Here’s the full transcript of the President’s interview with NBC dunderhead Chuck Todd, and if you want to know why I refer to Todd that way, here’s a perfect example.
Obama mentioned Syria specifically four times before Chuck Todd blurted out, “You’ve not said the word, ‘Syria,’ so far in our conversation.”
I’m preparing the country to make sure that we deal with a threat from ISIL. Keep in mind that this is something that we know how to do. We’ve been dealing with terrorist threats for quite some time. This administration has systematically dismantled Al Qaeda in the FATA. We just yesterday announced the fact that we had taken out the top leader of Al-Shabaab the terrorist— organization in Somalia.
ISIL poses a broader threat because of its territorial ambitions in Iraq and Syria.
But right. And I—I want everybody to understand that we have not seen any immediate intelligence about threats to the homeland from ISIL. That’s not what this is about. What it’s about is an organization that, if allowed to control significant amounts of territory, to amass more resources, more arms to attract more foreign fighters, including from areas like Europe, who have Europeans who have visas and then can travel to the United States unimpeded, that over time, that can be a serious threat to the homeland.
In— in the more immediate term, it’s an imm— it’s a threat to friends, partners in the region and is causing all kinds of hardship. And we’ve seen the savagery not just in terms of how they dealt with the two Americans that had been taken hostage but the killing of thousands of innocents in— in Iraq thousands of innocents in Syria, the kidnapping of women the complete disruption of entire villages.
Not yet. But they— they can evolve. And I was very specific at that time. What I said was, not every regional terrorist organization is automatically a threat to us that would call for a major offensive. But what is absolutely clear in ISIL, which started as Al Qaeda in Iraq and arose out of the U.S. invasion there and was contained because of the enormous efforts of our troops there then shifted to Syria, has metastasized, has grown.
Well, they’re not a JV team. But keep in mind that we anticipated some of these problems in the speech that I gave at West Point you know, several months ago, where I specifically said, our goal should not be to think that we can occupy every country where there’s a terrorist organization.
Our goal has to be to partner more effectively with governments that are committed to— pushing back against the kind of extremism that ISIL represents. And that’s going to require us to do things a little bit differently. We’re going to have to work smarter.
We’re going to have to train the military there more capably. We’ve got to do more effective diplomatic work to eliminate the the schism between Sunni and Shia that has been fueling so much of the violence in Syria, in Iraq. And so we put together a plan that is compatible with the kind of work that we’re doing now.
You’ve not said the word, “Syria,” so far in our conversation. Obviously, if you’re going to defeat ISIS, you have used very much stronger language. It’s gone through the week during your trip to Wales. You got to go to Syria in some form or another.
Notice that Obama’s last mention of Syria came two sentences before Todd made his fatuous statement.
If one of the traits of a good interviewer is listening to the answers given by the subject, Chuck Todd fails. Miserably.