July 19th, 2018


President Feckless

Jack Kelly

By Jack Kelly

Published Sept. 8, 2014

  President Feckless

Liberals are joining conservatives in speculating about why President Barack Obama says and does the things he says and does.

The president’s “happy talk” about the economy and foreign policy is “unnerving,” wrote liberal Washington Post columnist Dana Milbank, whose column appears here.

Mr. Obama’s leadership is “herky-jerky,” wrote Ruth Marcus, another liberal Post columnist, who admitted she was being “awfully polite.”

The president’s claim the world is safer now than it was 20 years ago “is insulting to the American public,” wrote National Journal editor Ron Fournier.

Mr. Obama’s public statements indicate the president inhabits “a surreal world,” wrote Andrew Malcolm of Investors Business Daily.

Mr. Obama’s domestic initiatives have flopped, too, but the disparity between reality and how the president describes it is greatest in foreign policy.

Running for office, he said he would reach out to America’s enemies and step back from the leadership role America has played in the world (which he considered provocative). He expected to charm our adversaries. Instead, he emboldened them.

The “happy talk” is just for public consumption, Mr. Milbank and Mr. Fournier assume. In private, the president must appreciate the seriousness of the threats. Perhaps Mr. Obama’s ego keeps him from admitting how wrong he’s been. Maybe the “happy talk” is intended to provide cover for Democrats in the midterm elections.

But what if — as “Curt,” who blogs at Flopping Aces thinks — Mr. Obama “lives in a fantasy world where he makes decisions, or more likely makes no decisions at all based on how he thinks the world should operate instead of the reality of the situation?”

Mr. Obama “is a man in denial, on the verge of delusion,” thinks Charles Krauthammer, a psychiatrist before becoming a pundit.

The president’s preposterous assertion that Muslims helped build “the very fabric of our nation” may have been a clumsy attempt to curry favor. Or a sign of delusion.

“The world seems to disappoint” Mr. Obama, wrote biographer David Remnick, packing a lot of arrogance and naivete into a short sentence. In the president’s mind, the world is on fire not because he badly misread Islamist terrorists and Russian President Vladimir Putin, but because they haven’t lived up to his expectations.

Jimmy Carter thought he could charm our enemies, too. But he woke up after the mullahs seized our embassy in Tehran and the Soviet Union invaded Afghanistan. Despite wakeup calls from Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, Libya and Ukraine, Mr. Obama slumbers on, his recent statements indicate.

We can’t defeat our enemies if we don’t know who they are and what motivates them. The president’s refusal to acknowledge that Islamic jihadists are motivated by (a warped view of) Islam is chiefly why Mr. Krauthammer suspects he’s deluded.

Because Mr. Obama has imposed his willful blindness upon them, the security services have only a vague notion of how many Islamists are among us and what they may be plotting.

Two American citizens were killed fighting for the Islamic State in Syria last month. Up to 300 “Americans” are fighting with the Islamic State, intelligence officials estimate. For every fighter overseas, there could be two, three, four in sleeper cells here.

The Department of Homeland Security has lost track of 6,000 foreigners who entered the United States on student visas about whom it has “heightened concern,” ABC News reported Sept. 2. Hundreds more Islamists may cross illegally the border the administration refuses to adequately guard.

The Islamists killed so many on 9/11/2001 because they hijacked airliners and turned them into flying bombs. When Islamists seized the airport in Tripoli, Libya, last week, they gained control of nearly a dozen commercial aircraft.

“Credible information” obtained by Saudi, British and Australian intelligence agencies indicates the Islamic State and a terror group based in Yemen are planning terror attacks on 9/11/2014, according to Debkafile, a private Israeli intelligence service.

“They are preparing to strike simultaneously in the Middle East and a West European city,” Debkafile said. “Next, they will go for U.S. targets in the Middle East and Europe.” They calculate “an attack on America will have a greater shock impact some time after the first cycle of outrages, toward the end of 2014 or early 2015.”

Does President Obama appreciate the gravity, the urgency of the threat? Will he do what’s needed to protect us? His recent words and (in)actions aren’t reassuring.

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JWR contributor Jack Kelly, a former Marine and Green Beret, was a deputy assistant secretary of the Air Force in the Reagan administration.