‘Ultimately Destroy’ Means ‘Contain’

Twice tonight, President Obama stated that the nation’s strategy towards the Islamic State is to “degrade, and ultimately destroy” it.

Bill Gertz will have a full analysis of the president’s remarks here at the Free Beacon shortly, but there is a simple point worth emphasizing by way of an immediate reaction to the speech: the modifier “ultimately” is a dodge of tremendous proportions. The timeline for the “ultimate” destruction of ISIS, according to the president’s advisors, may take two or three years—that is, potentially into the next presidential administration.

The President is thus using roughly the same form of rhetoric as the Congressman that tells you his plan will balance the budget, but ten years from now.

Syria and the ‘Lessons’ of Iraq

Syria already is Iraq. It is Iraq if Saddam had remained in power, and it is Iraq if America had left prior to the surge. It is the worst of both worlds, and it grows worse by the day.

So far a hundred thousand Syrians have been killed. More than a million refugees have flooded into Turkey and Jordan and Iraq. The dictator has deployed chemical agents against civilians on multiple occasions, including a recent strike in which 355 men, women, and children were killed. Al Qaeda-backed elements operate through swaths of the northern desert, and use Syria as a base of operations from which to reconstitute al Qaeda in Iraq.