Janet Daley of the Telegraph opines:
The West can no longer rely on American leadership in the world. For the remaining duration of the Obama administration, Washington’s judgment and effectiveness in foreign policy cannot be trusted. It is quite an achievement for the one remaining superpower to appear as ineffectual and wrong-footed as the United States has managed to do in the past week. But there it is. The president’s global strategy in his second term was based on two resounding premises. First, alQaeda was “on the run” having been smashed by the killing of Osama bin Laden and the successful US drone operations in Pakistan: in May, Mr Obama gave a triumphal speech in which he declared the War on Terror officially over.
That was then. This is now: over the past week, 19 US embassies in the Middle East and North Africa had to be closed for a week, and diplomatic staff evacuated from Yemen because of “specific terrorist threats”. So who exactly is on the run? When the embarrassing contrast between this mass exit of the American presence and the “War on Terror (End of)” speech was pointed out, White House spokesmen clarified – as government spokesmen like to call it – what the president had said: it was al-Qaeda in Pakistan and Afghanistan that had been all but defeated, not its franchise in Yemen, which was clearly still alive and kicking.
This clarification was followed shortly by the evacuation of diplomatic staff from Lahore in Pakistan due to – a specific terrorist threat. In his most recent comment, Mr Obama rephrased his dismissal of the Islamist forces: al-Qaeda may not be “on the run” but it is “on its heels”. (Meaning: still facing forward and able to fight?) More confusingly still, Mr Obama is apparently determined to return some Guantánamo prisoners to Yemen, where they will presumably add to the dangerous mix of jihadi terrorists.
The questions remain: is the US “at war” with global jihad or isn’t it? It is now engaged in drone attacks on Yemen, whose government is repeatedly declaring victory over the local al-Qaeda branch. What precisely is America’s role in this, if not as part of an international “War on Terror”? When Barack Obama first ran for the presidency, he committed himself to the war in Afghanistan (rather than Iraq) and refused to rule out the possibility of invading Pakistan. Does he now have any clear, coherent objectives or is his White House simply reacting to events?
But the world needs strong American leadership:
The noted management consultant, Philip Drucker said:
“Management is doing things right; leadership is doing the right things.”
Since 1988, the United States has suffered through a series of “managers” focused trying to do things right with varying degrees of success. They have focused on tactics, not strategy. They have focused on executing individual “things” without a vision of how those “things” combine in the larger strategic scope.The last president that could even be remotely classified as a leader was Ronald Reagan.
Why is it important for America to have a strong leader as president?
Because the world needs America to lead.
The world is in chaos today for two reasons:
- There are countries, political systems, and religions in the world that are using the chaos to damage and weaken America. It is to their benefit to keep the instability going as long as possible to do as much damage as possible.
- American leadership is missing from the world today. Over the past 100 years, global crises were met with definitive American leadership. WWI, WWII, Korea, the defeat of communism at the Berlin Wall, being first at the scene of natural disasters, the eradication of terrorism, the liberation of Iraq and Afghanistan, defense of Israel, funding and providing the majority of support for NATO and the UN and providing the lion’s share of funds for the IMF are just a few examples.
Where are we today?
Leading from behind.
This is not a fad; it is an ethos within the Democrat Party and the “progressive” movement. The epitome of this ethos is the Obama administration.
There are people who are cheering for America to be just another country, one country among many; America is not that special – we have no “right” to lead due to what they classify as past “sins” of imperialism, colonialism, etcetera, etcetera, ad infinitum. They see the world as a kindergarten class lining up for lunch and it is someone else’s turn to lead the line to the lunchroom – little Johnny was head of the line yesterday, now it is Suzie’s turn…
Froma Harrop is a “progressive” and one of my favorite moonbat columnists, she is the one to thank for this “brain dump” because this past week she penned a column that is a perfect illustration of this ethos. In “A Less Super America Will Be Happier“, she writes:
A perceived decline in “national greatness” haunts Americans of all political persuasions. Many equate it with the drop in our superpower status. But others ask, “Are the costs of perpetually commanding the high ground worth it?” Money we spend defending the world, others spend building fast trains. In the past, countries suffering economic seizure went straight to our ER because we were deemed the only country strong enough to save them — and ensure everyone’s financial stability. Things have changed.
A crisis-ridden Europe is now knocking on China’s door, not ours. America’s cupboard is bare, as China’s overflows. So it is now up to China to bail out European banks. And as the Chinese demand tough concessions in return, Europeans will send their resentments to the complaint department in Beijing.
The Greek prime minister’s call for a referendum on a new debt deal with foreign lenders sent global markets into a dive. When a reporter asked White House press secretary Jay Carney for an official response, he said, “It is a European problem that needs to be addressed, and they have the capacity to do it.” Sort of like Dad telling Junior that he has great confidence in the kid’s ability to do his own homework. In other words, do it yourself.
President Obama will, of course, attend the Group of 20 economic meeting in Cannes, France. We can expect him to give Europeans a pep talk and wish them good luck. Way to go.
So it is just great that we aren’t a leader anymore because leaders have to do, you know, like hard stuff. We have to take risks but we can’t do that because we might get bored with it and need to go home for dinner and the other kids would get mad at us.
Looks like they are getting exactly what they wanted. America is weaker today than at any point in my life.