Obama Foreign Policy

ISIS advances as Obama dithers

Featured image The Wall Street Journal reports: Since Thursday, Islamic State rebels, backed by tanks and other heavy armor, have seized control of more than 60 villages near the regional capital of Ayn al-Arab, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a monitoring group. The extremist insurgents, also known as ISIS or ISIL have also forced the evacuation of about 100 other villages, Kurdish field commanders and Turkish officials said. . »

Barack Obama, Neocon?

Featured image A friend and Power Line reader has been emailing me to express outrage at the Democrats’ inconsistency in supporting President Obama’s implementation of the Bush Doctrine. I asked him to write up a post; here it is: President Obama’s September 10 speech announcing his intention to “degrade” and “ultimately destroy” ISIL in Iraq and Syria poses a huge political and ideological problem for the Dems and the left. The reason »

Remy on the ISIS Crisis

Featured image Oh yeah, you knew this was coming: our hero Remy Munasifi and our pals at Reason.TV out this morning with a 90 second video that combines mockery of Obama’s unserious ISIS “strategy” and the NFL’s timorousness.  Enjoy: »

Obama’s Real ISIL Strategy

Featured image I think President Obama sold himself short when he said, repeatedly, that he didn’t have a strategy to deal with ISIL. I think he has an objective, in support of which he has a clear strategy. His objective is to get past the midterm elections without paying a price for the chaos in the Middle East that his fecklessness has produced. His strategy is to “do something” in the form »

Our Whiny President

Featured image The front page of today’s New York Times features an article titled Paths to War, Then and Now, Haunt Obama. It is an exercise in journalism as a hall of mirrors. The article, by Peter Baker, is “based on interviews with 10 people who spoke with [Obama] in the days leading up to his speech Wednesday night.” These conversations occurred on two occasions: a dinner at the White House for »

“Don’t do stupid [stuff]” and “Smart Power” — what’s the difference?

Featured image Hillary Clinton famously chided President Obama for his foreign policy when she declared: “Great nations need organizing principles, and ‘Don’t do stupid stuff’ is not an organizing principle.” But what is the organizing principle of Clinton’s foreign policy? According to Clinton, it is “smart power.” In remarks posted on her website (before it was scrubbed of content), she said she is “enormously proud of what we have achieved” using her »

Barack Obama Still Has One Loyal Court Historian…

Featured image …and his name is E.J. Dionne. Traditionally, Paul has the E.J. beat, but I can’t resist taking a swing at this Dionne column, dated yesterday, which places Barack Obama’s foreign policy–the one he is pursuing this week–in the coveted Goldilocks position on the continuum of history. It’s not too warlike, not too passive–just right! Over the last decade, Americans’ views on foreign policy have swung sharply from support for intervention »

Obama weaves a Syrian fantasy

Featured image The New York Times homes in on a concern I expressed with President Obama’s plan to use “moderate” Syrian rebels as his foot soldiers in the campaign against ISIS in Syria — namely, that these rebels are at war with the Assad regime, not ISIS. Since pushing ISIS from parts of northern Syria early this year, Syria’s rebels have few military advances to point to and in many areas have »

We Have Always Been at War With ISIL!

Featured image Could the administration be in any more disarray? After carefully avoiding any use of the word “war” in connection with its proposed operation against ISIL, and apparently having received more ridicule than it bargained for, administration spokesmen are now reversing course: it is a war after all! And, for good measure, we have been at war with al Qaeda all the while. White House spokesman Josh Earnest explains: So apparently »

Return of the Bush Doctrine

Featured image The Obama administration has doggedly refused to call what it proposes to do in Syria and Iraq a “war,” a fact that I found odd but hadn’t thought much about. Why is Obama so determined to avoid the word “war”? AllahPundit answers the question brilliantly: if it were a war, then it would be a pre-emptive war! “Question for the State Department: Isn’t Obama waging preemptive war in Iraq now?” »

Obama’s legal justification for asserting the power to attack ISIS: ironic and weak

Featured image President Obama initially justified air strikes against ISIS on the legal theory that, as commander-in-chief, he has a responsibility to protect U.S. citizens and facilities. However, as Eli Lake points out, Obama’s battle against ISIS quickly expanded into an effort to protect Iraqi infrastructure. And now it has expanded into an effort (how serious we don’t know) to “degrade and destroy” ISIS. By what legal theory does Obama justify this »

NY Times: We Have Always Been at War With Syria!

Featured image Barack Obama’s reluctant venture into war-making is causing heads to explode on the Left. The intellectually consistent are denouncing him as a warmonger and an imperialist, but there aren’t many of those. More typical is the New York Times editorial board, which, like Stalinists in the 1930s, follows the party line unquestioningly. For which it is taken to task by the far-left journal Counterpunch: “Perpetual War is Fine With the »

A question (or two) for Imam Obama

Featured image I have an impertinent question for President Obama in his capacity as a spokesman for Islam. It seems to me to follow naturally from his brief disquisition on the Islamic State or ISIS yesterday (White House transcript here): ISIL is not “Islamic.” No religion condones the killing of innocents. And the vast majority of ISIL’s victims have been Muslim. Thus spake the man who sounds like Imam Barry. Or Carnac »

Arab states not eager to follow feckless Obama

Featured image So now President Obama wants to organize a coalition to take on ISIS, the group whose rise he ignored on the theory that it was the terrorist “jayvee.” Arab states — notably Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Egypt, Jordan — and Turkey are to be key members of the coalition. Obama assigns these states primary responsibility for mobilizing Sunni communities in Iraq and Syria against ISIS. Presumably, Obama »

You cannot be Syrious!

Featured image Paul Mirengoff has done the hard work and dissected the substance of President Obama’s speech on ISIS last night. John commented here and Steve here. The White House has now posted a transcript of the speech along with the video below. My impression was that Obama was trying to impersonate a serious man, though he has demonstrated spectacular misjudgment and neglect in his approach to ISIS. The misjudgment or neglect »

Foreign Policy Mulligan

Featured image John and Paul are both working on reactions to Obama’s speech as I type–and maybe we’ll actually have the first ever Power Line competition to post first on Obama’s latest divot, I mean pivot, to jobs in a speech about foreign policy.  What was that about?  (Actually I see John already beat me to it.  Hey Scott: Care to play too, or is it past your bedtime?) Someone emailed before »

More Observations on Obama’s Speech

Featured image Shortly, Paul will note the most important problems with President Obama’s speech tonight. In the meantime, here are a few secondary observations: 1) Obama proclaimed the existence of an international coalition to combat ISIS: I can announce that America will lead a broad coalition to roll back this terrorist threat. And again: And in each of these four parts of our strategy, America will be joined by a broad coalition »