Barack Obama was in Cuba when the Brussels attacks occurred. He made his usual “solidarity” speech for a paragraph . . . and then quickly went back to ballyhooing his new Cuba policy. While European leaders scrambled to appear statesmanlike for more than a few ticks on a clock, to reassure their people at length, and to marshal forces to track down the murderous Jihadists, Obama was laughing it up at a baseball game.
With Communist leaders.
This, as the folks at Fox News pointed out relentlessly, was bad “optics”; it didn’t look “leaderly.”
For some reason, the talking heads at MSNBC did not belabor the point in the same manner as the Fox folks.
I was immediately reminded of a similar moment, on 9/11/2001 when George W. Bush was informed that the World Trade Center had taken two hits. He was being recorded, for he was doing that most presidential of things, reading to children.
About a goat.
The look on his face? As he went back to reading the story?
Well, anyone who has seen Michael Moore’s Fahrenheit 911 knows that look. Moore made much of it.
Past American leadership has been so witless on the Mideast that I don’t really know what Obama should be doing to fight Islamic terrorism, at this point. I am pretty sure he is at a loss.*
But we might want to give him some time to process the news.
Everybody has their own initial reactions. George Bush sure didn’t look presidential on 9/11.
Hint for all participants: maybe we should not expect immediate genius responses to crises from our leaders; and maybe they shouldn’t be on camera all the time, encouraging the demand for same.
* Watching Fox and MSNBC, I am even more sure that neither his supporters nor his critics have a clue. Their failure to realize how fundamental hegemonic violence is to Islam, or that their previous, ill-thought-out efforts have merely stirred the nest. A concerted attack on ISIS, done in the usual witless fashion, will almost certainly turn a hornet problem into a Hydra problem.