Frontpage, by Daniel Greenfield, Nov. 2, 2015:
“Ideologies are not defeated with guns, they are defeated by better ideas. We will never be at war with Islam,” Obama said.
Pelosi assured worried Americans on MSNBC that we were winning the war against ISIS on social media.
John Kerry took to calling ISIS by the derogatory Daesh epithet to prove it has nothing to do with Islam.
But winning the war of word games wasn’t enough to stop the bombings and beheadings. So American troops are back on the ground in Iraq and Syria to try and win the real non-Twitter war.
But we just can’t call it that.
While raids on ISIS targets are the core of the new strategy, they are referred to as “direct action on the ground” instead of “combat”. American soldiers aren’t “boots on the ground”, they’re just there providing “enhanced support”. The kind of enhanced support that only bullets can offer.
They’re fighting and dying as part of an “advise and assist” mission which is not to be confused with the traditional kind of “fighting and dying” mission.
When Obama announced his first withdrawal from Iraq, he left 50,000 American soldiers there who had been renamed the “advise and assist brigades”. During the election he had promised to have “all of our combat brigades out of Iraq within 16 months.” And he kept his word, by renaming them so that they were no longer combat brigades; instead they were now advise and assist brigades.
“Operation Iraqi Freedom is over,” Obama told Americans in his very own Mission Accomplished speech, a speech that despite ongoing fighting is still bafflingly billed as, “The End of Combat Operations in Iraq.”
“Tonight, I am announcing that the American combat mission in Iraq has ended… This was my pledge to the American people as a candidate for this office,” he insisted.
Operation Iraqi Freedom, a tacky Bush name redolent of patriotism, was renamed Operation New Dawn, which might have been anything from a health resort to a brand of fabric softener. There certainly wasn’t anything military or patriotic about it. Freedom was over, but Dawn was here.
Americans went on dying in Iraq. But the war was over. Except it went on anyway.
Five years later, the war is undeniably back on and so are the word games. We’re back to advising and assisting with bombs and bullets. American soldiers are being shot at and dying in enhanced support.
But we won’t beat ISIS with word games.
Obama excels at renaming things. In his teleprompter, spending becomes investing, unilateral rule becomes bipartisanship and broad violations of the Constitution become common sense solutions.
It’s a form of fraud that is most successful with true believers living in a media bubble. Obama supporters who wanted to believe that he had kept his word by withdrawing within 16 months, could point to the renaming of the mission. Talking about beating ISIS on social media impresses the media types who live on Twitter anyway and credit it with the overthrow of Mubarak and the Arab Spring.
The fraud falls apart when it comes up against the hard realities of the territory that ISIS controls. Word games may fool a few million New York Times readers, but no amount of rebranding will shake ISIS loose. Rebranding is the province of failing companies trying to sell a bad product with a new image. Obama has been selling his image while hoping that no one looks at the product he’s pushing.
Obama’s entire foreign policy has depended on jumping from one lie to another and from one word game to another so that no one realizes the full scope of the disaster that he has caused.
Call it whatever you will, the current plan for defeating ISIS involves putting American soldiers on the ground in direct combat with the terror group. In plain language, Obama has been slowly forced to reverse his withdrawals from Iraq. These reversals have happened because his existing strategy failed.
Lackadaisically bombing ISIS didn’t work. The occasional raids won’t work either. And that means that a more serious and extended presence on the ground becomes the next stage. But Obama isn’t willing to tell Americans the truth. Instead he’s playing more word games with American lives.
Obama has managed to withdraw twice from Iraq, both times under false pretenses, and then return to Iraq, once again under false pretenses. Concealing the truth is a much higher priority for him than national security. Lying to Americans is much more important than actually winning wars.
His administration places a great deal of value on word games. Its grounding in the arcana of left-wing theorizing has led its members into the academic fallacy of confusing nomenclature with reality. Many of them really do believe that you can do anything if you find the right name for it.
But wars aren’t won with names. They’re not won with Marxist theorizing or Google Hangouts. The administration’s entire skillset is built for defeating Republicans and fooling Americans.
It’s completely useless in the face of an armed fanatical enemy with no interest in common ground.
In the Obama mindset, actually winning wars is outdated in the era of smart power. Winning word games is a more intellectual hobby than getting down in the dirt and seizing actual territory. The future belongs to the most agile rebranders, not to those who are willing to die for a cause.
“It is the Soldier, not the reporter who has given us freedom of the press. It is the Soldier, not the poet who has given us freedom of speech,” is a sentiment to be disdainfully dismissed by the White House.
The future isn’t supposed to belong to the best armies, but to community organizers who can convince people that it is in their best interests to do what they are told. Military solutions are in the realm of “horses and bayonets,” as Obama sneered at Romney to the glee of the community organizer media.
But when it comes to actually securing the territory in which there can be freedom of speech or the dominance of Islam, freedom of the press or Jihadist propaganda, the soldier is the final answer.
And it is an answer that Obama doesn’t like.
The refusal to even use the word “combat” is part political cynicism by an administration so thoroughly defined by its opposition to the Iraq War that it refuses to compromise what it considers its greatest achievement by admitting that its Iraq policy not only failed, but backfired so badly it has to be reversed. But it’s also part instinctual antipathy by the most anti-military administration in this country’s history.
General McChrystal was not wrong when he observed that Obama appeared “uncomfortable and intimidated” by military people. The general’s purging only provided further proof of his observations.
Obama doesn’t like military solutions and yet his attempts to solve military problems with non-military solutions and halfway military measures have failed miserably. But he would rather fail on his own ideological terms than succeed by setting aside his ideology and doing what works.
Thousands of Americans have died and were wounded because Obama refused to listen to reason in Afghanistan. ISIS is spreading because Obama has learned nothing from the disaster in Afghanistan.
Military operations have become only another way for Obama and his staffers to play word games, to rebrand their latest disaster and sell one more lie to an American people already swimming in deceit. Instead of accepting the role of the military on its own terms, Obama insists on forcing the military to conform to his botched ideological misinterpretation of international events and foreign relations.
But you can’t use the military to win word games. You can only use it to win wars.
Obama doesn’t want to defeat ISIS. He wants to prove that he was right all along about Iraq. He wants to show that the word game is mightier than the sword.
Each time he is forced to make a concession to reality, he cloaks it in more word games and lies that cloud the actual tactical objectivities. All the word games may make it seem like we’re winning in Washington D.C., but they don’t bring us any closer to victory in Iraq.
Obama is beating ISIS at word games, but losing on the battlefield.
National Security and Terrorism Correspondent for PJ Media, Patrick Poole, joins guest host Rep. Louie Gohmert to discuss the latest decision by the White House to send a small Special Operations force to Syria:
- Obama Sends Special Operations Forces to Help Fight ISIS in Syria (nytimes.com)
- Carson, GOP White House candidates critical of Obama’s Syria plan for 50 Special Ops troops (foxnews.com)
- US Sends SOF to Syria and the Pipe-Dream of a Cease-Fire (isisstudygroup.com)
Inside Assad’s Syria – excellent PBS Frontline documentary