Obama’s Lead From Behind Method Results In A
” I was overseas when Obama gave his momentous Isis address, but figured I could pretty much guess how things would go. Despite being the greatest orator of the last thousand years, he’s a complete bust at selling anything but himself, as comprehensively demonstrated in his first couple of years: see his rhetorical efforts on behalf of ObamaCare, or Massachusetts Senate candidate Martha Coakley, or Chicago’s Olympics bid. When it comes to war, he suffers from an additional burden: before he can persuade anybody else, he first has to persuade himself. And he can’t do it. So he gave the usual listless performance of a surly actor who resents the part he’s been given. It’s not just the accumulation of equivocations and qualifications – the “Islamic State” is not Islamic, our war with them is not a war, there’ll be no boots on the ground except the exotic footwear of a vast unspecified coalition – but something more basic: What he mainly communicates is that he doesn’t mean it.
That’s what the jihadist militias now in control of Tripoli understood about his “leading from behind”. That’s what Putin grasped about Obama’s “red line” in Syria. And that’s what any Isis member who took time out of his beheading schedule to watch the President on CNN International will have taken away from this week’s speech.
As for the “coalition”, they seem to intuit that, with a leader leading from this far behind, you want to stand even further back. From the mellifluously named Jacaranda FM:
Turkey will refuse to allow a US-led coalition to attack jihadists in neighboring Iraq and Syria from its air bases, nor will it take part in combat operations against militants, a government official told AFP Thursday.
So much for the only Nato member to border Isis. What of the other Atlantic allies?
Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier told journalists on Friday that Germany will not take part in US-led air strikes against Islamic extremists Isis in Syria. “