President Obama's "no boots on the ground" pledges have been broken so many times it's hard to keep track.
Today the president is back at it. Another 200 boots are on their way to the Mideast.
Iraqi and US officials have been talking up the idea that the Iraqi government, backed by US forces, would take over the major ISIS city of Mosul by year's end. President Obama seems to be rapidly backpedaling away from that prediction, as Iraqi defection mount.
In today's comments, President Obama would only say that Mosul will "eventually" fall back under Iraqi control, and said he figures by the end of the year the "conditions" will be in place whereby that eventual victory can happen sooner or later.
The comments came as the administration announced another 200 ground troops into a war that Obama has long insisted would have no boots on the ground at all, bringing the official US figure for troops to 4,087, and the overall US presence to well over 5,000.
More Boots on the Ground
After I read that, I wondered how many times Obama has pledged to not send "boots on the ground".
A quick search turned up this October 31, 2015, USA Today report: 16 times Obama said there would be no boots on the ground in Syria.
To be fair, this time we are talking about Iraq, not Syria.
Then again, I remind you ...
Interview with Meet the Press, Sept. 7, 2014
"(You) cannot, over the long term or even the medium term, deal with this problem by having the United States serially occupy various countries all around the Middle East. We don't have the resources. It puts enormous strains on our military. And at some point, we leave. And then things blow up again. So we've got to have a more sustainable strategy, which means the boots on the ground have to be Iraqi.
Address to the Nation on Syria, Sept. 10, 2014
"I want the American people to understand how this effort will be different from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. It will not involve American combat troops fighting on foreign soil.
Remarks at the White House, Feb. 11, 2015
"The resolution we've submitted today does not call for the deployment of U.S. ground combat forces to Iraq or Syria. It is not the authorization of another ground war, like Afghanistan or Iraq. ... As I've said before, I'm convinced that the United States should not get dragged back into another prolonged ground war in the Middle East. That's not in our national security interest, and it's not necessary for us to defeat ISIL. Local forces on the ground who know their countries best are best positioned to take the ground fight to ISIL, and that's what they're doing."
Don't worry, those are just advisors ... well sort of advisors ... I think.
Dateline March 25, 2016: U.S. Marines Providing Artillery Fire to Support Advancing Iraqi Ground Troops.
My only conclusion, since I know Obama would never lie, is that Obama did not send in boots.
Rather, Obama sent in the artillery wearing high heels.
Obama says his authority to send in boots derives from an authorization that Congress passed on September 18, 2001 that specifically says the president is authorized to use force against those who planned, authorized or committed aided the terrorist attacks that occurred on September 11, 2001.
Since when was Syria or Iraq involved in 911?
High Heels Total vs. Boots Total
The previous question is moot. Syrian non-involvement in 911 is not the important matter.
Rather, the important point is that high heels and boots are completely different things. The official total is 4,087 pairs of high heels, and zero boots.