August 6, 2014
President Obama is in serious danger of joining a select group of disastrous leaders who put their people and their country in desperate circumstances that cost lives and risked ruinous defeat.
Almost everywhere you look around the world, the situation is worse for the United States and worse for freedom than when President Obama took office—in many cases catastrophically so. There isn’t much sign that he recognizes this or is particularly concerned.
Iraq is the most obvious (and potentially most dangerous) example. The Washington Post clarified the stakes there in a report quoting Janine Davidson at the Council of Foreign Relations. Davidson noted that ISIS, the terrorist group that has taken over much of the Iraq, “now controls resources and territory unmatched in history of extremist organizations.”
The Post went on to quote the State Department’s deputy assistant secretary for Iraq and Iran, describing ISIS:
It’s “worse than al-Qaeda,” Brett McGurk…told lawmakers last month. It “is no longer simply a terrorist organization. It is now a full-blown army seeking to establish a self-governing state through the Tigris and Euphrates valley in what is now Syria and Iraq.”
Just this past January, President Obama dismissed this new threat “worse than al-Qaeda” with the trivializing quip: “The analogy we use around here sometimes, and I think is accurate, is if a jayvee team puts on Lakers uniforms that doesn’t make them Kobe Bryant.”
Assuming the President was telling the truth, the White House analysis seven months ago was that ISIS was an irrelevant junior varsity split off from the really important al-Qaeda.
That would be a mistaken analysis of historic proportions. Yet it fits the continuing pattern of the State Department and the White House underestimating Boko Haram in Nigeria, the terrorists in Libya, the Taliban in Afghanistan (where an Afghan just killed an American major general, the highest ranking officer lost in the last 12 years of war), the Iranian nuclear program, the Iranian influence over Maliki in Iraq, the depth of Hamas’s commitment to destroying Israel (killing every Jew as Hamas’s charter promises and as Hamas spokesmen have continued to suggest), etc. etc.
The Obama administration’s Middle East confusion is matched by its misunderstanding of dictatorship in Venezuela, Putin’s intentions around the Russian periphery, the growing North Korean weapons program, the growing Chinese aggressiveness in the South China Sea and with the Japanese. Again and again there is a growing gap between reality and the Obama Administration’s analysis and plans.
Well-meaning but delusional governments can have catastrophic consequences and many people can die as a result of misinformed, overly positive, and or fantasy-driven leadership.
President James Buchanan simply couldn’t bring himself to intervene to stop the South from arming itself, taking over federal armories and setting the stage for Civil War. He left the Union in much worse shape, made war much more likely, and is generally considered to be the most destructive president in American history.
Similarly, Prime Minister Stanley Baldwin lied to the British people about the German military buildup under Hitler. He knew the truth but was afraid of annoying the British voters by forcing them to confront the danger of war. He simply wasn’t truthful, as Churchill pointed out time and again in frustration. Chamberlain succeeded Baldwin and continued the process of ignoring the demonic evil in the Hitler dictatorship and trying desperately to cut a deal to protect Britain even at the cost of selling out Czechoslovakia.
President Obama should study carefully the costs of self-deception and weakness. He is in grave danger of leading us into a disaster on a scale that will be historic and will condemn him to be in the league of Buchanan and Baldwin.
That would be a horrifying legacy and a horrifyingly expensive result in both blood and pain.
Look at the facts as they are unfolding and decide for yourself if this analysis is too strong.
I fear the future will prove this analysis correct.