Syria

By Tom Johnson | September 13, 2014 | 3:37 PM EDT

Charles Pierce thinks the campaign against ISIS may cause a spike in the national “derangement” that started on 9/11, and Jonathan Chait sees neoconservatives making the same mistakes now as they did more than a decade ago: “The hysterical threat assessment, the simplistic conflation of mutually antagonistic strains of Islam, and the complete lack of concern for the possibility of overreach.”

By Mark Finkelstein | September 13, 2014 | 2:02 PM EDT

Phyllis Bennis is a defender of Iran and its nuclear ambitions, and wants Israel wiped off the map, to be replaced by a single Palestinian state. So naturally she's a Melissa Harris-Perry fave.

Appearing yet again today on Harris-Perry's MSNBC show, Bennis put her radical views on display, arguing that many US soliders aren't truly volunteers, but are "forced in by poverty and lack of other opportunities."  "That's absolutely ridiculous," responded Iraq war veteran Earl Catagnus Jr. 

By Curtis Houck | September 12, 2014 | 10:42 AM EDT

CNN’s Wolf Blitzer interviewed President Obama’s National Security Adviser Susan Rice during Thursday’s edition of The Situation Room and neglected to bring up the second anniversary of the tragic attack in Benghazi, Libya that left U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens, foreign service officer Sean Smith and CIA contractors Tyrone Woods and Glenn Doherty dead. Instead, the nearly eight-and-a-half-minute interview discussed President Obama’s speech to the nation from Wednesday night on ISIS and reaction to Diane Foley speaking to CNN’s Anderson Cooper about how she believed that the United States did not do enough to save her son Jim before he was brutally murdered by ISIS.

By Curtis Houck | September 11, 2014 | 10:23 PM EDT

On Thursday’s NBC Nightly News, senior White House correspondent Chris Jansing provided not only spin favorable to President Obama a day after his prime time speech on ISIS, but also suggested that this could help the President in the midterm elections. At the conclusion of her report, Jansing told viewers that: "It's a war the President inherited with decisions made now shaping his legacy and his successor's as well. Something else to watch, while it's too soon to tell how voters will react to the President's plan from last night, if they rally around the Commander-in-Chief it could impact the midterm elections with control of the Senate at stake."

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 Johnson | September 11, 2014 | 9:30 PM EDT

Mark Sumner argues that ISIS “represents no threat to the United States," and that America has long suffered from “shaking-in-our-boots cowardice” over terrorism which has caused us to give terrorists “exactly what they want”: a massive military response.

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 Matthew Balan | September 11, 2014 | 7:07 PM EDT

On Thursday's New Day, CNN's Kate Bolduan hounded Senator John McCain to back President Obama's new strategy to combat the Islamist terrorist group ISIS and help him gain congressional support: "We talk about how you are a critic of the administration. But now that there is a strategy, Senator – now that there is going to be action...how are you going to help the administration succeed now in implementing this?"

By Jeffrey Meyer | September 11, 2014 | 1:57 PM EDT

In the wake of President Obama announcing that the United States will use air strikes to target the terrorist group ISIS in Iraq and Syria, the Washington Post’s Dana Milbank decided to go after liberals’ favorite punching bag, former Vice President Dick Cheney.

In an op-ed that appeared in Thursday’s Washington Post, Milbank proclaimed “Dick Cheney, Still Blindly Beating The Drums of War.” The Post columnist proceeded to trash the Republican for daring to suggest that the United States should aggressively go on the offensive to eliminate the ISIS threat.

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.