Alexander the Great. Stonewall Jackson. George S. Patton. To this list of some of history's greatest military strategists, a new name must be added: that of Barack Obama. That is, if you agree with Joe Scarborough's take on President Obama's statement at yesterday's press conference that "we don't have a strategy yet" regarding possible attacks on ISIS in Syria.
According to Scarborough, speaking on today's Morning Joe, President Obama's "no strategy" statement was "straight out of The Art of War where when you were weak, you make your enemies think you were strong. When you were strong, you make your enemies think you were weak." It's what Scarborough would have done, he told viewers, if he were president. When Sam Stein said that he couldn't tell if Joe was joking, Scarborough assured him: "I'm serious. Dead serious . . . I am dead serious. I am not joking." View the video after the jump.
Can anyone look at the videotape of President Obama's presser yesterday and really believe that "we don't have a strategy" was some kind of Machiavellian machination? I'd say it was exactly what it seemed: a man in tan without a plan.
JOE SCARBOROUGH: Everybody is freaking out. Because the president said yesterday we don't have a plan. I ask what is worse? Is it worse if a president says I have a plan and this is exactly what I'm going to do?
MIKA BRZEZINSKI: Exactly.
SCARBOROUGH: No, I'm serious. Dead serious. Or is it better to go, you know, because this is what I would do. If you ever elected me you President of the United States and I was about to kill some terrorists in a big way, and you asked me what the plan was, you know what I would say? You know what? I don't have a plan right now. I'm kind of working on it. This is straight out of The Art of War.
SAM STEIN: I can't tell if you're joking or not.
SCARBOROUGH: No, I'm not joking. I am dead serious. I am not joking. It's straight out of The Art of War where when you are weak, you make your enemies think you are strong. But when you are strong, you make your enemies think you are weak. No. I'm just saying. Everybody is freaking out. A couple of days ago the Republicans were freaking because they're saying, oh, you know what? They are releasing information and intel and showing our hand. I'm dead serious. Now, maybe this guy is confused and maybe he has no idea what he is doing. I'm thinking, though, and again, I said this last week, Barack Obama
-- I said it in real-time. So for Republicans that want to kick me around, you can kick me around if you want to. I said it in real-time. When he said it was about humanitarian assistance that is cool but it's not really about humanitarian assistance. We are going to see more and more going in. The president got more active and more active. The president has a plan on ISIS. Does he know exactly where they are going to bomb in Syria? Maybe, maybe not. I suspect they probably do. Because everybody around the president is showing their hands. On Russia where he is supposed to be so weak. Samantha Power delivered a blistering attack against the Russians. The president was like, hmm. The same thing, you talk about Syria. His Secretary of Defense, his Secretary of State, everybody who works for the Commander-in-Chief, they basically stated we are going to go into Syria. I kind of like -- I'm just saying. This is what I would do. Now maybe, maybe he has no idea.
BRZEZINSKI: You would say we don't have a strategy?
SCARBOROUGH: I would say -- well, we don't really have a strategy yet, we are still working on a strategy. If I'm about to attack another country -- no, I would say -- no. If I were about to attack another country, I'd say, you know what? We don't have a strategy. We are still working it out. You know, then I'd go over: "Scramble the jets scramble the jets," right? They are looking at and going, Barack Obama. Scramble the jets. Okay, I'm sorry. Am I wrong?