The War On ISIS Isn’t A War It’s An ‘Effort’ Says Barack ‘Adrian Mole’ Obama
WHEN is a war not a war? That question to Obama, who calls the assault on ISIS an “effort”. Did he ever read The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole, the fictional diary of a teenager?
One entry reads:
The nation has been told that Britain and Argentina are not at war, we are at conflict.
This was not going to be a huge deal, he indicated. He called it an “effort,” not a war, and stressed that “this effort will be different from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. It will not involve American combat troops fighting on foreign soil.” There was no talk of shock and awe; what Obama had in mind was a ”counterterrorism campaign” that “will be waged through a steady, relentless effort.” And Obama’s lack of any specificity regarding the scale of the effort, the timing, goals for partner participation, or any kind of metrics for success was either cover for him not really having a viable plan — or a brilliant rhetorical strategy to keep open the option of ratcheting everything back once the hysteria passes. Or both.
Not a war. Got it? Got it!
“If somebody wants to think about it as being a war with [ISIS], they can do so, but the fact is that it’s a major counterterrorism operation that will have many different moving parts,” [John] Kerry said Thursday on CNN. “I don’t think people need to get into war fever on this,” he told CBS News’ Margaret Brennan. … It is true that this latest round of airstrikes and other actions against ISIS is not a war in the classic sense. It isn’t as flashy or big-budgeted as past wars, and significantly fewer boots are on the ground. It is not a war in the sense that war has not been declared, but by that standard, the one that Kerry fought in (that disastrous one that served as the basis of three Oliver Stone movies) wasn’t a war, either.
Preventing a dangerous enemy from hitting the U.S. by hitting him first sounds pretty preemptive-y to me. If I understand her correctly, the reason this isn’t preemptive war a la Bush is because it isn’t war, period. A war is something you engage in against a nation-state; we don’t recognize ISIS’s caliphate, ergo, they’re just a bunch of terrorists and preemptive war against terrorists is simply counterterrorism. I think that’s why you’re seeing such a moronic sustained effort today among White House mouthpieces to avoid using terms like “war” and “victory,” with Harf refusing even to accept “war on terrorism” as a label at the beginning of the video [above]. (Obama himself never once described the new “effort” against ISIS as a “war” [Wednesday] night, by the way.) The parallels here to 2003 — preempting a threat to the U.S. by overthrowing a brutal regime in the heart of Iraq — are too obvious and too politically uncomfortable to adopt Bush-era terms like “war” and “preemption” too. And of course, the more you talk about it as a new “war,” the more the public’s left wondering why an Article I declaration of war by Congress is unnecessary.
Is it a Conflict?