Richard Greene

Our lack of strong leadership has rendered us unsafe

President Barack Obama addresses the nation from the Oval Office at the White House Dec. 6.
President Barack Obama addresses the nation from the Oval Office at the White House Dec. 6. AP

If you are among the minority of Americans who believe Barack Obama is dealing with the Islamic State threat in a way that will eliminate further attacks on our country, then Hillary Clinton will be your choice for our next president.

On the other hand, if you agree with Obama’s former head of the Defense Intelligence Agency, Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn, then you will be looking for a strong leader for our country that only the Republican Party will be offering.

“I want to cheer for my president … for my country … and I find it very difficult to cheer for what is going on right now because … there is definitely not a lot of clarity” in a strategy to defeat the Islamic State group.

Or will you listen to Iraq and Afghan war veteran Maj. Peter Hegseth, who made the point without any equivocation? Hegseth described Obama’s televised Dec. 6 Oval Office address to the nation.

He said the military was looking for “tough, realistic honest assessment of the threat we face in light of this attack. Instead we got stubborn ideology.

“We literally had a president look into the camera for 13 minutes, saying no new change in strategy. We’re gonna take your guns. ISIL’s not Islamic. And make sure you’re nice to every Muslim in America today, because clearly Americans are racist.”

Hegseth, a highly decorated veteran infantryman, is often called upon by CNN, MSNBC and Fox for insight into what the men and women who wear the uniforms of our nation are prepared to do to deal with killers bent on our destruction.

He reminded us of former President George W. Bush standing on the rubble of the World Trade Center promising consequences that only the U.S. has the capability of delivering in response to an attack on our country.

Before we hear voices declaring the “mistake” of invading countries harboring and training terrorists, note that we just celebrated last week the voice of the longest-serving Democratic president in our history, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, declaring war to protect our way of life and worried not about offending the enemy.

Yes, I know the Islamic State group is a different kind of enemy. But what we seem to have lost sight of is the certainty that radical Islamic terrorists are committed to sacrifice their own lives to kill us.

Obama and Clinton refuse to even acknowledge them for who they are.

Instead, we get responses from our president and his heir apparent using terms such as “workplace violence” (eerie reminder of the lies of a video sparking the murder of four Americans at Benghazi) and seizing the tragedy in San Bernardino to advance the agenda of gun control and climate change.

It took most of us about an hour to recognize the acts of terrorism in California. It took our president almost a week to finally acknowledge it for what it was.

Ted Cruz didn’t equivocate, citing FDR’s call to unite the country with the objective of absolute victory.

“If I am elected president,” the Texas senator declared, “I will direct the Department of Defense to destroy ISIS.”

Fellow Sen. Marco Rubio also spoke to the daftness of more gun control.

“None of the laws that [Obama or Clinton] are proposing would have done anything to prevent this shooting or any of the previous shootings that they’ve cited or pointed to.”

Looking for the clarity that Hegseth yearns to see? You are not going to find it now or in the years ahead unless we send a commander in chief to the White House who knows how to lead.

Richard Greene is a former Arlington mayor and served as an appointee of President George W. Bush as regional administrator for the Environmental Protection Agency.