Barack Obama has been elected as president of the most powerful nation in the world that since the end of the Second World War has been the bulwark of freedom against its infernal enemies, i.e., the former Soviet Union and its allies. In the twentieth-first century Western civilization is threatened by a new implacable and irreconcilable enemy, fanatical Islam; and the USA is the only nation in the world that can defeat this foe. But president Obama has already failed both tests of “knowing thy enemy,” and as a sagacious strong respectful leader. He has weakened America both before the eyes of its friends and allies and, most dangerously, its enemies.
The nations of Eastern Europe are rapidly losing their trust toward the US that the latter will protect and defend their interests and security, since Obama’s withdrawal of the missile defence shield from Poland and Czechoslovakia and his concessions to the Russians. And the enemies of America, such as Iran and its multiple terrorist proxies are heartened and have increased their confidence that in Obama they have before them a giant eunuch who is incapable and unwilling to use force, even as a last resort, against them. Since Obama has replaced America’s superpower ‘Jupiterian’ bolt diplomacy with olive branches toward them.
The “dangerous scenarios,” of which you are concerned with, are already in their incubatory stage: a nuclear armed Iran that would start a proliferation of nuclear weapons in the region with all the great dangers that would issue from such proliferation, especially in a region that is replete with the votaries of fanatical Islam. Thus to your question what kind of advice one would give to Obama in such an impending crisis, it would be the most heavily ‘armed advice’ that would fall on his shoulders. But Obama has neither the spine nor the balls to carry such heavy advice on his morally rickety frame, and least of all bring it to fruition as a last resort. Thus any strong advice given to a congenitally weak president would be a barren exercise.
Clemons’s title “Thinking About Terrorism” should be retitled to Thoughtless About Terrorism. So to Clemons the attempted terrorist act in Times Square New York “may have been acting in reaction to American drone strikes in Pakistan.” This silly contention flies in the face of the fact that, according to the confession of the would-be bomber himself, he had received terrorist training in Pakistan long before the drone attacks against the Taliban and al Qaeda in the latter country. So the implied reasoning of Clemons is stop the drone attacks and that will ‘stop’ the training of the terrorist camps and hence the attacks on the United States.
Also, Andrew Lebovich’s reasoning, with which obviously Clemons agrees, is turning Islamist ideological terror into a rationale “for political and economic gain” by “opaque” governments. To both of them Islamist terror does not have a real contagious existence that spreads especially in countries with fledgling governments, such as Morocco, Yemen, Somalia, and others, but merely a malign impish existence which these governments use as a scarecrow among their peoples for political gain, and of course, to induce and cajole Western governments by deceiving them about the incursion of al Qaeda into their own countries so that they can fund their fight against this ‘impish threat’.
Clemons and Lebovich are absolutely thoughtless about terror. And just read the cogitations of another serious thinker of Islamist terror, Dan Kervick: To him, in his omnipresent sarcasm, the real threat of terror is a vaudevillian act that “missed” him.