What defines a great leader? There are many definitions one can find, and they are a varied lot of pages that a quick Google search will find. One thing you almost never see in such lists, is hesitation in making a decision.
Hesitation in the realm of world politics becomes a deadly game. When a leader’s words do not match up with the actions his, or hers, country takes they are viewed as weak. This is a problem facing the Obama administration, and they have only themselves to blame for this view.
When Obama came to power he was hailed by the left as a refreshing change compared to the previous President, George Bush. People were so impressed he was even given the Nobel Peace Prize in his first year. He had the image of a superstar to along with his election win, and both the Senate and the House.
Then started the international crisis, starting with an easy one. Captain Phillips was taken hostage on April 9, 2009, and an easy rescue operation was delayed almost four days. Indeed, everything turned out fine due to Phillips safe rescue on the 12th. But what would have happened had it ended in tragedy, and the failure to capitalize on Phillips jumping overboard on the 10th? Obama’s hesitation in giving the military permission to use force due to legal issues might have been exposed, perhaps?
Or, how about Obama’s relationship with Russia and the Ukraine? His inability to come forth to make a decision here led to even more problems, and leading to the fighting going on in the Ukraine. This came to a high point with the shooting down of Malaysian airlines flight #17
In the end, he promised more strong words, but little action. Much like his handling of Syria. He drew a red line if WMDs were used. The weapons were used, and Obama did nothing. Instead he allowed another person, Putin, to rescue him. Obama’s inactions and hesitations are what bolstered groups like ISIL.
Obama and his administration ignored ISIL, even comparing them in a vague, broad stroke to jayvee teams. Now ISIL has spread into large areas of Syria and Iraq, killing thousands, murdering, raping, beheading, and more while Obama seems unable to do anything.
Now, recently, a journalist named James Foley, was murdered by this sub-human group called ISIL. We learn that a rescue attempt had been tried, and failed. Information is also coming out about Obama’s hesitation to order the mission for almost a month because he feared what a failure might do to his image.
Mr. Obama, a real leader takes the chance with the hope not for failure but success. When your foreign policy is full of hesitation you have squandered your good will gained when you were elected. The USA will not regain such respect until after Obama is out of office. The next President will have a tough time as he, or she, will have to overcome this perception done by Obama.