This afternoon, CNN’s Jake Tapper asked Obama’s deputy national security adviser Tony Blinken why the White House has waited so long to take action against ISIS.
Right. “A long time.”
Tapper: Tony, a lot of people have been warning about ISIS for months and months with no action — no serious action — by the White House. Was the intelligence not there? Why is it only now that you’re acting?
Blinken: Actually, we’ve been warning about this for a long time, ourselves, well beyond that. When, initially, in 2012, we said to the Iraqis, AQI — which is ISIS’ predecessor — may be on its heels, but the only way to keep them there is to go after them constantly, and we propose to engage with them to help them do that. The politics in Iraq wouldn’t allow that. But it took a while, and finally in 2013 — a year ago — we began to increase the capacity of the Iraqis to deal with AQI and then what became ISIS. And of course, the Syrian conflict added fuel to the fire. So we’ve been focused on this for well over a year, and unfortunately, the ISIS threat overtook the efforts that the Iraqis were making to deal with it. Now, unfortunately, everyone is seized with this, but what we’re seeing increasingly is coordination among the Iraqis and the Kurds, which is unique. We haven’t seen that in a long time. And countries in the region who’ve responded to this threat, which, it’s a threat to them as well, all getting together and looking to take action.
Damn right it’s insulting. We’ve always known that the Obama administration takes us for idiots, but that doesn’t make their B.S. any more palatable.
Indeed he did.
Tapper: Tony, you say you’ve been warning about it, but in January, President Obama told The New Yorker magazine’s David Remnick that ISIS — which was then still considered a part of al-Qaeda fighting in Syria — was like a JV basketball team. He said, quote, “The analogy we use around here sometimes, and I think is accurate, is if a JV team puts on Lakers uniforms, that doesn’t make them Kobe Bryant.” Just how badly did President Obama underestimate the threat of ISIS?
Blinken: No, there are two different things going on here, Jake. One is the question of the threat that ISIS poses to us here in the homeland, and unlike core al-Qaeda, right now, their focus is not on attacking the U.S. homeland or attacking our interests here in the United States or abroad. It’s focused intently on trying to create a Caliphate in Iraq and a base from which, over time, to operate. And that’s what we’re focused on. We’re focused on making sure that we can help empower the Iraqis and others to prevent them from doing just that. The president was exactly right: They did not pose a threat like al-Qaeda central to us in the homeland. We want to make sure that they don’t get to the point where they can pose that threat.
And they intend to prevent ISIS from posing a threat by … dismissing them as junior-level terrorists?
Way to go, jackass.
Watch the exchange below:
Blinken and Co. are clear, all right. Clear as mud.