Reaction to Gaza flotilla incident reveals a leadership deifict in Washington, elsewhere

I’m going to avoid commenting directly on the events that took place off the shores of Gaza themselves for now, for a few reasons. Firstly, we don’t know for sure about everything that happened yet. Secondly, if and (hopefully) when the truth does come out, the events should speak for themselves. And lastly, even if and when the events do speak for themselves, those who have entrenched themselves on either side of this issue will continue to defend their respective positions to the hilt, no matter what the evidence. So commentary is pointless, at least for the moment.

What I will talk about, however, is the anemic response to this crisis from world leaders, and especially from the United States, where we (whether we like it or not) still look for central leadership to guide us through such problems.

Here we have an event of such a magnitude that it is triggering protests in several countries, particularly in Turkey. Here it appears that Israel’s only true Muslim ally – that would be Turkey – is going to abandon it. Here we have more radical countries in the area, such as Iran, hoping that this event will usher in the end of the Jewish state. And here we have millions of residents of the Gaza strip with their lives in even more danger then before.

So what is U.S. President Barack Obama’s reaction? First, a written statement (see my previous post). And then he went on with his Memorial Day as is nothing had happened — read here.

I know that Memorial Day is an important holiday in many respects, but, really? Mr. Obama didn’t think that this was urgent enough a problem to get back to Washington, get his team together, and start planning strategy?

At the very least, one senior official should have been sent to the area immediately. And I mean someone important, like Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. This is a problem that is only going to get worse. And all we get from Washington is strongly worded statements?

Of course it’s not only the U.S. that’s reveling in its passivity. You can click here to read more "strongly-worded" statements from world leaders.

Of course our own PM did a nice job copying the American’s position on the issue, as I already noted. We’ve come a long, sad way since Lester Pearson and his pivotal role in ending the Suez crisis.

Really, though, Mr. Obama, please wake up and do something.

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