International pop-music icon and Will & Grace guest star Cher is not particularly impressed with how President Obama has been waging war on the Islamic State.
Cher (born Cherilyn Sarkisian) is many things. She is an award-winning actress, singer, and philanthropist. Much like many other celebrities living today, she also tweets—and oftentimes those tweets turn to politics, history, and war.
Over the long Memorial Day weekend, Cher took to Twitter to sharply criticize Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter for blaming Iraqi forces’ lack of will for ISIS’s recent victory in Ramadi.
“Ash Carter Says ‘IRAQI ARMY LACKS WILL [TO] FIGHT’ YA THINK,” Cher wrote, before posting an emoji of a face crying from vigorous laughter. “Spend [money] REALLY Arming The Kurds. We BLEW Off Sunni Tribesman, [for] Shiite [government] & Now We’ll Pay [the price.]”
This wasn’t the first instance of Cher tweeting about ISIS or Iraq—not by a long shot. She has expressed—frequently in ALL CAPS—her thoughts and feelings about the crisis and Obama administration policy many times before her Memorial Day weekend venting.
“PRES..OBAMA…LOVE U, BUT ISIS IS KICKING OUR ASS, & IRAQI ARMY FIGHTS LIKE OLD [PEOPLE,] [FUUUUUUUCK]‼️” she tweeted this month. “I’M NO HAWK, but ISIS Is Major Threat 2 Safety of USA,” she posted last August. “WE BLEW [MONEY] & LOST LIVES…In Bush’s [bullshit] War, But [America] MUST Pull [the] World [together] & Rid It Of ISIS.”
And Cher has been abundantly clear about how she believes that the Bush administration essentially created ISIS by launching a disastrous war in Iraq.
Cher’s position on the ISIS war isn’t as hawkish as, say, rapper Flavor Flav’s, who has called for a large international coalition, led by the United States, to invade Syria and Iraq and crush the terror group. Her more recent foreign-policy analysis has, however, earned her at least a few golf claps from the Washington, D.C., national-security and foreign-policy community.
“I’d have to go with Cher’s analysis as more nuanced and more on-point than Ash Carter’s,” Daveed Gartenstein-Ross, senior fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, told The Daily Beast. “I think Cher is putting her finger on a real U.S. foreign-policy failure and I applaud her astuteness, and for recognizing it.”
Gartenstein-Ross went on to concur with Cher’s assessment that it was a huge mistake that the Obama administration “BLEW Off” Sunni tribes. “As a result, they were not in a position to meaningfully contribute in Ramadi when ISIS advanced on the city,” he said.
“Cher recognizes that in a world where sub-state actors play a much more important role in politics…sometimes you have to engage those actors directly…If I could turn back time, I would find a way to fund the Sunni tribes.”
Despite her criticism of President Obama’s ISIS strategy, Cher is a hardcore liberal. She has previously said that two terms of George W. Bush “almost killed [her],” and she has said many times that she doesn’t understand why any woman or member of a minority group would ever vote Republican.
One of the issues she is most passionate about is U.S. military veterans, and the treatment of injured and maimed troops returning home. Below is video of when Cher actually called into C-SPAN in October 2003—surprising the host, obviously—to discuss her visit to the Walter Reed Army hospital. (She comes in around the 18-minute mark.)
“Thank you for C-SPAN, I watch it every day,” Cher says.
And here she is calling into C-SPAN again, this time to talk about proper helmets for soldiers, and “so-called Christian Republicans”:
Cher’s publicist did not immediately respond to a request for comment regarding the singer/actress’s broader views on the U.S.-led war on ISIS.