Passive-aggressive Jen Psaki speaks
A Kurdish reporter questioned Jen Psaki at a recent press briefing. Confronting Psaki is like confronting a weird combination of post-adolescent girl + zombie + tyrant all rolled up in one. This strange creature will allow no one to break through the Wall of Lies.
During this particular exchange, she had her inappropriate smiling under control (though you could see moments when she appeared on the verge of busting out in a grin), but her arrogance was out in force. As were her obsessive hair gestures.
QUESTION: My question is about the advance of ISIS towards Kobani. My – this question might be more for your colleagues at the Pentagon, but it’s related to the broader Obama strategy.
MS. PSAKI: Mm-hmm.
Hair gesture and neck scratch as reporter spoke. (Hey, Jen. You can buy a hair clip at Rite Aid for around two dollars. Go for it!) Psaki’s face and tone expressed nonchalance, disinterest, and borderline distain.
QUESTION: Over the past 24 hours, we’ve seen only one strike, according to the Central Command, around Kobani. I don’t really understand why there hasn’t been more attacks while large numbers of ISIS fighters are closing in on Kobani. And according to CNN and some other American media reports, they have raised the American flag – the – sorry, Islamic flag over some buildings inside Kobani. Why hasn’t been there more strikes?
MS. PSAKI: Well, I know we have this exchange kind of every single day, which is absolutely fine, but you’re talking about one strike in the last 24 hours. That was the update, you’re right, that came from CENTCOM. There were – that strike destroyed two ISIL fighting positions south of Kobani. Other recent strikes have hit two modular oil refineries, an ISIL training camp, an ISIL-occupied building. So this is an ongoing effort.
Right out of the gate, Psaki is patronizing, insulting, and passive-aggressive. Then she launched into babbling as she constantly looked down at her notes so she could list a few military hits we’ve made – hits that are irrelevant to the journalist’s question and hits that are not making any kind of measurable dent against the force of evil we are fighting.
QUESTION: They’re not around Kobani, those refineries.
MS. PSAKI: It’s an ongoing effort around – in the same part of the country. I would refer you to DOD for more about their military strategy, but obviously this is something where we’ve long said from the beginning that this would take some time. We’re working closely to do everything we can to help push back ISIL in this part of the country, but again, I don’t have any other military updates from here.
Psaki ignored the journalist’s point. Then, duh. Of course military actions are ongoing efforts. But if the effort is insufficient, it’s meaningless. Worse than meaningless, because we expend precious resources. Meanwhile, we’re back to “push back.” No more destroying ISIS. Just push them back. And apparently, we can barely even do that. (It’s worth watching the video to see the hand gesture that accompanied the words “push back.” The gesture sums up our military efforts, as Psaki turns one hand so the palm faced away from her body as she gently, almost imperceptibly, moved it a millimeter forward using less force and commitment than one would use to wave hello.) When all else fails, finish up with hair gesture.
QUESTION: When I talked to – on a daily basis I talk to Kurdish people, Kurdish rebels even, Kurdish politicians on the ground in Syria. They have a different perspective. They say, well, Turkey is now trying to do America’s bid in the country when it comes to ISIS attacks on Kobani, and Turkey yesterday invited Salih Muslim, who is the leader of the Kurdish party, to reach some sort of deal with Turkish intelligence. So are you waiting for Turkey to reach a deal with the Kurdish rebels? That’s why you’re not –
MS. PSAKI: I think we haven’t – clearly we haven’t held back from our own military airstrikes in this regard. There are a range of other countries who have also participated in the last couple of days in strikes in Syria. I don’t have any other update for you.
Translation: My specialty is stupidity and evasion. Next question.
QUESTION: Just one more thing, Jen. It’s clearly, like, obvious that – I mean, President Obama on the eve of 9/11 said the strategy was to degrade and ultimately destroy ISIS. We’ve seen ISIS been degraded in Iraq, but we’ve seen ISIS advancing in Syria. Can we say there are flaws in President Obama’s strategy?
MS. PSAKI: I would not say that. You’re right that the Iraqi Security Forces have certainly pushed back and they have been able to hold and even regain some areas. The efforts that have been underway in Syria have been not – have not been happening as long. I think DOD has addressed some of our strategy, so let me reiterate some of what they’ve said – that the initial round of strikes in Syria had fixed targets, such as command and control nodes, finance centers, training camps and oil refineries. Those kind of strikes will continue. Targeting in Syria is also evolving beyond fixed facilities and also includes more dynamic targeting of a tactical nature, such as vehicles, armored vehicles, convoys.
So obviously there’s certainly a strategy that’s being implemented by our Defense Department.
Hair gesture as journalist was speaking, followed by her commitment to never criticize the president, followed by hair gesture, followed by a few understatements, followed by the ever-important list. The list is crucial to give the impression of sounding knowledgeable and to make our mission sound substantial. Which she’s not and it isn’t. And while she cast her spell over the zombies in the room, she was careful to throw in one of her favorite words because, obviously, you’re an idiot.
Hat tip: The Gateway Pundit