It's flickers of sanity like this that buoy my hope for Charles Krauthammer:
Baghdad called President Obama’s bluff and he came through. He had refused to provide air support to Iraqi government forces until the Iraqis got rid of their divisive sectarian prime minister. They did. He responded.
In following through, Obama demonstrated ... crucially, his own seriousness, however tentative.
Obama was slow to bring American power to bear. And slower still to arm the Kurds. But he was right to wait until Baghdad had gotten rid of Nouri al-Maliki ... [and he] has for now wisely taken advantage of the Abadi opening.
Obama's delay in bringing American power to bear (as well as arming the Kurds) was inextricably tied to Iraq's erratic tardiness in ridding itself of Maliki, however Krauthammer's A + B = C lapse can be forgiven, seeing how conceding Obama's "seriousness" must have shattered Charles's cerebral calm.
Yet being Krauthammer, he of course further derails in the course of his column, concluding with references to a more "serious rollback campaign" and a "larger strategy," both of which heavily imply something other than U.S. air power:
"People like this ultimately fail," Obama said of Foley’s murderers. Perhaps. But "ultimately" can be a long way--and thousands of dead--away. The role of a great power, as Churchill and Roosevelt understood, is to bring that day closer.
That Churchill and Roosevelt faced an enemy in Europe with the criminal ethics of ISIS is indisputable. Also indisputable is that the stateless, scattered and numerically scanty ISIS is in no way comparable to the immense Nazi war machine. FDR did know how to use "great power," and given contemporary America's history in the Middle East, he scarcely would have mobilized it there in any Bushian way.