Tuesday, April 14, 2009

The Hostage Rescue: Grading President Obama

Accounts of the Naval rescue of American ship captain Richard Phillips from Somalia pirates are slowly emerging. Although we probably will never know all the details--nor should we, e.g., the role played by military special operators--we do know that the President of the United States did not speak, let alone act, proactively.

Not until the rescue had been accomplished--by the United States Navy, after a split-second decision by our ship's captain--did Obama come out of his caccoon and seize the spotlight by making a series of congratulatory telephone calls.

Now the president's spin machine is claiming that, in his own detached way, Obama was on top of the piracy situation from the beginning, albeit in the background.

Even if true, that's not good enough.

When an American flagged vessel, its American captain, and American mariners are captured on the high seas by pirates, it is the constitutional and moral duty of the President of the United States to lead--to unambiguously condemn the attack on his country, to promptly free the ship and its crew, and then to impose swift and severe punishment on the pirates.

Instead, Obama hid, seeking a "peaceful solution" through "negotiation" from assault rifle-toting savages with an unmistakable record of piracy and successful ransom demands.

In doing so, Obama has fulfilled the prophesy of our dimwitted Vice President, who famously said last November that within six months Obama would be tested in the international arena and be found wanting.

One has to wonder whether the gunmen were so stupid as to accidentally attack an American ship, especially since the Indian Ocean is full of other flagged vessels, or whether they were put up to it as a test of Obama's reaction.

Whether or not that's what happened, the world in general and our enemies in particular have now seen that when the chips are down--indeed, when our nation is attacked--our neophyte president hides and negotiates.

One way or another this was a test.

And Barack Obama's grade is F.