WASHINGTON -- In his Islamic State speech, President Obama said many of the right things. Most importantly, he finally got the mission right: degrade and destroy the enemy.
WASHINGTON -- At his first press briefing after the beheading of American James Foley, President Obama stunned the assembled when he admitted that he had no strategy in Syria for confronting the Islamic State. Yet it was not nearly the most egregious, or consequential, thing he said.
Idiotic, yes. You're the leader of the free world. Even if you don't have a strategy -- indeed, especially if you don't -- you never admit it publicly.
WASHINGTON -- The Obama administration is highly exercised about "inversion," the practice by which an American corporation acquires a foreign company and moves its headquarters out of the U.S. to benefit from lower tax rates abroad.
WASHINGTON -- Baghdad called President Obama's bluff and he came through. He had refused to provide air support to Iraqi government forces until the Iraqis got rid of their divisive sectarian prime minister.
They did. He responded.
"Great nations need organizing principles, and 'Don't do stupid stuff' is not an organizing principle."
-- Hillary Clinton, The Atlantic, Aug. 10
WASHINGTON -- Leave it to Barack Obama's own former secretary of state to acknowledge the fatal flaw of his foreign policy: a total absence of strategic thinking.
WASHINGTON -- John Kerry is upset by heavy criticism from Israelis -- left, right and center -- of his recent cease-fire diplomacy. But that's only half the story. More significant is the consternation of America's Arab partners, starting with the president of the Palestinian Authority. Mahmoud Abbas was stunned that Kerry would fly off to Paris to negotiate with Hamas allies Qatar and Turkey in talks that excluded the PA and Egypt.
WASHINGTON -- The president's demeanor is worrying a lot of people. From the immigration crisis on the Mexican border to the Islamic State rising in Mesopotamia, Barack Obama seems totally detached. When he does interrupt his endless rounds of golf, fundraising and photo ops, it's for some affectless, mechanical, almost forced public statement.
WASHINGTON -- Israel accepts an Egyptian-proposed Gaza cease-fire; Hamas keeps firing. Hamas deliberately aims rockets at civilians; Israel painstakingly tries to avoid them, actually telephoning civilians in the area and dropping warning charges, so-called roof knocking.
WASHINGTON -- As is his wont, President Obama is treating the border crisis -- more than 50,000 unaccompanied children crossing illegally -- as a public relations problem. Where to photo op and where not. He still hasn't enunciated a policy. He may not even have one.
WASHINGTON -- Yes, it is true that there was no al-Qaida in Iraq when George W. Bush took office. But it is equally true that there was essentially no al-Qaida in Iraq remaining when Barack Obama took office.