Skip to main content

Top Secret: Where McCain, Graham, And Feinstein Got Their ISIS Strategy From

You'll be as shocked as we were.

Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) made news over the weekend by becoming the latest member of the "Even Some Democrats" club that the mainstream press loves, telling NBC News' Andrea Mitchell that she thinks President Obama is being "too cautious" about the Islamic State, and that she agrees with Republican senators John McCain and Lindsey Graham on the strategy needed to deal with the IS crisis. Here at The Daily Banter, we've discovered the top secret source from which all three senators culled their brilliant plans.

The money quote from Feinstein's Meet the Press interview is her assessment that the President is being "too cautious" about IS, which she actually said by way of compromise when Andrea Mitchell offered her the chance to call him weak.

But a few seconds earlier, Feinstein said she agreed with McCain and Graham, and joined Andrea Mitchell in confusion over President Obama's statement, last week, "We don't have a strategy yet."

Mitchell asked Feinstein if the President was "wrong to signal indecision by saying that we still don't have a strategy against ISIS," and Feinstein accepts that premise, but says that this John Kerry chap has it all worked out:

"Well, in that same newspaper, down below the McCain op-ed is one by our secretary of State, John Kerry. And in that, he does in fact lay out a strategy, which begins next week at the NATO Conference, NATO Summit, talking with our NATO allies. The United States taking over the presidency of the Security Council in September. And the beginning of a strategy to put together a coalition of the willing, if you will."

Yeah, let'go ahead with that "coalition of the willing." That's a winning political message for Middle East conflict. This is the worst branding since AYDS diet pills.

But okay, let's get this straight now, Feinstein and Mitchell are saying that they can't figure out why that loser Obama doesn't have a strategy like McCain, Graham, and Kerry do. Here are the specifics of the McCain/Graham/Kerry/Feinstein strategy:

- Explain to war-weary Americans why we cannot ignore this threat.

- Squeeze ISIS’ finances.

- Have an inclusive government in Baghdad that shares power and wealth with Iraqi Sunnis, rather than pushing them toward IS.

- Have a regional approach to mobilize America’s partners in a coordinated, multilateral effort.

- Strengthen partners who are already resisting ISIS: the Kurdish pesh merga, Sunni tribes, moderate forces in Syria, and effective units of Iraq’s security forces.

- Make our partners be the boots on the ground, and the United States should provide them directly with arms, intelligence and other military assistance.

- Embed additional United States special forces and advisers with our partners on the ground — not to engage in combat, but to help our partners fight ISIS and direct airstrikes against it.

- Commit more troops, assets, resources and time. Such an undertaking should involve Congress.

- Lead a united response with the broadest possible coalition of nations.

- Support Iraqi forces and the moderate Syrian opposition.

- Strengthen our own defenses and cooperation in protecting our people.

That all sounds pretty good, and Obama would be wise to listen to the first guy who laid out that strategy. That guy is, of course, Barack Obama, who included each and every one of these items in his press conference last week, the very press conference in which the press insists he "admitted" that there is no strategy to deal with ISIS.

They are telling Obama to do what he already said he was going to do, and in fact, if we had journalists with even a modicum of observational skill, they would notice that the president has already telegraphed a willingness to commit troops well beyond what McCain and Graham are calling for. Over the course of our military involvement against ISIS, the president has evolved from a flat-out "no boots on the ground" to the much more generously wiggle-roomed, "We are not reintroducing thousands of U.S. troops back on the ground to engage in combat.”

Now, in fairness to McCain, Feinstein, and Graham, they have their own political considerations to attend, and like many Americans, are probably blind with rage at the doings of ISIS. What they don't have is a duty to serve the public by informing them. Journalists like Mitchell have that duty, and betray it when they fail to explain that the strategy the president supposedly doesn't have is also the one he thought of and explained in detail.