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Tags: Al-Qaida | ISIS/Islamic State | Russia | SOTU 2015 | sotu | obama | isis

MSNBC, NBC: Obama's View of World in SOTU 'Not Close to Reality'

By    |   Wednesday, 21 January 2015 01:43 PM

In his State of the Union address, President Barack Obama focused heavily on domestic issues, leaving foreign policy until the very end, but the words he did offer were greeted with skepticism and astonishment by many, including network foreign correspondents.

"It sounded like the president was outlining a world that he wishes we were all living in but is very different from the world that you just described," said NBC News' Richard Engel after anchor Brian Williams listed the current global trouble spots, including a reported coup in Yemen.

Story continues below video.

Obama said on Tuesday in his address: "In Iraq and Syria, American leadership — including our military power — is stopping ISIL’s advance. Instead of getting dragged into another ground war in the Middle East, we are leading a broad coalition, including Arab nations, to degrade and ultimately destroy this terrorist group.

"We’re also supporting a moderate opposition in Syria that can help us in this effort, and assisting people everywhere who stand up to the bankrupt ideology of violent extremism."

On each claim, Engel said the president was wrongly stating the situation.

"On stopping ISIL's advance. That just isn't the case," said Engel, adding that "there is no support for the moderate Syrian opposition" and that overall the speech had a "general tone of suspended belief when he began talking about foreign policy."

The difference between the world through Obama's eyes and the world as others see it also noted by MSNBC foreign affairs analyst Andrea Mitchell.

"I think that on foreign policy, his projection of success against terrorism and against ISIS, in particular, as I said, is not close to reality," said Mitchell in response to a question from her colleague Chris Matthews during a post-speech discussion.

While Obama said that Russian President Vladimir Putin had been isolated, Mitchell responded, "Yes, Putin is isolated economically and the falling oil prices have hammered his economy. But at the same time, there's renewed fighting in Donetsk, and we haven't figured out Ukraine, we haven't figured out how the NATO alliance can push back.

"Sanctions have not really worked, and Ukraine is going to need more weaponry, and they have not reached that point. So you're right, Chris, it doesn't match reality."

In his opening remarks at Wednesday's Senate Armed Services Committee hearing on global challenges, McCain leveled criticism at the statements made by Obama in his national address.

"In a speech riddled with unrealistic wishful thinking, President Obama told the nation last night that the 'shadow of crisis has passed.' That news came as quite a surprise to anyone who has been paying attention what has been happening around the world," McCain said.

"And in Yemen, the country President Obama once hailed as a successful model for his brand of counterterrorism, Al-Qaeda continues to facilitate global terrorism, as we saw in the barbaric attacks in Paris. And Iranian-backed Houthi rebels have pushed the country to the brink of collapse," the former GOP presidential candidate said.

McCain was referring to remarks made by Obama last September about his strategy against ISIS, in which the president said, "This strategy of taking out terrorists who threaten us, while supporting partners on the front lines, is one that we have successfully pursued in Yemen and Somalia for years."

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Headline
In his State of the Union address, President Barack Obama focused heavily on domestic issues, leaving foreign policy until the very end, but the words he did offer were greeted with skepticism and astonishment by many, including network foreign correspondents.
sotu, obama, isis, yemen, russia, al-qaida
548
2015-43-21
Wednesday, 21 January 2015 01:43 PM
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