Augusta Chronicle, April 23 and it is right on!
Starved for moral leadership
Too many leaders worldwide turning blind eyes to increasingly horrific terrorism
Today, America and the rest of the world are similarly doing little about the repeated and ongoing mass slaughter of Christians by ISIS and other Islamic radicals.
Not that many years ago, most of us were horrified at the occasional solitary beheading. Now it seems there are mass executions every few weeks.
Have we become so desensitized? Is a shrug of the shoulder the only action the mass murders will inspire now?
Just over a week ago, a dozen Christians were thrown overboard by Islamic radicals during a Mediterranean crossing of refugees from Africa to Italy. More recently, ISIS – the so-called Islamic State – reportedly executed some 30 Ethiopian Christians in Libya. In February, it was some 20 Coptic Christians from Egypt, also in Libya.
President Obama once famously snickered that ISIS was “the J.V. team” – in short, nothing to worry about.
After being proved horribly and catastrophically wrong, Mr. Obama promised in a national address last fall that, “Our objective is clear: We will degrade, and ultimately destroy, (ISIS) through a comprehensive and sustained counter-terrorism strategy.”
“Mission Accomplished”? Hardly. In fact, it’s difficult to say even “Mission Undertaken.” While its territorial base has ebbed and flowed, ISIS has grown in reach, influence and number, all in the shadow of this president’s empty rhetoric.
In short, the president’s desire to “degrade and ultimately destroy” ISIS appears less than half-hearted.
Where is the passion for defeating the most savage enemy the modern world has known since the Nazis? Where are the public pronouncements? The call to action to save Christianity in the Mideast? The revulsion at all the beheadings? The conviction to put a stop to them?
Sadly – and tragically, as dozens and hundreds continue to die horrible, unjustified deaths – this president seems to have no grip on the reality that the office of president of the United States carries with it an unofficial and unseen capacity for moral leadership.
If nothing else – even if he were unwilling to mobilize more U.S. forces to defeat this enemy – the president could use his bully pulpit to marshal the forces of good to stand up to this unbridled evil.
Look around the world today and ask yourself if the world isn’t in dire need of moral leadership.
Nor is moral leadership a strictly religious undertaking. Fact is, ordinary people show moral leadership in their everyday lives. Surely our elected leaders should do the same.
The ongoing extermination of Christians in the Mideast today cries out for such leadership.
Liberal pundit Kirsten Powers rightly called out Obama on Tuesday for his chilling indifference toward the Christians thrown overboard: “He failed to interject any sense of outrage or even tepid concern for the targeting of Christians for their faith.”
“This is the greatest persecution of Christians in our lifetime,” noted commentator Glenn Beck. “So why have Americans turned a blind eye?”
Why did the world do the same in the 1930s? Fact is, we’ve got less of an excuse than they did back then. Today, we have so much more information, so much more instantly, about what’s going on.
Shame on this world for not rising up against this as one.
Why is this allowed to go on? For his part, Beck guesses that “we feel helpless and we don’t know what to do, so we do nothing.”
That’s where leadership can make a difference – the kind that commentator Greta Van Susteren showed in a heartfelt broadcast this week.
“Why did it take so long before the world finally stopped Hitler?” she asked viewers of her show. Whereas many may not have known of the atrocities back then, she said, today “We have proof. We have video proof. We have no excuses.
“Our generation – my generation – can either bury its head in the sand while the brutal beheadings continue, or we can stop it.
“We need all the great nations (to rise up against ISIS), and we need one leader to lead all those great nations. I don’t care who takes the lead. I just know what’s right.
“My generation just can’t continue to look the other way.”
Mr. President, enough stagecraft and empty promises. Rally the world against this evil.
When it comes to morality, there is no “leading from behind.”
Of course, the massacre hasn’t reached the level of the Holocaust. That makes it no less abhorrent.
And it makes our silence and relative inaction no less immoral.