Sunday, November 03, 2019

Obama And Pope Francis

Two data points.  Connect them as you will.

And this from Richard Fernandez.
"I still say Kayla should be here, and if Obama had been as decisive as President Trump, maybe she would have been," Marsha Mueller said, referring to the death of her daughter at the hands of ISIS chief Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi. "After Kayla's death, the Muellers became outspoken critics of the American government's handling of its foreign hostages. They had been encouraged to keep her captivity secret, and discouraged from attempting to free her or pay a ransom."

Leaving aside the question of whether Obama ever had a good tactical option at rescuing Kayla Mueller, "decisive" is probably the wrong word to characterize the former president's style. Obama knew what he wanted and valued signaling and appearances in a sincere way. He was always signaling. If the Muellers were instructed not to speak it was so as not to jam his carefully crafted messages. By treating Bin Laden's corpse reverently; by an excruciating choice of words and many other ways he was signaling. Always signaling, which he saw as an important part of his job.

To be fair, Obama had a point. Messaging is certainly an important part of statesmanship. What he never quite accepted was that his signals never had the intended effect. Baghdadi was a thug and Obama's punctilio never made it past the brutal filter. Like Dr. Arthur Carrington from the movie "The Thing from Another World," he was always trying to reason with the monster, convinced that words would win the day, little realizing it would not work.
My own take is Matthew 7:15-20.
“Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but underneath are ravenous wolves. By their fruits you will know them. Do people pick grapes from thornbushes, or figs from thistles? Just so, every good tree bears good fruit, and a rotten tree bears bad fruit. A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a rotten tree bear good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit will be cut down and thrown into the fire. So by their fruits you will know them.

1 comment:

Travis said...

Excellent points. They always end up with egg on their faces because they think they can negotiate with wicked men in good faith. They never learned the obvious lesson from Chamberlain's "Peace in our time" mistake.