"Is 'dither' the Republican word for 'think'?", asks Lawrence O'Donnell. So our duo discuss both sides: the-tan-man-has-no-plan-"yet" vs. he's a deliberate president trying to get the substance and coalition right. In his Wednesday address to the Nation, will he say -- their boots, our bombs? Then: Putin in Ukraine, Rick Perry in court, the ALS in America.
Until now, President Obama's foreign policy appeared to be based more on reason than emotion. However, the rise of ISIL may have cost Obama his equanimity. After promising to strictly limit the mission in Iraq, Washington is preparing to expand the war to Syria. Instead, the administration should push other nations into the lead.
Iran, which bears tremendous political, social and economic influence in Iraq and is considered to be the most significant foreign force in Baghdad, has made a critical tactical shift with regards to its foreign policy towards the sectarian conflict, civil war, rise of the Islamic State, and other affiliated extremist Sunni insurgencies in Iraq.
ISIS has effectively shown another way forward: to forget about Damascus and Baghdad for now, forget about the Sykes-Picot borders and create a new political space out of the parts of Syria and Iraq that their capitals do not control--a large and viable political territory with major historic cities, trade routes, oil resources and borders potentially abutting Turkey, Saudi Arabia and Jordan. For now, let's call it Syriaq.