Obama Speaks on ISIS And Ferguson

Here is the transcript of President Obama's remarks today on the Yazidis, ISIS and Ferguson.

He said air strikes would continue in Iraq, but maintains there will be no boots on the ground.

Wherever we have capabilities and we can carry out effective missions like the one we carried out on Mount Sinjar without committing combat troops on the ground, we obviously feel a great urge to provide some humanitarian relief to the situation.

On Ferguson, he said the FBI will investigate the death of Michael Brown. As to last night's violence, he said while there are differing accounts: [More...]

There is never an excuse for violence against police or for those who would use this tragedy as a cover for vandalism or looting. There’s also no excuse for police to use excessive force against peaceful protests or to throw protesters in jail for lawfully exercising their First Amendment rights. And here in the United States of America, police should not be bullying or arresting journalists who are just trying to do their jobs and report to the American people on what they see on the ground.

He didn't address the propriety of the police "show" of excessive force (as opposed to the use of it). Responding to a civilian protest with tanks and swat teams in riot gear, dressed like they are about to battle ISIS, is both frightening to citizens and incendiary in and of itself. It creates an atmosphere of authoritarian oppression, to which the natural response of even law abiding citizens is going to be resistance. Why not come dressed to discuss, rather than crush?

The swat teams and military units could have stayed out of sight ready to provide backup if needed. Instead, the police led with the over-the-top display of force. We are not under marital law. When citizens don't disperse when directed to by police, there are other options beside threatening them with tear gas and rubber bullets.

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    "Now, watch this drive." (5.00 / 1) (#4)
    by Mordiggian 88 on Thu Aug 14, 2014 at 01:35:05 PM EST

    Seriously (5.00 / 2) (#5)
    by CaptHowdy on Thu Aug 14, 2014 at 01:42:02 PM EST
    Who the f@ck cares if he plays a round of golf?  I just saw him.  He looked more tired and gray than I have ever seen him.   If a round of golf on his freakin vacation helps him relax who seriously gives a rats a$$ but this person and FOX news.

    The Guy Has a Dude.... (5.00 / 3) (#7)
    by ScottW714 on Thu Aug 14, 2014 at 02:13:02 PM EST
    ...with the codes to launch nuclear war.  In theory, Obama could launch a nuclear war from the 15th green, why in the hell does he need to the war room 24/7, to look more Presidential.

    The criticisms are (5.00 / 4) (#8)
    by KeysDan on Thu Aug 14, 2014 at 02:46:54 PM EST
    especially threadbare when a two-week, often interrupted,  family vacation in August is the target.  Certainly, a break from the White House (the great white jail/a glamour prison, as Harry Truman referred to it), is healthy and in the country's best interest.

    As for Truman, he wintered (Nov/Dec and Feb/Mar) in Key West at the Naval submarine base, commandant's house. And, this was a pretty busy period in American history.

    Harry's game was poker rather than golf.  And, he enjoyed fishing trips washed down with a little bourbon.  While communication technology had improved since, say, the time of Millard Fillmore, they were relatively primitive compared with that available to President Obama.

    And, while I am unfamiliar with Fillmore's vacation habits, my guess is that he enjoyed an outing or two at a Whig confab in Buffalo.  


    It is doubtful that the "criticisms" (5.00 / 5) (#33)
    by christinep on Thu Aug 14, 2014 at 04:26:54 PM EST
    about a short vacation in August are really about foreign policy and/or military concerns.  Simply sniping--when the detractor cannot think of anything else--that is all it is.

    Meanwhile:  It would be curious and maybe even informative for anyone stating concern about vacation times -- how & when used by the various Presidents in the last 50 or so years.  We know already about the extensive vacations of Presidents Reagan and W Bush (counted in months, I believe, as opposed to weeks.)  What would be interesting is a correlation of such presidential holidays with periods/times of any manner of military action in which we were engaged or about to be engaged.  


    Strangely... (5.00 / 5) (#36)
    by ScottW714 on Thu Aug 14, 2014 at 05:39:26 PM EST
    ...I can't find anything from a site that I would view as reliable for historical data.  The problem is the right put the word out, and now 1001 versions of "Obama took more vacation days then he's been in office".  Just kidding, but this happens all the time, the right make some ridiculous claim and it floods Google searches making it almost impossible to find a reliable source.

    These numbers seem to be the consensus, give or day a couple of days.

    Since 1996, (Mark)Knoller has kept tabs on all kinds of presidential data -- How many summits? With whom? How many press conferences? -- including how often the occupant of the Oval Office at the time leaves the stifling (literally and figuratively) climate of Washington to go on vacation. Successive White Houses have generally found that when their numbers are at odds with the bearded and booming-voiced reporter's figures, the official tallies are the ones that need correcting.
    As of Aug. 13, 2013, Obama is on his 15th vacation trip, covering all or part of 96 days total. He's spending this vacation in Martha's Vineyard with his family.

    At the same point in his presidency -- Aug. 13, 2005 -- George W. Bush had made 51 visits to his ranch in tiny Crawford, Texas, totaling all or part of 335 days. (Note: Bush sometimes used the property to host world leaders.)

    Bush also traveled seven times to his family's oceanside compound in Kennebunkport, Maine, covering all or part of 26 days -- bringing his total number of vacation days at this point in his presidency to 349 days. (335+26 doesn't = 349, but remember the "all or part of" caveat.)

    The right believes, and has convinced a lot of idiots, that 349 is less than 96.

    I miss Jim, he could explain this miracle of mathematics that would at least allow me to glimpse inside the mind of the average Fox News viewer.


    His critics are the same people who thought he (5.00 / 1) (#38)
    by Farmboy on Fri Aug 15, 2014 at 01:09:35 PM EST
    left the country when he went home to Hawaii for a visit. Not the sort I would trust near sharp objects without adult supervision.

    President Franklin Roosevelt (none / 0) (#35)
    by KeysDan on Thu Aug 14, 2014 at 05:00:52 PM EST
    went to his "Little White House" in Warm Springs, GA, every year of his presidency, except 1942.  And, died there in March 1945. Roosevelt valued the treatments and relaxation of Warm Springs. There were few, if any, times that would not have met the criteria you set forth.  

    Even a "show" by the police of force (5.00 / 7) (#6)
    by Peter G on Thu Aug 14, 2014 at 01:56:23 PM EST
    of this kind is a "use" of that force, J.  IMHO.

    What, exactly does the president (5.00 / 3) (#9)
    by Anne on Thu Aug 14, 2014 at 02:55:30 PM EST
    think police forces are going to do with all the military equipment they're being supplied with - turn them into planters and ceiling fans and jungle gyms?

    Protesters of the police killing of teenager Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri this week have been met with a heavily militarized police response, which the Pentagon has now confirmed was made possible in part by its donation of two tactical vehicles, a trailer, and a generator to the Ferguson police.

    The equipment -- which may represent one of several such transfers -- was assigned via a federal program through which hundreds of millions of dollars of military equipment is given annually to local police departments. This equipment includes everything from side arms to armored vehicles resembling tanks which are more typically used in war zones.

    Civil libertarian critics have suggested that bulking up police equipment can itself lead to increased police brutality. "Give a man access to drones, tanks, and body armor, and he'll reasonably think that his job isn't simply to maintain peace, but to eradicate danger," writes Greg Howard for The Concourse. "Instead of protecting and serving, police are searching and destroying."
    - - Bonnie Kristian

    "Disingenuous" doesn't seem like quite the right word to describe Obama's remarks in light of this, but it'll do.

    As for his remarks about the treatment of journalists - has he checked out how his own administration's been treating them?  

    Anbar governor says (5.00 / 0) (#26)
    by Green26 on Thu Aug 14, 2014 at 03:49:21 PM EST
    the US has promised air and other support.

    "The governor of Iraq's Sunni heartland province of Anbar said he has secured a promise of U.S. support in a battle against the Islamic State, possibly reviving an alliance that helped thwart an earlier Sunni militant threat, from al Qaeda.

     Ahmed Khalaf al-Dulaimi told Reuters his request, made in meetings with U.S. diplomats and a senior military officer, included air support against the militants who have a tight grip on large parts of his desert province and northwestern Iraq."

    Reuters article.

    Also in the article linked above: (none / 0) (#1)
    by Green26 on Thu Aug 14, 2014 at 01:20:31 PM EST
    "We will continue airstrikes to protect our people and facilities in Iraq. We have increased the delivery of military assistance to Iraqi and Kurdish forces fighting ISIL on the front lines."

    Obama quote. The article said that after Obama spoke, he departed for his 4th round of golf.

    For f@cks sake (5.00 / 3) (#2)
    by CaptHowdy on Thu Aug 14, 2014 at 01:29:02 PM EST
    Would we be more content if he did not play golf?

    If it makes you happier, I will rephrase (none / 0) (#10)
    by Green26 on Thu Aug 14, 2014 at 02:59:19 PM EST
    An article I read on the subject ended by saying that Obama then left to play a 4th round of golf. Do you feel better now? By the way, I didn't say that article was linked.

    My sentence was merely referring to what some articles and people are saying, and there was zero criticism by me of Obama over playing golf. I find it interesting that some are making a big deal of the vacation and the golf.

    While I could have used the word "an" instead "the", you may want to work on your reading and comprehension skills. I find it interesting that mentioning a small comment from an article saying that Obama then went to play golf, would get you so worked up. And I'm sure he did go to play golf. don't know why a true statement would cause you to fly off the handle.

    And why do so many comments on TL end up by mentioning Bush? Jeez, some posters seem to have a Bush phobia.

    The POINT is (5.00 / 2) (#15)
    by CaptHowdy on Thu Aug 14, 2014 at 03:16:41 PM EST
    You felt the need to mention it.

    What was the point of mentioning it?  At all?  
    I'm pretty sure everyone who reads this blog knows the president is on "vacation".

    Why do you care, or why do you think we care that he might play golf on his vacation.


    The point of mentioning it was merely (1.00 / 1) (#17)
    by Green26 on Thu Aug 14, 2014 at 03:35:35 PM EST
    to note the continuing fascination with Obama's vacation and golf. I find it interesting and amusing. Didn't realize that some TL posters would so sensitive to something like this.

    Well (none / 0) (#18)
    by CaptHowdy on Thu Aug 14, 2014 at 03:37:20 PM EST
    Now you know

    President Obama Playing Golf (5.00 / 3) (#16)
    by squeaky on Thu Aug 14, 2014 at 03:29:46 PM EST
    Oh right you said his 4th round of golf...  and that was right after you pointed out about Obama ordering air strikes and increased military assistance.

    Sounds like you are trolling to me.

    By the way, I didn't say that article was linked.

    your words (the header):

    Also in the article linked above...
    ...The article said that after Obama spoke, he departed for his 4th round of golf.

    But I didn't say "linked" article (none / 0) (#22)
    by Green26 on Thu Aug 14, 2014 at 03:44:24 PM EST
    I said "article", and as you noted, there was no linked article in the thread; only a linked "transcript". No trolling from me. Never have; never will. I find that some people who don't have a good or reasoned response, will resort to calling someone a troll.  

    The Article? (5.00 / 3) (#32)
    by squeaky on Thu Aug 14, 2014 at 04:20:47 PM EST
    Was it this one (you did not provide a link after all I taught you!)

    From Breitbart?


    And I do understand your surprise that people here would feel provoked by your repeating a right wing talking point here at TL.


    Nope, it was an article on Obama's remarks (none / 0) (#37)
    by Green26 on Thu Aug 14, 2014 at 05:54:56 PM EST
    of this morning. All substantive coverage. And then a single sentence that said something like this: Obama then departed for his 4th round of golf. The comment struck me as funny in the article, so I mentioned it.

    Didn't see any reason to link it, because it didn't seem like a big deal--just interesting. My links only work half the time anyway and I'm slow, but I think I've now figured out the common mistake I was making. I did use 2 of your posts to "learn" how to do the links.


    Under (none / 0) (#12)
    by Ga6thDem on Thu Aug 14, 2014 at 03:08:31 PM EST
    normal circumstances no one would care but gosh darn we've had the tea party screaming to the top of their lungs anytime Obama took anytime off or Michelle Obama left the white house. So if you mention it whether it just be in passing or whatever  even if you didn't mean anything by it, it gets a huge response FYI.

    Yup, you must be right (4.00 / 0) (#19)
    by Green26 on Thu Aug 14, 2014 at 03:38:42 PM EST
    I find it amusing that some TL posters would react like that, when nothing negative was said or implied. My suspicion is that some reacted that way because they don't like some of my other posts, and are just looking for a reason to jump at me. That's fine, but they should know that they will likely get a shot or two fired back.

    The last line of your original comment was (5.00 / 4) (#20)
    by Angel on Thu Aug 14, 2014 at 03:42:23 PM EST
    gratuitous, at best, IMO.  Seems like you were implying your distaste that Obama was golfing.  What else were we supposed to think?

    Obama quote. The article said that after Obama spoke, he departed for his 4th round of golf.

    Me thinks (5.00 / 4) (#31)
    by KeysDan on Thu Aug 14, 2014 at 04:07:08 PM EST
    you are getting lame explanations.

    Not gratuitious, just a statement (none / 0) (#23)
    by Green26 on Thu Aug 14, 2014 at 03:46:22 PM EST
    As I said, I should have said "an" article. I have found it hard to get some on TL to actually discuss the issues regarding ISIS. I guess I finally found something that some of TL is willing to discuss.

    Yes, gratuitious. I was trying to be polite in my (5.00 / 2) (#27)
    by Angel on Thu Aug 14, 2014 at 03:50:41 PM EST
    first comment.  But seriously, the jab at Obama for golfing just wasn't necessary.  

    Again, it wasn't a jab (none / 0) (#29)
    by Green26 on Thu Aug 14, 2014 at 03:54:30 PM EST
    It was a statement that that's what an article said. Everyone should take vacations, especially with the families. Golfing is part of some people's vacations. Some TL posters need to read posts for what they say, and stop being so sensitive.

    So--I gather, Green26, that (5.00 / 2) (#34)
    by christinep on Thu Aug 14, 2014 at 04:37:46 PM EST
    you have no issues with a man or woman in such a stressful position clearing the mind as well as toning the body to be at peak behavior should response to crisis be needed.  Golf, running, calisthenics, fishing, tennis, etc.

    Since many organizations, government and private, have either built in time or place to promote such healthful activities, I'm supposing that you concur.  Especially in view of your rejoinder that your vacation-comments were not meant to be a jab, I assume a neutral to positive position from you...unless, of course, you are simply playing games.


    Mountaintop crisis may not be over? (none / 0) (#11)
    by Green26 on Thu Aug 14, 2014 at 03:06:12 PM EST
    From the NY Times:

    "Yazidi leaders and emergency relief officials on Thursday strongly disputed American claims that the siege of Mount Sinjar in northern Iraq had been broken and that the crisis was effectively over, saying that tens of thousands of Yazidis remained on the mountain in desperate conditions."

    Look and see (none / 0) (#13)
    by Ga6thDem on Thu Aug 14, 2014 at 03:09:33 PM EST
    what the European papers say. For some reason they seem to be getting better and more information on what is going on over there.

    Iraq's Maliki stepping down after eight years (none / 0) (#14)
    by Angel on Thu Aug 14, 2014 at 03:11:29 PM EST
    after eight years in power.  

    WaPo Breaking News Alert

    Iraq's embattled leader Nouri al-Maliki has backed his rival Haider al-Abadi to form a new government, a member of his political bloc said, conceding defeat after a tense political standoff.

    Enough about golf (none / 0) (#30)
    by Jeralyn on Thu Aug 14, 2014 at 03:58:48 PM EST
    and stop the insults to each other. Green26's views may not be shared by many commenters, but he's entitled to his view and they do not make him a troll. His views are not the topic, the topic is Obama's statement. Feel free to disagree with his views, but don't attack him personally.