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Obama's Vacuum of Leadership


Once our power projection platforms in Europe and Southwest Asia are removed, it will be nearly impossible for us to re-establish ourselves as the single legitimate world super power. We will be more like the super powerless.

Photo Credit: Andrew Burton/Getty Images

"We are fighting global terrorism here.”

These words were spoken plainly and confidently by Kenyan army chief Julius Karangi about the Nairobi Westgate shopping mall murders and hostage situation, which has claimed at least 72 lives and wounded 200. That is what President Barack Hussein Obama should have said on the Boston bombing, or the atrocity at Fort Hood, Texas. Instead, these terrorist acts, were deemed domestic disturbances by Obama.

In his 45 minute speech to the United Nations General Assembly on Tuesday - in Manhattan, a place that has overcome at least 13 terrorist attack attempts since Sept. 11, 2001 - President Obama mentioned terrorism twice. Once in reference to the Nairobi, Kenya murder and hostage situation and once in this segment: “We are transferring detainees to other countries and trying terrorists in courts of law, while working diligently to close the prison at Guantanamo Bay.”

The second reference made it seem like the Military Commissions Act of 2009, something he and his Attorney General crafted, were not law, but impediments to a civilian justice system that could never possibly prosecute the world’s worst of the worst terrorists and deter and future terrorist attacks.

He mentions the Sept. 11, 2001 “attack,” and “war” in Iraq and Afghanistan, but never utters the phrase “Global War on Terror.”

The President said, “The danger for the world is that the United States . . . may disengage, creating a vacuum of leadership that no other nation is ready to fill.” And, “I believe America must remain engaged for our own security.”

Yet, he admits later in the speech that, “Today, all of our troops have left Iraq. Next year, an international coalition will end its war in Afghanistan.”

And so leaving Iraq to the wolves (Iran and al Qaeda), thereby surrendering the high ground in our struggle against Islamists, is the new black. It is apparently fashionable to admit one’s failures were opposite from one’s objectives all the while expressing regret that things got so bad, but are actually better.

It is true that this president tries to be all things to all people, an idea that he drove home when he said, “The world is more stable than it was five years ago.” Five years ago there was no Arab Spring, and whether we liked it or not, several now deposed hard line tyrants were still in office and “stability” ran rampant through the Middle East, with the U.S. projecting withdrawal from a stabilized Iraq and turning the tide in Afghanistan.

Truth serum? Guilt? Conscience? What will it take for this president to take off the psychedelic-colored glasses he insists on filtering world events through, so much so that he got it completely wrong when he abdicated world leadership by accepting terms from a former KGB agent-turned King-of-the-World?

I fear we have all fallen down the rabbit hole with Mr. Obama. We are falling, and we have been falling for so long it feels normal, so normal in fact that things that would otherwise make perfect sense seem absurd.

We are late for a very important date with our destiny, which more and more seems to be headed towards world recalcitrance.

Saddam Hussein pushed away coalition action for over 12 years before the United Nations Security Council voted unanimously to not forbid military action there. How long now will it be before there is coalition action against Bashar al-Assad? Every day Iran and Russia assist Syria is a day further away from peace and stability there, and increasingly, in the region. Who but us, France?

Barack Obama’s parting words from Iraq were, “Anyone trying to derail the progress in Iraq will fail.” Oh, yeah? And what are you going to do about it, brag to the world that you left?

When the U.S. and our allies defeated Germany, Japan and Italy in World War II, we had a plan for many years to come. Obama is now dismantling that plan. The last Abrams M1A2 tanks left Germany last spring and troop levels will shrink to 30,000 by year’s end. Soon, Putin may reinstall the Iron Curtain, or at least begin intimidating disloyal neighbors.

Once our power projection platforms in Europe and Southwest Asia are removed, it will be nearly impossible for us to re-establish ourselves as the single legitimate world super power. We will be more like the super powerless. If we can’t even put the right shoe on the right foot in Syria, what makes any of us think we can put our big boy pants back on after the years of future stalling by Assad, aided by Iran and Russia?

“Vacuum of leadership,” Mr. President? You said it, not me.

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