslims and Muslims from other Western nations to its ranks, it would be unwise to underestimate them. The Boston Marathon bombings didn’t have the same level of sophistry that the 9/11 attacks did and yet look at the damage that was done. Obama clearly does not take ISIS seriously. How can he so as long as he insists they speak for no religion?
I wonder if Obama went out and played a round of golf after the interview.
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