Captain Picard doles out some great advice. He tells her that being Captain doesn’t mean he has all the answers but it does mean that he has to lead. Even if he doesn’t know which way to go right now, he must decide. The point is, he has the confidence to know that he’ll figure it out soon.
“We are now faced with the fact that tomorrow is today. We are confronted with the fierce urgency of now. In this unfolding conundrum of life and history, there ‘is’ such a thing as being too late. This is no time for apathy or complacency. This is a time for vigorous and positive action.”
Each year we took a trip. Dallas. Baltimore. Chicago. Seattle. When I look back on my life and the experiences I have had, I think back to these journeys. I remember every one of them. They are vivid life experiences that I shared with the people I care about. My life is longer because of the journeys I have taken.
Extremist groups like ISIS feed off instability and conflict, and there is no shortage of that in the Middle East today. Decades of repression, poverty, corruption, a lack of pluralism and tolerance turn the region into a powder keg. That’s why we have to keep working with our friends and partners to support economic and political modernization; train effective and accountable local intelligence, law enforcement, and counterterrorism services. And once and for all, the Saudis, the Qataris, the Kuwaitis, and others must stop their citizens from funding extremist organizations and stop supporting radical schools and mosques around the world that have set too many young people on a path toward extremism.
It does mean stepping up efforts to get more Arabs and Kurdish fighters into the fight against ISIS on both sides of the Iraq-Syria border, supporting the Iraqi Security Forces while pressuring Baghdad to pursue a more inclusive and effective approach, and immediately deploying the Special Operations Forces that President Obama has already authorized, with more to follow as more Syrians get into the fight. We also have to demand that our Arab and Turkish partners carry their share of the burden with military, financial, and diplomatic contributions. We will do our part, but it’s their fight too, and they need to act like it is.