In the Weekly Standard Stephen F. Hayes reminds us that once upon a time a "Great Leader" spoke boldly of the threat we faced and the will we must summon.
"This is the moment when we must defeat terror and dry up the well of extremism that supports it." The threat, he said, "is real and we cannot shrink from our responsibility to combat it."
He looked to history for an example. "If we could win a battle of ideas against the communists, we can stand with the vast majority of Muslims who reject the extremism that leads to hate instead of hope," he said, imploring the world to "help answer the call for a new dawn in the Middle East."
He spoke of the "aspirations shared by all people: that we can live free from fear and free from want; that we can speak our minds and assemble with whomever we choose and worship as we please." And he declared: "These aspirations are bigger than anything that drives us apart It is in pursuit of these aspirations that a new generation--our generation--must make our mark on the world."
These tests will not always be easy, he said.
"Will we stand for the human rights of the dissident in Burma, the blogger in Iran, or the voter in Zimbabwe?" he wondered. . . .
He spoke of the "dream of freedom" and declared: "There is no challenge too great for a world that stands as one."
"People of the world--this is our moment. This is our time."
Who was that leader and when did he speak those words?
Why, it was Barack Obama just a year ago in his Great, Great Speech in Berlin.
But those were just words. They were words and phrases used to gain applause and adulation.
Now that the real test has come in Iran, the "dream of freedom" must be put on hold lest we "meddle." And standing with "the vast majority of Muslims" [in the streets of Iran] "who reject the extremism that leads to hate instead of hope" is inconvenient because suddenly it really "doesn't make much difference" after all.
Here's another thing Obama said a year ago in that Great, Great Speech:
"Now the world will watch and remember what we do here--what we do with this moment."
Yes, Mr. President.
The world is watching.
The whole world is watching right now.