During his primetime address on Wednesday, President Obama vowed to “degrade” and “destroy” ISIS, though combat troops will not be deployed to the region. Instead, the President said the United States will defeat the Islamic State terror group “through a comprehensive and sustained counter-terrorism strategy.” On radio this morning, Glenn had mixed emotions about Obama’s attempt to “convince everybody that we are safe.”
“First of all, we're not sending… soldiers to the Middle East. We're sending advisers to the Middle East. It sounds a little like Vietnam,” Glenn said. “What are we doing? We're going to arm the Syrians?”
A portion of Obama’s “sustained counter-terrorism strategy” involves the arming and training of “moderate” Syrian rebels.
“Across the border in Syria, we have ramped up our security systems to the Syrian opposition,” Obama told the American people on Wednesday. “Tonight, I call on Congress again to give us additional authorities and resources to train and equip these fighters.”
Earlier this summer, however, in an interview with CBS News (and later with the New York Times), the President was singing a very different tune when it came to working with the rebels.
“When you get farmers, dentists and folks who have never fought before going up against a ruthless opposition in Assad, the notion that they were in a position to suddenly overturn not only Assad but also ruthless, highly trained jihadists if we just sent a few arms is a fantasy,” Obama said.
So which is it, Mr. President? Why was it irresponsible to even consider arming rebels just a couple months ago, but now it is part of your strategy?
“Which is it, Mr. President,” Glenn asked. “Just tell us what you believe… I watched that speech last night, and I just [how he can] sleep at night.”
Pundits have speculated Obama chose to deliver his address on Wednesday because he has seen his poll numbers falter, and he has received criticism from both the right and left. But Glenn wasn’t convinced.
“[Since] when has this President cared about poll numbers? If he cared about poll numbers, he wouldn't have done a lot of the things that he's already done,” Glenn said. “That doesn't make sense to me that he's doing this for poll numbers. First of all, what does he care? He doesn't have to be reelected.”
Instead, Glenn believes Obama is tired of being president, and he is now being forced to act in ways he is ideologically opposed to.
“I think he's tired of this job… I don't think he liked it in the first place,” Glenn explained. “I don't think he's really the guy who's making this policy because he'll say one thing, and then he'll do the other. I think he is antiwar. I think he does want to stop the war.”
There is, however, one thing Glenn does believe Obama would like to accomplish, and he laid it out in his press conference last week.
“What we’ve got to do is make sure that we are organizing the Arab world, the Middle East, the Muslim world along with the international community to isolate this cancer, this particular brand of extremism that is, first and foremost, destructive to the Muslim world and the Arab world and North Africa, and the people who live there,” Obama told reporters.
“I think he does want to organize the Middle East. That's what he said last week. ‘We have to organize the Middle East.’ Think of that,” Glenn concluded. “[He is] the ultimate community organizer who thinks the way to do this is to organize the Middle East.”
Front page image courtesy of the AP