The president will attend a meeting with NATO allies later this week. On his way to the summit in Wales he made a pit stop in Estonia. Early this morning President Obama joined Estonian President Toomas Ilvek for a joint press conference which focused primarily on ISIS and the Ukraine.
The president addressed the media mere hours after the release of a new video showing the beheading of yet another American journalist by ISIS forces. Needless to say tensions were running high; emotions raw. Yet here was the president, calm in demeanor, patiently addressing facts on the ground and explaining the steps being taken to address the ISIS threat.
The president spoke about “building a coalition,” “working in partnership with out NATO allies” “engaging our Arab partners in the region,” “appealing to all Muslims…Sunni, Shia, Kurds…” to come together in a joint effort to defeat ISIS.
This was Obama the community organizer at his best. Clearly engaged and well versed on the conditions on the ground; trying to bring all the affected factions together to find a joint resolution. No threats, no bluster, no “line in the sand.” No talk of “the full force and might of the US military.” It was the type of response that the president’s critics hate; one that drives neo-cons to call him “feckless” and “weak.”
It was the exact response that a war weary nation wants to hear.
The president understands that Americans are not interested in becoming the “tip of the spear” in a war against ISIS. He understands that the country wants see other nations in the region take up some of the heavy lifting. He understands that there is no quick fix; and that a long term solution will take months if not years to coalesce. He understands that the solution does not lie at the point of an American soldier’s gun. We have already seen what happens when the bombs stop falling.
Obama, the international community organizer! Carrying out the will of the people and displaying the right temperament and leadership skills for this very difficult task.