I missed President Obama’s interview on “60 Minutes,” but apparently the Islamic State’s rampage through the Levant is everyone’s fault but his. Silly me – I thought leaders were supposed to take responsibility for mistakes instead of shuffle-passing blame to others.
Apologies to Steve Kroft, but I have a few more questions about the “J.V. team” that’s knocking on Baghdad’s door. These are short and sweet, Mr. President, and I’ll even let you talk if you give me a reasonable answer…
- Can your campaign in the Levant (and it is your campaign, Mr. President, whether you want to admit it or not) kill or dissuade more fighters from joining Islamic extremist groups? Or will the campaign inadvertently rally more recruits and grow their ranks?
- How quickly will Islamic State targets – clearly distinguishable from civilians in urbanized areas – disappear after the first round of airstrikes?
- How quickly will world support for the anti-Islamic State campaign erode after the first civilian casualties occur from an inadvertent strike?
- How long do you expect Arab nations to remain with this coalition of the willing?
- Why haven’t our closest friends in the world – the British, who have had our backs through nearly every war in the last two centuries – dropped a single round on the Islamic State?
- Why are you – the deft communicator who successfully wooed a majority of Americans – so bad at explaining to the American public why we need to fight? (Editor’s note: Please sir, no more “deny, degrade, destroy” mission statements – it’s supposed to be reassuring chat, not an operations order.)
- Who do you want to fill the power vacuum when we’re done with the Islamic State and/or Assad?
- What do you want us to do with captives? Kill ’em? (Just checking – that’s the wrong answer … but sending them to Guantanamo Bay is the wrong answer, too. You’ve said so many times.)
- Do you genuinely believe the Assad regime remaining in power in Syria is intolerable to the world order, as your vice president has said? Or do you have the stomach to use him as a hedge against the extremist groups in the region?
- Were you really waiting on intelligence professionals to tell you what you were already seeing on CNN and Fox News?
- Do you believe the Islamic State or ebola is a greater U.S. national security threat? If it’s the latter, you better giddy-up – the CDC estimates that 1.4 million people could be infected by ebola within four months.
- When is your term over?