August 29, 2014

As Republicans howl at president Obama for not having an attack plan in Syria and iraq to combat ISIS, Rep. Tom Cole took a different path when he praised Obama for being "commendably cautious" about getting involved in a military operation in the middle of the Syrian war.

Todd: What is the American responsibility in Syrai after we're bombing parts of ISIS?

Cole: I think our main goal is ISIL. I don't know that we have a, quote, 'responsibility' in Syria after that. And I think the president is being commendably cautious about being involved in the middle of a Syrian civil war.

Wow, imagine a republican praising Obama for showing restraint. It's hard to believe. Most GOPers and even the media are siding with the hyperbolic Mike Rogers:

House Intelligence Committee Chairman Mike Rogers did not mince words Thursday, slamming President Barack Obama for an “odd” news conference during which the president said, “We do not have a strategy” to deter the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant.
“It was an odd press conference at the very best, but to have a press conference to say we don’t have a strategy was really shocking given the severity of the threat. That’s what’s so concerning to me,” Rogers (R-Mich.) told Wolf Blitzer on CNN.

Obama could have been more tactful in his response, but the idea that he's taking his time and trying to make an informed decision is commendable in the face of the screaming hyenas of US foregin policy.

As Digby sez:

Right. What you want is a president pounding on the podium insisting "I'm the decider! I'll decide because I've decided!" Or something like that.

It is a good thing for a president to be thoughtful and to show the world that he's being thoughtful. The US is a massive, military superpower and that can be threatening. Much better to have leadership that doesn't sound as if it's eager to drop bombs or invade at a moments notice and that it's taking all sides into account.

President Obama is a lot of things but he isn't stupid. I find it hard to believe that he didn't say they were working out a strategy as part of a diplomatic move as they're working with allies in the region. I know it's hard for hawks to understand this because they spend their entire lives trying to prove their manhood, but sometimes it's better not to rush in and take charge of every situation. Sometimes it makes more sense to give others the chance to step up. It tends to give them a different stake in the outcome and possibly allows them to not feel as if they are a vassal of the United States. (Which is undoubtedly why Mike Rogers doesn't like it.)

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