Personally, I believe we are beginning to see the pinnacle of Obama’s narcissistic traits. Is he concerned about ISIS and the terror they are raining down on Iraq? Yes. Is he concerned about ISIS’s threats toward the USA and the potential for some surprise attack here on our shores? Yes. Yes, he is concerned, but that is the depth of his reaction--concern. Even though he is concerned regarding these matters, he is even more concerned with his love of self and how history will record his legacy. The dangers faced from worldly threats by the American people pale when contrasted with his concern for maintaining a clean slate in history for himself and his administration. He wants to be seen as a President who did great things for America—and that does not include carrying out military actions at a time when military actions are obviously the only real solution.
Based on everything that I have heard from Obama with regard to the ISIS threat, I am convinced that he is going to pursue an action that is so weak and ineffectual that it can only produce one thing—stagnation. America saw a similar reaction from Lyndon Johnson and his administration in Vietnam. On the one hand, Johnson was ready and willing to fight the spread of communism to South Vietnam; on the other, he lived in fear of angering both the Chinese and the Russians in the process. He was so traumatized that he had to sign off on every significant detail regarding that war. In doing so, he essentially handcuffed our military from using its true power in mopping up that situation. The conflict went on for years and years grinding up money and spilling American blood all over the jungles of Southeast Asia—58,000 Americans died there, and we came away from it as a divided nation that has never quite healed from those wounds. Common sense would dictate that we learn from our mistakes, but it is clear that the contrast between Vietnam and Iraq is lost on this administration. After all—Vietnam was a jungle, Iraq is a desert—how can they possibly be alike? Well, here’s a hint Mr. President: it has nothing to do with the terrain or the climate!
For whatever reason, Obama has a soft place in his heart and holds Islam dear. He refuses to acknowledge any affiliation between the religion of Islam and the aims of ISIS. Honestly, I think he really believes that by doing so, it will make it so. A less kind way of interpreting this would be to conclude that he simply has his head in the sand. It seems that Obama believes that he will alienate the Muslims of the world if he unleashes the full military force of the USA on the ISIS threat. As much as the President does not want to face that music, the clock is ticking and the time is coming when he or someone else will have to face it and do what must be done. By waiting, we only make the task that much more complex and difficult. At the same time, Islam has had ample opportunity since the events of 9/11 to speak out openly and publicly and condemn these militant fanatics carrying out acts of terrorism in the name of Islam. For the most part, they have been silent and, in my world, silence far too often represents tacit agreement. So while Islam adherents remain mute and Obama fiddles in the castle of America’s Rome, the world slides a little closer to the front gates of hell with each passing day.
One clear indication of how the wind is blowing around the White House will be the upcoming November mid-term elections. I suspect Obama will do as little as possible with regard to ISIS between now and election day, hoping that his pacifist approach will win Democrat incumbents re-election to their Senate and House seats. Victory in November also provides some basis for Obama’s urgency to get troops into Africa and address the Ebola threat: polling indicates all people, regardless of political stripe, live in fear of the deadly virus and want its spread stopped in its tracks. Can the American military accomplish that? Not likely, as fighting virus and disease is really not a function of the military. But, the President appears resolute in demonstrating that he can make decisions and carry out a plan with great expediency. What a shame that his narcissistic tendencies cause him to shy away from a more deadly type of virus spreading out of Syria and into Iraq. The difference? Reacting with any degree of effectiveness to the latter might have political fallout that outweighs his concerns for the welfare and safety of this nation.
While Obama has upped his game in terms of the words he throws about regarding the ISIS threat, the actions and words of those around him speak quite loudly as to the true direction and substance of any real strategy. It is clear that the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs, General Ramsey, is focused on the idea of reestablishing the Iraq border with Syria and enforcing it. This then would spell out a desire for containment rather than a strategy of eradication. Unfortunately, this strategy would also lead to a never-ending situation much like the one between North and South Korea. Meanwhile, former Vietnam hero, John Kerry, our present Secretary of State, is running around begging for signatures of commitment from various countries in an effort to build this illusionary coalition to fight ISIS. Oh yes, these nations have signaled a readiness to join the fight but only after stipulating the clause “You First” goes into the contract. Kerry conveniently ignores any mention of that while the clock ticks steadily away. Back at the White House, Obama believes that he can chase ISIS back into Syria relying on some token air strikes and a handful of Syrian rebels which we will arm. He envisions ISIS then remaining within Syria and causing trouble for only the Assad government. What are these people smoking?
Clearly, as a nation, we lack the leadership that is absolutely essential in times such as these. That situation is not going to improve any time soon. The American people know that and so does the leadership behind ISIS. In the end, America may well fall victim to narcissism and political expediency.
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