Our President may be a well-educated and a very smart guy, but he seems to have skipped out on his world history classes. He certainly would have learned the absolutely true saying that “history repeats itself.” He would also know that any dithering with ISIS will only cause us more pain and lost lives in the future.
History does repeat itself, and regularly. A perfect example has been on display with the debt crisis in Argentina. The country has defaulted on its debt. Its President, Cristina Kirchner, did not accept blame for the default. She pointed the finger at two American hedge funds as being greedy because they would not write down the debt that Argentina had sold them in the form of bonds. We should not have much pity for these hedge funds because they should be aware that Argentina defaulted in 2001 - very recent times.
While I was reading Amity Shlaes’ acclaimed biography of Calvin Coolidge, further evidence was made of history repeating itself. The American government was trying to negotiate a repayment of the debt incurred during World War I by our European allies. The Americans proposed a 25-year payment plan which was attacked by foreign governments as selfish. One French leader was quoted in the New York Times as saying “Has America, which but yesterday we acclaimed for her generosity and idealism, fallen to the role of Shylock.” It is easy to learn from history and save yourself a lot of pain (and money) if you just heed it.
Our President stated he learned from his path in Libya. Mr. Obama told (New York Times columnist) Tom Friedman “Intervening in Libya to prevent a massacre was the right thing to do.” He stated that doing it without sufficient follow-up on the ground to manage Libya’s transition to more democratic politics is probably his biggest foreign policy regret. That was after he set in motion abandoning Iraq. If he had studied our actions in post-war Japan, Europe, and Korea, he would know that we need to leave troops and supporting structure in place for decades. Look what happened when were able to do such in those locales.
By leaving a power vacuum in Iraq and not supporting opposition forces in Syria, Mr. Obama has allowed a small discolored spot to grow into a significant cancer. Because ISIS is winning, the nutcases of the world are flocking to their side. President Obama needs to stop reading polls that say Americans are war-weary. His job is to lead the American people in these situations and to educate the unknowing as to why we need to take military action.