Leave it to President Obama to say the wrong thing at the wrong moment.
Following Turkey’s shooting down of a Russian plane on its way to attack ISIS in Syria, Obama said Tuesday at a press conference with French President Hollande that “Turkey like every country has a right to defend its territory and air space.”
He then added, “I think it is very important for us to right now make sure that both the Russians and the Turks are talking to each other and find out exactly what happened, and take measures to discourage any kind of escalation.”
Gee, Barry, ya think?
Of course, playing mediator might be difficult since you’ve already come out and said it was the Russians’ fault.
In fact, Obama couldn’t help laying it on pretty thick.
He said, “I do think that this points to an ongoing problem with the Russian operations, in the sense that they are operating very close to the Turkish border and they are going after moderate opposition that are supported by not only Turkey, but a wide range of countries. If Russia is directing its energies towards Daesh and ISIL, some of these conflicts or the potentials for mistakes or escalation are less likely to occur.”
Get the impression that Obama doesn’t care about Turkey ticking off Russia, that he might even be happy about it?
If not, he made a little Freudian slip that might lead you to think he was fine with it.
“Our view from the start, Russia is welcome to be part of this broad-based coalition,” Obama continued. “The problem has been Russia’s focus with propping up Assad rather than ISIL.”
Propping up Assad rather than ISIL?
I know Obama apologists will say that he meant to say the problem is that Russia is not focusing on getting rid of ISIS/ISIL, but on propping up Assad. But this is a president who some psychologists think gives his real feelings away in between the lines of his speeches. So when he “accidentally” talks about propping up ISIL, is he secretly confessing? (Just like in 2008 in an interview he mentioned “my Muslim faith”?)
It’s not that far-fetched a notion. Just the other day, Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said publicly that irresponsible U.S. policies helped ISIS become the force it is today.
For anyone who’s been listening to non-U.S. media in the past several years, that statement embodies one of the worst-kept secrets worldwide — that President Obama has been, either accidentally or deliberately, arming and aiding ISIS through weapons and food deliveries and through a wimpy bombing campaign that doesn’t even get permission from the Administration to attack its targets about 75 percent of the time.
Still, seeing Medvedev’s statements make it into U.S. news stories had to sting Obama’s narcissism just a bit, as does Russia defending Syria’s Assad, whom Obama has been trying to get out of office throughout most of his two terms.
Just to ramp up the tensions a bit more, U.S.-backed Syrian “rebels” shot down the Russian helicopter that had been sent to rescue the crew of the plane shot down by Turkey.
A dedicated conspiracy theorist might ask wouldn’t it be interesting if Turkey, a NATO ally, and the Syrian “rebels” were doing the bidding of the U.S. on the sly?
There’s no evidence of such a thing happening, of course, and to even bring it up is just idle speculation. Still, it wouldn’t seem out of character for this particular president.
Russian President Vladimir Putin is reportedly on a rampage over the shooting down of his aircraft. So far, the focus of his anger seems to be Turkey, whom he accused of stabbing Russia in the back and of supporting ISIS.
It remains to be seen whether Obama can keep his smug satisfaction to himself or whether his mouth will get the world even deeper into a hole that many are fearing could lead to a world war.