Responding to Syrian objections over the Administration’s plans to fly combat missions against ISIS in Syrian territory, President Obama told journalists at the White House that as far as he was concerned, Bashar Assad could “Fuck off and die.”
In a speech to the nation last night, Mr. Obama said the United States was recruiting a global coalition to “degrade and ultimately destroy” the militants, known as the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria. He warned that “eradicating a cancer” like ISIS was a long-term challenge that would put some American troops at risk.
“We will hunt down terrorists who threaten our country, wherever they are,” Mr. Obama declared in a 14-minute address. “That means I will not hesitate to take action against ISIL in Syria, as well as Iraq,” he added, using an alternative name for ISIS. “This is a core principle of my presidency: If you threaten America, you will find no safe haven.”
Mr. Obama specifically stated that he would not place U.S. “boots on the ground” in Iraq or Syria, which most intelligent pundits interpreted as meaning that we will have no large ground units in the Middle East like we did in the recent Iraq and Afghanistan wars, but did not preclude the use of special forces units and forward air observers.
Although Mr. Obama has received political support from both parties on his policy statement, some pundits on the far right, particularly those who depend on Fox News for their income, have criticized the President for not going far enough. In addition, several members of the wing nut radio talk show crowd, along with former members of the Bush Administration, continue to blame Obama for the whole situation.
“The Bush Administration and its cheerleaders caused this clusterfuck by invading Iraq in the first place,” said White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest. “Anyone who listens to Dick Cheney, Rush Limbaugh, or Sean Hannity on this subject needs his head examined anyway. They’re best bet is to shut the fuck up, that way they won’t sound so ignorant.”