John Kerry Weasels Out of Question – Will Obama Act on ISIS?

I find myself rarely ever agreeing with Lindsey Graham (R-SC). On fiscal issues he’s far too liberal with my money, on social issues he gets the heart of the matter wrong, and on foreign policy he and his buddy John McCain (R-AZ) are usually far more aggressive than I’d like my leaders to be. However, I will definitely support a recent foreign policy statement that Graham happened to tweet out to the world…


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“The Obama Doctrine, or “Strategic Patience,” has led to a world in chaos.”

“The consequences of Obama’s “Strategic Patience” are an America that is less secure and at greater risk.”

“I doubt ISIL, the Iranian mullahs, or Vladimir Putin will be intimidated by President Obama’s strategy of “Strategic Patience.”

“The translated version of Obama’s “Strategic Patience” – I can’t wait to pass this mess I made onto someone else.”


Ouch. Sad, but all true.

On Sunday, Chuck Todd spoke with our Secretary of State John Kerry about the Obama administration’s decision to go with “strategic patience” as a policy. Specifically, Todd pointed to a recent conversation his colleague Richard Engel had with a leader of the Kurdish people Masoud Barzani.

Engel and Barzani were discussing the frustration the Kurdish people felt with American policies on ISIS because, though the President has long been promising to support the fight against ISIS, the Kurds have not yet seen any of that support.


Richard Engel: President Obama said there is a strategy in place to degrade and defeat ISIS. Do you believe him?

Masoud Barzani: Well, he is the President of the United States. When he–

Richard Engel: But do you believe there is a strategy in place that will do that?

Masoud Barzani: I hope there is. But we need that strategy to be translated into action.

Richard Engel: So you’re not seeing it? 

Masoud Barzani: Not yet. So far we have not seen any serious action which can quickly defeat ISIS.

Richard Engel: Or slowly? Can it work over the long-term? 

Masoud Barzani: It can. once again, we are sacrificing more lives and putting many innocent lives at risk by allowing ISIS to survive for a longer period. 


Of course after hearing all this, Kerry blows right past the truth and heads to the “SPIN” cycle by pretending the Kurdish leader said something far different from what he ACTUALLY said.



Chuck Todd: Essentially saying they need more support, swifter action from the U.S. What do you say in response? 

John KerryJohn Kerry: Well you heard the key word there. Not quickly, but over time, he said it could work. And we have said consistently that this is going to take a certain amount of time. Why? Is that because we want it to take that amount of time? No. The fact is that the Iraqi army itself needs to be retrained, and stood up. There have to be ground troops involved in order to win this victory. It is clear they’re not going to be American, they’re not going to be British or French or European.  They are going to be Iraqi and that is the way the Iraqis want it. But they are not ready to move yet and it would be a great mistake strategically for them to move before they are ready. So I understand Mr. Barzani’s impatience fully. The Peshmerga have been particularly brave and courageous. We have supplied them with an enormous amounts of ammunition, weapons, supplies, other things. And others are supplying them, our allies. So I think as we’ve said from the beginning people need to recognize the importance of putting in place a strategy that can win.

Chuck Todd: Now, you are pleading for patience, and it was something that a former colleague of yours in the U.S. Senate, Lindsey Graham was sort of mocking and had to do more with a speech that Susan Rice gave on Friday.  He tweeted this. “I doubt ISIL, Iranian Mullahs or Vladimir Putin will be intimidated by President Obama’s strategy of strategic patience.” The other thing is that patience –waiting too long– is what allowed an ISIS to gain a foothold, that we didn’t react soon enough and now we are paying the price for it.


With leaders like the ones we’ve got … we don’t even need enemies. Sadly, we’ve got enemies and our leaders are making it far more likely that we’re going to get hurt. There are others standing up for us and for the innocent people facing ISIS in Iraq and Syria. Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) appeared on ABC’s This Week with George Stephanopoulos to agree with the Kurdish leader that we needed to do more.



Stephanopoulos: I know you’ve also discussed the battle against ISIS this weekend in Munich. And I know you said in the past that the answer is to bomb ISIS back to the Stone Age.

Most experts say that will not be enough, that you will need ground forces as well.

Would you call up American forces if others don’t step up?

Cruz: You know, I don’t believe, right now, we need American boots on the ground, and the reason is we have boots on the ground already with the Kurds. The Peshmerga are trained, effective fighters. They are close allies of us.
Just today, I met with the president of Kurdistan. And he made clear that the Peshmerga are ready to fight. They are fighting ISIS.

But I’ll tell you, George, it makes no sense. Our government is not providing military weapons effectively to the Kurds. Instead, they’re shuttling it all to Baghdad, and Baghdad is very slow in getting it to the Kurds.

We need to arm the Kurds and we need to use the Peshmerga as boots on the ground. They’re effective. They’re ready. They’re our close allies.


Whatever the next step is it needs to happen soon, because with each passing day ISIS further terrorizes the people of the region all while tightening their grasp on the land they’ve conquered in Iraq and Syria.

“Strategic Patience” is not now, nor will it ever, work to our benefit.

The views expressed in this opinion article are solely those of their author and are not necessarily either shared or endorsed by

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