I am not going to blame Barack Obama entirely for what happened in Paris Friday — but mostly. And that’s not just because he famously called ISIS the jayvee team, when they are now unequivocally the New York Yankees or the Manchester United of terror, repellent as that analogy may be (he started it).
But what is clear from the carnage at The Bataclan theatre and elsewhere in Paris that we will be studying for weeks or months to come is that the West has no leader in our evident civilizational war — no Churchill, no Roosevelt, no de Gaulle, not even a George W. Bush. It’s certainly not Barack Obama, a ludicrous man who thinks the world’s greatest problem is climate change in the face of Islamic terror. This is the same man who oversaw, indeed instigated, a large-scale American démarche for the first time since World War II.
And look what happened. Well, we all know. We are living at a time when the Islamic world is having a nervous breakdown, actually more like a violent psychotic break, in its encounter with modernity and is determined to bring us all down with it.
Something must be done, but by whom? (As I write this, Paris is under mandatory curfew, the nation’s borders sealed. Are we next?) America, once the country everyone turned to, needs someone serious at its helm never more than now. The world needs it. But who is it?
Hillary Clinton, the sleazy liar and confidant of the even sleazier Sidney Blumenthal, the woman Donald Trump was correct in alleging is running for president at least in part to stay out of jail? Doesn’t that sound reassuring?
What about Trump himself? On the surface, and maybe below it too, he seems the man most likely to profit from this horror. If that’s true, I only hope he’s up to it. I admit to being seriously disturbed by his recent comments about Ben Carson, accusing the doctor of psychopathy. It’s not that he has to walk that back (although he certainly should). It’s obvious that many of Donald’s outrageous comments come from a position of insecurity. But now more than ever he should realize we’re in serious times. If he wants the most important job in the world, he better act like he deserves it.
But here’s one statement he really should walk back at this point. In fact it’s mandatory if he wishes to take office. I’m referring to his casual remark that he’d let Putin handle ISIS if he wishes. He’d be doing us a favor.
How does that look now, Donald? Not so hot, I know. ISIS — and related groups — are, sad to say, the number one responsibility of the president of the United States. No one else is going to do it ultimately. If you’re not willing to take that on, pass the baton to someone who is. Marco Rubio is one idea. He’s young and green, but seems to be about as clear-eyed as anybody about the enemy.
But if you want to prove you are the right commander-in-chief, here’s an idea for you, Donald. Get on one of your private jets and fly to Paris. Act presidential, even if the actual president doesn’t. Try to figure out what to do about this growing terror threat that is going to be the major problem of the next administration. Educate yourself and show real interest. Gain all the knowledge you can. And if you want to have some fun in the midst of this dreadful situation, make fun of Obama for concentrating on climate change while the world burns. You might even ask him for his science grades.
But keep this in mind most of all, if you want that job. Tonight, from a jihadi on Twitter: “The American blood is the best blood and we will taste it soon.” Trust me — they mean it.
UPDATE: For those arriving from The New York Times/Frank Bruni attack on this article, Ed Driscoll has a response here.