Peggy Noonan wrote a piece for the Wall Street Journal on Barack Obama in which she accuses him of bad judgment more than weakness or ambivalence. While characterizing our President to possess a bad judgment is true, We disagree with Ms. Noonan about the weakness of Barack Obama. Is Obama not weak? We beg to differ
Let us start with this missed factor. Anyone who responds to accusations he is weak, as Ms. Noonan pointed out in a New York Times article in an interview of Obama, must either have thin skin or is actually weak enough to respond.
Setting this notion aside, here are some facts that refute the sentiment our president is not weak.
Grant you, Mr. Obama did select all by himself the al-Qaeda targets in Pakistan and grant you he did not hesitate to use American power to protect our interests. Concurrently, he is striking ISIS in Iraq as we speak and may strike it in Syria.
However, striking both terror organizations reminds me of a 150Lbs. bully beating a 100Lbs. geek in a schoolyard. On the surface, the bully looks strong, but in reality, he is anything but. His cowardice in selecting a weaker target shows his weakness.
Let us now take three other examples in which Mr. Obama showed immense weakness.
When the Iranian uprising of June 2009 materialized under his watch, Mr. Obama did not find the courage to rid the world of the criminals ruling Iran. My best guess is that his calculations were based on how would Iran respond to assisting the Green Movement.
Similarly, he ignored the Syrian Revolution at an extreme cost in human lives, an extreme terror that has not been witnessed since Hitler committed suicide, and an extreme refugee problem that has not been seen since WWII.
Correspondingly, Mr. Obama ignored the plight of the Ukrainian people when Putin invaded the Crimea, and Obama still ignores him as Putin continues to bully the whole country.
What kind of a president, with all the powers the US can muster, neglects to confront our worst enemies at a time when he had every opportunity to write history in his favor and in favor of the United States? Only a weak president would ignore such opportunities. Obama showed fear to face the consequences of how all three regimes would respond knowing they all play dirty to win. Fear is weakness.
Had all three perceived Obama to be strong, Assad would not have gassed Syrians, Putin would have never invaded the Ukraine, and the Mullahs would have taken into account an angry US President as they hurled bullets on innocent protestors.
The president did not even dare arm the Syrian opposition early one when it was an easy decision, nor did he arm the Ukrainian Government to defend itself from the Russian onslaught. Bad judgment maybe, but weakness definitely.
I beg to differ with MS. Noonan. Obama’s decisions are characterized by bad judgments, but he is also a weak president; just like the bully in the schoolyard selecting easy targets and shying away from the ones he should protect us from.