Monday, June 16, 2014

Behind, Facing Backward, With Eyes Closed

Some say that Barack Obama does not have a clear view of the international situation. It is impossible to see what is ahead when you are standing behind and looking backwards. When he even opens his eyes for a short time he exhibits no understanding of what he sees. 

When your guide for international activity is your own domestic political agenda and when you surround yourself with simpering sycophants who will only tell you what you want to hear, when you find daily security briefings boring and unnecessary, you have closed your eyes tight. If your ego tells you that you know more about any subject than those who immerse themselves in that subject and are true experts, you will pile mistake upon mistake. The problem being that when the President of the United States makes mistakes, truly bad things happen.

When you greet every unseen crisis with the need to investigate how it happened and who can be thrown under the bus, rather than asking smart people that can give actual useful guidance, you waste valuable time and allow things to go from bad to horrific. This is what has happened in Iraq.

Just to show how tightly the President and his supporters cling to history as an excuse for present inaction, I ran across a short piece on Facebook by Robert Reich, Secretary of Labor, under Bill Clinton and very much the liberal activist. It was written in Florida where Reich is visiting his father who he says is over one hundred years old. In the article, he claims to be quoting his father. What followed was a disgustingly rude and biased analysis of what has caused the Iraq debacle. Not only is it insulting, it distorts history claiming that Obama has spent six years cleaning up Bushes mess. In truth Obama has created even more and bigger messes and exacerbated existing ones.

A real leader gets up front where his vision is clear. He encourages contrary opinions so he can have a balanced judgement. He listens to the opposition and is willing to admit his own weaknesses. In crisis, he does these things quickly. He focuses and keeps his eye on the ball. Not the golf ball, if you please. He is willing to put aside his own pleasures as long as necessary to show he is serious and in control.

True leadership means raising your country and it's people to the highest level they can achieve. Until now no American leader has ever tried to lower the country and it's people so that they are indistinguishable and undistinguished in a world of mediocrity.

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