“No commander in chief of the U. S. armed forces can be wholly irrelevant, but to the extent one can be, Mr. Obama is.” – Peggy Noonan, Nov. 21, 2015
Under the headline, “Uncertain Leadership in Perilous Times,” Wall Street Journal columnist Peggy Noonan again demonstrates her unique ability to put her succinct thinking in print. Briefly reviewing the terrorist attacks in Madrid, London and most recently in Paris, she reflects on the question, what to do?
“On this issue the American president is, amazingly, barely relevant. The leaders and people of Europe and America will not be looking to him for wisdom, will, insight or resolve,” she writes, “He has misjudged ISIS from the beginning – they were not, actually, the junior varsity – to the end.”
As I have previously written for this blog, we have a petulant, arrogant individual in the White House, who chooses to criticize the press for pressing him on his ISIS non-strategy, while ridiculing GOP candidates on their refugee stance. He says his military and civilian leaders support his position on “containing” ISIS. I don’t believe it.
In recent posts to this blog I have noted the views of several key military and civilian leaders who have spoken clearly on the need for a change of strategy against ISIS. And in a recent poll, 73 percent of the respondents called for increased air strikes and 60 percent approved of introducing ground troops.
Bluster meister Donald Trump said, “I would just bomb those suckers … every single inch, there would be nothing left,” has advocated for ground troops in Iraq, but not Syria.
“We really need to go in there with serious intent not to contain them but to take them out completely … to destroy them … to eliminate them, using every resource available to us,” said Ben Carson.
Sen. Lindsey Graham would “take the fight to their (ISIS) backyard,” but he hasn‘t gained any momentum in the presidential race.
Sen. Ted Cruz has come out against sending U.S. ground troops and has slammed those candidates who do, charging that they want to “show how tough they are.” Like Obama, he doesn’t seem to grasp the seriousness of the ISIS threat when he still says that the movement of troops by politicians “should be driven by national security imperatives and the military needs on the ground.” If he doesn’t see the imperative now, what will it take?
Sen. Marco Rubio has outlined his plan in an op-ed he wrote for Politico magazine. First, he would stop the flow of Syrian refugees in the U.S. Then, he would go on the offensive by building a coalition of countries willing to supply ground troops to augment our troops, while telling his commanders the mission is “total destruction of ISIL.” You can read his full op-ed by clicking here.
On the other side, there’s Hillary Clinton, who fully supported the Obama foreign policy as his secretary of state. “(She) delivered a speech on her strategy to face the current crisis; it sounded a lot like Obama’s strategy, whatever that is,” said Noonan.
“What people hunger for now from their leaders is an air of shown and felt ‘confidence;’ I can do this. We can do it. Who will provide that? Where will it come from? Isn’t it part of what we need in the next president?” Noonan asks.
Those unable to do this need not apply.