An American Beheading Or Golf?

By Sal Bommarito

The New York Times published an article today titled “A Terrorist Horror, Then Golf: Incongruity Fuels Critics.” I wonder how long it took to come up with this title.


The Times went through the motions of recognizing the president’s behavior for what it was- totally un-presidential and insulting to the family of James Foley. The president made heartfelt comments about the beheading of the American journalist, and then sprinted off to the golf course and yucked it up with his buddies.


In contrast, Prime Minister David Cameron of Great Britain cancelled his vacation “because the accent of the masked killer suggested he came from Britain.” And, in 2003, George W. Bush gave up golf for the balance of his tenure because the Iraq war was raging at the time.


The Times is playing the role of apologist for Barack Obama as it has been doing during his entire presidency. But, this time even the Times recognized that the president was being insensitive.


In this regard, the story goes into all of the mental health and emotional aspects of being president, as if Americans do not understand how difficult it is to lead the free world. But, the point that needs to be made is that no president should engage himself in golf or any public sport on the heels of such a horrifying terrorist incident. Obama supporters are going to respond that every president needs down time because the job is so stressful. This is true, but Obama needs to be more careful about the timing of his actions. Maybe waiting a day before heading out to the links would have made more sense.


This president has an air of superiority that is raking on Americans and foreigners alike. His condescending rhetoric and insistence that he can make every decision for every American and for the entire world without conferring with others is causing Democrats, Republicans and other heads of state to become uncomfortable.


The administration took the opportunity to announce shortly after this story broke that it had sent troops into Syria to rescue Foley and other Americans being held hostage. The mission was not successful, as the hostages were not where intelligence indicated they would be.


Why was this announcement important? A cynic might think that public reaction to the beheading was so strong that the administration felt it needed to announce that it tried to save Foley. This sounds like a cover your rear move by Obama and company. And, why would the U.S. give any details about a  rescue operation anyway? The mission should have been kept confidential. Why admit to failure to the whole world and to our enemies?


It is becoming more difficult to justify the actions, or inaction, of this administration. The president stayed out of the Syrian conflict for the most part, emboldening a new terrorist menace, ISIS. ISIs is now threatening Syria, Iraq and even the U.S. according to some experts. Is it the next Al Qaeda, planning an attack on American soil?


The U.S. is responding meekly in Iraq. The amount of force employed to save the Kurds has been lacking. Much more intensive airstrikes should be utilized, if in fact we will not send troops.


In Israel, the administration is moving towards the Palestinian perspective. Sure, popular opinion is backing the oppressed Palestinian citizens, but Hamas is the real evildoer. It is launching rockets at a furious pace at Israel, our most important ally in the region. Obama should be supporting Prime Minister Netanyahu as he fights to preserve the existence of Israel.


The president should respond to the beheading of James Foley with great force, as I indicated in my op-ed  yesterday. It’s time America started leading, something only possible with the use of force in the Middle East.



Leave a Reply