Sep. 3, 2014

We Will ‘Degrade and Destroy’ ISIL

More tough talk from the one who carries a small stick. Barack Obama vowed to “degrade and destroy” ISIL after the beheading of a second American journalist, Steven Sotloff. “We will not be intimidated,” Obama declared, sounding entirely bored with having to be away from the golf course for so long. “Those who make the mistake of harming Americans will learn that we will not forget and that our reach is long and that justice will be served.” We recall his claim to have “decimated” al-Qaida, which turned out to be both false and politically motivated. And it remains to be seen what Obama will do, especially given he has no strategy for ISIL (though the State Department says to “stay tuned” for one). Indeed, later in the press conference, Obama had already begun backtracking, saying the objective is “to shrink ISIL’s sphere of influence, its effectiveness, its military capability to the point where it is a manageable problem.” That doesn’t exactly inspire confidence.

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