Military

By Mark Finkelstein | September 11, 2014 | 9:41 PM EDT

On Hardball, Chris Matthews describes himself as a "skeptic" about President Obama's ISIS strategy.  Matthews argues that since the president has excluded American boots on the ground, we will be forced to rely on foreign partners to hold territory, yet there are no such viable forces available.

By Tom Blumer | September 11, 2014 | 7:28 PM EDT

A frequent tipster has informed me that on today's episode of "The Five" on Fox News, Bob Beckel actually said that he likes current White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest better than his predecessor James Carney because Earnest "looks better." Far be it from me to render a judgment on relative male handsomeness. But one thing I can say about Earnest is that, at certain times, when he gets a question he doesn't like, he acts like a snotty teenager caught not having his homework ready.

One such incident occurred today. Rather than answer a question about how the Obama administration specifically defined victory over ISIL and what the idea of "destroying" it really means, Earnest ... well. catch the transcript of the first 30 seconds of the video found at (HT Real Clear Politics):

By Tom Blumer | September 11, 2014 | 10:55 AM EDT

As the midnight oil-burning Curtis Houck at NewsBusters noted last night, John McCain ripped into Jay Carney's attempts to rewrite history Wednesday evening on CNN. Among other things, he reminded the former White House Press Secretary that "We had it (the Iraq War) won, thanks to the surge." In other words, our military and Iraqi government had achieved victory. Barack Obama and his administration, perhaps until last night, have seemed indifferent at best and dismissive at worst at what has happened in Iraq since then.

After McCain got in his rips, it was Newt Gingrich's turn. The former House Speaker, whose assertion, as will be seen later, is supported by contemporaneous reporting by Tim Arango at the New York Times, took apart Carney's hypocrisy in whining about how a status of forces agreement with Iraq with the number of American troops our generals believed would be necessary to maintain the peace would have meant our presence there "in perpetuity":

By Mark Finkelstein | September 11, 2014 | 8:38 AM EDT

President Obama is a great leader.  Really.  Just ask him. Seemingly ignored in the coverage of the president's ISIS speech last night was the moment when President Obama claimed that the ISIS threat was being met with "strength and resolve," then boasted that his strategy—and by extension he himself—represented "American leadership at its best."

Can anyone imagine truly great American leaders--from Washington to Lincoln to Reagan--feeling the need to claim that their plans represented "American leadership at its best?"

By Curtis Houck | September 11, 2014 | 7:07 AM EDT

After President Obama’s speech to the nation on Wednesday night, MSNBC host Rachel Maddow asked NBC News chief foreign correspondent Richard Engel what he thought of President Obama’s analogy that the U.S. strategy in fighting terrorism in Yemen and Somalia would carry over to dealing with the Islamic terrorist group ISIS in both Iraq and Syria. Needless to say, Engel was not at all pleased with the comparison the President made, telling Maddow immediately that “I think it is wildly off base, frankly” and “[i]t's an oversimplification of the problem.”

By Curtis Houck | September 11, 2014 | 2:28 AM EDT

After President Obama’s speech to the nation on Wednesday night, CNN brought on its newly-minted senior political commenator and former Obama White House press secretary Jay Carney and Republican Senator John McCain (Ariz.) to comment on what the President’s speech regarding U.S policy in dealing withy the Islamic terrorist group ISIS. However, the next eight minutes instantly evolved into a heated debate between the two over the President’s actions of withdrawing troops from Iraq early in his administration and whether that allowed a threat like ISIS to proliferate.

By Curtis Houck | September 10, 2014 | 11:27 PM EDT

After President Obama’s speech on confronting the Islamic terrorist group ISIS on Wednesday night, each of the major broadcast networks offered some brief analysis before returning to regularly scheduled programming. Over on CBS, Face the Nation host Bob Schieffer anchored that network’s coverage and had nothing but good things to say in the few minutes before CBS’s coverage concluded.

Schieffer told the audience that Obama’s speech “shows us a real evolution in where the President was just in the last week of August” when he told reporters at a press conference that “we don’t have a strategy yet” in how to deal with ISIS and particularly in Syria.

By Tom Johnson | September 10, 2014 | 12:59 PM EDT

For now, President Obama’s “no-drama” handling of the ISIS situation counters both Americans’ fondness for “the same kind of bloody-shirt waving that got us into” Iraq and “the usual gang of conservative jingoists” now pushing for war.

By Mark Finkelstein | September 8, 2014 | 10:51 AM EDT

Joe Scarborough scoffs at Thomas Friedman's suggestion that the way to confront ISIS is for the US to adopt a carbon tax and permit oil exports.

By Tom Blumer | September 4, 2014 | 3:38 PM EDT

The establishment press is working mightily to shield President Barack Obama from blame for, or even association with, decisions he has made and actions he has taken — unilaterally and with dubious constitutional authority in many instances.

One particularly egregious example is Libya. When Obama decided on his own to engage in "kinetic miliitary action" to topple Muammar Gaddafi in 2011, the press was thrilled. Now, as will be seen after the jump, three stories from major establishment press outlets don't even contain Obama's name, or any direct reference to him.

By Jeffrey Meyer | September 3, 2014 | 11:45 AM EDT

For the second day in a row, the “big three” networks (ABC, CBS, and NBC) all ignored a new report from a former Pentagon official which claims that President Obama received briefings on the terrorist group ISIS “for at least a year before the group seized large swaths of territory over the summer.” 

Following the “big three” ignoring the report on their Tuesday night broadcasts, on Wednesday, September 3, all three network morning shows continued to omit the revelation during their coverage of ISIS following the beheading of a second American journalist, Steven Sotloff. While the networks continue to ignore this latest report, all three did their best to make the president look tough in going after the terrorist group. 

By Curtis Houck | September 3, 2014 | 12:05 AM EDT

On Tuesday night, the three major broadcast networks omitted from their coverage on the Islamic group ISIS a report that President Barack Obama has received briefings on the terrorist organization “for at least a year before the group seized large swaths of territory over the summer.”

ABC, CBS, and NBC all led their evening newscasts with multiple segments on the gruesome murder of American journalist Stephen Sotloff at the hands of ISIS in a propaganda video released on Tuesday afternoon. Over on the Fox News Channel (FNC), Special Report with Bret Baier aired three segments on the story, including a report from chief intelligence correspondent Catherine Herridge. [MP3 audio here; Video below]