Obama may be behind, but he is certainly not leading

Sometimes I think U.S. foreign policy and war tactics mimic an old Aggie joke — substitute Obama and John Kerry for the Texas A&M assistant football coach.

One day the Aggie head coach sends his assistant to Austin to try to find out why the Longhorns always beat the Aggies. (This was a long time ago.) The coach goes up to the University of Texas coach and asks him point blank why his team always wins.

The coach replies that it is hard to explain but says he can demonstrate. He holds his hand in front of a brick wall and says, “Hit my hand.” The Aggie coach swings, the coach drops his hand and the Aggie coach bashes the brick wall.

Upon returning to College Station, the coach tells his head coach he can’t explain why the Longhorns win but can demonstrate. He holds his unbandaged hand in front of his face and says, “Hit my hand.”

Back in July Obama gave a speech claiming his strategy is damaging the Islamic State.

“Indeed, we’re intensifying our efforts against ISIL’s base in Syria.  Our airstrikes will continue to target the oil and gas facilities that fund so much of their operations.  We’re going after the ISIL leadership and infrastructure in Syria — the heart of ISIL that pumps funds and propaganda to people around the world.  … This continues to be a challenge, and, working together, all our nations are going to need to do more, but we’re starting to see some progress,” he said. “We’ll continue cracking down on ISIL’s illicit finance around the world.”

On Monday, for the first time, mark that, first time, U.S. gunships attacked a convoy of oil tanker trucks Islamic State was using to smuggle crude oil to finance its operations. According to The New York Times, “To reduce the risk of harming civilians, two F-15 warplanes dropped leaflets about an hour before the attack warning drivers to abandon their vehicles, and strafing runs were conducted to reinforce the message.”

Did no one think that telegraphing the attack might allow them to set up anti-aircraft batteries and RPGs?

Luckily, A-10s and C-130s took out 116 tanker trucks and there was no mention of aircraft being hit.

According to Washington Post columnist Mark Thiessen, Islamic State raised $1.2 billion in 2014 alone from extortion, taxation, money stolen from Iraqi banks and oil. Yet the U.S. only now attacking the oil tankers and pulling its punches in order to avoid hitting drivers working for Islamic State.

Thiessen repeats the oft-told account that 75 percent of U.S. sorties return without dropping bombs because they don’t have adequate target information or there is fear of collateral damage.

Further, Investor’s Business Daily reports today that France has been bombing targets in Raqqa, hitting command and recruitment centers, ammo dumps and training camps. France got the target coordinates from the U.S., which had not struck them already, despite Obama’s boasts of vigorous attacks.

Meanwhile Russia is sending long-range bombers and cruise missiles to pound terrorist state targets that Obama has failed to strike in more than a year of bombing.


Obama has no effective strategy to contain, damage or destroy the Islamic State. He may well be behind, but he is not leading.

C-130 gunship in action. Obama admin telegraphed that they were coming.



18 comments on “Obama may be behind, but he is certainly not leading

  1. Patrick says:

    Can’t think of a real war, that happened in the last 70 years where the US didn’t drop leaflets warning in advance of an attack.


  2. Loas, Ho Chi Minh Freeway.

  3. North Vietnam, carpet bombing with Arclight strikes with B-52s.

  4. Steve says:

    nypatrick thinks this isn’t a “real” war.

    Wonder how that would sell to the survivors…..

  5. nyp says:

    yup, bomb them all, and let God separate out the civilians.

  6. Patrick says:

    Sorry Thomas, yes the Army bombed Vietnam with leaflets warning of impending bombing. (As it has since WWI?

    “The 16 September 1968 declassified secret USAF report: Psychological Operations by the United States Air Force and the Vietnamese Air Force in South Vietnam mentions the early bombing of the North. The reader should remember this report only goes up to 1968.

    About 60 percent of the North Vietnamese people reside in the Red River Delta area in the North. This area also happens to be the most difficult to hit due to heavy concentrations of antiaircraft and SAM sites protecting Hanoi and Haiphong. Early success in the NVN operations was indicated by reports in 1966, that the residents of Hanoi eagerly sought leaflets in an attempt to gain an early warning of impending airstrikes, so they could leave the city in time. The bombing of Mu Gia Pass caused alarm and the suspicion that Hanoi was next. Indications were that there were even struggles between residents and the police for possession of the leaflets.”


  7. Winston Smith says:

    If ISIS was created and supplied by us to overthrow Assad, why would we stop them before the job is done?

    This game of international political bullshit is all so very tiresome…

    War is Peace; Freedom is Slavery; Ignorance is Strength

  8. They were psy op leaflets not warnings of bombing raids.

  9. Steve says:

    Not to nypatrick, they weren’t. They were all warnings of impending bombing while the ground troops were all told to shoot in directions where the enemy wasn’t!

  10. Rincon says:

    Does anyone really believe the drivers of the tanker trucks are combatants? They’re almost certainly truck drivers paid wages to drive. Would you have your best soldiers driving a truck?. I too would question whether the leaflets weren’t a bit risky, but since no damage occurred as a result, how critical should one be? Besides, perhaps it would be better if any available antiaircraft batteries were brought to the scene so we could destroy them. They would be used on us either way. Better that we determine when and where.

    Be careful what you advocate. Governments that kill civilians without regard are the same ones that will kill their own people. Perhaps you can emigrate to Russia. You seem to like the way they do things.

  11. Patrick says:

    They were leaflets warning of bombings and there were millions of them dropped in Vietnam.

    Millions and millions. Maybe more leaflet warnings dropped in Vietnam than in any other war. Although as I said, this same type of method has been used in ever war since WWI.

  12. I’m just glad our fearless leader (feckless?) didn’t leaflet the compound at Abbottabad…

  13. nyp says:

    And we didn’t wimp out by dropping warning leaflets on Dresden.

  14. Patrick says:

    Truman was clearly a wimp.

    “On August 1, 1945, five days before the bombing of Hiroshima, the U.S. Army Air Force dropped one million leaflets over Hiroshima, Nagasaki, and 33 other Japanese cities warning that those cities were going to be destroyed within a few days and advising the residents to leave to save their lives.Aug 19, 2007”


    Just think how prepared the Japanese might have been to shot down one bomber.

  15. Steve says:

    Posted that on another thread Winston. From Marketwatch, will ACA function with no insurers?

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