With the president’s credibility rapidly declining throughout the world the past few weeks, his comments to Democratic donors came as a shock to many. The president told a group of Democratic donors on Friday that despite the ongoing turmoil in Ukraine and Iraq, the U.S. faces less of a threat than in the days of the Cold War.
The surprising remarks were presented to approximately 250 supporters who paid up to $15,000 per couple at a fundraiser held in a backyard barbecue in Purchase, New York. Obama reasoned his Cold War remarks on his assessment of the Islamic State extremists in Iraq and Syria, and Russia’s incursion into Ukraine.
In a calmness that was almost eerie, the president soothed the guests by reasoning the U.S. had faced far greater challenges from the Soviets after WWII. He added, “This is not something that’s comparable to the challenges we faced in the Cold War,” Obama said. “This is something we can handle.”
The remarks came after the president candidly told a press conference earlier that the White House had no strategy for containing or defeating the ISIS Army in Syria and Iraq. The main thrust of his talk concerned the Russian support of extremist’s in Ukraine.
Obama said he is “moving cautiously” in his efforts with “the Islamic State extremists who have captured swaths of territory in Iraq and Syria.” The president has ordered air strikes on their positions starting last August 8th, but has ruled out any actions concerning military action in Ukraine. It is his feeling a military solution “won’t sort out the conflict there with Russia.”
The backyard fundraiser appeared to be a microcosm of President Obama’s inability to provide leadership overseas. As he put it, “The world has always been messy. “We will get through these challenging times just like we have in the past.”
No solutions were forthcoming. There were three fundraisers on Friday including the Purchase, NY event held at the estate of former UBS Americas chief executive officer and longtime supporter Robert Wolf and his wife, Carol Wolf, coordinator for special projects at the Robert F. Kennedy Center for Justice and Human Rights.
The president earlier was in New Rochelle, New York, where he met with 25 supporters donating up to $32,400. It was hosted by George Logothetis, chief executive officer of New York-based Libra Group, and his wife, Nitzia Logothetis.
The third event, in Newport, Rhode Island, is a fundraiser for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. The president planned to return to the White House, but come back to New York on Saturday for a campaign contributor’s wedding.
Either by design or simply out of habit, the White House is portraying the current world crisis as something that can be contained with little effort. There are many lawmakers in Washington, military personnel in the Pentagon and world leaders who think otherwise.
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