In a briefing for reporters prior to Obama’s speech Wednesday night one “Senior Administration Official” made this statement:
SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL: I guess I would just add one thing on the coalition question — and I think this is important to really focus on, which is to say, in discussions with governments in the region, notably the Saudis and the Jordanians, what is clear is that we have a very common view of this threat. And this is really quite unusual.
ISIL has been I think a galvanizing threat around the Sunni partners in the region. They view it as an existential threat to them. Saudi Arabia has an extensive border with Syria. [my italics] The Jordanians are experiencing a destabilizing impact of over a million refugees from the Syrian conflict, and are profoundly concerned that ISIL, who has stated that their ambitions are not confined to Iraq and Syria, but rather to expand to the broader region.
A quick look at a map indicates that this is unlikely
Rather than taking this to be an unintentional blooper, we should look upon it as a triumph of Ezra Klein and Vox.com’s explanatory journalism. In July, in an attempt to educate other Democrats on the Arab-Israel crisis, Vox.com ran this:
Needless to say, this bridge is just as real as the extensive Saudi-Syrian border.
This bodes ill for the administration’s response to ISIS, as hardcore leftwinger Nicholas Kristoff tweeted:
Always a bad sign when the White House plans a war on a country that it misplaces on a map http://t.co/aqVC9tiMiA
— Nicholas Kristof (@NickKristof) September 12, 2014