Actions have consequences and words have meaning, but it is easier to see consequences than to decipher meaning. Practically everyone, Democrats and Republicans alike, jumped on the president for admitting that “we have no strategy yet” for countering ISIS. Admittedly, it would have been better PR for Obama to have phrased a positive answer rather than a negative one.
The president was attacked for candidly answering the question put to him about what sort of congressional authorization would be required. That would be putting the cart before the horse, he said, for a plan that hasn’t been finalized.
And suppose there actually is a strategy — how smart would it be to divulge it to our enemies? After a decade of war, a war that Americans wanted desperately to end, how would a hawkish strategy for a new invasion be received? Why isn’t the press relieved that the president is considering his options and their probable consequences rather than diving recklessly into a new war with a far more dangerous adversary than Saddam Hussein was?