In reaction to the murder of James Foley by ISIS terrorist and the president’s subsequent remarks, the editors of the Wall Street Journal call for the president to take a stand:
The question now—what the world wants to know now, Mr. President—is what are you going to do about it?
Six years into this Presidency, we know Barack Obama can do empathy. We know he can channel a family’s grief for a murdered son and express a nation’s outrage. What we don’t know is if he can muster the will and fortitude to defeat an enemy that is growing in strength and danger on his watch. This is what America and the world need from a President when killers are on the march.
The War of Jenkins Ear was a war between Great Britain and Spain whose precipitating event was the maiming of Robert Jenkins, a British merchant ship captain. Capt. Jenkins’s ear was actually displayed before Parliament to drum up enthusiasm for the war which ultimately lasted nine years, inflicting terrible damage on people and property in the New World colonies, largely because both sides employed privateers.
None of the alternative strategies before us is particularly attractive. Should we declare that journalists who put themselves in harm’s way have themselves to blame it won’t drown out incitements to respond and the political pressure will mount as the atrocities continue. There are no moderate insurgents to support. That is a fiction.
Taking steps which are unlikely to result in a resolution of the problems won’t resolve the problems as should be obvious enough. This cycle will repeat again and again. And, finally, Americans don’t have the stomach for the loss of American life and property and the indefinite occupation of a good part of the Middle East accompanied by the severe repression of a good part of the population that would be required to end these problems once and for all.
Playing golf sounds pretty appealing right about now.