Thursday, February 14, 2008

Forever Young

Forever Young
By Leon Wieseltier

What you think of a presidential candidate is in large measure determined by what you think of the world. Different circumstances call for different talents, different sensibilities, different approaches to power. "Leadership" comes in many forms. A sterling individual may be historically inappropriate; and a person whom it is impossible to admire may accomplish significant things.

The question of whether Barack Obama will make a fine commander-in chief finally depends on your view of the direction of history in the coming years. I cannot escape the foreboding that we are heading into an era of conflict, not an era of conciliation. I do not mean that there will be many wars, though I cannot imagine that the threat to American security from Al Qaeda and its many associates can be met without a massive and sustained military operation in western Pakistan, and I cannot imagine any Pakistani government ordering such an operation.

It is not "the politics of fear" to remind Obama's legions of the blissful that, while they are watching Scarlett Johansson sway to the beat, somewhere deep inside a quasi independent territory we might call Islamistan people are making plans to blow them to bits. (Yes, they can.)

One of the striking features of Obama's victory speeches is the absence from these exultations of any lasting allusion to the darker dimensions of our strategic predicament. He makes no applause line out of American defense. And jihadist terrorism is only one of the disorders in an increasingly disordered world.



Blogger FairestWitness said...

This essay shines a light on the man who may be the next President. It's not Barack Obama's age that makes me leery of him. It's his policies and opinions, particularly regarding the war and our nation's defense. But his domestic policies are terrible too. If he succeeds in winning the election and then implements all he has vowed to do, he will do serious damage to our economy. Obama isn't qualified to be President, but it isn't his youth and inexperience which disqualifies him, it's HIM and what he stands for.

7:24 AM  
Blogger CHOMP said...

I agree with you Fairestwitness. So far, all the candidates are "scary." And we are at their mercy until we can find someone who can be the leader that this country needs.

7:31 AM  
Blogger VerityINK said...

It's certainly not his race which disqualifies him either--though some will try and make it about that.

7:46 AM  
Anonymous cassie said...

Great, thoughtful article!

11:05 AM  

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