Procrastination and avoidance
Ryan Summerlin August 21, 2014
As parts of the world disintegrate into chaos and our borders are flooded with thousands of illegal immigrants, the stark realities of President Obama’s inept foreign policy are glaringly apparent. Instead of a proactive, action-oriented stance, he has chosen to employ the procrastination and avoidance tactics that are the very definition of his terms in office. In fact, the only time Obama seems to be acting instead of reacting is when he’s in front of cameras with a politically correct speech in hand. For once I actually agree with Hillary Clinton, the leader of the free world is indeed “winging it” and he is certainly “overly cautious” – two characteristics that no United States President can afford to have.
Instead of immediate military support for Iraq, his delayed and trickling military response will only serve to further entrench the Isis terrorist group into the hard won, but tentative democracy that our soldiers died for. Instead of both verbal and physical support for Israel, one of our greatest allies and one of the few American-friendly countries in the Middle East, President Obama has insulted and snubbed Prime Minister Netanyahu both privately and publicly. Meanwhile, two extremely dangerous and highly radicalized terrorist organizations, Hamas and Isis, are gaining stronger footholds and making an already volatile region more unstable.
I am not naive enough to think that one man or one country can solve the world’s problems and I am not advocating impulsiveness in wielding America’s power. Doing nothing is not the same thing as standing still, however, and all Barack Obama seems capable of is doing absolutely nothing. As Mark Twain said, “Actions speak louder than words, but not nearly as often” with this President.
As the greatest melting pot in the world, we are in the unique position of spreading democratic ideals through generations of immigrants. And as the most technologically advanced military on earth, we are in the necessary position of helping the good people of Iraq, Israel, Syria, and Ukraine to rise up against the dictators and terrorists that have historically repressed them. Even our educational system spreads American ideals as our universities increasingly become meccas for students from every corner of the globe. Students from North Korea to Argentina experience the fruits of a democratic society this way and spread those fruits into their native countries.
Yet there stands our fearless leader, President Obama, staring into the face of Hamas and Isis like a deer in the headlights.
I have often wondered how many lives could have been saved and how much destruction avoided if America had entered WWII earlier than we did. Could the advancement and domination of Nazi troops, prior to the bombing of Pearl Harbor, have ended the Nazi occupation of Europe all together if we had acted sooner? Perhaps an entire Holocaust could have been prevented if we had. Could the terrorist attacks of 9/11 been thwarted if we had made capturing Osama Bin Laden a greater priority after the embassy bombings of the 1990s? What if we had assassinated Saddam Hussein instead of bargaining with a monstrous dictator at the end of the Gulf War? Both of these actions would have prevented two wars, thousands of civilian and soldier casualties, and billions of dollars in debt. More recently, simply arming the resistance in Syria may have prevented Isis from gaining its current foothold in that country and the warring Gaza strip – we can already see the consequences of President Obama’s procrastination unfolding there. Unfortunately, Israeli and Syrian citizens are currently paying the price for America’s hesitation.
Now we must ask ourselves this: Could our current apprehensions in international affairs have catastrophic consequences? I believe the answer is a resounding ‘YES’ and I’m afraid that no one in the White House is listening. We cannot solve every nation’s problems, nor should we try to, but simply doing nothing isn’t the answer either. Perhaps President Obama needs to be reminded that when he placed his hand on the Bible and swore an oath to this country, in many ways he swore an oath to the world at large. His actions, or lack thereof, have a profound effect on billions, not merely millions of lives. One person, one country can make a difference and we should. As Mother Teresa wisely said, “We know only too well that what we are doing is nothing more than a drop in the ocean. But if the drop were not there, the ocean would be missing something.”
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