First, it was President Jimmy Carter who endeavored to bring an American version of freedom to an Islamic country. He was the man who saw it as his mission to remove the brutal and dictatorial Shah of Iran from power. Ushering in what his administration described as a moderate religious man to lead the Iranian people. With his liberal utopian mind set, President Carter kindled the flames beneath radical Islam. When he allowed the ousted Shah into the United States, supposedly to seek medical care, that moderate religious leader he helped into power spit in his eye and promptly sacked the United States Embassy holding hostage some of its occupants until the inaugural of President Ronald Regan.
The Shah was a dictator. A secular Muslim. He was replaced by a dictator of another sort. One who believed his mission was divine providence. He was a radical Islamist. Of interest to me is that Carter, a proclaimed Christian and Sunday school teacher, never understood the Biblical description of Ishmael:
He will be a wild donkey of a man;
his hand will be against everyone
and everyone’s hand against him,
and he will live in hostility
toward all his brothers.” Genesis 16:12
This is the problem that confronts liberalism. The liberal mind simply does not and cannot comprehend the world around it and the dangers it holds for freedom. Inside the American liberal mind, if there is a world problem, United States meddling in world affairs most certainly caused it. Maybe that can explain why President Obama told the world, when asked about the Iranian government murdering citizens protesting a fraudulent election, we should not meddle in the affairs of other nations. Or maybe there is a more devious reason for his stance at that time and his stance now. One is certainly left to question motives.
Freedom American style is not a product we can successfully export. We could not even export it to our closest allies and we most certainly cannot export it to a people who for centuries have been subservient to a political-religious doctrine that is incompatible with individual liberty in any form. In fact, it forbids it. This is governance that punishes rape victims and executes homosexuals, yet the liberal mind feels it can change that with kindness and words. These “brutal” dictators to which we are so opposed kept these radicals from acting out their beliefs. Beliefs that both Israel the little Satan, and America the big Satan must be destroyed and the world must be ruled by an Islamic caliphate.
President George H.W. Bush drew a line in the sand after which, the most powerful military force ever assembled ejected Saddam Hussein from Kuwait. The problem is he did not finish the job leaving it as a do-over that has kept us there for 10 years, all along losing American Soldiers and treasure. He did not have the United Nations backing to do more than kick the Iraqi thugs out of Kuwait, so we were told.
President Obama decided it was upon him to remove more Middle Eastern brutal dictators from power, the most notable, Gaddafi from Libya, Mubarak from Egypt, and Assad from Syria. We had military intervention in Libya without the input of Congress and later left a dead ambassador and others there. The people of Egypt threw off the radical Islamist Muslim Brotherhood that he helped into power, and Assad is fighting back as hard as any cornered dictator might. While he destroyed the secular, pro-American Free Syrian Army we watched. Now that his remaining opposition is primarily radical Islamists, the President is drawing red lines. Red lines that Assad seems ready to step across whenever it pleases him.
And where does that leave us?
There is an old expression that and army of sheep led by a lion will defeat an army of lions led by a sheep. Enemies and friends alike respect a lion – a true leader. A decisive leader. One who does not need to draw lines and make school yard-like threats. With a true leader, friends and enemies alike know where the lines are drawn and are hesitant to even approach them let alone cross them with impunity. But when leadership is best described as feckless, friends and enemies lose respect. When enemies lose respect they also lose fear the result of which can be catastrophic for all involved.
Our most trusted and reliable European ally, Great Britain, refuses to join with feckless American leadership for a military strike on Syria. Our only ally in the Middle East, Israel is utterly isolated by that same fecklessness. So America stands alone not respected not feared and worst of all not trusted. All under the leadership that proclaimed, with a few good speeches and many apologies for our ways, it would have the world loving us. Every potential dictator in the world, even our own, loves America now.
Syria is looking more and more like a wag the dog. Maybe our British friends see that too. Heard anymore discussion about defunding Obama care? Sorry, Congress will not be able to get to that. They will be too busy debating the President’s red lines – until it is too late. But, what the heck, they can always go back to doing nothing about Fast and Furious, Benghazi, the IRS, NSA… Fecklessness, a prominent Washington attribute.