King Ethelred the Unready
An archaeologist friend once told me that the nickname for King Ethelred II of England, “the Unready,” loosely translated from the original Old English as “Ethelred the Without a Clue.”
Yesterday President Obama, constitutionally charged with the conduct of our foreign affairs and responsible for dealing with threats our people, admitted in a question dealing with the threat posed by the Islamic State (ISIS) that he, too, was without a clue:
(via Moe Lane)
Here’s Obama’s full statement, provided by CBS journalist Mark Knoller:
QUESTION: Do you need Congress’s approval to go into Syria?
OBAMA: You know, I have consulted with Congress throughout this process. I am confident that as commander in chief I have the authorities to engage in the acts that we are conducting currently. As our strategy develops, we will continue to consult with Congress, and I do think that it’ll be important for Congress to weigh in and we’re — that our consultations with Congress continue to develop so that the American people are part of the debate.
But I don’t want to put the cart before the horse. We don’t have a strategy yet. I think what I’ve seen in some of the news reports suggests that folks are getting a little further ahead of where we’re at than we currently are. And I think that’s not just my assessment, but the assessment of our military, as well. We need to make sure that we’ve got clear plans, that we’re developing them. At that point, I will consult with Congress and make sure that their voices are heard.
But there’s no point in me asking for action on the part of Congress before I know exactly what it is that is going to be required for us to get the job done.
In other words,
“In my haste to bug out of Iraq before it was ready to stand on its own, so I could really get down to gutting America’s military capabilities, we never considered the possibility that this group we’ve known about for the last two years could actually become a threat. My administration was totally caught with its pants down and we’ve have no idea whatsoever of what to do. But I’ll blather a lot to make it look like we’re doing something. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m late for tee-time.”
Mr. President, sir… Dude, we need to have a talk.
To mangle a phrase, “You had two jobs!” The first is to see that the laws passed by Congress are faithfully executed. We already know you don’t like to do that. The other is to see to the United States’ foreign national security interests in your role as commander in chief. We all know you don’t like that one, either. (Believe me, it shows.) You’re rotten at both.
But you’re still the president until January, 2017, and you could at least not make things worse. In other words, sir… (clears throat)…
YOU DON’T TELL THE ENEMY THAT YOU HAVE NO EFFING IDEA WHAT TO DO!!!
Pardon me for yelling.
ISIS is the enemy. They, like their progenitors in al Qaeda, have declared war on us, and they are noting everything you do or say, because they know you could squash them like the bugs they are — if you ever decided to do so. They have to take a possible American reaction into account, and that cognizance of a threat from us might restrain them, if even only a little bit.
Instead, you have just told them they have a free pass because the only thing you can think of is to stand there and, in effect, say “I dunno. What do you want to do?”
You had months and even years to come up with some plan for dealing with a resurgent jihadism in Iraq, and yet you did nothing. We left, Syria fell apart, then Iraq fell apart, and then maniacs carved off the head of an American, and…
You did nothing. You did nothing except issue meaningless statements and declare red lines that were nothing more than mirages, and now you’ve admitted to the world –including our enemies– that you don’t take threats to our interests seriously enough to bother coming up with plans before those threats explode.
Well, sir, you’re president for the next two years and five months, and you had better get your head in the game, because our enemies are coming for ours, figuratively and literally.
At the very least, don’t open your mouth and remove all doubt that you’re “Barack the Unready.”