Travel is again on the agenda for Barack Obama this coming week. Brazil. He hasn’t seen Brazil thus far. Which is essentially why he is going to Brazil at the height of the Libyan conflict and the depth of the Japanese triple disaster.
With increasing frequency this president is proving himself to be AWOL while the nation and the rest of the world await decisions and directions. Now is not the time for another historic Obama “trade mission.” Translate: sightseeing tour.
What appeared to be a simple case of freshman jitters, after General Stanley McCrystal requested additional troops in Afghanistan at the start of Obama’s term, has unfolded as something far more disturbing. By the time the Christmas Day bomber attempted to bring down a jetliner over Detroit in 2009, Barack Obama had clearly revealed himself to be a man who likes his Zs and tees.
At the beginning of the Deepwater Horizon blowout the President was again missing in action for nine days, while the nation awaited leadership. The beaches of Louisiana and Mississippi were ankle deep in raw crude before he showed up. It the meantime, his administration turned down multiple offers for help in cleanup and containment efforts from other nations.
The Libyan revolt is something quite different. Moammar Gaddafi is not merely a corrupt and brutal dictator; he is the architect of one of the most dastardly attacks against this nation in our history, the Pam Am 103 bombing over Lockerbie. The American people have a stake in seeing Gaddafi brought to justice.
It should be a given to anyone who has been engaged for the last two years that Obama lacks the talents to lead, but what is now questionable is whether he is even wired to care. Over the course of our history, in times of crisis—whether natural disasters or upheavals where U.S. interests or those of our allies have been at stake—American presidents have stepped to the rostrum to instill confidence and provide leadership; not only for Americans but for the world. Instead, this president appears on ESPN to handicap basketball games.
Barack Obama never misses a fundraiser (he is a money raising machine), nor the chance to touch on world events when attending them, but that is a far cry from addressing the nation and the world in times of calamity.
In France, Nicholas Sarkozy has assumed the position of leadership in the Libyan revolt, calling for a UN or NATO no-fly zone over the country. Unfortunately, President Sarkozy hasn’t the clout to make that imperative action a reality.
Time after time for more than two years Barack Obama has either vacationed through the realities of a world in chaos around him, or responded with too little too late. He has been soft on terrorists, Iranian democracy protesters cries for help fell on deaf ears, Egypt received milquetoast assurances of U.S. moral support; and Japan has yet to hear a formal presidential address of support from its closest ally.
What we are witnessing here appear to be the actions—or rather inactions—of a man-child, too preoccupied with his recreational pursuits to concern himself with the business of the presidency. Barack Obama is either inept or lazy; in either case he is unfit for the Office of the President.