As part of his observance of the 9/11 anniversary yesterday President Obama held “a live, worldwide televised Troop Talk Talk town hall at Fort Meade.” That’s how the White House described it in the preview posted here. If you remember Elvis’s Aloha from Hawaii via Satellite extravaganza of 1973, the preview might have seemed an allusion. By contrast with Elvis’s worldwide audience, however, we (and I believe many in Obama’s military audience) eagerly await the time we can say that Obama has left the building.
I have posted the White House video of the event below. The White House has posted it in unlisted form on YouTube here. It’s about 65 minutes long and it makes for painful, if not excruciating, viewing. The Department of Defense has posted a brief account here.
Ben Wolfgang highlights Obama’s most newsworthy comments in the a Washington Times article:
President Obama said Friday that he warned his Russian counterpart years ago that continuing to back Bashar Assad’s Syrian regime would destabilize the region and lead to the kind of chaos and humanitarian crises now unfolding.
At a town-hall meeting at Fort Meade in Maryland, Mr. Obama recalled a conversation with Russian President Vladimir Putin “four or five years ago” in which he said in no uncertain terms Moscow must cease all financial support and arms sales to the Assad government. Mr. Putin’s failure to listen to that advice, Mr. Obama said, has contributed largely to the violence that has raged in Syria for the past few years and the flood of refugees now trying to get out of the war-torn country.
“Russia has for many years now provided financial support, sold arms to Assad. I remember a conversation I had with Mr. Putin four or five years ago where I told him that was a mistake, that would makes things worse,” Mr. Obama said. “He did not take my warnings, and as a consequence, things have gotten worse. It appears now that Assad is worried enough that he’s inviting Russian advisers and Russian equipment….We are going to be engaging Russia to let them know that you can’t continue to double down on a strategy that’s doomed to failure.”
The arrogance and stupidity reflected in Obama’s comments make for a lethal brew. Obama seems to have no idea how the humanitarian crisis in Syria has served Russia’s interests. For Russia, it is simply not the case that “things have gotten worse.”
Obama seems to think that President Putin should and would by moved by humanitarian concerns. He seems to think that his pathetically empty words should and would move Putin. Obama is unembarrassed that his words had no effect on Putin. He takes it as a strike against Putin. He seems to be a man without a clue.
In the voluminous annals of Obama’s inanity, this belongs in the hall of fame: “We are going to be engaging Russia to let them know that you can’t continue to double down on a strategy that’s doomed to failure.”
Obama prefaces his appeal to the allegedly inevitable course of events with the mind-numbing “double down” cliché. With the anesthetic supplied by the cliché, we may be persuaded that all is well. Russia’s strategy is doomed to failure! What, me worry?