Today CNN’s Jake Tapper hammered Obama Deputy Security Official Tony Blinken over the Obama administration’s delayed reaction to the ISIS genocide in Iraq. ISIS has murdered thousands of Shiites, Kurds, Sunnis, Christians, Turkmen, etc. over the past several months. The terror group also has taken control of large swaths of Iraq-Syria since Obama pulled US troops from the region in 2011.
Twitchy posted the transcript:
Tapper: Tony, a lot of people have been warning about ISIS for months and months with no action — no serious action — by the White House. Was the intelligence not there? Why is it only now that you’re acting?
Blinken: Actually, we’ve been warning about this for a long time, ourselves, well beyond that. When, initially, in 2012, we said to the Iraqis, AQI — which is ISIS’ predecessor — may be on its heels, but the only way to keep them there is to go after them constantly, and we propose to engage with them to help them do that. The politics in Iraq wouldn’t allow that. But it took a while, and finally in 2013 — a year ago — we began to increase the capacity of the Iraqis to deal with AQI and then what became ISIS. And of course, the Syrian conflict added fuel to the fire. So we’ve been focused on this for well over a year, and unfortunately, the ISIS threat overtook the efforts that the Iraqis were making to deal with it. Now, unfortunately, everyone is seized with this, but what we’re seeing increasingly is coordination among the Iraqis and the Kurds, which is unique. We haven’t seen that in a long time. And countries in the region who’ve responded to this threat, which, it’s a threat to them as well, all getting together and looking to take action.
Tapper: Tony, you say you’ve been warning about it, but in January, President Obama told The New Yorker magazine’s David Remnick that ISIS — which was then still considered a part of al-Qaeda fighting in Syria — was like a JV basketball team. He said, quote, “The analogy we use around here sometimes, and I think is accurate, is if a JV team puts on Lakers uniforms, that doesn’t make them Kobe Bryant.” Just how badly did President Obama underestimate the threat of ISIS?
Blinken: No, there are two different things going on here, Jake. One is the question of the threat that ISIS poses to us here in the homeland, and unlike core al-Qaeda, right now, their focus is not on attacking the U.S. homeland or attacking our interests here in the United States or abroad. It’s focused intently on trying to create a Caliphate in Iraq and a base from which, over time, to operate. And that’s what we’re focused on. We’re focused on making sure that we can help empower the Iraqis and others to prevent them from doing just that. The president was exactly right: They did not pose a threat like al-Qaeda central to us in the homeland. We want to make sure that they don’t get to the point where they can pose that threat.
Obama has been wrong several times over the years but this mistake has caused the death of thousands of innocents in the Middle East. It’s the tragedy of far left policy in action.