Our colleague David Habakkuk remarked here that LTG Flynn and the DIA encountered in Obama's Borgist administration an "impenetrable narrative." This narrative and the smug self-assurance behind the narrative were on display at Obama's pre-departure press conference at Paris on 1 December, 2015.
Things he said and what he looked like:
Syria. Paraphrasing - "I have been convinced for the LAST FIVE YEARS that Assad must go, must be removed from office." Well, pilgrims, five years ago was BEFORE the Syrian Civil War. Did he simply misspeak? Did he mean four years? Or, was this a Freudian slip in which he really admitted that he had decided to get rid of Assad BEFORE the civil war began? If he really did mean five years then the accusation that the US, Saudi Arabia and Israel promoted the revolt in the context of "The Arab Spring" gains weight in the debate over the origins of the civil war.
Jihadi groups in the Syrian National Congress (SNC). Paraphrasing - "Some of these groups are not people we have much in common with and we know that the transition post-Assad will be 'messy' but these groups are important to some other countries in our coalition..." Can there be any doubt that he was referring to Sultan Tayyip's Turkey, Wahhabi Saudi Arabia and Wahhabi Qatar? Do he and his Borgist crew not understand that these Islamist forces seek a Syria in which their varied visions of a Sunni Islamic future are triumphant and in which religious minorities are reduced to dhimmitude. Is this what the emperor of us all thinks is a desirable outcome in Syria?
Russia. Paraphrasing - "They will 'come around' to our view about Syria and accept that what we want must be." Once again, pilgrims, I see nothing in anything the Russians are doing that indicates they are going to "come around."
The War. Paraphrasing - "Nothing the Russians have done since they began their operations in Syria has changed the situation. They will eventually understand that a military solution in Syria is not possible." SWMBO listened to that and remarked that this man knows nothing of war. I agree.
US Politics. Paraphrasing - "I rely on the wisdom of the American people to insure the election of a Democrat as my successor." Remarkable. In 75 years I have not seen an American president inject party into discourse on foreign soil and at an international meeting. Remarkable.
Turkey. Paraphrasing. "I am assured that Turkey will seal its border against movement of IS oil, people and supplies." Sultan Tayyip must believe that he has already died and gone to heaven.
His attitude. His imperial majesty displayed the now familiar petulant disdain for all who dared question him. The atmosphere was the kind of thing one sees in meetings in which a teacher tries to contain his patronizing of students. His reference to the UK as "the Brits" was painful to hear. pl