Pres. Obama is known, of course, for his great rhetorical gifts. Few recent presidents have had his gift for gab, as it is said colloquially. But the speech he gave in Paris Monday strikes us as nothing less than bizzare.
In a Paris still wracked with the pain of an indiscriminate massacre aimed at the very essence of the freedom, joy and life we have all through centuries associated with the City of Light, Obama chose to lead off the controversial international conclave ostensibly studying climate change. True, the French had persevered and were determined to go ahead with a multinational conference on a fashionable subject they had scheduled long ago as the capital of such world trends. And Obama did have the courtesy of paying his respects to the dead by going to the principal site of this infamy.
But then he launched into a highly controversial defense of continued insistence not only that man-made climate change is his principal international policy concern at the moment, but that it is a product of terrorism. That theme has been taken up by others, but that is no excuse for its idiocy.
His French hosts, rather gently given the circumstances, have been trying to use diplomacy move their allies in the direction of an all-out war to destroy at least one source of Islamic terrorism. That, of course, is a phenomenon which Obama and his advisers even refuse to name. Pres. François Hollande apparently after being told that the attack in Paris – unlike 9/11 in the U.S. – would not be considered as a challenge to NATO’s Article Five which requires that any attack on one be considered as an aggression against all. Instead, he went cap in hand to Washington, and even to Moscow under indictment and sanction for just such an attack, to get support in the effort he is leading to destroy a threat to the whole civilized world.
Just over a year ago, in a speech dedicated to aspects of his anti-terrorist strategy, Obama defends stoutly, he said: “xxx we will continue to draw on our substantial counterterrorism capabilities to prevent ISIL attacks. Working with our partners, we will redouble our efforts to cut off its funding; improve our intelligence; strengthen our defenses; counter its warped ideology; and stem the flow of foreign fighters into and out of the Middle East.” The Paris massacres – and those in Beirut and Mali which came almost simultaneously if less noted by Europeans and Americans – are sufficient evidence that the Obama strategy is not working.
He has capped his refusal to admit that failure, but more importantly, to demonstrate the capacity to cope with its inadequacies in moving to a more aggressive and effective effort to crush Daesh [ISI or ISIL]. Furthermore, we find him and the propaganda resources of the White House being devoted to what, at most, is a long term and exceedingly controversial and complex issue of climate change and its relation to man.
In this speech, Obama continued his litany of apologies for past American policy, arguing that the manmade aspects of climate change – the most controversial in the continuing argument among scientists of what is happening – are the product of past U.S. action. He argued that the U.S. and other industrial countries had created a problem of surplus carbon in the atmosphere that other countries, including the less wealthy who want to continue their use of fossil fuels, are its inheritors. Nowhere, of course, was the concept of how that American enterprise has produced an international economy in which all benefit and the greatest international philanthropic movement in history of which these same countries are largely the benefactors.
Another day, another well-delivered Obama speech.