Relax! Things are going so well that Obama has plenty of time for golf
Don't wory about the Yazdis, the Mosul Dam, the spread of ISIS, the possibility of the fall of Baghdad, and all the other apparent chaos in the Middle East. Things are going so well that President Obama was able to chill out with a five hour round of golf yesterday on Martrha's Vineyard.
Either that, or Barack Obama is an irresponsible leader of the United States in a time of peril. The normaly rerstrained Walter Russell Mead:
Iraq is unraveling fast. If reports of fighting between Maliki’s forces and troops loyal to President Masoum turn out to be correct, it means that the factional fighting that has torn apart the provinces has now spread to the capital—even as ISIS waits outside, licking its chops.
The fact that President Obama thought that the day of an Iraqi coup was a good time to hang on the Vineyard and get on the links is bad news. Either the President blew off warnings from his advisors, or the intel community got blindsided again. Both possibilities reflect badly on the management of the nation’s affairs.
The unraveling of Iraq under the grimmest of circumstances is a major policy challenge for this president and for the United States as a whole. There’s nothing wrong with a president wanting some down time with the kids, but President Obama needs to be and be seen to be taking control of events. Going on vacation as the tanks roll in Baghdad and as Americans fly back into combat over Iraq is not where a leader needs to be. The President is apparently planning to return to DC midway through the vacation; if Baghdad doesn’t settle down quickly, he may need to return sooner and stay longer than planned.
This is a moment that calls for leadership. Unfortunaetly, we have none.