Skip to main content

Is President Obama bamboozling the American public?

Written By | Dec 15, 2015

WASHINGTON, Dec. 15, 2015 — The dictionary defines the term “bamboozle” with descriptive phrases such as “to deceive or get the better of someone by trickery” or “to confuse, frustrate” or “to hoodwink, dupe or fool.” After listening to the president’s recent speech from the Pentagon, which was meant to reassure Americans that he is confronting the war on terror, it appears that he may, in fact, be trying to bamboozle the American public.

The president said, “our strategy is moving forward with a great sense of urgency on four fronts.”  Yet when we look at his actions on all four fronts, it appears that he is bamboozling us. (And then there is the nagging question concerning his sense of urgency.)

He said we are “hunting down and taking out these terrorists.” He even mentioned the names of four or five leaders who have recently been killed.  While that is true, it is evident that the reduction of a few top leaders is not having a significant effect on ISIS’s operations, as new leaders likely emerge.

Then he claims that hundreds of terrorists have been killed because of American airstrikes.

The problem is that his airstrike campaign, which, he notes, now totals more than 8,000 strikes since the campaign began more than a year ago, has been ineffective. There are more than 30,000 ISIS fighters, and their numbers are growing. If he were serious about using airstrikes to defeat ISIS, he would have ordered a more intense campaign.

Our generals tell us that during a complete military action, 8,000 airstrikes would be carried out in a single week. Additionally, pilots report returning from missions where they were instructed not to bomb because of a fear of civilian casualties and the bad press that would result.

It appears Obama is bamboozling us about the effect of airstrikes.

Obama also said that he will continue “training and equipping Syrian and Iraqi forces to fight ISIL.”  He did not mention whether he would fully arm the Kurds, who are doing most of the fighting in northern Iraq.  He also did not mention that hundreds of millions of dollars that were already spent to train Syrians—training that resulted in only four or five people actually being ready for combat.

It appears he is bamboozling us about the training of troops to assist in the fighting.

The third front of the Obama apparent strategy is “stopping ISIL’s operation by disrupting their recruiting.” In a speech last month Obama described ISIS when he said, “They’re a bunch of killers with good social media.”  So if Obama wants to disrupt the recruiting, he would thoroughly check their activities on social media.

Instead, he secretly instructed Homeland Security chief Jeh Johnson not to research social media when vetting refugees who want a visa to enter the U.S. Had social media been examined, statements about terrorism could have been linked to Tashfeen Malik, who was able to get a visa to live in the U.S. well in advance of her murderous assault on unarmed American citizens  Perhaps the San Bernardino disaster could have been avoided.

It appears President Obama is bamboozling us about his administration’s scrutiny of social media.

The fourth front of the Obama strategy is to use “persistent diplomacy to end the Syrian civil war so that everyone can focus on destroying ISIL.”  While we would all like to see a diplomatic solution to every conflict, the reality is that Russia and Iran support the current Syrian regime while Obama has vowed to remove and replace the current regime.

Diplomacy will be difficult especially since there is the appearance that the U.S. is dealing from a position of weakness rather than strength. As such any deal that Obama negotiates will probably be similar to the disastrous deals he typically negotiates, like the Iran deal, where the U.S. agreed to everything and got nothing in return or the recent climate deal where the U.S. pays hundreds of billions with little ability to verify other countries’ compliance.

On the diplomacy front, it appears Obama is bamboozling us about the outcomes.

We can add to that list of bamboozlements. The president says he wants to shut Gitmo. That unique American outpost on the island of Cuba at one time housed hundreds of the world’s worst terrorists. So far 653 of those brutal terrorists have been released. At least 117 are confirmed to have rejoined the fight back in the Middle East with another 79 suspected. Considering the government’s inability to track those released, it is likely the number returning to the battlefield is much larger than has been admitted publicly.

Yet Obama says only a handful of these murderers have returned to battle. Again it appears he is bamboozling the American public. And don’t we feel bamboozled when we consider the effects of the Affordable Care Act, the truth about the events at Benghazi, the corruption at the IRS, the treatment of veterans at VA hospitals and the non-existent effects of his trillion dollar stimulus package?

Is President Obama bamboozling the American public?

*Cartoon by Branco. Reprinted with permission by arrangement with LegalInsurrection.

Michael Busler

Michael Busler, Ph.D. is a public policy analyst and a Professor of Finance at Stockton University where he teaches undergraduate and graduate courses in Finance and Economics. He has written Op-ed columns in major newspapers for more than 35 years.