Obama Doesn't 'Have a Strategy' on ISIS? Rightbloggers Do: Scare the Voters

[Roy Edroso dissects the right-wing blogosphere in this weekly feature]

Hey, who's up for another foreign war? Hard to believe that just last year, on the 10th anniversary of America's less-than-excellent adventure in Iraq, rightbloggers seemed too demoralized for such activities. And when Obama poked the nation's nose into Libya in 2011, and threatened to do so in Syria last year, rightbloggers condemned his aggressiveness.

But times change — we're on the cusp of a new set of midterm elections, and it usually helps Republicans if they can make a Democratic president look like a foreign-policy wimp. Now the brethren are yelling that Obama refuses to attack the supervillains of the moment, ISIS, and that as a result we're all going to be blown up.

Actually, rightbloggers began to regain their vicarious bloodthirst earlier this summer, when ISIS revved up its rampage in Iraq. Sample headline: "George Bush Brought Democracy to Iraq — Barack Obama Brought ISIS." Look what happens, they cried, when you let a bunch of Iraqis tell you to get out of their country! Clearly, those misguided Mesopotamians had no idea what was good for them — just like the African-Americans and women who refused to vote for Romney — and would welcome our guidance this time for sure.

ISIS is now super-hot, having decapitated a U.S. reporter and picked up some territory in Iraq and Syria. Some experts, such as the Pando Daily's Gary Brecher (a/k/a The War Nerd), think that ISIS is like the proverbial one-eyed man in the kingdom of the blind — more a ragtag outfit sucked into prominence by a power vacuum than a world-class military unit. Others, like Mark Thompson, notice that to attack ISIS in Syria would "make the U.S. a de facto ally of Syrian dictator Bashar Assad" and continue the grim farce of America arming a Middle Eastern faction one day and fighting it the next.

But rightbloggers portrayed ISIS as a true global superpower, ready, willing, and able to strike the United States, that must be attacked vigorously now (or whatever Obama isn't doing).

Not sure, but we think it means if we don't stop ISIS, they'll ravish our giantesses and feel up the nipples on their knees. (Cartoon Movement.)
Referring, presumably, to the Crusades and other ancient Cross-'n'-Crescent conflicts, Chuck Norris intoned at WorldNetDaily that "if we don't get leadership in Washington that can deal with such matters, history will repeat itself, except radical Islam could possibly win this time."

National Review's Jonah Goldberg suggested Obama thinks "the world is a TV show," because "one of the things you learn watching television as a kid is that the hero wins" and Obama must think so too because he "invokes the 'right side of history' constantly," and likes that MLK quote about the arc of history. (Goldberg then said that "if I had to bet, I'd guess that [ISIS] will ultimately fail, but it will be because someone actually takes the initiative and destroys — as in kills — those trying to build it," which is not a fantasy of inevitable victory, because Mitt Romney could totally march into Washington and pull it off.)

Goldberg's colleague Victor Davis Hanson also disapproved of the president's notion of a "right side of history" and a "wrong side of history" and that he "parrots Martin Luther King Jr.'s phrase about the arc of the moral universe bending toward justice." Hanson thought this showed "a Pollyannaish belief in historical predetermination."

What would be less Pollyannish? "Unfortunately, only force will stop seventh-century monsters like ISIS from killing thousands more innocents," said Hanson. Hanson showed no awareness that Obama had in fact been bombing ISIS, as he continues to do, so it's hard to tell what he meant, though in his closing Hanson said, "Obama's naive belief in predetermined history — especially when his facts are often wrong — is a poor substitute for concrete moral action," so maybe Obama is supposed to drop concrete instead of bombs.

The brethren also worked up a foreign policy-immigration twofer on the subject: Representative Mac Thornberry (R-Texas) claimed that tens of thousands of ISIS jihadi "have Western passports," reported The Hill, "and they can bring . . . what they've learned about bomb-making and about assassinations with them here at home."

The discovery that some British and American citizens were fighting alongside the ISIS guys spurred some of that old John Walker Lindh feeling among the brethren.

"If ISIS attacks one or more U.S. cities, as it has threatened to do, what then?" hand-wrung Cal Thomas at Fox News. "We can't bomb ourselves." Not under that wimp Obama, anyway! Also, "how would we counter a nosedive in the stock market or the ensuing chaos and fear?"

Thomas had the whole apocalyptic scenario figured out, and he knew the cause, too: the "false belief that we can somehow 'convert' ideological and religious fundamentalists into pluralistic, tolerant people by exposing them to our way of life." Like that other wimp, George Bush!

"So we let them into our nations," Thomas's ululation continued. "They build mosques, often with funding from Saudi Arabia, which practices and teaches a radical brand of Islam known as Wahhabism, and allow them to set up Islamic schools, at least some of which teach hatred of Jews, Christians and Western values . . ." You get the picture: Them Mooslims is dangerous and should be kept out, and if Obama doesn't do it and something blows up, "vigilantes are the last thing we need, but they could rise up, if government fails to perform its constitutional duty to protect us from enemies, foreign and domestic."

Thomas is a waxwork from Reagan days, so when you see even him doing the HELTER SKELTER, SHE'S COMING DOWN FAST routine, you know hysteria's the order of the day.

Under the headline "ISIS crisis: Will next terror attack on American soil come from a British jihadist?" Fox News's Amanda Bowman began by talking about the "young Englishmen [who] left home to fight in the Spanish Civil War in what turned out to be a dress rehearsal for World War II." Wait — was she comparing the English who went to fight against the fascists with the Brits who were fighting for ISIS? No, said Bowman, leaving Britain was "about all those young volunteers have in common with the British jihadists." So why'd she bring it up? Maybe because old grudges die hard, and it gave her the chance to note that "the briefest look at the war shows that when it came to crimes against humanity, socialists could claim little moral superiority" — look, the fascists were bad, but let's have a little perspective here!

Thereafter Bowman ran the customary talking points — "British jihadists are fast transforming the United Kingdom into 'the Yemen of the West," "clearly ISIS did not get the memo from President Obama about the war in the Mideast being over," etc. — and concluded that while "resolute action," presumably of a military nature, was needed, "in the long run, the only way to defeat a bad idea is with a good idea." Therefore, "the Anglosphere ideas of freedom and religious toleration — the four freedoms of Franklin Roosevelt — need to be proclaimed and defended in all our institutions on both sides of the Atlantic." OK, so this time we can't use torture?

The venerable right-wing shit-stirrers at Judicial Watch claimed that "high-level federal law enforcement, intelligence and other sources have confirmed" that "Islamic terrorist groups are operating in the Mexican border city of Ciudad Juarez and planning to attack the United States with car bombs or other vehicle borne improvised explosive devices." This was disseminated via friendly outfits like the Washington Times, National Review, and Newsmax, ratcheting up the panic among the brethren. "Fox News analyst Monica Crowley was one of the few journalists to draw attention" to the Judicial Watch report, breathlessly reported Twitchy, which also replicated tweets from conservatives such as "but still NO SECURED BORDER" and "Does the MSM even have a clue about this?!"

At the Examiner, Dave Workman noted the "serious talk about what may be an imminent terrorist attack somewhere along the southern border," and took what is so far a unique view: "It's the kind of thing that the gun prohibition lobby financed by billionaire Michael Bloomberg, who just dumped a cool million into the campaign coffers of an extremist gun control measure in Washington State, would somehow try to blame on the Second Amendment. Gun control seems to attract wealthy elitists who have their own private security." Be ever vigilante!

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@edroso @villagevoice Waking up..building an international coalition Palau & Solomon Isles: Doh! are we back in coalition of willing?


"We can't bomb ourselves."

Poor old Silent Cal Thomas, throwing his boy Timmy McVeigh under the bus.

Has Cal forgotten that the roots of the tree of liberty must be touched up constantly with the hair dye of patriots?

"[H]ow would we counter a nosedive in the stock market or the ensuing chaos and fear?"

Massive bailouts of corrupt financial institutions, that's how!

StringOnAStick topcommenter

So,  what percentage of defense materiel sales does Bloody Bill Kristal get? 


Obama has sat on his hands while Putin reassembled the Soviet Empire. Obama has ruined our country.

Obama will sit and not do anything.

Obama has sat on his hands while Putin reassembles the Soviet Empire.

Obama has screwed up health care.. and our nation.

Obama's Arab Spring is still spiraling out of control with the ISIS… we have Hamas rocket attacks on Israel… Boko Harum is selling school girls as slaves…. and Iran is building atomic bombs with Obama lifting sanctions.

Obama has crippled the US economy. Everybody I know is either out of work or under-employed. I haven’t had a raise in years despite all my expenses increasing from year to year. My health insurance is now up to $400/month. Before the government touched it, it was $250/month! My auto insurance, which the government has yet to ruin, is thankfully only $25/month (from Insurance Panda). Please, Obama! Don’t try to socialize auto insurance!

With everything Obama touched in shambles, Barry needs a new hobby.


Alas, alas, we can't bomb ourselves, says the last man breathing on the rubble heap.



Putin has done nothing of the sort.  I am a FAR right winger and probably one of the only right wing blogs that has kept up on Ukraine since Nov 26, 2013.

It was JOHN MCCAIN who started the whole mess in Ukraine.  Joe Bidens son secured a position with the largest UKR gas co. Pierre Omidyar donated 500K to the UKR 'revolt', Victoria Nuland was grilled by Rep Rohrbacher for supporting NAZIs in Ukraine.

the rest of your complaints, I fully agree with except the fact that it is the US GOVTs fault that ISIS is out of hand.  We funded them.  OUR tax dollars.


@sakurymu This is obviously an advertisement for a car insurance company.


I find it odd that you seem to want Obama to do something in the ME, yet don't want him to do anything in the US. I also find it odd that you are blaming Obama for the economy that crashed, twice, under Bush. Oddly still, you think that Obama should have somehow gotten you a raise, when wages have been largely stagnant for decades.

Here's my perspective; There is no action Obama can take that would get GOP support, which Roy mentions here. They want him to get involved, them they don't want him to get involved. Either way, they will yell, and shout and stamp their feet for the Fox audience. They simply don't care what he does, because they will fight him tooth and nail over it, until they block him or he manages to get something through, which they will hobble as best they can, and declare it a failure because they've done everything they could to weaken it.

Your experience with the ACA is a prime example-several states haven't set up exchanges, and haven't accepted the Medicare funds because the state GOP blocked it. I have a friend who is finally getting her liver transplant after 6 years of waiting. I have others who used the exchange in my state to get better insurance plans than the one they had. But in states where it's been blocked, it hasn't been effective, and it's being blamed on the ACA, not the local lege.

Frankly, it wasn't Obama who's been screwing you over. It's the horde of political and media goblins who he's been fighting over every trivial thing, right down to his hobbies and the color of his suit, since before he even got inaugurated.


@McSalmon I hope and pray, daily, that BO keeps golfing until Jan 19 2017

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