Tavis Smiley on ISIS in Iraq: 'Sickening' to Lay All This at Obama's Feet
“The president clearly has made mistakes since he's been president on a number of foreign policy fronts, but to lay all of this at his feet and forget how we got in this mess in the first place as if the clock started this week on Iraq is sickening,” said Smiley, host of PBS’s “Tavis Smiley” show.
On Sunday, the terrorist group Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) captured two key border posts – along Jordan and Syria – thelatest in its offensive in Iraq.
Smiley called it “a huge problem” for Obama that he campaigned on the promise to end the war in Iraq given the recent violence in the region.
“I think it's a huge problem for him, and he would do well to remember a la John Kerry that he was against this war before he was for it, particularly given what the options are on the table right now,” Smiley said. “What's troubling about this is the schizophrenic nature of our U.S. foreign policy to begin with.”
“How ironic is it that just a few years ago, Iran was part of that axis of evil, and now they may be our ally with regard to Iraq. The president says that there is no military solution to this crisis, and we read on the front page of the Washington Post and New York Times every day what our military options are as they trial balloon what the possibilities might be,” he said.
“The reality is that the policy is all over the map, and you can take that literally or figuratively,” Smiley said.
“Clearly politics is a part of all of these decisions, and that's sad. But to watch these neoconservative interventionists this week with this revisionist history about how we got in this mess, how we got mired in this in the first place is troubling, beyond troubling to consider,” he said.
“The president clearly has made mistakes since he's been president on a number of foreign policy fronts, but to lay all of this at his feet and forget how we got in this mess in the first place as if the clock started this week on Iraq is sickening,” Smiley concluded.