I watched President Obama’s speech tonight explaining his plan to deal with ISIS. I was not overly impressed. As he spoke about sending more equipment into Iraq to help them defend themselves and military advisors to train Iraqi soldiers, I couldn’t help thinking, Isn’t that exactly what we did before? We sent them all kinds of equipment and gave them all kinds of training. And as ISIS swept in, the Iraqi soldiers abandoned their posts, leaving their equipment and uniforms for ISIS troops to take. So doing that again is how we’re going to handle this?
Yes, air strikes could be very effective. Surely we could pound ISIS back into desert sand with air power alone. And the president indicated he’ll also be bombing in Syria too, leaving ISIS no safe haven. Not sure why we need to assist with a ground war as well.
I don’t know why he added the stuff about the economy and America’s leadership, etc. I’m not sure people believe that right now and I’m not sure anyone wants a rah rah pep talk. Americans are still nervous about the economy and have no taste whatsoever for more Middle East fighting. But that seems to be where we are now — heading off to fight ISIS. It always starts with sending in military advisors … and it always ends badly.
The really sour note, however, was Anderson Cooper’s post-speech coverage. His guests were Jay Carney, former Obama press secretary, and Sen. John McCain (for the millionth time). Thoughtful analyses of the speech? Not hardly. McCain was doing his worst grumpy old man routine and rather rudely kept interrupting and telling Carney he didn’t know what he was talking about. Cooper did not interrupt and gave McCain the floor. It was disgusting and I turned it off. I am sick to death of seeing John McCain on every news show, offering his same old hackneyed “I’m a war hero, I know what I’m talking about” attitude. If there’s no one else in Washington with a half intelligent view of things, then they should just forget guest commentators altogether. I’ve lost all respect for John McCain and wish he’d just go back to Arizona and retire. And I wish CNN would stop massaging his ego by having him on all the time. They are helping to perpetuate a monster.
Anyway, that’s my off-the-cuff view, untainted by opinions from anyone else. So far.