Terrorism and the President


Last night, I received a little push-back on Twitter to my reaction to the attacks in Paris, specifically President Obama’s comments thereon.  By Obama standards, the commentary wasn’t that bad.  His bar is so low it’s on the ground, of course, but he managed to refer to himself fewer than a dozen times in the 500 words, and at least he didn’t deny that Islamic terrorism was behind the attacks; he just sidestepped the perpetrators altogether.

The problem is that he’s just so weak, and the world is as it is in large part because of his weakness.  (Whether it’s deliberate is another subject.)  He came into office and traveled the world to point a finger of blame at his own country.  He cashed in a victory in Iraq for electoral gain and thereby precipitated much of what followed.  His actions in Afghanistan have been less than impressive, his administration (with Hillary Clinton) turned Libya to (even greater) turmoil, he helped foment unrest in countries like Egypt, while knocking the wind out of it in Iran, where it might have turned things for the better.  His fecklessness in Syria drew that country toward its calamity, and his timidness against Russia has invited that country to press for advantage.

That’s before we get to domestic politics, where open borders have drawn masses of untraceable, low-skilled people into our stagnant economy (which his policies have helped to keep stagnant), and his strategy of fomenting divisions along lines of identity politics (especially race) has weakened us as a nation.  And don’t forget the observation that he’s used taxpayer dollars to make it boom-time for left-wing activists while the bureaucracy under him directly attacks his opponents and imposes policies across the board that erode freedom and opportunity.

All of this leaves us extremely vulnerable.

On the national security front, the two options are to attack the terrorists’ infrastructure in their home countries, thus drawing the fighters back to that land, over there, or to build our own defenses and attempt to identify, trace, and neutralize them on our land, over here.  President Obama apparently lacks the will and clearly lacks the credibility to attack over there, and in any event, it likely aligns with his domestic goals to increase the reach and invasiveness of the government among its own people.

At this point, however, the country is so divided and distrustful of itself and the government that a dragnet sufficient to stop the largest attacks (but never all of them) is sure to fray as Americans resist it.  Meanwhile, the enemy is inside the gates and proclaiming, “The American blood is best, and we will taste it soon.”

It takes a great deal of inanity to get the world to a precipice like this, and another year of this president promises only more inanity.

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