President Barack Obama’s interview with VOX media, an Internet publication, this week is yet another example of his determination to deny reality and downplay the rise of international instability and violence on his watch. It comes on the heels of the 2015 National Security Strategy, which declared “strategic patience” to be its operative principle, an apparent euphemism for doing nothing. In other words, the messaging from the White House is both consistent and deeply troubling at the same time.
President Obama is facing the Russian attack on Ukraine and threatened dismantling of a major country in Europe for the first time since World War II. He also must respond to a hideously vicious terrorist movement in the Middle East, which has caused a massive refugee crisis. ISIS is intent on regional domination and global terrorism. Yet, the President asserts that the world is becoming a more “peaceful” place.
It makes you wonder: Does the President inhabit an alternative reality?
Excerpts from the Interview
This is some of what the U.S. President had to say on foreign affairs:
Question: Do you think the media sometimes overstates the level of alarm people should have about terrorism and this kind of chaos, as opposed to a longer-term problem of climate change and epidemic disease?
Obama on the media:
Absolutely. And I don’t blame the media for that. What’s the famous saying about local newscasts, right? If it bleeds, it leads, right? You show crime stories and you show fires, because that’s what folks watch, and it’s all about ratings. And, you know, the problems of terrorism and dysfunction and chaos, along with plane crashes and a few other things, that’s the equivalent when it comes to covering international affairs.
Obama on terrorism:
My first job is to protect the American people. It is entirely legitimate for the American people to be deeply concerned when you’ve got a bunch of violent, vicious zealots who behead people or randomly shoot a bunch of folks in a deli in Paris. We devote enormous resources to that, and it is right and appropriate for us to be vigilant and aggressive in trying to deal with that—the same way a big city mayor’s got to cut the crime rate down if he wants that city to thrive.
Obama on the state of the world:
The trajectory of this planet overall is one toward less violence, more tolerance, less strife, less poverty. I’ve said this before and I think some folks in Washington were like, “Oh, he’s ignoring the chaos of all the terrible stuff that’s happening.” Of course, I’m not ignoring it. I’m dealing with it every day. That’s what I wake up to each morning. I get a thick book full of death, destruction, strife, and chaos. That’s what I take with my morning tea.
The problem is that this cerebral, intellectualizing president does not want to take in what is in that “thick book full of death” he receives every morning. Psychologists call this a “state of denial.”