President Barack Obama has some skin in this one.
The Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, or ISIS, on Wednesday continued to advance on the strategic city, despite intensifying if still limited American airstrikes. And if Kobani falls, the White House is already blaming “our partner and friend” Turkey.
A senior Obama Administration official headlined a leading story in Wednesday’s New York Times about American frustration with Turkish “inaction” in Syria. “There’s growing angst about Turkey dragging its feet to act to prevent a massacre less than a mile from its border,” this anonymous official said. “This isn’t how a NATO ally acts while hell is unfolding a stone’s throw from their border.”
Blaming others for the existence of problems is all that this President knows how to do. He has no concept of actually tackling those problems; he has no concept of responsibility beyond the premise that responsibility always is someone else’s.
(Never mind, too, that this isn’t a NATO fight, anyway, unless Obama or his carefully anonymous “official” can name a member that’s been attacked by ISIS. Turkey’s obligation flows from its moral obligation—as does ours—and Turkey’s proximity.)
If Obama and his cronies in State and Defense spent half as much energy on fighting ISIS as they spend blaming others for not, the US already would have crushed these terrorists.
On the other hand,
If Mr Obama wants Turkey to help avoid a massacre, he should get on the phone and press for a joint military operation, reassuring Mr Erdogan that the US military will back up Turkish forces against ISIS, even if it means ground forces. This is what real wartime leadership would look like.
But that would require Obama and his administration to be able to be trusted. It cannot be.