When dealing with Republicans, I often spend more time trying to explain what the truth is about a particular subject than I do actually discussing the issues. It’s amazing to me how little factual information most conservatives I encounter seem able to recite. Then again, considering they’ve been indoctrinated to only believe the conservative media, it’s not surprising how factually deprived many Republican voters are.
Take for instance the Republican and conservative media take on comments made by President Obama where he said ISIS had been “contained.” Those comments couldn’t have come at a worse time since they happened to air the very same day of an ISIS-backed terrorist attack.
It goes without saying that the conservative media and some Republicans seized on these comments to “prove” the president’s “ignorance” about ISIS and terrorism in general.
Here’s what GOP presidential candidate Carly Fiorina said:
They are not a JV team, Mr. President. They are not contained. They are at our shores and their measure of victory is the body count.
The headline from the conservative Daily Caller:
FLASHBACK: Obama said ISIS “Contained” Friday Morning
Then there’s Glenn Beck’s The Blaze:
‘We Have Contained Them’: Obama Taking Heat for Claim About Islamic State That Aired Just Hours Before Paris Terror Attacks
And, of course, Donald Trump responded with the idiocy you would expect:
President Obama said "ISIL continues to shrink" in an interview just hours before the horrible attack in Paris. He is just so bad! CHANGE.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 14, 2015
Not to mention the seemingly endless barrage of conservatives losing their minds on social media about the president’s “contained” comment.
Like with most other right-wing meltdowns, this “story” was complete nonsense.
While it’s true President Obama did say that ISIS had been “contained,” knowing the context of his statement is extremely crucial to understanding what he actually meant.
Here’s what the president actually said:
I don’t think they’re gaining strength. What is true is that from the start, our goal has been first to contain, and we have contained them. They have not gained ground in Iraq. And in Syria they’ll come in, they’ll leave. But you don’t see this systematic march by ISIL across the terrain. What we have not yet been able to do is to completely decapitate their command and control structures. We’ve made some progress in trying to reduce the flow of foreign fighters.
Now you don’t have to be a foreign policy expert to realize what the president was talking about was the big picture plan of keeping ISIS’s regional growth in Iraq and Syria in check. He even admits that they’re not defeated and they’re capable of moving throughout areas, but they’ll have to scatter back to the areas to which they’re contained.
That does not mean that he doesn’t think it’s possible for ISIS to carry out attacks outside of Syria or Iraq. What he meant is exactly what he said, that they’ve contained ISIS’s spread in the region where the group is no longer growing by seizing parts of Iraq or Syria.
The people pretending to be “outraged” over these comments are either too ignorant to understand the context in which he was speaking, or they’re literally trying to make something out of nothing for clickbait, ratings or simply to bash the president.
If you dislike the president, that’s fine. All I ask is that if you do dislike him, make sure what you dislike about him is actually true and not some b.s. that’s been made up by the conservative media or the Republican party to convince you of something that’s simply not factual.