In January 2014, “President Obama was asked about the gains that ISIS — which was then under al Qaeda’s banner — was making in Syria.” Here is his response:
“The analogy we use around here sometimes, and I think is accurate, is if a jayvee team puts on Lakers uniforms that doesn’t make them Kobe Bryant,” Obama said, resorting to an uncharacteristically flip analogy. “I think there is a distinction between the capacity and reach of a bin Laden and a network that is actively planning major terrorist plots against the homeland versus jihadists who are engaged in various local power struggles and disputes, often sectarian.”
Obama’s larger point was that just because a group called itself al Qaeda, that didn’t mean it has the reach, resources and planning ability of the group…Since then, though, ISIS has made huge gains in Syria and especially Iraq, having seized territory about equivalent to the size of Belgium. They’ve created a humanitarian and political crisis so bad that Obama, after having worked so hard to pull the US out of Iraq, is threatening to launch airstrikes against ISIS in Iraq. They turned out to be a lot less jayvee — and even more brutal — than the Obama administration thought.
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