Friday, October 3, 2014

Preaching and Practicing

During Israel's recent war with Hamas in Gaza our administration repeatedly expressed it's dismay and outrage at the inadvertent civilian casualties resulting from Israeli bombs. Now that American bombs are producing inadvertent civilian casualties as we try to "degrade" ISIS in Syria the White House seems to have misplaced its moral punctiliousness. In fact, President Obama has even relaxed the standards he had set for predator strikes in Pakistan and elsewhere in order to give our bombers more leeway to hit ISIS targets even if civilians may be "collateral damage." Israel's Bibi Netanyahu might be forgiven if he thinks Mr. Obama has been a bit hypocritical in this matter.

So, too, might George W. Bush be forgiven for thinking the same thing. As a U.S. Senator, Mr. Obama ripped President Bush for what he perceived to be our national unpreparedness in dealing with a potential avian flu epidemic. Avian flu never reached our shores, but Ebola has. During the Obama presidency, Ebola has afflicted more Americans and people in America than did avian flu. We certainly seem to have been caught unprepared. There's precious little of the antidote that saved the lives last summer of two American missionaries, and we seem to have no policies in place to prevent people from immigrating here from infected regions. When is Mr. Obama going to issue an apology to former President Bush?

I don't blame Mr. Obama for relaxing the standards governing when we can drop bombs and when we must hold back. Nor do I fault him for the fact that Ebola has made its way to the U.S. I do fault him, however, for his very strong criticism of others who did, essentially, the same thing Mr. Obama is doing or failed to do the same thing Mr. Obama has failed even more to do. His criticisms of Israel and former President Bush turn out to be a dish of political opportunism, buttered with moral posturing, and seasoned with hubris - standard fare in this White House.