If a PR man was to invent the template for a ‘designer’ US President, Barak Hussein Obama would be it – young, educated, slickly televisual, a snappy dresser, head of a model family, ethnically mixed race and a self-made politico.
In 2008 a majority of Americans bought into that vision and his battle anthem, ‘Change’.
Well, they (and the rest of the world) got change, all right – mostly for the worse. And, but for his Republican challenger Mitt Romney being relentlessly smeared as ‘gaffe-prone’ by the liberal media, Obama would be staring down the barrel of defeat in November, consigned to history’s wastebin as the US’s second worst, post-WW2 leader after the serially incompetent Jimmy Carter.
For, like Carter, he shares common flaws, notably a lack of substance and true grit, which no amount of posturing can paper over.
The peanut farmer from Georgia was undone by his monumental cock-up over the Iran Hostages crisis and ham-handed stewardship of the economy; Obama deserves to fall over his grovelling appeasement to Muslim fanaticism and his lack of economic nous.
It’s worthwhile remembering Carter’s dead hand on the helm of the USA and especially how, for 444 days – from November 4, 1979, to January 20, 1981 – 52 Americans were held hostage by Islamo-fascists in their embassy in Tehran.
With inept efforts at diplomacy floundering on the rock of hard-line Iranian obduracy, Carter was forced to order a rescue attempt. Codenamed Operation Eagle Caw, on April 24, 1980, it failed abysmally, resulting in the deaths of eight US servicemen.
Interestingly, the hostages were released just minutes after a new, hawkish president called Ronald Reagan was sworn into office.
Now, such are the lost lessons of history, we’re witnessing something approaching a reprise of 31 years ago.
A US President, whose first foreign policy act was to rush to Cairo and offer the hand of friendship to the Muslim world – only to have his palm spat on – continues bumbling and stumbling into an Islamic extremists’ trap he’s too blinkered to see.
The case of the inane movie mocking Mohammad (I take it I can still mention the Prophet by name without provoking more maniacal fury?) made by Christian Copts in California was the fuse that lit explosives begging to be detonate across the Islamic East…and Obama’s response: a cringing telly ad, apologising for the controversial video and insisting it was none of his doing.
As with his witless predecessor Carter, Obama cannot get it through his greying head that the fanatics who have hijacked the so-called ‘Arab Spring’ are ratching up the anti-Western ante now that the bit is between their teeth.
As many commentators (including this one) warned, the kids and cosmopolitan middle-classes who led the demos for an end to tyranny with cries for democracy in Egypt and Tunisia have been blindsided by repressive parties, intent on heralding an ‘Islamic Winter’.
Grasping and repugnant as Mubarak was in Egypt and Ben Ali in Tunisia, they maintained a cold peace with the West, as did the lunatic Gaddafi in Libya, which – with British and French help, subcontracted by the USA – has now disintegrated into factionalist conflict.
In regard to Syria’s civil war, the Americans can’t tell which way is up. We all know the Assads ran the country as a family fiefdom from 1971. But Washington hasn’t a clue who the ‘rebels’ are or to what extent they’re under Al Qaeda’s influence.
Tack onto all this the repeatedly bellicose rants by the Iranians to annihilate Israel and the Jewish state’s understandable impatience at Obama’s dithering after a decade of Tehran’s lies over its nuclear ambitions – the boss of Iran’s atomic programme, Fereydoun Abbasi, recently admitted he gave International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) inspectors false information – and you can tell how utterly flawed US foreign policy is.
What the Obama administration doesn’t get (and Romney does) is that as much as Muslim nations crave US hand-outs, especially weapons, they don’t want any Crusader influence over their masses and they’ll attempt to humiliate the West at the drop of a kaffiyeh.
What they also demand is absolute respect towards their unyielding faith – Islam means ‘submission’ and, by their book, that should extend to infidels like us, too. But with them respect is a one-way street: Christians will continue to be reviled in many Muslim states, women will be denigrated, homosexuals persecuted and daily dollops of vicious, anti-Semitic bile will continue to spew from government-controlled media.
So sometime soon (urgently, I hope) during his predicted second term in office – sadly, I think Obama will shade it over Romney – the 44th President must find some balls, stop being the pushover Islamists view him as and tell them a few hard facts about civilised Western values. Because we’ve got plenty to be proud of and he shouldn’t mince his words.
Our ancestors fought long and hard for liberty and the rights we enjoy – freedom of speech, a free Press, a division between church and state, an end to absolute monarchy, just laws that don’t discriminate, an independent judiciary, fair elections, respect for minorities, et al – and it’s time all religious fanatics learned we are not prepared to compromise our principles.
They should also understand we prefer being here, not in the hereafter.
Obama might not like the responsibility of being the world’s most powerful man and has said almost as much. But, if he didn’t want that obligation, he shouldn’t be standing again for office.
He’s stuck with it and we’re likely to be stuck with him for a further four years.
Taking out Osama Bin Laden – said to be at the instigation of Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and his Joint Chiefs of Staff – wasn’t sufficient evidence for Obama to convince the West he’s prepared to get his manicured fingers dirty.
So I urge Mr. President to stop vacillating, concentrate less on reducing his golf handicap and recognise the stark truth: so far as the hard-liners in the Muslim world are concerned, they think he’s a weakling and their attitude is not going to change, only harden.
Meanwhile, the lands of the free demand and deserve a US leader who is brave enough to stand up to them and any likeminded bullies.