This is the test we’ve been waiting for.
President Obama’s lack of quick and decisive action in dealing with the pirate/terrorist/hostage crisis shows that he likely wants to prove he can deal with thugs in a diplomatic way.
He wants to make this crisis a microcosm of showing the world that he represents a new way of doing things.
How will we know he succeeded? There are two necessary outputs.
- The American hostage must be returned unharmed without any action taken by our military.
- There must be a noticeable decrease in pirating and hostage taking.
The first output is quite possible. For example, seeing as the pirates have no access to outside resources, it is possible we can play the waiting game and they can be starved out. Of course, the longer the American is in their control, the more likely he is to be harmed.
As for the second, that may prove to be more difficult. A vital requirement to encourage a decrease in pirating is providing a deterrent. Diplomatic solutions tend to only encourage dangerous behavior. This morning’s taking of the American-owned tugboat seems to enhance that notion.
Here it is, Mr. President. Prove you’re a transcendent figure. The world is watching.