The following is an editorial written by PoliticusUSA co-publisher Sarah Jones.
As we struggle with comprehending the horror of the Paris attacks, we also struggle with what peace means.
Some people confuse peace with pacifism, and even with a benign niceness. But both of these things can enable cruelty and violence by not calling them out.
Peace should be a verb, it’s a thing we actively seek and keep doing, not a thing we accomplish or take pride in. There are some on the left who do this, who take comfort in being “nice” people while Rome burns.
When a bully picks on a little kid, do we show “kindness” to the bully thinking that will fix them, and by kindness, I mean refusing to hold them accountable for their behavior, or we do step up, name it and do our best to stop it.
To get to peace — and let’s face it, we never arrive, it’s an ongoing journey — things can’t be all nice and comfortable all of the time.
President Barack Obama knows this. That is why he hunted down and killed Osama bin Laden. That’s not something any person with an ounce of humanity wants to do, no matter what- to kill another human being. But it was necessary.
To that end, today, in the wake of the terror attacks, U.S. military forces conducted “a precision airstrike in #Libya against ISIL leader and long-time AQ operative Abu Nabil,” according to Brett McKurk, who is the Special Presidential Envoy for the Global Coalition to Counter ISIL.
President Obama is going to do what he needs to do. I thank whatever God there is that I don’t have to make decisions like this, and I shiver thinking of any one of the Republican presidential candidates doing so.
It takes great temperament to take action without rushing in, to know just how far to press the gas pedal, and to keep the people as calm as you can while you do it. There will be endless criticism no matter what he does, but a good leader knows that and forges ahead.
President Obama didn’t forget us, even as he took off for Turkey and the start of the G20 Summit. He didn’t leave us hanging for days wondering what in the hell was going on. Here’s a readout of the President’s National Security Council Meeting on the Paris Attacks:
President Obama, before departing for the G20 Summit, convened his National Security Council to discuss yesterday’s horrific terrorist attacks in Paris. The President’s team briefed him on the latest intelligence surrounding the attacks, and–while noting that there was no specific or credible threat to the United States–reviewed our homeland security posture to ensure we are doing everything necessary to protect the American people. The President received a briefing on the active cooperation with our French counterparts on intelligence sharing and military action against ISIL, and reaffirmed that his team will remain in close contact with their French counterparts to be ready to provide any necessary assistance to French authorities as part of the investigation. The team reviewed the intelligence picture, noting that we had no information to contradict the initial French assessment of ISIL’s responsibility. The President was also briefed on our Embassy security posture in Paris and across Europe, and directed his team to take all appropriate measures to ensure the security of Embassy personnel. The President directed his team to keep him regularly apprised of the investigation and any relevant intelligence.
President Obama has this. He can’t fix it, no one can. But he’s in charge and he’s on it, and if there is something to be done, he is the person to do it. This is not to suggest he is perfect and no one should question him, or to suggest we should mindlessly turn over our liberties should that be suggested. But when it comes to judgment, there is no one I would rather have at the helm today than President Barack Obama.
We are lucky to have such a President, especially at times like this.