Leadership, in a rudderless world

With American influence at low ebb, it's Thugs Gone Wild

Dinesh D’Souza’s new movie is titled America: Imagine the World Without Her.

We may not have to imagine it. Like George Bailey in the movie It’s a Wonderful Life, America may be seeing what the world would be like without her.

In the absence of America’s historical moral and military leadership, and lacking
unambiguous statements and bold actions by our leaders, we’re seeing slaughter in Syria and Ukraine, war between Israel and Hamas, dangerous mass migration by minors in Central America and more.

While some here are embarrassed by American exceptionalism – the divinely inspired system of self-governance our Founders willed to us that has made America preeminent in human affairs – it is nonetheless a force for good.

It is a foundation for stability in an otherwise helter-skelter world.

Without American might and right, ne’er-do-wells, despots and tyrants feel emboldened to seize territory, oppress their own peoples and kill and confine others.

You needn’t claim sides politically to see that this world needs a strong, secure America – one that is not ashamed to be strong and secure, nor overly reluctant to intervene for peace, freedom and the protection of innocents.

No, we can’t be the world’s police, and ours is a war-weary nation. But we at least ought to fill the leadership vacuum so evident in today’s headlines.

In our absence, there are others who are happy to do it for us. And they’re not always the best sort, to say the least.

The shocking shooting down of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 Thursday over Ukraine – allegedly by pro-Russian insurgents in close contact with Russian intelligence – is a tragic reminder of what happens when evil is on the move in the absence of a countervening good.

The separatist violence in Ukraine is undoubtedly prompted, stoked and wholly presented by Vladimir Putin – a Cold War relic yearning for the bad old days of Russian imperialism and hell-bent on bringing them back.

Ronald Reagan was pilloried for calling it an “evil empire.” And Mitt Romney, who warned of Putin’s predatory ways as recently as 2012, was arrogantly mocked by Barack Obama, who snooted, “the 1980s are now calling to ask for their foreign policy back.”

Well, Mr. President, it is back. And it was, courtesy of Vladimir Putin, even as you so sarcastically dismissed it.

The result is trigger-happy mass murderers playing with Russian weaponry, no doubt with the express consent of the thug at the top. The result is nearly 300 innocents killed in cold blood, their precious and meaningful lives interrupted forever by buffoons who don’t know how to wage an even
illegitimate war.

The blood appears to be on Putin’s already red-caked hands, for which his nation ought to be deeply remorseful, restive and increasingly
alienated internationally.

The shame may be that such dinosaurs of centuries past see such an opportunity in a weak, rudderless world.

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