When Barack Obama was elected more than six years ago, there was to be a new age in the world: The Age of Obama. He was going to end the “evil” wars of the Bush era. He went on an Arab Apology Tour, apologizing for all the alleged sins of the U.S. for the past few decades, especially under that dastardly George W. Bush. He and Hillary Clinton hit the “reset” button in relations with Vladimir Putin and Russia after those relations became frosty after Putin invaded Georgia (the country, not the U.S. state). All was to be good in the world in The Age of Obama.
Six years later, all is not good in the world in The Age of Obama. In fact, the world is in a much worse place.
After exiting Iraq in 2011 and putting an end to the “bad war,” we are once again in Iraq. About a year ago, Obama scoffed at the radical Islam group known as ISIS, calling it the JV (junior varsity) team and that the U.S. cannot play “whackamole” with every little terrorist group that happens to pop up. Just a few months after scoffing at the “JV” ISIS, ISIS controlled about half of Syria and half of Iraq and was just a few miles from the doorstep of Baghdad. And now, ISIS has spread its roots into Libya and other Northern African countries.
We were told that Al Qaeda (remember them?) was “decimated” and “on the run.” Well, Al Qaeda also has metastasized throughout the Middle East and into Africa. This past fall, Obama touted his success in Yemen. Today, the government that had allied itself to the U.S. has been overthrown, an Al Qaeda and Iranian-friendly regime is in its place, and the U.S vacated its embassy in Yemen with the Marines being ordered apparently by the U.S. State Department to hand over their weapons.
About a year ago, Russia through so-called rebels in Ukraine, invaded Ukraine and eventually took over that country’s Crimean Peninsula. A recently constructed cease fire, led in negotiations by Europe, has gotten nowhere and recently enabled Russia and its proctors in Ukraine to overtake a key Ukrainian city. Putin also has been harassing the Baltic countries of Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia, all former Soviet satellites that would prefer to remain free than be engulfed in a new Soviet empire. Unlike Ukraine, the Baltic States are a part of NATO, which would theoretically mean that NATO would have to come to their defense if Putin invaded. The present mealy NATO leadership, led in part by a mealy U.S. leadership, probably would let Russia take over the Baltic States than get involved. Where are Ronald Reagan and Margaret Thatcher when you need them?
While the world crumbles, hostages get beheaded and burned alive; Obama either is out on the golf course or holding silly three-day talk-a-thons about the threat of “violent extremism.” Obama and Attorney General Eric Holder spend more time castigating FOX News than they do actually confronting the dangers in the world. The Obama White House communication team spends more time trying to not utter the words Radical Islam or Islamic terrorists than actually doing something to stop it. The Obama/John Kerry State Department says all a terrorist needs is a jobs program. No wonder the world is unraveling right before our eyes.
All of this boggles the mind. And where is the media? Or most of the media? The major newspapers, local TV news stations and networks of ABC, CBS, NBC, CNN and MSNBC devote less time to the growing threats of ISIS and this administration’s response than it does whether Bruce Jenner wants to be a man or a woman.
The administration recently announced that come April or May, there will be a major offensive to retake the Iraqi city of Mosul from ISIS. Why are we making such announcements? Is it to make Obama look like he is doing something and being tough? It sure isn’t about the element of surprise. That would be like Japan announcing it’s going to bomb Pearl Harbor before they do it. That would be like the Allied governments announcing the invasion of Normandy to the Germans.
We are constantly told that the American people are war weary. Well, we are (including me). However, recent polls also show about more than 60 percent of the American people support sending ground troops to Iraq and Syria to defeat ISIS. More and more Americans also support confronting Putin and stopping his conquest of Eastern Europe. Most Americans understand right and wrong, life and death, freedom and tyranny.
All of these problems cannot rely on American will and power alone. Europe and Arab countries do have to get involved. Jordan needs more weapons to fight ISIS. Give it to them. Egypt wants our support and not our cold shoulder, which the military leadership there has received since the coup to remove the terrorist-oriented Muslim Brotherhood from power. Ukraine has been begging for assistance from us for a year now. ISIS and Putin can be stopped, with the will, leadership, power and resolve of the U.S., Canada, England, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Jordan, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Kenya and other African countries faced by a greater threat then Ebola, which is Boko Harem. But the will, leadership, power and resolve has to begin in Washington, D.C. with certain European and Arab countries right behind.
It can be done. It just takes a leader who understands the problems and can speak what they are without doing verbal gymnastics. The problem, I fear, is the world will not wait – and cannot wait – for that to happen until January 2017.