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MOOC Fever
Prove Yourself, Young Programmer

Most employers still don’t take MOOCs seriously as a credential—most but not all. It looks like MOOCs are beginning to gain some traction in the tech industry. As PC world reports, some tech companies are beginning to hire programmers without an academic background in programming based, at least in part, on their performance in computer science online courses.

And these companies aren’t just looking for a certificate of completion. Many are looking for courses that give students projects where they can see their work in practice, allowing the students to prove themselves directly to prospective employers. One executive explained his company’s approach:

”We’re not theorists here. We’re actually buildings things,” said Chad Morris, product lead at Mandrill, the transactional email service from MailChimp. “We’re really looking at what it is you’ve actually done.” […]

”We rate education relatively light here,” Morris said. To him, a traditional college education and online learning hold the same value and convey the same information: that a person has been exposed to code. […]

”I’m going to have to see projects that you’ve actively worked on. I’m going to have to talk to you and get a sense of how much you’ve actually retained of that information. Any of the best programmers that I’ve hired didn’t go to school for computer science.”

This is smart: students should be judged by how much they know rather than how long they’ve spent sitting in classrooms. It’s not clear how this will spread beyond the tech world—it’s much easier to devise an online project to demonstrate knowledge in computer science than, say, medicine—but if it does, it could make online courses far more appealing—to employers and students alike—than they are now. Academia, take note!

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  • Andrew Allison

    I’m shocked, shocked to learn that employers value ability over formal education! It’s very noticeable the the criticism of MOOCs comes from the guild which has grown, and grown rich, turning four-year schools into six-year schools. Post-secondary education is, at best, a bubble and at worst a scam.

    • Corlyss

      I know. There goes the neighborhood . . . Reminds me of the French with their “Yes it works in fact, but does it work in theory????”

  • Geoff Caldwell

    This is the first President in history that we won’t need to wait for the historians to judge his legacy. Only the sycophants can’t see the devastation this narcissist has caused not just America but the world. If we survive the next two years of this idiot it truly will be a miracle.

    • Thirdsyphon

      This is the 44th President in history about whom this has been said.

      • Geoff Caldwell

        I see one of the 38% has arrived.

        • Thirdsyphon

          If you think the sentiment expressed in your first paragraph is inapplicable to George W. Bush, you’re part of an even smaller minority than that.

          • DiogenesDespairs

            Sure sign that a leftist knows he’s on the losing side of an argument: He tries to change the subject to Bush.

          • Matt Martin

            Isn’t Obama just Bush 2.0? And isn’t it sad that after six years, we’re still not even close to cleaning up the mess Bush left us with?

          • guy


          • jimb82

            Next will be to call people racists. That’s their argument if changing the subject to Bush doesn’t work.

          • InRussetShadows

            It’s the old “appeal to the majority” angle. Sorry, bub. Numbers (or might) doesn’t make right.

          • StarTripper

            Actually I was thinking of Washington when you said in so many words that all of the Presidents had such statements made about them. If you meant individuals making such statements well that would be hard to disprove but if you meant a general feeling in the whole country at this point in every Presidency I think that is a little much.

          • Thirdsyphon

            Your first reading was correct. My point was that every President has had his share of vehement critics, even the ones who are now universally revered.

            The specific person I had in mind when I wrote that post the Founding Father (and first Chief Justice of the Supreme Court) John Jay, who once famously complained to President Adams ‘2 that he could “walk from Boston to Philadelphia by the light of my own burning effigies.” He was also, according to Wikipedia, the object of highly public graffitti that read: “Damn John Jay! Damn everyone who won’t damn John Jay!! Damn everyone that won’t put lights in his windows and sit up all night damning John Jay!!!”.

            President John Adams was widely reviled and accused of being a secret monarchist and traitor; President Jefferson was denounced as the literal Antichrist. . .a beastly mark of distinction that he shares with Presidents Washington, Lincoln, Roosevelt, Kennedy, and Reagan (to name but a few).

          • Geoff Caldwell

            Bush is not a narcissist, he never had the sycophants, the columns, and a media fawning all over him and rather than doom our troops to defeat he had the courage to change course, authorized the surge and left Obama a win. Until O chose to abandon it for political reasons and here we are: a situation worse than ever with more countries in turmoil now than just five short years ago.
            Oh and I suggest you Google Bush Iraq surge video from 2007. Word for word, line by line, the warnings were there, and the predictions are coming true. All because a petulant a$$ sits in the Oval.

          • Thirdsyphon

            You seem to have forgotten Bush 43’s certitude, his disdain for contemplation or deliberation, and his bullying dismissal of everyone who doubted (or was even hesitant in their support of) him. You’re also forgetting Fox News, Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck, and the slew of other right-wing media supporters who self-consciously produced propaganda in support of him at a time when the left-wing counterweights to their influence had yet to emerge. Meanwhile, the “MSM” was scrupulously fair and evenhanded in their coverage of the Bush Administration, especially in the wake of 9/11, when even the gentlest, most benign criticism of the President was routinely decried as treasonous slander endangering our troops.

            Bush ’43 was right about the surge (which was a pleasant surprise), but he was wrong to launch the Iraq War in the first place. His warning in 2007 that “leaving Iraq would be dangerous. . . and would risk killings on a mass scale” was likewise correct, but he ignored the inconvenient fact that staying in Iraq would have presented all the same risks.

          • Geoff Caldwell

            And you seem to have forgotten all the Democrats who voted for the same use of force as Republicans and all the western intelligence agencies that also thought Hussein had WMD.
            And your speculation that staying in Iraq would have been as bad as Obama abandoning it flies in the face of the history of how staying in Germany, Philippines, Okinawa, Korea stabilized regions and protected the peace hard won rather than throwing it away for politics.

          • Jack Henneman

            Without wading in the middle of this — there is merit to much of what you write about Bush ’43 — the so-called “right wing” media is a tiny drop in the ocean of left-wing commentary. It barely dilutes the transnational progressivism in the other four or five networks, the New York Times, the big websites (Huffpo, Vox, and the like) and the other newspapers it owns or provides content to.

        • Curious Mayhem

          One of those “low-information” voters.

  • Verinder Syal

    I realize you keep hoping that Obama is something other than he is.

    Does he understand the mideast? No. Does he understand the Islamic fringe? No. Does he understand how to lead on the global scene? No. Does he understand the long term interests of the United States and its allies? No.

    What, then, does he understand? He knows how to shift the blame to someone else, how to politicize everything on the domestic front, how to inflame race relations when it might help him in the polls.

    Who, and what, does he really care about? Only one thing and one person. Himself. He is the most self engrossed, unaware, narcissistic politician in a long time. As soon as one accepts that, virtually all actions become clear.

    • FriendlyGoat

      You have “accepted that”, and there is absolutely nothing in your statement that makes any actions clear.

      • Phelony Jones

        Then you have missed his point. The Wall Street President will sacrifice anything and everything to his own aggrandizement and his belief in the Progressive Socialist utopia implicit in the nebulous “hope & change”. He cares nothing about foreign policy, hence he ignores it. His goal is cutting America down to size. So, we have a declining middle-class, a criminal IRS, a spying NSA and a politicized DoJ. When you look at Obama’s actions in light of America’s destruction, his policies make more sense. But, on the world stage, the NY Times can’t lie and omit and obfuscate the facts. Read the UK guardian sometime if you want a dose of reality. We are the laughing stock of the world. Oh, and he still believes that, despite a century of failure, he is not dissuaded from his dream of a utopia that he rules.

  • Jim Speed, CPA, CHAE (ret.)

    If you like your doctor, you can keep your doctor … and by the way, there will not be any American Boots on the ground in Iraq.

    • Zebra Dun

      And, And, And if they are boots on the ground they will be Contractors, like Black water. Only Black won’t be used, because that would be racist.

  • qet

    It doesn’t require a weak Presidential address to demonstrate our weak resolve, nor would a strong address have demonstrated the contrary. War, whether from the air, sea or ground, is charred bodies, blown-off limbs, blood, intestines spilling out of gaping holes in torsos. Enormous capital investments by news organizations throughout the world in the very latest 21st century technology are dedicated to displaying in 1080p HD all of this immediately as it happens, non-stop 24×7. One month of such images will be all that is required to entirely reverse all those latest Obama-sympathizing opinion polls showing that a majority of Americans now want us to use military force against ISIS. All of the usual race-mongering and “neo-colonial imperialist aggressor violator of international law crimes against humanity International Criminal Court” garbage will begin to spew from the usual sources.

    It was conclusively proven a half century ago that the phrase “limited war” is an oxymoron and that the concept is a false one. I think if you are going to start a war, you had damn well better finish it, and finishing it requires far more death and destruction than the US public can take.

    • John Stephens

      “Go heavy, or go home.”

      • Zebra Dun

        He will go heavy at home.

        • Curious Mayhem

          He doesn’t want to promote democracy abroad because he doesn’t believe in it at home. Isn’t that obvious by now?

    • Duperray

      President is not weak, nor unable, nor unresolute: He behaves as if he helps IS unoffcially.

      • John Morris

        Yup. Those air strike by moderate Arabs in Libya is what this is all about. They were flexing their muscles in desperation and would have soon taken on ISIS on their own. By jumping in now Obama gets to control events… and throw the fight.

  • rheddles

    His well intentioned, carefully calculated and hedged strategies blow up in his face because there are no boots on the ground. He has selected a middle of the road strategy. And the only thing in the middle of the road is roadkill. Better all in or all out. And if we want to have heavy influence on events in that neighborhood, we will need to have boots on the ground for decades, just like German and Japan. The ultimate humiliation will be when he is forced to negotiate a SOFA with Iraq.

    Given the picture you led the article with I am surprised you did not comment on the horrific optics of his performance. What was with the oversized tassles on the flags and the window with drapes that looked like they came from Wal*Mart? This was an address that should have come from the Oval Office desk with busts of Lincoln and FDR on the credenza. That would send the message of strength and resolve. And then he wouldn’t have had to turn his back on the American people at the conclusion.

    • Andrew Allison

      His well intentioned, carefully calculated and hedged strategies??? GMAB

      • B-Sabre

        Obama is a trimmer, a compromiser, a seeker of ‘consensus.’ All his decisions are made as compromises and in the end up doing more harm than good. Heat from his proposed amnest gets too hot? “Compromise” by agreeing to push it off until the end of the elections – the problem is he doesn’t understand that this is the worst of both worlds. It gives Republicans a still-undefined threat to rally the troops under, and leaves his base disappointed.
        He just doesn’t get it that some decisions cannot be compromised, cannot be split down the middle, cannot be parsed.

      • rheddles

        A lift from the last paragraph of the post.

  • Arkeygeezer

    I am opposed to furnishing arms to “moderate rebels” in Syria, and re-engaging in the war in Iraq. There are no moderate islamist rebels, and 10 years of Iraq occupation has proven to be fruitless. The only threat the U.S. faces is returning jehadists who served with ISIS. Put them on a no-fly list instead of ordering American soldiers to die for them.

    • minowe

      Yeah, that no-fly list has certainly been a winner. Maybe we could also close our southern border just a little? Heck, we might even take a look at our northern border and maybe even try to keep track of people who come to the U.S. legally but overstay their visas. Or not.

  • Andrew Edenbaum

    Spot on. Bunch of p.c. chicken sh*t cowards who don’t understand that w/out a strong military and military resolve we’d be speaking german and japanese.
    Need a Commander in Chief who ACTUALLY served in the military, not some Ivy league academician who never held a real job, never served his country, and loves to defend the IRS, and have the federal government your mommy and daddy.

  • Anthony

    “From beginning it was crystal clear that all his choices were bad and we sympathized with his desire to do nothing – but we also warned that doing nothing was in fact the worst option of all.”

    Debates over foreign policy at AI have a tendency to elicit anti Obama sentiment which may override issue/issues at hand. Despite President Obama being both easy target and focus of ire, a more serious national issue ought to be what is case that makes intervention beneficial to United States and its perceived allies (we have spent 12 years in Iraq – training military, police, diplomats, etc. and spent $2 trillion). Is there no getting out of Middle East?

    In any event, inferred in WRM’s essay is idea that optics matter: America’s reputation for global power as perceived by both friends and enemies requires a resolved and determined recitation of America’s strengths by its President vis-a-vis matters of import. But, even WRM concedes that ” the forces of jihad will be significantly stronger after ISIS’s defeat (assuming such) than they were before intervention. So, here we are (even though a basis for action can lead to disaster) extending “war on terror” and using Obama’s highlighted lack of action and indecision for U.S. Mid East conundrums – Realism counsels caution.

    • Andrew Allison

      What we see in the Middle East today is a direct result of an excess of caution. Whilst you are correct that some of the comments do display anti-Obama sentiment we must, as WRM has done, recognize that U.S. Foreign Policy for the past six years has been deeply flawed, and where the buck stops.

      • Anthony

        As usual you utilize another comment to extrapolate your own interpretation in order to confirm/promote a predisposition. I am not focused on six years of Obama’s presidency in my comment to WRM’s essay (if that’s your inclination fine express it to essay). Had I been aware of my comment being monitored I would have bracketed “realist” comment as comparison to policies executed by Baker, Kissinger, Scowcroft, etc. relative to foreign policy (opposed to liberal internationalist and neo-conservative bias for action). If you want clarity: see Charlie Rose’s interview with Secretary Kissinger or better still buy his new book.

        • Andrew Allison

          As usual, you obfuscate the issue. The essay clearly lays out WRM’s view that the President’s foreign policy has been a disaster. Objectively, this simply cannot be disputed. The fact, which I acknowledged, that posts on TAI have a tendency to elicit anti-Obama sentiment is irrelevant to the subject to hand, namely the appalling deterioration in both “America’s reputation for global power as perceived by both friends and enemies” and the state of the Middle East. Comment as you see fit, I done with this.

          • Fred

            Andrew, how dare you respond to Anthony! Don’t you know he doesn’t come here to engage in anything as profane as debate with mere mortals. He comes here to cast his pearls of wisdom before us swine. Ours not to question, much less criticize them, ours but to contemplate them in all their pearly glory. In the presence of such greatness, one does not respond. One merely stands amazed.

          • Anthony

            No one else may know (but if you’re honest you do) and it doesn’t matter but you copy my material (Kaplan comments, I’m done comment as you will, etc. why waste our time Andrew you know my attitude.

  • Shahar Luft

    As Jeffrey Goldberg has recently written, Obama’s Syria policy works better than it looks, esp. re chemical stuff. During his tenure, the Horn of Africa has been reasonably pacified, with ANC troops largely from Kenya bearing the brunt, and European ‘advisors’ moving into Somalia in their wake.

    Obama’s feebleness is a matter of perception more than of substance. On the whole, his America does not behave differently than it did when it was relatively weak – Bush Jr did nothing about the invasion of Georgia, for example, and the list goes back to the mid-century. Even the Truman-Acheson team (a role model for neocons) did not prevent USSR from going nuclear while it could, and nor did the Eisenhower re the China. However, Obama’s over-talk, his high-minded rhetoric, his rounds as a stand-up comic, his jokes and his gestures all have a hollow ring. He is too much the conservative’s idea of a liberal. Moreover, in a world of Putins and Erdogans, perceptions matter too.

    • Duperray

      Obama does not have the stature to face present odds. Reagn would do.

    • InRussetShadows

      South Africa is not a very safe place, anymore. Strike one. You imply that Obama’s American (military) is stronger than Bush’s. I don’t think that’s possible given the troop reductions, the funding reductions, the leaks, and so forth — all of those undermine capability of an army. Strike two. And as for the failure of containment, that was the best policy possible in the face of a war-weary US populace. Strike three.

    • jimb82

      Obama’s feebleness is a matter of will, or lack thereof. The policy of announcing a surge in Afghanistan, after months of dithering, that would end on a finite date, to be followed by a withdrawal of all forces (which has repeatedly been delayed), trumpets weakness to anyone who cares to look. And that is just one example — canceling deployment of missile interceptors in Poland early in the administration was another.

    • Bob

      “However, Obama’s over-talk, his high-minded rhetoric, his rounds as a stand-up comic, his jokes and his gestures all have a hollow ring.”

      I don’t think this can be said strongly enough. Whether it is due to lack of experience, lack of comprehension, or just conviction that the world waits for his Wisdom, or (probably) All of the Above, Obama just doesn’t know how to keep his big mouth shut. Perhaps underneath it all, there really is no vision rooted in reality, certainly no policy on which to base his pronouncements. His complete lack of credibility is what’s likely to bring more war, not less.

  • wigwag

    I could be wrong about this, but it seems to me that the best thing about Obama’s new efforts to stifle Isis is the implications that it will have to his efforts to appease Iran. Obama and his team want a Sunni coalition to join the U.S. in fighting Isis in the worst way. Without it, the whole thing looks too much life a war of civilizations; the last thing that Obama can tolerate is making Dick Cheney look right all along. I’m sure that the Saudis and the Gulf Arabs don’t think much of Isis, but it’s Iran that makes their stomachs turn.

    Surely the Saudis and Gulf Arabs will extract a price from Obama and Kerry for joining their anti-Isis coalition; my guess is that the price for their cooperation will be a decision by Obama to abandon his aspirations for a rapprochement with Iran. It’s hard to believe that the Iranians don’t know this, which is why they have gotten more recalcitrant with international weapons inspectors and why they are snuggling up to the Russians with increasing passion.

    If I am right about this, then Obama is not only witnessing a complete collapse of his policies vis a vis Iraq and Syria, he is also confronting the reality that his grand plans for an American relationship with Iran are also imploding. It’s quite possible that we haven’t seen anything yet. Just want until this November when it becomes apparent that a nuclear deal with Iran aint gonna happen. Obama promised on numerous occasions in very public fashion that a policy of containing a nuclear Iran was off the table. Unless he wants to backtrack in what will be an extraordinarily humiliating fashion, in a few short months he will have little choice but to launch military strikes to prevent Iran from attaining its nuclear ambitions.

    The man who was going to repair America’s relationship with the Islamic world looks like he is facing the prospect of launching military attacks against Sunni Arab extremists and the Persians who lead the Shia world.

    It’s hard to know whether to laugh or to cry.

    • StarTripper

      Opposing Iran? Valerie Jarrett won’t like that one little bit.

    • jimb82

      No way the US will ever do military action against Iran, and they know it.

  • B-Sabre

    “The policy of delay bought Obama nothing…”
    It arguably bought him a second term. And that’s the only thing that matters to this White House – the next election.

  • jeburke

    All true, sadly. But to be fair, it is an unfortunate political reality today that “boots on the ground” would set off a huge, furious revolt against “more war.” The Democratic “base” would go bonkers. Obama would lose virtually all support in the “mainstream” media. Critics would complain, “Why not try bombing first.” And most Republicans, with 2014 and 2016 elections in mind, would find ways to oppose the whole thing (“Obama got us into war” is a great campaign subtext — or text.) And it’s not true that in our society, the top guy can just refuse to say whether he would ever use US “boots” and leave “all options on the table.” The question would be asked of every pol by every reporter every day.

    I’m reminded of Clinton and the Kosovo war. Clinton insisted from the outset that there would be no US-NATO ground invasion and that air power would do the trick. As the air campaign moved through its second month (ultimately 38,000 sorties over 78 days) and the Serbs did not relent, Clinton stuck to his no troops line. However, we now know from insider accounts, that Clinton had ordered the military to make an invasion plan.

    Events matter. Obama could not today declare “boots” and hope to have wide domestic support. Americans are not up for that even though they now want some action. Call that following polls instead of leading, if you want, but I don’t see that Obama has an alternative. To be sure, he had options three years ago. I don’t dispute that.

    • minowe

      I have to admit, I no longer worry about Kosovo sending agents to the U.S. to destroy us. (It has been so long, I can’t even remember worrying about that back then.)

  • ShadrachSmith

    My take from another insightful article

    The standard presidential response to hypotheticals is: “I’m not taking anything off the table.”
    Lots of presidents have said that, lots of times. For a list of reasons to numerous to mention, it is the smartest answer…if your goal is defeating the enemy. If you instead list the limits of your involvement…two questions arise unbidden, and they are: is he too stupid/ignorant to know the right answer, and wtf?

  • guy

    BLA,BLA BLA you can keep your doctor and plan AND SAVE 2500 A YEAR. no boots on the ground bla bla bla. WHAT A SOPHOMORIC PATHOLOGICAL LIAR THE P OS POTUS APPARENTLY IS

  • CSM

    I do not support any US military action at this time. USA is currently saddled with a Commander in Chief that is hesitant, reflective, sensitive to polling, and reluctant even to define the enemy—militant fundamental Islam. These qualities alone bring great risk to our armed forces. ANY sort of campaign, air or otherwise, is easily imagined to be cancelled, or heavily modified, or expanded on a whim from POTUS—in concert with polling results, obviously. The present scenario is a nightmare—this POTUS can only make things worse.

  • Kaiser Derden

    Presentdent Obama kept waiting for “history” to defeat these radicals … funny thing is “history” doesn’t have drones or bombers or boots … Obama is still acting like wishing for things makes them happen … he always talks about past evil being on the wrong side of history but then manages to forget that men and women took actions that PUT that evil on the wrong side of history … he acts like the Soviet Union and Hitler where stopped by history …

  • Gray Wolf

    Some of us saw this coming in 2008.
    A community organizer/part-time law lecturer with NO significant experience or achievement.
    An empty suit and a narcissist to boot.
    This guys was/is a prescription for disaster.
    Thankfully he’s mostly lazy and disengaged.

  • caap02

    Although I do not follow US domestic politics too much (I am not American), I was rather fond of Obama (smart, rational, cool), but in his role of “leader of the free world” (If there is such a thing any more), he has been AWOL, or worse (with all his “no boots on the ground”, “we don’t have a strategy” public statements).

    I read somewhere that Obama used to play poker. I cannot even begin to imagine how.

    • skatblueeyes

      Right, Obama used to play poker just like he could play in the NBA. Obama is also a brilliant speaker! Hahaha!

    • Dr_Albert_Gortenbull

      He would fold with three of a kind in draw poker to “confuse” the opposition. Albert

  • Mark Hamilton

    Obama does not like foreign policy. It gets in his way and frustrates him. He really only cares about domestic policy and so he gives speeches about foreign policy driven completely by domestic policy. He gives away the game to the enemy in neon lights because he is more concerned with his immediate domestic concerns. At this point, the man is a sad spectacle.

  • dedc79

    Please explain how not sending troops after committing not to send troops would have a different impact than not sending troops after pretending like we might. You think ISIS will drop their guns based upon a bluff?

    • skatblueeyes

      Seriously? There IS a reason the military uses feints during wars. You know, keep the enemy guessing, the element of surprise, offensive advantages, etc

  • skatblueeyes

    Obama keeps promising no boots on the ground, but he has already sent 1,000 “advisors” to Iraq. Are they all barefoot?

    • Government Drone

      It’s a reflection of our leadership that I can’t totally discount this notion…

  • dedc79

    Also, please explain how we could/should have “nip[ped] ISIS in the bud.” Would it have involved ground troops? How long would the troops have to have stayed to ensure that the ISIS root didn’t take hold again and need another nipping?

    • Government Drone

      Yes, it very likely would’ve involved ground troops, & they would’ve been there pretty much for decades (though not necessarily fighting all or even much of that time).
      John McCain was saying as much in 2008, pointing to the results in S. Korea & W. Germany. But, the Brights from Harvard said that this proved McCain was a meanie & stupid, & that their own way (leaving as quickly as they could) was going to be so much better.

    • Dave

      ISIS didn’t overrun western Iraq overnight. Some time ago they began to exploit the Iraqi army’s weaknesses in command, communications, and logistics to gradually take control of the desert and small towns. As the countryside became more difficult and dangerous the Iraqi areas of operation became more confined. By a year ago, ISIS was openly convoying in western Iraq and robbing and murdering people along the major highways. At that point the government of Iraq finally conceded they were losing against ISIS and asked the US for help that they did not get. The tipping point came this summer when first command and communications failed the Iraqi troops and then their logistics system collapsed.

      A year ago when ISIS was brazenly driving around the open desert, a relatively simple surveillance effort followed by a brief and concerted air campaign might have done a great deal of damage to ISIS. That in turn could have been followed up with Iraqi ground attacks with small teams of Americans embedded to provide close air support. The possibility of such an operation might also have given us leverage over Maliki to force some concessions to the Sunnis and keep them from embracing ISIS. As far as I know, none of that was even attempted by the US.

  • Cory Atkin

    Executive summary of the president’s speech:

    “We will lead a broad coalition to pursue and attack ISIS until it is eliminated or until we get tired or bored and decide to take our weapons and go home, leaving those who are dumb enough to trust us and side with us to once again face slaughter.”

  • FriendlyGoat

    The paragraph fourth from the end is silly. You cannot agree IN PRINT with the president on not sending ground troops, but insist you wouldn’t want the enemies to know that.

    Americans deserve to be told what is going on. That involves telling the world. We don’t sensibly entertain fooling ourselves to fool “them”.

  • Zimriel

    What the West *should* have done was to support Assad on condition he let up on Israel, and to support an Alawite-Christian coup in case he didn’t. Apparently that option wasn’t even on the table.

  • Rick554

    Couldn’t have happened to a better guy. Tough shit Obama

  • Zebra Dun

    Relax, have a beer, watch some TV about Gender benders renting a flat together.

    When it comes to Islam or America Barack said “he would stand with Islam every time” so relax, Islam is your friend, I mean dang, it’s not known all over the world and vast parts of Outer Space due to NASA as “THE RELIGION O’ PEACE” for nothing is it?

  • jefferson’s words

    the only advantage America lacks is “resolve”. the idea that 30,000 clowns with their faces covered riding around in toyoda pick-up trucks and waving ak-47’s can terrorize 300 million Americans is laughable, if not for poor political leadership, from both parties. these isis animals do not recognize any GENEVA convention or human rights law, so neither should we. we do know for sure that any dead terrorist will not be planning tomorrows attack.

  • jefferson’s words

    years ago the Russians had a weapon called “artillery.” they use to refer to how many “tubes” they could bring to bear on a target. it worked quite well against fixed targets or enemy strongholds. uising the Israeli tactic of “knocking before wrecking”, we could drive these people back out into the desert, where water and survival become much more important then beheadings or masked parades.

  • jefferson’s words

    but we’d have to keep the operation a secret from our “state department”, who are still investigating what happened in benghazi

  • jefferson’s words

    who supplies the air filters for toyota pick-up trucks out in the desert ? wouldn’t they have to be changed regularly, with all that sand ?

  • Glenn Beaton

    I agree that he has a terrible habit of showing his weakness — the first example was when he told Eric Cantor in budget negotiations “don’t call my bluff.” And now it continues when he inexplicably assures the enemy, repeatedly, that he won’t put troops on the ground.

    But all this careful charting through his poor “strategy” and how it came undone, gives him far too much credit. He’s never had a poor “strategy.” He’s never had any strategy at all. The job is a lot of work, and he’s not willing to do that work.

    It’s the same issue he’s always had. He skips class.

  • jefferson’s words

    is their anyone beside me, who is offended by the supposed “coolness” of talking about “boots on the ground” or “body bags” ? these college political science majors discussing an American soldier, sent by an elected president and elected congress, to put themselves in mortal danger, deserve better. he or she are not “boots on the ground”. they deserve the respect and honor due any warrior class who defend those who choose to hang back and just fill the air with rhetoric. it’s nice to be cool, but when we’re at war and the rest of us are not called upon to make any sacrifice, we should be ashamed.

  • Dr_Albert_Gortenbull

    Obama s an idiot savant with a gift for oratory heavily assisted by the teleprompter. Albert

    • B-Sabre

      Completely correct, except the “savant” part.

  • sderamus

    Obama’s original do nothing strategy was the right thing all along. The new deviation, foisted on him by his critics like you is what is wrong headed. Drive this through your thick f***ing skulls: THIS IS NOT OUR FIGHT! Anyone who thinks it is needs to enlist now. Otherwise they are just cowards. ISIS is not a threat to vital American interests. It’s a sh**ty organization, but no one has yet identified how it is a threat to the United States or even our allies. It has taken over some Sunni areas in the deserts of Iraq, but has failed to seriously disrupt oil supplies and has been pretty much stopped by Shiite and Kurdish militias beyond its Sunni borders. The idea that they are coming to America to behead us is stupid. It is nothing but scaremongering by people who have never served in our military and are safe in their homes secure in the knowledge that they will not be called on to sacrifice for this cause. They didn’t kill the two Americans they captured until we started to get involved militarily with airstrikes. This is simply not our fight. Arm the Kurds and the Iraqi government. Provide some satellite intelligence. Some humanitarian assistance, but for the most part, this is something for the people of the region to solve, not US blood and treasure. You say you don’t want ground troops? Please don’t make me laugh. You are militarily clueless because you likely never served a day in your life. The only way we can seriously “contain” (gotta love the newspeak in that word) or “degrade” a rebel group like ISIS is with significant boots on the ground; on the order of 400-500K. Call up the reserves. Reinstitute the draft. And then go in there with full force of American military might. Because outside of that we might as well piss on them for all the good we are likely to do in the long run. A w bombing runs, drone strikes and the like may drive them back a bit, but they’ll just keep coming back. We need to recognize something basic: they don’t like us because we are there. OBL opposed allowing US troops in Saudi Arabia to push Saddam out of Kuwait. That’s what triggered 9/11, not some bovine scat about how they “hate freedom.” They could care less about the US outside of our presence in Saudi Arabia. Once we threw out Saddam we should have left. But nooooo. We had to have some boogie man to keep around after the fall of the Soviet Union. Otherwise we might actually have to really cut military spending. So we made up a nonexistent threat to justify keeping troops over there. What happened? They attacked us, Duh! They bombed Kobar Towers. They bombed the Cole. And after our failure to respond seriously they ultimately hit us on our own soil. The sad truth is that Obama seemed to be the first President in decades that realized that basic truth. Stay the f**k away, absent blatant attacks on our vital interests and clearly identify our interests and telegraph those to the world. Help out others in need, but not our troops or significant treasure. Unfortunately so many Americans (really a minority) don’t see it that way, and insist that whatever is going wrong in the world is the President’s fault and he must do something about it. UTTER BOVINE SCAT! And now they have managed to get their way, but I doubt they will have to suffer the consequences. Well don’t look to me anymore. I’ve been there done that enough times. Somebody else’s turn. Hopefully you or your kids. Good luck and remember that only one in four rounds is a tracer

  • Jack Henneman

    The policy of delay had the big benefit that it got Obama past the 2012 election campaign, so it served its purpose. He told the enemy what he was planning to do in this case also for domestic political reasons. Same thing with the clear planning on executive action re illegal aliens: He is not going to do it now, but has essentially he promised to do it later. All is political, and he always assumes that enough voters will not really understand what he is doing.

  • elHombre

    “The policy of delay bought Obama nothing and cost him dearly.”

    Pretty cynical, Professor. Obama’s policies have cost thousands their lives and/or homes and have guaranteed chaos for years. That’s just the Middle East. Has he done better elsewhere? I think not.

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