The other virus spreading rapidly: Baghdadbobism

Our federal government seems to have been struck with a virus originating overseas that should be called Baghdadbobism. Its symptoms include straight-faced telling of the most improbable lies imaginable.

One victim is Josh Earnest, who claims we are winning against ISIS. Justin Sink and Kristina Wong write in The Hill:

White House press secretary Josh Earnest insisted that the president’s plan against ISIS was “succeeding.”

“We’re in the early days of the execution of that strategy,” he said. “But certainly, the early evidence indicates that this strategy is succeeding.”

Earnest pointed to two pieces of evidence for that claim from Iraq: the achievement of dislodging ISIS’s control of the critical Mosul Dam and the evacuation of embattled Yazidi civilians from Mount Sinjar.

But other events on the ground are not cooperating with the White House’s preferred narrative.

Defense officials acknowledged Tuesday that ISIS forces now have “relative freedom of influence throughout” Anbar province, after killing its police chief and taking over a military base. 

“It’s hard to say how close Anbar is to falling,” Pentagon spokesman Army Col. Steve Warren said Tuesday. “We know that ISIS can move freely around the Anbar province.” 

On Tuesday, Army Chief of Staff Gen. Ray Odierno expressed reservations about the Iraqi military’s ability to protect its nation’s capital, Baghdad, saying he was “somewhat” confident they could do so.

“We’ll have to see what plays out over the coming days,” Odierno said.

In Syria, ISIS forces are inching closer to capturing Kobani, an ethnically Kurdish town near the border with Turkey, despite an escalated air campaign outside the city. 

Particularly hard hit is the Centers for Disease Control, where Dr. Thomas Frieden is the index case.

Our federal government seems to have been struck with a virus originating overseas that should be called Baghdadbobism. Its symptoms include straight-faced telling of the most improbable lies imaginable.

One victim is Josh Earnest, who claims we are winning against ISIS. Justin Sink and Kristina Wong write in The Hill:

White House press secretary Josh Earnest insisted that the president’s plan against ISIS was “succeeding.”

“We’re in the early days of the execution of that strategy,” he said. “But certainly, the early evidence indicates that this strategy is succeeding.”

Earnest pointed to two pieces of evidence for that claim from Iraq: the achievement of dislodging ISIS’s control of the critical Mosul Dam and the evacuation of embattled Yazidi civilians from Mount Sinjar.

But other events on the ground are not cooperating with the White House’s preferred narrative.

Defense officials acknowledged Tuesday that ISIS forces now have “relative freedom of influence throughout” Anbar province, after killing its police chief and taking over a military base. 

“It’s hard to say how close Anbar is to falling,” Pentagon spokesman Army Col. Steve Warren said Tuesday. “We know that ISIS can move freely around the Anbar province.” 

On Tuesday, Army Chief of Staff Gen. Ray Odierno expressed reservations about the Iraqi military’s ability to protect its nation’s capital, Baghdad, saying he was “somewhat” confident they could do so.

“We’ll have to see what plays out over the coming days,” Odierno said.

In Syria, ISIS forces are inching closer to capturing Kobani, an ethnically Kurdish town near the border with Turkey, despite an escalated air campaign outside the city. 

Particularly hard hit is the Centers for Disease Control, where Dr. Thomas Frieden is the index case.