Army Gen. Lloyd Austin relinquished command in Tampa, Fla., on Wednesday of the U.S. forces fighting the Islamic State –– as a bit of a sour note hung in the air back in Washington.
President Obama has been consistently criticized for a 2014 comment to the New Yorker magazine that the Islamic State, as it invaded Iraq from Syria, was merely the “jayvee.” In other words, it was not to be taken seriously. Months later, the terror army controlled large swaths of Iraq and Syria, forcing Mr. Obama to ordered a new war.
Then, The Atlantic’s Jeffrey Goldberg interviewed Mr. Obama and came out with a long favorable story this month on the commander in chief’s foreign policy views. In the story is this:
“Early in 2014, Obama’s intelligence advisers told him that ISIS was of marginal importance. According to administration officials, General Lloyd Austin, then the commander of Central Command, which oversees U.S. military operations in the Middle East, told the White House that the Islamic State was ‘a flash in the pan.’ This analysis led Obama, in an interview with The New Yorker, to describe the constellation of jihadist groups in Iraq and Syria as terrorism’s ‘jayvee team.’”