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Obama translated

Friday, 12 September, 2014

“Barack Obama’s address Wednesday on the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria was surprisingly terrible: a disorganized mess, insincere and unconvincing.” So begins David Frum’s dissection in The Atlantic of the “Statement by the President on ISIL“, which was delivered at prime time. Frum turns Obama’s words into “plain English” and the results are as amusing as they are perturbing. Example:

“We will also support Iraq’s efforts to stand up National Guard units to help Sunni communities secure their own freedom from ISIL’s control. Across the border, in Syria, we have ramped up our military assistance to the Syrian opposition.”

In plain English: We’re desperately casting about for allies who aren’t Hezbollah or Iranian Revolutionary Guards.

According to Frum, the question facing the USA is, “What is the benefit of this war to America and to Americans?” His conclusion: “That was the question the speech left unanswered. And the ominous suspicion left behind is that the question was unanswered because it is unanswerable — at least, not answerable in any terms likely to be acceptable to the people watching the speech and paying the taxes to finance the fight ahead.”


Filed in: USA

Comments (1)

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  1. Kevin H says:

    Frum is right.

    Bear in mind that without the 2003 invasion which he championed ISIS would not exist. Our reaction to 9/11 has resulted in the deaths of tens of thousands who had nothing to with that atrocity. To expect anyone to have a coherent policy to the current situation given its complexity is ridiculous – see below. Its like quantum physics – anyone who purports to understanding it, doesn’t! One thing is clear, Saudi Arabia was infinitely more culpable than Iraq in 9/11.

    – ISIS beheads people and wants to impose Shariah law = enemy.

    – The Nusra Front is an AQ affiliate, beheads people and wants to impose Shariah law. They are our quasi-ally through mutual friends in the Gulf.

    – The Free Syrian “Army” beheads people (google it) and sells its US hostages to ISIS. They are our friend and ally.

    – And then there is the “justly maligned Assad (who is) not attempting to crush his country’s Christians. His enemies (are) the jihadists, including those who became the Islamic State.”

    – America should support Assad against the jihadists in Syria? US air power and Syrian ground forces could turn all the jihadist vermin into bug splat in a matter of months, sparing tens of thousands of Christians.

    – But Assad is an Iranian stooge and therefore inherently more evil than any jihadist.