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Is Our President Angry?

PETER O’CONNOR
Staff Columnist
oconnor@lbknews.com

As I gather my thoughts, and some references, to draft this piece I  am struck with a personal as well as public dilemma of sorts.  For the past several weeks we have been presented with critical press coverage of world events, of our President’s words, actions, or lack thereof.  These have reached drumbeat proportions.  I heard one usually conservative radio commentator say that he was tired of all the constant criticism of President Obama.  He singled out for his critique Republicans.  I note that of late some Democrats have joined the critics.  I had hoped to agree with my radio friend, Mike Gallagher, that the nation should stand together in times of trouble.  I find this a tough resolution to keep, or even to start.

Consider this from Bret Stephens  (Obama’s Curious Rage, Wall Street Journal, Tuesday, September 2, 2014).  “ Barack Obama ‘has become enraged’ at the Israeli government for its actions and for its treatment of his chief diplomat , U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry.’  So reports the Jerusalem Post, based on testimony of Martin Indyk, until recently a special Middle East envoy for the president.  The war in Gaza, Mr. Indyk adds has had ‘a very negative impact’ on Jerusalem’s relations with Washington.”

“Think about this.  Enraged.  Not ‘alarmed’  or  ‘concerned’  or  ‘irritated’  or  even ‘angered.’  Anger is a feeling.  Rage is a frenzy.  Anger passes.  Rage feeds upon itself.  Anger is specific.  Rage is obsessional, neurotic.”

 

So we learn that Obama is enraged with Israel.

Stephens continues, Israel, “Which has just been hit by several thousand unguided rockets and 30-odd terror tunnels, a 50-day war, the forced closure of its one major airport, accusations of ‘genocide’ by Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, anti-Semitic protests throughout Europe, general condemnation across the world.  This is the country that is the object of the president’s rage.”

During this  same summer Islamic State terrorists seized Mosul and massacred Shite soldiers in open pits; Russian separatists shot down a civilian jetliner; Hamas executed 18 “collaborators” in broad daylight; Assad’s forces in Syria came close to encircling Aleppo with the aim of starving that city into submission; two American journalists had their throats slit on YouTube (one by a British jihadist); Russian troops invaded Ukraine; Chinese jets harassed U.S. Navy surveillance planes over international waters.

Stephens, “Mr. Obama or his administration responded to these events with varying degrees of concern, censure and indignation.  But rage?”

The Journal Opinion piece goes on,  “As for Israel’s supposed ill-treatment of Mr. Kerry, the president should read Ben Birnbaum’s and Amir Tibon’s account of his secretary’s Mideast misadventures in the July 20 issue of the New Republic.  It’s a portrait of a diplomat with the skills and style, but not the success of Inspector Clouseau.” (With a view towards full disclosure I must note that I have written negatively about John Kerry on these pages.)  “Mr. Obama might also read Haaretz columnist Ari Shavit’s assessment of Mr. Kerry’s diplomacy: ‘The Obama administration,’ he wrote in July, ‘proved once again that it is the best friend of its enemies, and the biggest enemy of its friends.’  Both Haaretz and the New Republic are left-wing publications, sympathetic to Mr. Obama’s intentions, if not his methods.”

“Stephens concludes,  “Still, the president is enraged at Israel.

What a guy.”

I had saved this WSJ piece to try to convince myself, and you of course, that the Administrations performance of late was lacking.  The President did a bit better at the just concluded NATO summit in Wales. That’s a bit better I thought, but not well enough to escape any and all criticism from the home front.  He hasn’t as you can read or hear in the American media.  An election – a big one – is coming here at home.  The President must acquit himself well to help his party.  I assume that is one of his goals.  We’ll see.

Meanwhile this opinion writer must remain a member of the loyal opposition.  I want my President and my Country to do well.

PO’C – 9/6/14

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1 Response for “Is Our President Angry?”

  1. Ross says:

    As a Vietnam Vet I am glad that my President doesn’t want to rush into or go to war unlike some of the infamous “chicken hawks”.
    Ross

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