The wait for President Obama to act against ISIS is like watching paint dry.
For six years, Americans have had a president who has been slow, weak-willed and nervous.
He has spoken softly and carried a big putter.
And the entire world has suffered as a result.
The advance of Russia, China and ISIS is the result of weak or absent American leadership. Nothing proves America's indispensability more than the current state of the world.
With President Obama on walkabout, Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott has become the default leader of the free world.
In the past months, he has aggressively challenged Russian President Vladimir Putin, unequivocally condemned Hamas and has been forceful about the responsibility to tackle the "pure evil" of the Islamic State. He has fearlessly spoken about the need "to advance the values of the West."
His words have been strong and clear. His instinct and judgment flawless.
Now, he is once again leading on the response to Western-born jihadists.
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While announcing the toughest measures yet of any Western nation, Abbott said that everyone that migrates to or lives in Australia must be on "Team Australia" and "that everyone has got to put this country, its interests, its values and its people first."
The measures include:
- the immediate arrest and prosecution of returning fighters;
- the set-up of new, additional counter-terrorism units at major airports;
- canceling passports or not providing passports to people who had received adverse security assessments.
"If you are in Iraq or Syria, leave. If you are planning to go, don't," the Australian foreign minister said.
The move has already allowed authorities to intercept a "person of interest."
At a time when America's position in the world is collapsing, the firm leadership of Australia in response to matters at home (including the scrapping of the carbon tax) and abroad should be mirrored by a feckless American president.
America, and the world, deserve nothing less.