Failed Leadership

Published on April 7th, 2015 | by Rick Robison




When we fail to teach our children the history of people’s choices, the way history should be taught, it is easy to suppose that what is currently happening “just happens.” That people are “victims” of their surroundings, and those who blow themselves up while murdering the innocent are “not to blame,” their oppressors made them do it. “Random historical circumstance,” and real and imagined “social injustices” the “rich against the poor,” all combine to drive these Islamist terrorists to rape, murder, and mayhem on a grand scale.

This is the tripe that passes for education today.

Hopeless relativism, even defeatism, dominates our campuses and classrooms from sea to shining sea. But I don’t blame academia as much as I blame myself. We have, through omission, as absentee parents, surrendered to the enemy. When we allow our kids to be taught the “history of victimhood” we provide excuses and remove a vital social stabilizer: personal responsibility. It’s all-encompassing, it’s penetrated every mind and heart, yet in reality the problems we face today are nearly always the result of choices made yesterday.

“We choose our joys and sorrows long before we experience them.”

– Khalil Gibran

Rational thinking tells us that almost all current events have an historical catalyst. Real history (not history re-written) is a compilation of human choices, tiny ripples each man and woman make that become the tsunamis of tomorrow.

The history of Christianity and Islam, for example, was impacted by the choice of one man, the grandfather of Charlemagne, a man of courage and strength. His name, Charles Martel. His selfless, timely, courageous choice made more than a thousand years ago, changed your history.

It was 732 A.D. An Islamic army under the command of General Abdul Rahman al-Ghafiqi, operating out of conquered and occupied Spain, invaded across the Pyrenees Mountains into Europe’s heartland, in what would become France. The jihadis (Islamic holy warriors) raped and pillaged, taking thousands of slaves and concubines and putting adult males to the sword. It appeared all of Christian Europe would fall under the Sword of Islam.

However, one man, Charles Martel, determined he would stand against the Muslim invader and fight for freedom. With great effort—Europe was then badly divided—he successfully rallied a reluctant Christian army, and though outnumbered, challenged the Islamic invaders on October 10, 732. The battle, one of the most decisive in history, is known as the Battle of Tours. Charles Martel, also called “the Hammer,” defeated the invaders and killed General Abdul Rahman driving the Muslims out of France and back across the Pyrenees. Islamic armies never again made a serious attempt to conquer Europe from the west.

In the 16th and 17th centuries, with Islam’s banner now held by the Ottoman Turks, the Jihadi raiders invaded Europe again, from the east this time, laying siege to the City of Vienna—twice. Both times (1529 and again in 1683) the invaders were driven back by the leadership of a handful of Europeans who understood the danger.

During the second invasion, the hero, Polish King Jan Sobieski and his Hussar Knights, arrived in time to rescue the besieged Vienna and soundly defeat Pasha Kara Mustafa’s army. From then on the Muslim Empire, called the Caliphate, was in retreat as Christian Europe at last rallied, pushing back decisively. Rescuing Europe from what many thought was certain “Islamization,” a relative handful of men, and sometimes women, determined that they would make their own history, by their choices, in spite of the overwhelming forces arrayed against them and the many Europeans who did not want to fight the invaders.

This is a foundational concept in the so-called “war on terror” (which is really a War on Tyrants): Self-actualization—Free Will. The fact that mankind controls his/her own “luck” by his/her own actions and choices, or lack thereof, is a traditional Christian philosophy.

But it is not an Islamic one, at least not to the same degree. Islam teaches everything that happens is “Allah’s will.” If a child steps out in the street and is flattened by a truck it was Allah’s will. If a warrior becomes king, or is killed in battle, both were likewise Allah’s will. While to Muslims human choice is a factor, predestination and Allah’s predetermination are much more important. If the future is to be fashioned by the self-empowered, rather than “Allah’s will,” then the American philosophy of personal choice and self-determination will always be the healthier, and more productive, human value. As well, individual free-will will always be the enemy of tyrants. Which brings us to the essence of the danger we face.


President Obama has, from the beginning, refused to face this threat with his full heart, might, mind, and strength. Many close to him believe that the passion to defend America under attack is not in him. That’s not who he is. And, as such, his choices for this nation—such as withdrawing American forces from Iraq, allowing the take-over by ISIS, and subsequent murder and brutalities—are but a single example of a leader ill-prepared and historically rudderless.

Today, we will either choose to go on the offensive against ISIS and their tyrannical backers (often secret funders), or we will shrink before the tyrant’s onslaught of terror. “We have met the enemy and he is us” (Pogo, Walt Kelly). By far the greatest enemy is nearly always within, as we see in our own president.

The Islamist enemy believes that their victory through terror and tyranny is “predestined” or “Allah’s will.” For us, in the end, our end will be ours to choose. Such is the lesson of history, and such will be America’s legacy.



“The strength and power of despotism consists wholly in the (peoples’) fear of resistance.”

 — Thomas Paine



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About the Author

I have a standing rule to live by…a liberty to follow my own will in all things…and never subject to the inconstant, uncertain, unknown, arbitrary will of another man—Life, liberty, and property.

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