Jim covered Congress and The White House during the George W. Bush administration for The Washington Times, and worked as a reporter, editorial writer and columnist for newspapers in Pennsylvania, Virginia, and California. He has appeared on the Fox News Channel, CNN, MSNBC, C-Span, and many local and national talk radio shows to talk politics and policy.
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President Obama on Wednesday slightly delayed his afternoon tee time to speak about the monstrous beheading of American journalist James Foley by ISIS. It was an underwhelming address from the Leader of the Free World who finds the crown so heavy and bothersome that he puts it down aside the putting green.
In his address, Obama did well in the “sympathy-in-chief” role. I do believe that Obama is horrified and saddened, as all Americans are, about the tragic fate of James Foley. But Obama failed in his actual job — that of a leader who must express genuine and righteous anger about this act of barbarism against all people who cherish liberty.
Obama has displayed more passion and employed sharper rhetoric when talking about Republicans in Congress — who, last I heard, are not in the business of sawing off heads to make their point clear. Maybe we’ll get a better performance from our president if ISIS makes fun of the Obamacare website.
Read the whole transcript of Obama’s remarks here, but this is the excerpt that matters to me:
People like this ultimately fail. They fail because the future is won by those who build and not destroy. The world is shaped by people like Jim Foley and the overwhelming majority of humanity who are appalled by those who killed him.
Obama’s phrasing — “people like this ultimately fail” — is passive and weak. It’s akin to Obama’s frequent rhetorical tic about anyone in America who opposes his agenda being on the “wrong side of history.” It’s a throw-away line. It’s meaningless, especially from him. Our semi-retired president just doesn’t get it.
An ideology, a movement, or a nation ultimately fails because someone put them on the wrong side of history. The history-writers are the ideological victors — almost always via war. The people of those nations sacrificed many lives and much treasure to present the “right side of history,” to ensure that “people like this ultimately fail.” At the end of the 20th Century, a history in favor of liberty was written by the West, the inheritors of the Enlightenment. Despite Obama’s rhetoric, such results did not, and will not, happen passively — and certainly not because The One merely states it.
It took the West’s leadership and action to ensure the Nazis would “ultimately fail.” It took the West’s leadership and action to ensure Soviet Communism would “ultimately fail.” It was the West’s reluctance for total victory in Korea allowed the Kim clan to write their own “right side of history,” which has starved and enslaved millions of innocents. The Democrats’ betrayal of its South Vietnamese allies allowed the murderous communists to write its own “right side of history.” So far, at least, many oppressors and murderers in the world — for decades — are not counted among those who will “ultimately fail.”
And if the West doesn’t fully rise to the challenge of Islamic Fascism, centuries of Enlightenment progress for the betterment of liberty will be wiped away in a new history written by these Islamist Fascist monsters.