The stirring speeches of yesteryear inspired us then, and still do. In times of grave danger, great leaders rallied their nations with appeals to duty and visions of victory.
“With confidence in our armed forces, with the unbounding determination of our people, we will gain the inevitable triumph — so help us God,” FDR said after Pearl Harbor.
“We shall not fail or falter; we shall not weaken or tire. Neither the sudden shock of battle nor the long-drawn trials of vigilance and exertion will wear us down. Give us the tools and we will finish the job,” Winston Churchill said in 1941.
“I have full confidence in your courage and devotion to duty and skill in battle. We will accept nothing less than full victory!” Gen. Dwight Eisenhower said in his D-Day address to Allied troops.
The leaders of the Islamic State are madmen, but they have a vision for victory, and a mountain of corpses in two countries to prove it. The consequences of Obama’s fecklessness fall most heavily on Muslims, Christians and Kurds in Iraq and Syria. But it will not end there.
Then there is Barack Obama. After the Islamic State won major battles in Iraq and Syria last week, he said: “I don’t think we’re losing.”
Oy, how the mighty have fallen.
Commanders and commanders in chief always spoke of victory because nothing less was acceptable. When peace was not an option, triumph was the only reason to fight.
Obama has put himself at odds not just with that history, but with the very concept of national leadership. Nowhere has his failing been as obvious as in the fight against Islamic terrorism.
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Michael Goodwin is a Fox News contributor and New York Post columnist.