WASHINGTON – The two presidents stood in the East Room on Tuesday afternoon, united in their goal of defeating the Islamic State but separated by a stylistic gulf as vast as the Atlantic.
On the left, facing the cameras, was Francois Hollande, war president. He spoke of “cowardly murderers” who “dishonor humanity,” of a “relentless determination to fight terrorism everywhere and anywhere,” of “an implacable joint response,” of “hunting down their leaders” and “taking back the land.”
On the right stood Barack Obama, President Oh-bummer.
Defeating the Islamic State?
“That’s going to be a process that involves hard, methodical work. It’s not going to be something that happens just because suddenly we take a few more airstrikes.”
A political settlement in Syria?
“It’s going to be hard. And we should not be under any illusions.”
Could the Paris attacks have been prevented?
“It’s hard – that’s a hard thing to track. … That’s a tough job.”
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