My last article on Obama’s ISIL Strategy, “WWII Groundhog Day – Starring Barack Obama in the role of Neville Chamberlain?”, concluded with me saying, “… it’s a must for Obama to … continue in developing a thorough and well thought out strategy to decisively meet this overwhelmingly daunting and extremely complex challenge.” As I see it, from his address to the nation on this matter, this past Wednesday evening , he is clearly attempting to do just that.
Criticism of this newly-announced strategy came quickly and vociferously. While much of that has been legitimate, in my view, nearly as much has been over-the-top. Of course, constructive criticism is appropriate and I would join in with that. However, I refuse to throw in with counterproductive objections only meant to disparage. For now, I believe the most fitting attitude is to be watching and praying for Obama’s strategy to succeed.
An article in The Christian Post, entitled “Obama ISIS Strategy Heavily Criticized by GOP, Senate Dems, Pentagon Official”, may offer the most broad-ranging view of criticisms that are legitimate. One comment is that, in order to succeed, American “boots on the ground” will be required. Another observation questions the wisdom of our arming Syrian rebel forces. And there is skepticism about the strategy’s reliance on the Syrian civil war being solved politically. From my perspective, the key element making these criticisms legitimate is that they are presented as ways to change the strategy in order for it to be successful.
The over-the-top assessments have included views that this strategy is likely to “turn Obama’s presidency around.” In hand with that has been the suggestion that this would lead to Republicans failing to win the majority in the Senate in this Fall’s election. These pronouncements have come from both the Left and the Right, with the former hoping it’s true and the latter hoping it’s not. I think both are absurd. Continue reading
I was in the first wave of the Baby Boom Generation. We grew up having all of the adults in our lives being those who had seen the U.S. and its allies through to victory in WWII. Naturally, we were taught a lot about that historic conflict and the events leading up to it. Although it was exciting to have much of that information passed along first-hand, directly from the participants, you could only imagine what it was like to actually live through the experience yourself. I have to admit to some ongoing and perhaps perverse, ambivalence about that. On one hand, I was thankful to have been spared the horrors and hardships we heard about. On the other hand, I felt that I had missed out on getting to go through a most interesting time in history.
As it’s become more and more apparent that the once menacing threat represented by ISIL is no longer a threat but is, in fact, an evil and deadly reality, that’s been disturbing enough on its own. Making it even more disturbing to me is seeing the similarity of these circumstances to events leading up to WWII. It’s been giving me the sense that I may actually end up living through an experience like (or most likely worse than) WWII. No doubt, it would be an “interesting” time but, considering the horrors and hardships that have already come with it, I’m left without any desire to go through something like this myself. Continue reading
COPING WITH A BULLY
Justifiably, President Obama is being heavily criticized for lacking a strategy to deal with the menacing reality represented by ISIL. Certainly, a thorough and well thought out strategy is needed to address this overwhelmingly daunting and extremely complex challenge. However, the sorely needed first step in this process is a very simple one that most learn in grade school – i.e. The only way to effectively cope with a bully is to confront him head on.
A CLEAR ILLUSTRATION
Arguably, the most well-known illustration of this is found in the Holiday classic movie, A Christmas Story, when the movie’s central character, Ralphie, deals with his nemesis, Scut Farkus and his “toadie”, Grover Dill. I recognize the element of absurdity in comparing a wonderfully amusing story to a deadly serious reality but, that aside, I believe it offers a clear illustration.
“Hey, ISIL! King’s X, OK?!”