Archive for Barack Clausewitz Obama

Read His Lips

Let him be clear:

Speaking at MacDill Air Force Base in Tampa, after visiting U.S. Central Command, Obama told troops: “I will not commit you and the rest of our Armed Forces to fighting another ground war in Iraq.”

-ish:

But shortly afterward, White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest clarified that Dempsey was talking about the possible need to put U.S. troops already in Iraq into “forward-deployed positions with Iraqi troops.”

Earnest said that step has not yet been necessary, but if Dempsey asks to “forward deploy” American advisers, “the president said he would consider it on a case-by-case basis.”

He said, in that scenario, U.S. troops “would be providing tactical advice to Iraqi security forces” or be in position to call in airstrikes.

“They would not have a combat role. They would not be personally or directly engaging the enemy,” Earnest stressed.

Uh-huh. And if the enemy engages them? What then?

The Senate Armed Services Committee held a hearing Sept. 16 about the U.S. policy to combat the Islamic State featuring testimony from Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel and Gen. Martin Dempsey. Here is Dempsey’s statement.

“To be clear, if we reach the point where I believe our advisers should accompany Iraqi troops on attacks against specific ISIL targets, I will recommend that to the President.”

Barack Obama thinks he’s a better general than his generals.

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All About the Benjamins

So now that ISIS and we are at w—…what is it again? A “very significant counter-terrorism operation [that's] going to go on for some period of time.” Yeah. Now that we’re doing that, how is the anti-w—…counter-terr—oh, eff it! How’s the antiwar crowd taking it?

Medea?

Medea, welcome to Democracy Now! Can you respond to President Obama’s speech and the fact that the vast majority of Americans polled support taking military action in Iraq and Syria?

MEDEA BENJAMIN: I think President Obama has been hounded by the media, by the war hawks in Congress, mostly from the Republican side but also from the Democrats, and is going into this insane not only bombing in Iraq, but also talking about going into Syria, at a time when just a couple of months ago the American people had made it very clear that we were very tired of war.

So, the most powerful man in the world, a man gifted with such intelligence, such articulateness, such cleanliness—and “no Negro dialect unless he wanted to have one”—has been “hounded” by the press and the Republicans into “insanity”.

That’s your story?

Oh, Medea, and we remember you when you had guts:

Literally.

Now, this is the best you can do:

MEDEA BENJAMIN: Well, the peace movement was really decimated when Obama came in, and has been trying to rebuild ever since. But I think now we have to think of all of us as the peace movement. Now is the time to say, if you’re an environmentalist, you better understand that war is the greatest environmental disaster and the U.S. military is the greatest polluter on the planet. If you care about having money for youth groups or for infrastructure or for green energy, you better understand that sucking money into the military—we’re now paying $7.5 million for just the bombing in Iraq.

Seven-and-a-half million to bomb Iraq? What a bargain! Screw the youth groups and “green” energy (algae?), hit the bid! At that price, it would be a waste of money not to bomb Iraq.

Cindy Sheehan, are you going sit idly by and take that?

Cindy Sheehan, peace activist
I believe the reason that the presidents of the US can continue to make such belligerent and jingoistic speeches and follow through with the continuation of endless wars is because the American people keep falling for the propaganda and the lie that either one of the two major political parties is better than the other when it comes to war for profit. I think last night’s speech by Obama was just a regurgitation of any speech by GWB and shame on anybody who is falling for this same tired, yet hostile, rhetoric. It would be funny if so many lives weren’t unnecessarily compromised because of US aggression.

Regular readers know that we check in on Cindy’s rantings from time to time. She may be mad as a hatter, but we share this: we’re consistent. She’s always against “time-limited, scope-limited military actions”; we’re usually for them. The only difference being we trusted George Bush and his people to get it right (eventually). We have no such faith in Obama.

But if bombing ISIS is wrong, I don’t want to be right.

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On the War* With the Islamic** State***

*It’s not a war.

**It’s not Islamic.

***It’s not a state.

So, what is “it”, and what are we “doing” about it? Hey, we just told you what it’s not—why can’t that be enough? Next you’ll want the recipe to Michelle’s kale cupcakes.

Some in the Obama administration run from the w-word like the French fun from w itself (cheap shot). Others therein wrap themselves in the battle colors like a latter day Barbara Fritchie. But this is the same administration that blamed the Benghazi atrocity on a YouTube video—and then successfully dodged responsibility for doing so (for a time).

Speaking of Benghazi, remember that Libya was no war either.

Remember what it was?

It’s not a war, the White House says.

Instead, Libya is “a time-limited, scope-limited military action, in concert with our international partners, with the objective of protecting civilian life in Libya from Moammar Gadhafi and his forces,” White House spokesman Jay Carney said.

Pressed on the point by reporters, Carney said, “I’m not going to get into the terminology,” but Libya is not an “open-ended military action, the kind of which might otherwise be described as a war.”

“There’s no ground troops, as the president said,” Carney said. “There’s no land invasion.”

“A time-limited, scope-limited military action”: wonder why they didn’t bring back that gem from 18 months ago? Look at what it did for Libya. Oh wait…

Libya Closer To Failed-State Status, Ushering In Possible ISIS, Jihadist Haven

Well, that was from yesterday. Maybe things are better now.

So, our “strategy” against a non-Islamic non-state is to conduct a non-war, which is, rather, a non-Iraq, non-Afghanistan, quasi-Libyan-cum-Yemen “very significant counter-terrorism operation [that's] going to go on for some period of time.”

Got it?

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My Strategy

If Obama’s “Strategy” against the ISLAMIC State is to be not-Bush, maybe I can articulate mine as being not-insane.

Like telling ISIS “Don’t worry about boots on the grounds, jihadis. Ain’t gonna happen.” I’d keep that to myself.

This fellow has his own objections:

The problem is that the strategy — to provide logistical support for Iraqi forces, limited air strikes, and a strong Free Syrian Army — is a foolish strategy that is unlikely to succeed.

The president’s strategy calls for U.S. air strikes against Islamic State targets in Iraq and Syria in support of Iraqi army forces and the Free Syrian Army rebels who are fighting the Islamic State on the ground. Obama made it clear that the U.S. military commitment will be limited to air strikes, as he will not order U.S. ground forces into either Iraq or Syria.

Instead of ground forces, however, the president said that the United States will increase training and logistical support for those armies on the ground, but herein lies a critical flaw: The Iraqis have not proven to be a reliable partner in the war on terrorism. And this, despite ten years of U.S. military training and equipment provided by the United States.

In Iraq, the Islamic State has swept Iraqi forces in a number of recent engagements, with many Iraqi units simply abandoning their posts and refusing to fight. This problem is not one that can be solved through additional training. Even with the added power and confidence-boost of air strikes, a root issue is sectarianism. On a number of occasions, the Iraqi army failed to fight the Islamic State not simply because of bad officers and cowardice: Sunni units simply did not want to fight fellow Sunnis, even if they were extremists.

Okay, so after Obama abandoned Iraq, their military resolve suffered a tad. But in Syria, they don’t care whom they fight as long as they fight. Surely, they can be counted on.

Don’t call me Shirley:

In Syria, our other alleged ally, the Free Syrian Army, is fighting not only the Islamic State, but the Syrian army. And here’s a problem with arming them: It is strictly against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s interest to allow the Free Syrian Army to become strong enough even to challenge the Islamic State, because that would also increase the risk to his regime.

Given the ruthlessness of his previous moves, it is likely that Assad will continue to order military attacks against the Free Syrian Army rebels at the same time that the United States is trying to build up the capacity of the Free Syrian Army to serve as the ground force component of the Syrian campaign of Obama’s new strategy. And under those conditions, it will be very difficult for the Free Syrian Army to succeed. This obstacle could require the United States to further expand its mission to include attacking the Syrian army in order to allow the Free Syrian Army to combat the Islamic State.

Well, that sounds like a cluster.

But let’s not be unnecessarily critical. Go ahead and blast ISIS from the sky, Mr. President. Light ‘em up. We’ll just hold you to what you said (unlike the press).

PS: The “no boots on the ground” promise was not meant to assure ISIS, but the Democrat moonbat base. If one can tell the difference.

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How Would Obama Commit Suicide? Climb Up His Ego and Jump

How come the “top quote that haunts President Obama” doesn’t haunt him more?

“I think that I’m a better speechwriter than my speechwriters. I know more about policies on any particular issue than my policy directors. And I’ll tell you right now that I’m gonna think I’m a better political director than my political director.”

When the competition is Joe Biden or John Kerry, I’ll give Obama better than even odds. But is he a better military tactician than the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff? Is he a better analyst than his National Security Advisor?

Wait, what? Susan Rice? Really? Okay, I’ll give Obama that one too.

But surely we can do better that President “Present” in the epochal battle against Islamic fascism.

Can’t we?

President Obama says he intends to shrink the al-Qaeda-spawned Islamic State into a “manageable problem.” Perhaps we’ll learn more about how when he speaks to the nation on Wednesday evening. Still, the question presses: Is he the manager for the job?

In answering that question, past performance is more a guarantee of future results than is any statement of newfound purpose from a president whose innate dishonesty has turned his signature phrase “Let me be clear” into notorious self-parody.

As a graduate of the same Ivy League institution as Barry Sotero (or whatever he called himself at the time), I have to give him a pass. He was a transfer student from Occidental, so he never took Freshman Composition at Columbia. If he had, empty expressions like “let me be clear” would have been scraped off his prose like so much feces from his favorite meal (tough). He also would have been disabused of any notion that he was a good writer. Bill Ayers, maybe, but Barack Obama, no way.

Where were we…”Is he the manager for the job?”

In late September 2012, Mr. Obama’s administration quietly approved the transfer of 55 jihadist prisoners out of the Guantanamo Bay detention center. As Tom Joscelyn explained at the time, most of the detainees had previously been categorized as “high risk” because they were deemed “likely to pose a threat to the US, its interests, and allies” if released. Almost all of the rest had been assessed “medium risk” — still posing a threat, albeit one less certain than the “high risk” jihadists.

But Obama officials overruled those judgments.

Wait a second . . . two years ago in September . . . what was going on then? Why yes, the Benghazi massacre — whose second anniversary we mark this Thursday.

Among those carrying out the attack were operatives of Ansar al-Sharia. That’s the al-Qaeda affiliate with cells in Eastern Libya’s jihadist hotbeds, Benghazi and Derna. Ansar is led by Sufian Ben Qumu, a former Gitmo detainee who, inexorably, went right back to the jihad.

News of Obama’s approval of the mass transfer of Gitmo detainees came less than two weeks after the Benghazi massacre. Let that sink in: The Obama administration knew that a former Gitmo detainee was complicit in the most humiliating defeat suffered by the United States since the 9/11 attacks that took the nation to war; yet, the president approved the transfer of dozens more Gitmo terrorists.

Nice, but it gets better:

[T]his is the president who, though AWOL (and still unaccountable) while terrorists were killing and wounding American personnel in Benghazi, had the temerity not just to fly off to a Vegas fundraiser the very next day.

And just two days after Obama’s “Mission Accomplished” fundraiser, Ansar al-Sharia’s Tunis cell attacked the American embassy there. That al-Qaeda franchise is led by Seifallah ben Hassine, long-time jihadist confidant of bin Laden and his successor, Ayman al-Zawahiri.

And as we have seen in just the last few weeks, Obama’s “lead the jihad from behind” strategy has resulted in the near complete disintegration of Libya, with Ansar al-Sharia and its allies now controlling much of Tripoli.

And in a fitting conclusion, Andrew McCarthy writes:

President Obama probably does believe the Islamic State could become a manageable problem. Unfortunately, he also believes that when his ideology collides with reality, it is reality that must give. Reality does not see it that way.

To paraphrase Leon Trotsky, “Obama may not be interested in war, but war is interested in Obama.”

Last word to you, Mr. President: “I fought with you in the Senate for comprehensive immigration reform. And I will make it a top priority in my first year as President.”

Sure about that, sir?

“It’s here that companies like Solyndra are leading the way toward a brighter and more prosperous future.”

Oy. We are so screwed.

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The Boob Tube

I won’t watch it myself, but I highly recommend President Obama’s speech tomorrow night. Not just for the “optics”, the “theater” of the event either—though the styrofoam columns and angelic aura will be very much in evidence.

I think after articulating every strategy from no strategy to a strategy of management to one of degradation (who’s a naughty jihadist, you are, you’ve been very bad, and now it’s time for Lady Liberty to punish you) to something approaching butch. I don’t think he’ll go all “gates of Hell”, like Joe Biden—not his style, more’s the pity. But I think you’ll see something stronger than an ISIS Summit, complete with working sub-groups and reports and recommendations. Obama may be an ass, but tomorrow night he’ll be a bit of a badass. Here’s hoping.

Me, I’ll be watching something else. Anything else.

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Meanwhile…

You know who loves ISIS? You know who sends amorous epistles to Putin? You know who thinks Hamass is just the dreamiest? You know who I bet is behind all the chaos, conflict, and cacophony in the world today, including ebola?

Iran:

Iran has failed to address concerns about suspected atomic bomb research by an agreed deadline, the U.N. nuclear watchdog said on Friday, a setback to hopes for an end to an international stand-off over Tehran’s atomic activity.

The Islamic Republic has implemented just three of five nuclear transparency steps that it was supposed to by Aug. 25 under a confidence-building deal it reached with the IAEA in November, according to the quarterly report.

Crucially, it has not provided information on the two issues that are part of the IAEA’s investigation: alleged experiments on explosives that could be used for an atomic device, and studies related to calculating nuclear explosive yields.

And Iran wonders why nobody believes them. But as a rational actor, Iran is John Gielgud. Who or what is going to stop them? The UN? Not worth discussing. NATO? What NATO country is threatened? Obama? Any worries Iran might have harbored about Obama have been swept away like a morning fog. In the clear light of day, they see the field is theirs. Now they’re just having fun:

The report said Iran, where a president seen as pragmatic took office in 2013 and revived diplomacy with the West, told the IAEA last week that most suspicions over its program were “mere allegations and do not merit consideration”.

A Vienna-based diplomat called that statement “worrying”.

The way a captured mouse is “worried” by the cat who has him at her mercy.

As Henry Kissinger just put it:

There has come into being a kind of a Shia belt from Tehran through Baghdad to Beirut. And this gives Iran the opportunity to reconstruct the ancient Persian Empire — this time under the Shia label.

From a geo-strategic point of view, I consider Iran a bigger problem than ISIS. ISIS is a group of adventurers with a very aggressive ideology. But they have to conquer more and more territory before they can became a geo-strategic, permanent reality. I think a conflict with ISIS — important as it is — is more manageable than a confrontation with Iran.

Not sure I’d have used that word “manageable”—didn’t do Obama any good—but of course he’s right. Iran has decades of crimes to its rap sheet. The only difference between the mad mullahs of Tehran and the criminally insane sh*ts of ISIS is that the former leave the heads on when they execute innocents. Can’t hang a person by the neck until dead if they’ve got no neck. Otherwise, Iran is ISIS with nukes, or soon will be.

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Hope and Change

Well, change anyway.

President Obama, September 3rd:

“We can continue to shrink ISIL’s sphere of influence, its effectiveness, its financing, its military capabilities to the point where it is a manageable problem.”

President Obama, September 5th:

“You can’t contain an organization that is running roughshod through that much territory, causing that much havoc, displacing that many people, killing that many innocents, enslaving that many women. The goal has to be to dismantle them.”

“Dismantle” is a little closer to “gates of hell” than “manageable” is, for which much thanks. But he needed David Cameron’s balls to get even that far.

I happened to hear the week-in-review roundtable on NPR’s On Point this morning. The Atlantic’s former editor, Jack Beatty, a five-star general among Obama apologists, first tried to paint Russia’s invasion as merely “exerting power on its border”. Tell that to Crimea. Tell that to Donetsk. David Ignatius chimed in that Putin’s territorial gain came at great cost: a hostile government in Kiev, a united Europe against him. He claimed Putin was playing a weak hand. Tell that to Putin. This sounds like the same tone deaf talk that appeased Hitler. Not one person mentioned Obama’s Chamberlain-esque pose.

When talk turned to the Middle East, Beatty got his second wind. He quoted an administration source as saying that “avoiding another Iraq is his guiding principle”. Beatty followed with “it seems to me that’s also the guiding principle of the American people…. We don’t want this.”

Don’t we? Of course we don’t, if you put it in those terms. Who wants “another Iraq”? But do we want our reporters getting their heads chopped off (other than the 75-80 we could all agree on)? Do we want to see their unrivaled savagery (too savage for Al Qaeda) rip asunder whole countries and regions? Do we want what’s happening over there to be happening over here?

No wonder Obama looks uncertain, Beatty declared, uncertainty is the reality. That’s one way of looking at it.

Another way is that you can’t run your affairs by trying to be different from the other guy. Avoiding “another Iraq” is a dog whistle for George Bush; so is “don’t do stupid stuff”. But the world Bush had to deal with, for better or worse, is five and a half years in the past, an eternity. Most of his big decisions are a decade old by now. Facing today’s realities with policies based on rejecting the previous president’s policies is almost too idiotic to write, let alone implement. And now that Obama is in Bush’s shoes (several sizes too big for him), he should have the decency and maturity to acknowledge that maybe he sees things a little differently.

Lastly, ISIS is not really “another Iraq”, but Iraq II:

On the eve of the U.S. invasion of Iraq in 2003, a 36-year-old Jordanian who called himself “the Stranger” slipped into the suburbs of Baghdad armed with a few weapons, bags of cash and an audacious plan for starting a war he hoped would unite Sunni Muslims across the Middle East.

The tattooed ex-convict and high school dropout had few followers and scant ties to the local population. Yet, the Stranger — soon to be known widely as Abu Musab al-Zarqawi — quickly rallied thousands of Iraqis and foreign fighters to his cause. He launched spectacular suicide bombings and gruesome executions targeting Americans, Shiites and others he saw as obstacles to his vision for a Sunni caliphate stretching from Syria to the Persian Gulf.

Zarqawi was killed in a U.S. airstrike in 2006, but the organization he founded is again on the march. In just a week, his group — formerly known as al-Qaeda in Iraq and now called the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, or ISIS — has seized cities and towns across western and northern Iraq at a pace that might have astonished Zarqawi himself. Already in control of large swaths of eastern Syria, the group’s black-clad warriors appear to have taken a leap toward realizing Zarqawi’s dream of an extremist Sunni enclave across the region.

The mission is still not “accomplished”, President Obama. It’s been your responsibility since you took the oath of office.

No fair leaving it for the next guy:

“This, as the President has said, is going to have to be a sustained effort. … It’s going to take time, and it will probably go beyond even this administration to get to the point of defeat.”

Do your effing job.

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When You Want Something Done Right

You have Joe Biden do it:

“They should know we will follow them to the gates of hell until they are brought to justice,” he forcefully told an audience at an event on the New Hampshire-Maine border. “Because hell is where they will reside. Hell is where they will reside.”

Not bad. And he wasn’t done:

Describing the perpetrators as “barbarians,” Biden vowed that Americans would not be frightened or intimidated by the heinous acts.

“We came back after 9/11. We dusted ourselves off and we made sure that Osama bin Laden would never, ever again threaten the American people,” Biden said. “We came back Boston strong, blaming no one but resolve to be certain that this didn’t happen again.”

“As a nation, we’re united, and when people harm Americans, we don’t retreat,” he later said. “We don’t forget.”

I’m glad to know we finally have a strategy!

Or do we?

Obama said they do have a regional strategy. Ultimately, he said, “our objective is clear, and that is to degrade and destroy ISIL so it is no longer a threat not just to Iraq but also the region and to the United States.”

He clarified that if the U.S. is joined by an international coalition, they can “continue to shrink ISIL’s sphere of influence, its effectiveness, its financing, its military capabilities to the point where it is a manageable problem.”

What happened to “the gates of hell”? What happened to “we don’t retreat”, “we don’t forget”?

What else in the Middle East is “manageable”? Iraq? Syria? Iran? We can’t even “manage” our embassy pool in Tripoli.

Obama tried. His prepared remarks said we would “degrade and destroy” ISIS—which is already a mixed signal. Degraded is not destroyed; destroyed renders degraded irrelevant.

He ended up reiterating his original statement. Gates of hell, degraded, destroyed, managed—if you’ve got several strategies, you’ve got no strategy.

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“Messy” World Update

I don’t know about the world, President Obama, but one patch of it is pretty messy:

The apparent executioner of American Steven Sotloff speaks in the same British accent as the man who purportedly killed James Foley. The journalists’ beheadings were recorded by ISIS, which calls itself the Islamic State.

He’s dressed identically in both videos, head to toe in black, with a face mask and combat boots. He appears to be of similar build and height. He waves a knife in his left hand, as did the militant in the video released last month of Foley’s death.

And then, there are his actual words.

“I’m back, Obama, and I’m back because of your arrogant foreign policy towards the Islamic State.”

Obama doesn’t feel half so arrogantly toward the self-styled Islamic State as I do, so I can hardly fault him there.

But I do disagree with Obama that it’s social media that make the world seem messy.

“The world’s always been messy … we’re just noticing now in part because of social media.”

No, it’s mainstream media. Some headlines:

Video Purports to Show Beheading of US Journalist Steven Sotloff

US CDC says Ebola threatens stability of stricken countries

Home Depot Investigating Potentially Massive Credit Card Breach

Russia and Nato headed for nuclear war after Putin brags he could take Kiev

US military strike in Somalia targeted al Shabaab leader

Amnesty International: Islamic State carrying out ethnic cleansing

Sharp rise in support for Scottish independence jolts sterling

Islamic fighters besiege Nigerian city

Saudi Arabia Arrests 88 Terrorism Suspects

Attack on Army Convoy Kills 11 in Egypt’s Sinai

Why the US and Israel are not getting along

UN: 4 Peacekeepers Killed in North Mali, 15 Hurt

Shamed Rotherham Council to Meet Over Shocking Child Sex Abuse Report

School starts in Chicago with more safety guards

WWII vet, 86, beaten outside Ohio hospital

8 teens still missing after 32 escape Nashville youth detention center

Holiday weekend wedding ends in bloody brawl after groom gropes server

Any questions?

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In Defense of “No Strategy”

The media circles the wagons:

There is a fun foreign policy game making all the rounds in Washington D.C. this summer: Pin the tail on Barack Obama.

There are no points for understanding how international relations work, how U.S. power is actually utilized or how other countries interpret their own interests. There’s no space on the board for tracking the real-life impact of your recommendations.

Foreign policy stewardship would be easy if it were as simple as playing this game. If, as President Obama joked recently, America “control(led) everything around the world,” there wouldn’t be much to decide at all.

See? “Strategies” are fanciful constructs, mere whims. They are policy variations on the old line, “Want to make God laugh? Tell him your plans.” Obama’s too smart for that.

We’re just not smart enough to see it:

White House senior adviser Dan Pfeiffer said Obama will continue to move at his own speed to respond to these crises, regardless of criticism. “There’s no timetable for solving these problems that’s going to meet the cable news cycle speed,” he said. “It’s not a tenable thing. We’d much rather do this right than do it quickly. We tried the opposite [during the Bush years] and it worked out very poorly.”

This week, Obama will have an opportunity to show global leadership at a crisis-packed summit with European allies. Immediately afterward, Secretary of State John F. Kerry will travel to the Middle East, where potential partners, waiting to see whether Obama has the capacity to chart a clear, decisive course, are hoping for direction.

Obama does have one strategy: blame Bush. It’s worked for him so far.

And then, there are those who don’t take the president at his word:

President Obama’s critics often claim he doesn’t have a strategy in the greater Middle East. That’s wrong. Like it or loathe it, he does, and he’s beginning to implement it against ISIS. To understand what it is, it’s worth going back seven summers.

No, no, no. Life’s too short. If I want to climb into the Obama way-back machine, it’s too hear him dismiss bitter clingers, or tell a hall full of union hacks he wants single-payer health insurance, or try to come up with the word “inhaler”. If we’re going to do nothing against the threats of ISIS, Boko Haram, Vladimir Putin, and a dozen other threats (not one of which is global warming), I’m going to enjoy what remains of summer. And my life.

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“Be With You in a Minute, Mr. Peabody!”

Cineastes will recognize the title of this post as the line repeatedly shouted out by Cary Grant in that screwiest of screwball comedies, Bringing Up Baby, as he chases Katherine Hepburn and a leopard around a country estate. Mr. Peabody is the potential donor to Grant’s paleontological studies, but poor Cary can barely catch his breath, let alone his quarry, the eponymous Baby the leopard.

President Obama can relate. Can’t a man take a two-week Martha’s Vineyard vacation—interrupted by a bachelor party—followed by a weekend wedding and several fundraising appearances without the world falling apart? To quote from another great film, The Incredibles, “No matter how many times you save the world, it always manages to get back in jeopardy again. Sometimes I just want it to stay saved, you know?”

So I just have to ask, do we have a strategy for this?

Ukraine’s president has said his country is “close to a point of no return – full scale-war”.

Petro Poroshenko was speaking in Brussels, where he said a meeting of EU leaders had agreed to prepare more sanctions against Russia.

Outgoing EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton earlier accused Russia of “direct aggression” in east Ukraine.

Russia denies that its forces are backing rebels, who have been gaining ground on Ukrainian forces.

Mr Poroshenko said Ukraine was a victim of “military aggression and terror”.

He said: “I think that we are very close to the point of no return. Point of no return is full-scale war.

Because it would appear this is Putin’s strategy:

Ukraine military spokesman Andriy Lysenko told journalists in Kiev that Russian tanks had entered the small Ukrainian town of Novosvitlivka on the border with Russia and fired on every house.

“We have information that virtually every house has been destroyed.”

That strategy would appear to be: first they came for Crimea, but we did not speak up because we were not Crimean; then they came for Donetsk, but we did not speak up because we were not Donetskan; then they came for Novosvitlivka, but we did not speak up because we were not Novosvitlivkan.

That strategy appears to be working so far.

Our strategy…well, maybe we’re playing the long game:

President Obama was among the guests at the wedding of White House chef Sam Kass late Saturday, according to a White House pool report.

Obama, the first lady and their daughters, Sasha and Malia, attended the ceremony at a farm-to-table restaurant in Westchester County, New York.

The first family departed Blue Hill at Stone Barns at 1:05 a.m. Sunday morning after spending six-and-a-half hours at the wedding festivities, according to a reporter traveling with the president.

The Obamas returned to the White House shortly before 3:00 a.m. Sunday morning, approximately two-and-a-half hours behind schedule.

You say two and a half hours, I say two and a half years. But we can all agree that this sort of behavior has no place in the 21st century. Okay, Vlad? So, just cool it.

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