On Wednesday night, speaking to the American people, Barack Obama will attempt to sell a contradiction of a strategy regarding the Islamic state. In his prime time speech the President of the United States will step up to the teleprompter and in the words of Victor Davis Hanson “swear that he did not do what he just did”. Meaning, he will seek approval from the American people and congress while already acknowledging that such approval is not needed. Confused?
Ultimately, Obama will reiterate last Wednesday’s rhetoric in stating that “our objective is clear, and that is to degrade and destroy ISIL so it is no longer a threat not just to Iraq but also the region and to the United States”. Obama will later clarify that if the U.S. is joined by an international coalition, they can “continue to shrink ISIL’s sphere of influence, its effectiveness, its financing, its military capabilities to the point where it is a manageable problem“. The President will destroy these terrorists by making them “manageable”. Still confused?
Obama will unveil a broad explanation of the “next phase” of U.S. efforts, but not provide other concrete details such as whether the president wants Congress to vote to endorse it and the cost of military expansion, White House press secretary Josh Earnest said on Tuesday.
Furthermore, the press secretary stated that the White House did not have a “specific deadline” for congressional action, but that Obama “would certainly welcome support from members of Congress however they choose to show it”. Earnest elaborated on the type of welcomed “support” in emphasizing that a core component of the president’s strategy would come in the form of “congressional leaders authorizing a $5 billion counterterrorism fund“.
So, without feeling the need to inform congress or the American people of his strategy, what’s the point of Obama delivering a speech Wednesday night when our opinions matter not? The answer is the optics of political theatre. Prime time Obama.
For example, a month and a half before American journalist James Foley was beheaded by Islamic state terrorists, a team of Special Forces were sent on a mission to rescue Foley as well as other western hostages just after midnight on the Fourth of July. The optics, Obama had actionable intelligence thirty days before this, but hesitated and waited until the Fourth of July to launch the rescue mission, which ultimately failed as the hostages were moved days before. This, at its core, is prime time Obama. Whom, according to Bill Whittle “gave the go ahead on the condition that the raid take place on the Fourth of July, so that, if successful, he could the announcement to major fanfare on the nations birthday”.
On Wednesday night, prime time Obama will use the optics of political theatre just as he did exactly one year ago today regarding his case on Syria . Tonight, as he did last year, Obama will deliver another prime time speech on the eve of 9/11 in order to play on American’s emotions of that horrific day.
The Islamic terrorists need to be dealt with and they need to be destroyed, there is no denying that. But by gaining the sympathy of the people to further an agenda based upon a contradictory strategy that leaves American’s and Congress in the dark, is not a legitimate policy. It simply allows Obama to do whatever he wants to “manage” the Islamic state threat.
This is the reality of prime time Obama. Its all politics, all the time.