Obama to Address Nation on ISIS: Why Watch?

Tonight at 9 p.m. Eastern, President Obama will deliver a television speech on ISIS. He will assure us that he has had a strategy all along, and will tell us what it is. He will also explain why leaving Iraq was a brilliant idea.

Yesterday, White House spokesman Josh Earnest gave the press corps a preview of what to expect. Which led Major Garrett to ask a logical question:

[I]f I’ve listened to you correctly today, you said the president will tell the country there will be no ground troops involved, there will be no tactical operational details, no timeline for victory, no costs associated with the pursuit of victory. Why should anyone watch?

Why, indeed? Here is the exchange:

Ed Driscoll, meanwhile, reminds us of the administration’s about-face on Iraq (“Two administrations in one!”):

”Obama to lawmakers: I don’t need your approval to attack Islamic State,” the Washington Examiner, today.

Huh — it was just a month and a half ago when the Obama administration begged Congress to prevent it from going to war in Iraq:

The Obama administration is calling on Congress to fully repeal the war authorization in Iraq to ensure that no U.S. troops return to the country, which is under siege by the extremist Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL or ISIS).

White House national security adviser Susan Rice petitioned Speaker of the House John Boehner (R., Ohio) in a letter Friday to completely repeal the war authorization, officially known as the Authorization for Use of Military Force in Iraq, or AUMF.

Watch for Obama’s incoherent flailing to continue tonight.

Finally, while we are on the subject of ISIS, this alarming headline turns out to be relevant: “Islamist militants leave signed note on beheaded corpse in Sinai.” Sinai, of course, is part of Egypt, not hitherto seen as an ISIS theater of operations, to my knowledge:

Residents in Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula said on Wednesday they found a beheaded corpse bearing a note signed by an Islamist militant group linked to the Syria and Iraq-based Islamic State, accusing the victim of being an Israeli spy.

The beheading is the eighth claimed by the group in Sinai in under a month in a surge of brutal killings seemingly inspired by Islamic State, which has been internationally condemned for its atrocities and has been the target of U.S. air strikes. …

A senior Ansar commander told Reuters last week that Islamic State, an al Qaeda offshoot that controls large swathes of Syria and Iraq, had been advising the Sinai-based group on how to operate more effectively.

More evidence, it seems to me, that training and arming Syrian moderates–to the extent they are still living–is too little, too late.


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