Well now I've seen everything: Ron Fournier is correct about something substantial, to the point where I agree with him. And he actually thinks President Obama needs to be be cut some slack on ISIS as it's a complex issue that cannot be solved with bumper sticker jingoism.
We can't shake it. Like the flu—no, like posttraumatic stress disorder, memories of wiretapping, waterboarding, and a war of false pretense in Iraq cling to the nation's consciousness. Called again to confront a threat in the Middle East, Americans keep tripping over the baggage of George W. Bush.
In 2003, we trusted. Not again. The president vowed retribution against terrorists who slaughtered Americans. The Defense secretary and secretary of State spoke of imminent threats. The intelligence community leaked word of Americans-turned-terrorists and sleeper cells. Those actions echo today, but Americans are of a different mind—not nearly as credulous, or as willing to fight.
President Obama is a living reflection of this psychological context. Uncertain and contradictory, Obama is grasping for the right mix of hawk and dove to rally Americans, unite the world, and confront ISIS without locking the United States into another unholy mess.
God bless him. It's a hellish task. Obama's lack of clarity so far has drawn criticism from the across the political spectrum, including from me (here and here). Two loyal readers remind me by email, and for different reasons, that Obama needs time to get this right.
Fournier then went on CNN's media analysis show, Reliable Sources, to point out to host Brian Stetler that the media appears to be pushing for the rush to war again, and maybe that's a bad idea.
Amazing. Not only do I agree with Ron Fournier, but Katrina vanden Heuvel as well. When these two are the voice of reason in the Village, things have gotten dire indeed on the war drums front.