Lumping together Vladimir Putin's adventure in the Ukraine with the emergence of the Islamic State in what used to be Syria and Iraq, Brooks downplays the threat that both pose to our lives:
"We are not living in a moment of immediate concrete threat, but we are in a crisis of context.
The specific problems that make headlines right now are not cataclysmic. The venture by President Vladimir Putin of Russia into Ukraine, for all its thuggery, is not, in itself, a cataclysmic historical event. The civil war in Syria, for all its savagery, is not a problem that threatens the daily lives of those who live outside."
Brooks goes on to say that "These problems are medium-size" and constitute a "a revolt of the weak." Declaring that "Putin and ISIS are not threats to American national security" but rather "threats to our civilizational order," Brooks concludes:
"This summer, the bad guys have looked energetic while the good guys have looked tired. We’ll see at the NATO summit meeting in Wales this week if there’s a leader who can step outside the crush of events and explain how fundamental the threat to the rules of civilization now is."
Or stated otherwise, Obama can continue with his golf game. However, as far as I am concerned, Brooks is comparing apples with oranges, and the threat from the Islamic State is far greater than that described by Brooks.
As abhorrent as Putin's conduct may be, he is not threatening to take his war to the United States. His objectives are regional, which, of course, is not to say that this bully, who is testing Obama's tenacity, should not be opposed.
On the other hand, the Islamic State, otherwise known as ISIS or ISIL, is indeed threatening to take its war to America. An August 9 ISIS tweet declared:
"We are in your state. We are in your cities. We are in your streets."
And then there was also the recent message to Americans:
"We will drown all of you in blood."
So what it really boils down to is whether you believe the threats being made by these radical Islamists are more than mere words. I do. I have witnessed firsthand the destruction and paralysis that can result from assymetric warfare, i.e. warfare waged by the "weak."
The Islamic State's jihadists are not stupid, they are not afraid to die, and it is only a matter of time until they bring down a skyscraper or an American commercial airliner. The effect on the American economy will be devastating.
So should Obama also ignore the next decapitation of a US citizen and continue with his vacations and Democratic Party fundraising efforts at the homes of the ultra-wealthy? As the first invertebrate ever to occupy the Oval Office would have us know, "The world has always been messy."
Or, should the president fire Chuck "Chowderhead" Hagel and John "Botox" Kerry, and assemble a war cabinet capable of preparing for the contingencies which could soon face the United States?
I know what I would do.