When CIA Director John Brennan -- then the White House counterterrorism adviser -- laid out the Obama administration's new approach to fighting Islamist terrorism on June 29, 2011, he mocked conservatives who suggested that Islamist extremists were plotting to re-establish a caliphate across the Middle East.
Here's what he said:
Our strategy is also shaped by a deeper understanding of al Qaeda’s goals, strategy, and tactics. I’m not talking about al Qaeda’s grandiose vision of global domination through a violent Islamic caliphate. That vision is absurd, and we are not going to organize our counterterrorism policies against a feckless delusion that is never going to happen.
Never going to happen? Here's what the Christian Science Monitor reported Thursday:
"A transnational jihadist group now controls a swath of territory across northern Iraq and Syria, creating a de facto Sunni Islamic 'caliphate' in its wake as it pushes south toward the Iraqi capital of Baghdad."
Remember when we were promised that Obama's election would put the smart people in charge?