Republicans Humiliate Themselves by Taking President Obama’s ISIS Comments Out of Context

trump-bigmouthWhen 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:

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.



Allen Clifton

Allen Clifton is a native Texan who now lives in the Austin area. He has a degree in Political Science from Sam Houston State University. Allen is a co-founder of Forward Progressives and creator of the popular Right Off A Cliff column and Facebook page. Be sure to follow Allen on Twitter and Facebook, and subscribe to his channel on YouTube as well.

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  • strayaway

    IS has not been contained. In the last three weeks, for instance, IS has claimed responsibility for killing 224 passengers in a Russian plane and 129 in Paris. These killings took place outside of the area Is controls in Iraq and Syria.

    Even Democratic Senator Diane Feinstein noted, “I’ve never been more concerned,” “I read the intelligence faithfully. ISIL is not contained. ISIL is expanding.” “They just put out a video saying it is their intent to attack this country. I think we have to be prepared,”

    “”We say to the states that take part in the crusader campaign that, by God, you will have a day God willing, like France’s and by God, as we struck France in the center of its abode in Paris, then we swear that we will strike America at its center in Washington.” -last Monday’s notice from IS as reported by Politico

    • Yad

      The attackers in France were French and Belgique citizens. How would you contain them genius?

      • strayaway

        1) Belgium could restrict citizenship from Muslim nations. 2) Revoke visas of unemployed foreign nationals. Most Muslims in Molenbeek are of Moroccan origin. Molenbeek translates into Millstream in Flemish by the way. Belgium is a linguistically divided nation. This used to be a Flemish area of Belgium but French speaking Walloons have encouraged the immigration of French speaking North Africans to up the number of French speakers in Belgium; this having to do with the balance of power in Belgium. 3) Another possibility would be for Flemish areas of Belgium to secede and either become a separate nation or part of Holland. Dutch and Flemish are said to Wallonia would then have little reason to import North Africans as unemployment is already higher in the French speaking portions of Belgium. Unemployment is over 30% in Molenbeek.

        We don’t know yet where all the Paris attackers came from but they were reported to have been shouting “Aluha Akbar” which tells us something.

      • Kelly Payne

        IN OTHER WORDS RESORT TO BIGOTRY. BLAME A WHOLE OF PEOPLE FOR THE ACTIONS OF A FEW.

      • strayaway

        FDR restricted the immigration of refugees of Germans and Japanese after 2,600 were killed at Pearl Harbor. I suspect he knew that most Germans and Japanese were good people. However, he had a duty to protect this country from any Germans and Japanese refugees with ill intent and from any spies and saboteurs their governments might slip into the refugee stream. There were probably some Americans who accused FDR of resorting to bigotry but he did what he thought was best for the USA. Today, Germans and Japanese are again friends. I don’t know what would have been gained by taking in 10,000 or 200,000 German refugees in 1942. Too much could have gone wrong. But you are welcome to call FDR a bigot (BIGOT) for restricting refugees if you wish. You can also dismiss IS’ claims that they have already sent terrorists to the US and Europe and that Washington D.C. is on their short list. That is according to IS; not me. We disagree on whether to take IS threats seriously. 2,996 people were killed on 9/11 if that is any incentive to believe such talk.

      • Danielle

        Yeah, the same president who established the Japanese internment camps, all in the name of safety. Good thing those refugees were turned away…to end up in concentration camps where so many died. I don’t think our position on refugees during WWII is looked on favorably, yet we’re set to make the same mistakes.

        No one is suggesting that we let in everyone with no questions. It has to be done carefully. But I don’t think the US can claim to be so much better than every one else if we turn away innocent families and children to possibly die.

      • strayaway

        The Daily Mail had an article listing 70 some refugees who had come in since 9/11 who had been arrested for either terrorism and terrorist threats. 15 had since become US citizens. A couple of those had killed US soldiers. None of that speaks well to the vetting process. Perhaps, of course, the vetting process is better now since the president claims that to be the case.

        If refugees are actually a concern, the same dollars used to help refugees would help a lot more refugees if they were provided to refugee camps in Jordan, Lebanon, and Turkey. For instance, it costs about $12,000/year to educate one child here.It wouldn’t cast that much there. So for anyone claiming to have the best interests of refugees in mind, I assume they would want to help as many refugees as possible. Bringing them here would not facilitate that end. More refugees would die doing so with the same dollars.

        Also, when the shooting ends, and it will, young men will be needed to do the rebuilding in Syria. They are more likely to help with the rebuilding process if they are nearby. Why rob Syria of its ability to rebuild?

      • Yad

        Because xenophobia is always a winning strategy! Your bigotry dictates yor foolish posts & reveals yor lack intellect.

      • strayaway

        I’m glad that you agree that FDR’s “xenophobic” response to letting in Japanese and German refugees in after Pearl Harbor was “a winning strategy”. I agree. It made more sense than taking the chance of letting in German saboteurs under the guise of being refugees. FDR did have the responsibility of defending the US after all. Sometimes it makes more sense to not touch something hot repeatedly. A current cliche has it that repeating something after multiple failures and expecting a different result is the definition of idiocy. Unlike Bush and Obama,

        What happened to your post in which you stated that letting in refugees was worth the risk and my reply to it? I am still amazed that you are so willing to sacrifice Americans for your beliefs. The moderators on thsi site are usually pretty good about not censoring posts.

        I still want to find out from you why you are willing to disregard the treats of IS, the claims of IS, and the history of IS. I’m not as sanguine about such an incident happening in Washinton, D.C. as you it seems.

        I repeat, “We say to the states that take part in the crusader campaign that, by God, you will have a day God willing, like France’s and by God, as we struck France in the center of its abode in Paris, then we swear that we will strike America at its center in Washington.” -last Monday’s notice from IS as reported by Politico

    • Kelly Payne

      YOU HAVEN’T READ ANY INTELLIGENCE. YOU DON’T KNOW ANYMORE THAN THE REST OF US SO CUT THE CRAP.

      • strayaway

        I could go on about the history of Belgium but I suspect hat you really don’t care. Next time, If you don’t want to know something, don’t ask questions.

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