How do the world leaders deal with terrorism? Clearly different strokes with different folks. President Obama, the King of Jordan, President Hollande and President Putin along with other leaders have been reacting to the attacks their countries face as a result of the actions of ISIS, Al Qaeda, Boko Haram and Hamas.
Just within the past few weeks there have been attacks beginning with a downed jet in the Sinai, then in Lebanon, Paris, and now in Mali. We have to stop the bloodbath yet sometimes you need to take people out who are violent to stop the violence. Everyone agrees on that.
How can that be achieved is what leaders are grappling with. So how are our leaders standing up to this challenge.
At a recent news conference in Kosovo, King Abdullah of Jordan, said something that President Obama would never say by announcing that the world is now in a Third World War against humanity and this is what brings us all together.
The deadly attacks in Paris are part of it. King Abdullah calls out ISIS directly for the deaths they have caused and promised swift action against Islamic radicals.
“This is a war within Islam and unfortunately over 100,000 Muslim shave been murdered by Daesh (ISIS) alone over the past two years, and that doesn’t also count for the atrocities like minded-groups have also done in Africa and Asia. So therefore we must act fast and holistically to tackle the response to interconnected threats.”
French President Francois Hollande after the attack in Paris addressed a joint session of the French Parliament at Versailles. It is the third time since 1948 that a French president has done this. Hollande declared that France is at war and that the acts committed in Paris are acts of war. These acts caused 129 deaths and many injured.
“They constitute an attack on our country, against our values, against our young people and against our way of life. France is a country of freedom and the mother land of human rights. I felt that I should address the Parliament to show national unity in the face of such abomination.”
President Vladimir Putin of Russia probably has made the toughest statements. He is sending 150,000 soldiers to Syria to wipe out the evil Islamic State. He is mounting an enormous military mission to take control of the terror group’s stronghold of Raqqa, the self-declared capital of ISIS in Syria. Putin has hinted that he is ready to join forces with the west to tackle the Islamic State.
And then there is President Obama. Obama held a press conference during the G20 Summit in Turkey where he was asked repeatedly by reporters about the ISIS attack in Paris and was pressed on his failing strategy to destroy the terrorist group.
Obama became defensive with overtones of anger towards Republicans and reporters. NBC’s Chuck Todd observed that Obama didn’t channel what Todd thought a lot of Americans are feeling right now, a little bit of anger, a little bit of resolve and a little bit of resiliency.”
In an interview with George Stephanopoulos on Good Morning America Obama commented
“I don’t think they’re gaining strength” Obama said of ISIS. “What is true, from the start of our goal has been first to contain and we have contained them. They have not gained ground in Iraq and in Syria. They’ll come in and they’ll leave.”
These comments are clearly out of touch with what the world is witnessing.
What does this say about leadership around the world? Clearly King Abdullah doesn’t care about political correctness and is ready to destroy the Islamic state. He is a Muslim speaking out and has setup a huge refugee camp taking humanitarian actions. King Abdullah stepped out in front when ISIS shot down Jordanian aircraft putting his own life on the line because of what he believed, leading by example, not afraid to deal with ISIS, not a war monger nor forgetting the victims. People trust him to do the right thing.
Hollande has stepped up now that terrorism is in his own back yard. He is taking measureable steps in Syria, pledging support to fight ISIS and now sending in ground troops to assist Mali. He has closed his borders, found the mastermind and took the terrorists out in less than 72 hours.
Putin vows to take out ISIS and is filling the vacuum created due to lack of efforts by the US. He is motivated by power and self interest. He is decisive, committed but where is the compassion? What is Putin going to do about refugees? Is he now ready to possibly work with the west?
And what about Obama? What leadership qualities do we see from our president. From his comments about his strategy he has become defensive and testy when people comment that his strategy is not working. There is no strategy and a disconnection with what the world is experiencing. It is embarrassing to think that the leader of the free world has nothing more to offer.
Dr. Eileen Borris is a licensed psychologist and has conducted conflict resolution in fifteen foreign countries. She has addressed the United Nations General Assembly, appeared in numerous media interviews and is the author of the bestseller Finding Forgiveness (McGraw Hill).
Contact Dr. Borris at DrEileen@DrEileenBorris.com Twitter @ERBorris