— The Erimtan Angle —

‘President Barack Obama delivers his sixth State of the Union address, at the United States Capitol, January 20, 2015’. And, Obama said succinctly “The shadow of crisis has passed, and the State of the Union is strong”.

‘OBAMA: “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.”

THE FACTS: The U.S. also has been slow to set up long-promised training for the moderate Syrian opposition, and has yet to begin the actual vetting of the rebels. Also, despite persistent pleas from the rebels, the U.S. hasn’t sent the more lethal weapons they want. U.S. officials have expressed concerns that the weapons could end up in the hands of insurgents.

Military leaders, however, agree that coalition airstrikes and the military effort in Syria and Iraq have stopped the momentum of the Islamic State group, or ISIL, made it hard for the insurgents to communicate and travel, and hurt their oil revenues’.[1] 

The AP’s Christopher Rugaber and Calvin Woodward critically remark that the “U.S. may not have ‘risen from recession’ quite as rousingly as President Barack Obama suggested in his State of the Union speech Tuesday night. Seven years after that severe downturn began, household income hasn’t recovered and healthy job growth is complicated by the poor quality, and pay, of many of those jobs. It’s always problematic when a president takes credit for an improving economy, just as it is when he’s blamed for things going bad. A leader can only do so much, for better or worse, and there are two sides to every economy. But after an election in which Obama largely held off on chest-beating, he claimed credit in bold terms for what is going right. Also in his speech, Obama skimmed over the cost to taxpayers of free community college tuition and invited closer scrutiny with his claims about U.S. support for Syrian moderates and about his record of public-lands preservation”.[2]  And, ‘[i]n the Republican response to #SOTU address, Senator Joni Ernst (R-Iowa) called on President Barack Obama to pass the Keystone pipeline bill’.

[1] Christopher S. Rugaber and Calvin Woodward, “FACT CHECK: Obama claims credit for an incomplete recovery” AP (20 Jan 2015). http://bigstory.ap.org/article/1800bf6744eb4b3f91a75817d54a2a46/fact-check-obama-claims-credit-incomplete-recovery.

[2] Christopher S. Rugaber and Calvin Woodward, “FACT CHECK: Obama claims credit for an incomplete recovery”.

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