It’s a tale of two leaders: Obama and Hollande.
(Updated from American Thinker post.)
In a press conference on Nov. 15, 2015 in Turkey, Obama proved that he overthinks things. He said our troops could clear out various towns in Iraq, but we need to have cooperation from the local people – never mind that the Kurds who took Sinjar were cheered.
The one exception is that there have been a few who suggested that we should put large numbers of U.S. troops on the ground.
And keep in mind that we have the finest military in the world and we have the finest military minds in the world, and I’ve been meeting with them intensively for years now, discussing these various options, and it is not just my view but the view of my closest military and civilian advisors that that would be a mistake – not because our military could not march into Mosul or Raqqa or Ramadi and temporarily clear out ISIL, but because we would see a repetition of what we’ve seen before, which is, if you do not have local populations that are committed to inclusive governance and who are pushing back against ideological extremes, that they resurface – unless we’re prepared to have a permanent occupation of these countries.
Mr. President, that last line is the most important one. Contrary to what you just said, we must indeed have a continued military presence in Iraq for the foreseeable future, much like what we have in Korea (and Japan), keeping back the dark forces of evil communists.
And I don’t know who these military and “civilian” advisers are who counsel passivity, but no doubt Obama is not listening to advice that he doesn’t like, or else he handpicked them to say what he wants to hear or only to agree with him (e.g. Ben Rhodes).
Generals told Obama to keep troops in Iraq, but he didn’t listen.
The president would likely reply by setting out a false dichotomy, saying either he has to set his hair on fire (what the unthinking hordes of average Americans want from him), or he should keep being his awesome self (the eerily calm Zen master). Wrong. He could speak with more force and passion. He doesn’t have to overthink matters, as if in a meditative state, especially if he’s so confident of an easy victory, as he says in that long excerpt.
French president Hollande, on the same day, in a speech before the Parliament, rightly said we need to defeat Daesh (aka ISIS) and then seek a solution in Syria. He also calls for a coalition (13th and 34th minutes) of France, Russia, and the USA. No doubt other nations would join, too.
It is imperative that the USA lead the allies. Russia does not share our values. Has anyone noticed that Russia doesn’t like Israel very much? Maybe its soviet-style leaders today will momentarily be friendly with the only democracy in the region–that’s Israel, folks–but they are at odds in the long run. Now Russia is poised to take the lead in the Greater Middle East, thanks to Obama. Oil, anyone?
In sum, Hollande is decisive while our Zen Master in Chief will not lead any coalition with troops on the ground. If he does change his mind, it will be months too late, our troops dragging up the rear.
Why can’t the American left see that in world history, nations have taken turns to lead the world? And now it is our turn. Yes, we are the world’s police force, like it or not. If you don’t like that image, then how about we’re the leading military that acts like a … ahem … a police force on an international scale.
Let’s gather allies to help us.
This post appeared at American Thinker, on Nov. 17, 2015, as “Our Zen Master in chief,” but it has been expanded here.