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Obama's Press Conference: An Admission of Negligence

It was, arguably, one of the most stunning Presidential press conferences in U.S. history.

As ISIS continues its rampage throughout Iraq and Syria, pillaging, raping and murdering on a massive scale, and threatening to launch a major terror attack on American soil, Mr. Obama openly admitted yesterday that his Administration had not developed any strategy for dealing with the crisis.

At this extreme late date, the President wants his advisors to provide “a range of options,” and admits that his decision is immediately forthcoming. Various reports indicate that information was available for his review for up to four years.

Now that he cannot escape public knowledge of his negligence, what is his plan going forward? He stated that he plans to meet with his national security team. This begs the question: Why hasn’t he been meeting with these experts all along? This is a central part of his duties as Commander in Chief.

This isn’t a conservative or liberal, Democrat or Republican question. If, at this very late venture, the President hasn’t already engaged in numerous, intensive discussions with his key personnel on this deadly problem, then he hasn’t just made an incorrect decision on a particular challenge; he has utterly failed to do his job.

House Armed Service Chair Howard McKeon noted “We need the President to explain to the American people what is at stake, what our objectives are, and the strategy for how to achieve them.”

One would hope that after his frightening admission of inattention, Mr. Obama would spend the rest of this week in the White House making up for lost time. But that is not occurring. He will spend today attending Democrat fundraisers in several states.

Intelligence officials and military affairs commentators note that ISIS’s rise was not unexpected: They emphasize that this disaster had been brewing since 2009.

Mr. Obama’s premature withdrawal of American forces from Iraq directly led to the vacuum ISIS filled. The President’s own defense personnel, including both uniformed members of the military as well as the Secretary of Defense, have voice alarm at ISIS’s progress. Why has the President ignored these key figures?

What has the President been doing during this period? There is a disturbing pattern discernable in the Oval Office. We still do not know where the President was during the Benghazi attack. His reaction to Russia’s expansionism in Eastern Europe has been strangely muted. He has yet to admit that the Obama/Clinton “Reset” strategy was a dismal failure, as Moscow arms to the teeth and displays no reluctance to employ its vast military machine. As this article goes to press, Russian tanks have invaded Ukraine, with no credible reaction from Mr. Obama. (Important note: Mr. Obama withdrew all American tanks from Europe this year; NATO no longer has a credible deterrent to the Kremlin’s military.) He has barely discussed the growing Russian, China, and Iranian influence in Latin America, just as he has failed to address Beijing’s growing aggressiveness and military might in any manner other than the most marginal ways.

The American people face an urgent question. What steps can be taken to deal with a commander in chief who clearly fails to take his duties seriously?

One question can be answered—how the President escapes public rebuke for his complete failure to perform his duties. Most of the major media, which strongly supported Mr. Obama’s 2008 and 2012 campaigns, has abandoned its journalistic ethics and has, essentially, served as a protective shield for this White House.