I had to refer to the calendar to check that it wasn’t 2016 as President Obama gave what was a lame-duck type speech at the UN General Assembly this morning. It is not that Obama was exceptionally vague on details and lofty on ideals as he usually is. It is that he took off his Presidential hat and returned to being Professor Obama.
As Obama lectured world leaders on the benefits of democracy and the ideals of citizen driven governance, he came across as a teacher pleading with his students to “do as he says” and not as he does.
What is clear is that once again, Barak Obama, the leader of the free world, the head of the one if not the most powerful country in the world, fell short on the world stage. The American President failed to take advantage of an excellent opportunity to rise to the occasion and chart a path of American foreign policy responding to unfolding global disasters.
War crimes by ISIS (ISIL according to Obama), war crimes by Al-Assad of Syria, Iran’s homorganic terrorism strategy in the region, mass migration of Middle Eastern and African refugees, Russian expansionism, Chinese human rights violation and other issues including global diseases and hunger are but some of the challenges global leaders should forge concrete and executable strategies to resolve backed with resource commitments.
The U.S. is burdened with the responsibility to lead and thus must rise to the occasion. Obama’s sermon like pontification lacks the oomph of an elegant orator or an affective world leader. Indeed, Obama is easy on the eyes and softer on the ears when compared to George Bush, but at least we knew where the country was headed under the former presidents’ ill-informed presidency. I acknowledge Obama’s lofty ideals and his inspiring hope, I only hoped that he would able to deliver us to that hopeful utopia.