[guest post by Dana]
The president admitted to the world today that we don’t have a strategy yet to fight ISIL.
“My priority at this point is to make sure that the gains that ISIL made in Iraq are rolled back and that Iraq has the opportunity to govern itself effectively and secure itself,” Obama told reporters in the White House briefing room.
The president promised to consult lawmakers on the strategy, “in part because it may cost some money,” and Congress holds the federal purse strings. But he repeatedly declined to commit to seeking a vote authorizing expanded military action in either Iraq or Syria.
“I do think that it’ll be important for Congress to weigh in,” he said. “But I don’t want to put the cart before the horse. We don’t have a strategy yet.”
UPDATE BY PATTERICO: Here is video:
Earnest quickly scheduled an appearance on CNN during which he argued Obama was simply referencing the U.S. options against the Islamic State in Syria — not in Iraq.
“The president [was] asked a specific question about what approach he was going to pursue when it came to possible military action in Syria against ISIL. That was the specific question he was asked and the president was explicit that he is still waiting for plans that are being developed by the Pentagon for military options he has for going into Syria,” Earnest said.
But Spokesliar Josh Earnest lies badly. Here is the transcript of the question and answer:
QUESTION: Do you need Congress’s approval to go into Syria?
OBAMA: You know, I have consulted with Congress throughout this process. I am confident that as commander in chief I have the authorities to engage in the acts that we are conducting currently. As our strategy develops, we will continue to consult with Congress, and I do think that it’ll be important for Congress to weigh in and we’re — that our consultations with Congress continue to develop so that the American people are part of the debate.
But I don’t want to put the cart before the horse. We don’t have a strategy yet.
Yeah, Spokesliar Josh Earnest, the specific question he was asked was: “Do you need Congress’s approval to go into Syria?” If you’re going to lie, lie better than that.