The Obama Doctrine: "Danger? Paper it over!"

In a recent American University speech directed at the opponents of his deal with Iran, President Obama made a remarkable statement: his opponents "were the same people who created the 'drumbeat of war' and played on public fears to push the United States into the Iraq war more than a decade ago."

While this was read by the more sensitive as a veiled threat, I think it was rather a Freudian slip on Obama's part, revealing the basic underpinnings of his mind.

For if we take it at its face value, this statement is simply about consistency.  When faced with the intelligence that Saddam was harboring weapons of mass destruction, most politicians responded with "let's deal with it, and nip it in the bud."  Yet Obama was opposed to taking action.  Was it because he had access to more accurate intelligence?  No.  For him, the knee-jerk reaction to Saddam's WMD threat was "let's do nothing!"

And today, a decade later, we are faced with the same issue, but vis-à-vis Iran.  What to do?  Humans being consistent, those who think that the way to deal with the danger is to face it, say, "This is truly dangerous!  Let's confront that danger now, before it is too late, and it becomes too great to even be confronted!"  And now as then, Mr. Obama, also unchanged, is again saying, "This is truly dangerous!  Let’s do nothing, and paper it over!"

Mr. Obama's remark during his speech, with which he perhaps indeed intended to intimidate his opponents, revealed instead plenty about Mr. Obama himself, and especially about his attitude toward danger.  It is said that a bird freezes in fear when it meets a snake's gaze and is unable to move.  Even though it could fly away, it can't.  All it can do is not make a move and hope for the best.

And that's what Mr. Obama's remark reveals about him.  He is not one of those who feel that the danger needs to be confronted.  He is all for not moving, and hoping for the best.

Is being paralyzed by fear a responsible, grown-up attitude?  Clearly, Mr. Obama's underlying mentality makes him constitutionally susceptible to fear, and since he is the president of the United States, his paralysis of will during dangerous times, expressed in his underpinning doctrine of "let's paper it over," endangers us all.

As FDR famously observed, "we have nothing to fear other than fear itself."  Now that we have a president who is so obviously consumed by fear, we know precisely what it was that FDR feared the most – and why.