It’s too soon to say what steps the United States will take against ISIS in Syria, President Barack Obama said Thursday.
“I don’t want to put the cart before the horse,” Obama told reporters during a White House news briefing. “We don’t have a strategy yet.”
ISIS? What’s that?
The Islamic State group has a long history of expanding its power and preying on the weaknesses of its regional rivals, according to a new report that challenges the notion that the militant organization has only recently emerged as a threat.
Despite some assertions that the group only achieved prominence in June 2014 — about the time it began sweeping across Iraq in a violent offensive — the militants have steadily been gaining power in the region since 2010, the report by the West Point counterterrorism center concludes.
Over those four years, the report says the Islamic State patiently prepared operations that managed to dissolve some of Iraq’s security forces by targeting and demolishing the homes of its soldiers or, in some cases, assassinating troops.
Warning signs that the Islamic State was becoming increasingly dangerous became evident after leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi “rebooted” the organization in 2010, the report notes. As a result, the Islamic State has been able to develop a highly motivated infantry force since 2012, enabling its members to launch a wave of 20 multicity synchronized car bomb attacks that lasted until the end of 2013, the report states.
President Obama will be in New York this weekend to attend the wedding of his personal chef and an MSNBC host.
The president and first lady Michelle Obama will be in attendance on Saturday when chef Sam Kass and journalist Alex Wagner tie the knot at the Blue Hill at Stone Barns in Pocantico Hills, Politico reported.
Kass is the personal chef of the First Family and also the executive director of Michelle Obama’s ‘Let’s Move,’ which aims to change eating and exercising habits among Americans. Wagner hosts the weekday MSNBC program ‘Now with Alex Wagner.’
They’ve has been described by Vogue as politics’ ‘It’ couple of the year.
Is that supposed to be some crack about Chef Kass’s chrome dome?
Go ahead and take the weekend off, sir. You’ve been working nonstop lately.
It will be a busy weekend for the Obamas.
On Friday, the president is expected at two fundraisers in Westchester and a third one in Rhode Island.
On Sunday, the Obamas will attend the US Open before heading out, according to Talk of the Sound, which first broke the news of the president’s visit to Westchester.
Oh, by the way. Remember that curious, unexplained trip back to the mainland that Obama took in the middle of his Vineyard vacation—at an additional cost of more than a million dollars when Air Force and Marine Ones are accounted for, along with the motorcade and other security protocols?
Speculation for why Obama returned focused around the possibility of a secret foreign leader meeting or the rollout of a new administration initiative on immigration or corporate taxes.
But no such explanation materialized.
The most unusual deviation from a normal day at the White House was Obama’s dinner Monday night at Sam Kass’s home. The president, joined by deputy chief of staff Anita Breckenridge, spent nearly five hours at the White House chef’s Dupont Circle duplex apartment.
It’s possible that the party may have been a celebration of Kass’s impending nuptials to MSNBC host Alex Wagner. The couple announced their engagement last September. But the White House provided no details of the meal.
There better not have been cupcakes for dessert. Michelle would have been waiting by the door with a rolling pin.
In summary, while ISIS has been getting the caliphate band back together, Obama and his Merry Men (and underpaid women) have been gamboling in the sand and sea, downing lobster tails and vinagrette-d arugula, partying like Kennedys (though not driving like them), and generally behaving about as unseriously as a person could behave in the face of chaos and perfected evil.
No wonder “we don’t have a strategy yet.”