Where's a leader when you need one?
I know I mentioned this movie before, but I’ve been catching bits and pieces of “Thirteen Days” a lot on basic cable lately, and to the extent that the movie’s an accurate depiction, I’ve been gaining a lot of respect for John Kennedy. I always thought he was just this good-looking, charismatic guy with a penchant for sneaking girls into the White House through underground caves. But apparently, he was a real, actual, in the flesh leader, something sorely missing from the world stage these days.
During the Cuban Missile Crisis, as the very real threat of total nuclear war loomed, Kennedy was dead-set about two points: his team of advisers had to come to a consensus opinion on a course of action, and they had to come to it within, well, 13 days. Now, I know it’s just a movie, but it’s not just a movie the way, say, “Attack of The Clones” is just a movie (and a bad one at that.)
The events depicted in “Thirteen Days ” did actually happen. Kennedy’s, dare I even say it, leadership drove the nation to action, and his wisdom kept the nation from doing something stupid that very easily could have led to World War III. An important point, that last one. I bring this up as a contrast with what’s going on over in Europe, where there is not a shred of leadership from the various capitals about how to handle the Greek situation. Or wisdom, for that matter.
What should have happened a long time ago was that somebody among the EU leadership should have demanded a consensus from the group, money or no money, by a set date (we’ll get to the no-bailouts issue.) Instead, we get month after month of jawboning, of Europeans making vague pledges of support, of Greeks insisting they’re not asking for money, Germans insisting they won’t give them money, everybody knowing they desperately need money, the IMF saying it’s ready to give them money, the Europeans saying they don’t want the IMF to give the Greeks money, the Greeks saying they don’t want money, the Europeans insisting they will support the Greeks, the bond market saying show us the money, and the Germans once again saying they won’t give the Greeks the money.
Where’s a leader when you need one?