In his Inaugural Address on January 20, 1961 President John Fitzgerald Kennedy made a bold proclamation about how leaders should approach adversity. He said; “In the long history of the world, only a few generations have been granted the role of defending freedom in its hour of maximum danger. I do not shrink from this responsibility--I welcome it. I do not believe that any of us would exchange places with any other people or any other generation. The energy, the faith, the devotion which we bring to this endeavor will light our country and all who serve it--and the glow from that fire can truly light the world.”
Anyone alive in this time and place in history must know that we live at another such epic crossroads where we must face adversity. It is in times like this that great leaders emerge to show us the way through the challenges of our time. They guide us along the edge of a knife where teetering to one side or the other will bring Armageddon. I thought it would be interesting to dissect this quote from one of our great Presidents to assess how our current administration is fairing.
All generations face challenges both domestic and international that must be addressed in a skillful manner. The skills required vary to a certain extent. During the Civil War we needed a President who would focus inward and force us to answer difficult questions about the type of society we wanted to create for ourselves. Abraham Lincoln was the perfect President for his time and place in history.
In the early 1930s the
In our time, with our challenges, September 11, 2001 has become a cliché. Not the events that occurred that day, but what those events have been used to justify. Into all times of great need steps a leader who restores faith and pride to the people. President George W. Bush was surprisingly capable in the days following those tragedies. He had the country unified in intent and purpose as no one had since the Japanese attack on
It all rings so hollow now to a great many people around the world. All that good will was taken and used to justify the status quo. The same tired and failed philosophy for dealing with foreign threat. In a time when we needed to rip up our military play book and start a new, our government simply spruced up the same play book that we have been using since the Civil War. It is our government’s belief that when adversity is faced you must levee the full weight of the
Not surprisingly this shock and awe philosophy has won us very little goodwill with the people in this region of the world. Our first military moves after 9/11 was to invade and “liberate”
Our next phase was to go into
Our President now tells us that it would be foolhardy to pull our troops out of
The part of JFK’s quote that jumps out at me most readily is the last part where he says; “The energy, the faith, the devotion which we bring to this endeavor will light our country and all who serve it--and the glow from that fire can truly light the world.” If the Iraqi people value the right to self-determination no insurgency, no matter how large, will get in its way. One should never underestimate the determination of a people to be free. One need only step out of the way and see their will be done. Of course we will be a friend to