The confluence of events is striking. The president is capitulating in slow motion to the demands of Iran at the P5+1 talks. With regard to the Islamic State, which just this week burned alive a Jordanian pilot (a Muslim, remember), the president has empty words. Yemen, which was held up as a great success story, is now being taken over by Iranian-supported rebels with nary a peep from the president. Iran is effectively absorbing Iraq’s army. Iran continues to back terrorist groups throughout the region, including Hezbollah, which is increasingly more aggressive in attacking Israel.

All that is happening while President Obama throws a fit when Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu gets an invite to speak to Congress. And he lectures the country that Christianity is rotten, too — don’t you remember the Crusades and the Spanish Inquisition?

His remarks at the National Prayer Breakfast may be the most memorable of his presidency for they so completely express his moral vacuity and personal arrogance: “Lest we get on our high horse and think this is unique to some other place, remember that during the Crusades and the Inquisition, people committed terrible deeds in the name of Christ. In our home country, slavery and Jim Crow all too often was justified in the name of Christ.” Never miss an opportunity to indict the West, to ignore the current threat to Western civilization or to smear Americans who rightly see themselves as the defenders of decency and humanity against the barbarism of Islamic fundamentalists. The egregious comments and the thinking behind them was denounced not only by right-wing critics but also by thinking liberals, a variety of Christian leaders and centrists such as Joe Scarborough

No, he is not a Manchurian candidate nor a Muslim. He is, however, entirely in over his head in a world fraught with jihadist violence and completely blinded by the left-wing dogma that declares the West to be not so civilized at all and the United States in particular to be the cause of many of the world’s problems. This is not an academic oddity or a harmless quirk. It is of grave consequence when the leader of the free world is unable and unwilling to defend it rhetorically, diplomatically or militarily.

The president’s thinking manifests itself in the desperation for a deal with the Islamic fundamentalist Iranian state, the biggest supporter of terrorism in the region. Convinced that he can make some accord with the mullahs, Obama is choosing not to confront, not to oppose Iran’s ambitions as a regional power. (Really, who are we to say the Shiite terrorists aided by Iran should not rule the roost, right?) Iran, as we noted above, is on the march throughout the region and is on the brink, if we are to believe news reports, of a deal that will leave it with thousands of centrifuges, its Arak heavy-water reactor in place, its missile program intact and its aggressive actions throughout the region the accepted norm. The Post editorial board warns, “It’s hard to escape the conclusion that Mr. Obama wishes to avoid congressional review because he suspects a bipartisan majority would oppose the deal he is prepared to make.” And given the potential for such a terrible fait accompli, it is hard to understand the refusal by Democrat opponents of such a deal to take up sanctions now, before it is too late. While true that “a deal with Iran could be reversed, within months of its completion, by the next president,” a deal of the type we are anticipating would leave the international sanctions regimen in ruins and leave war as the only alternative to a nuclear-armed Iran.

On Twitter the mild-mannered David Gergen pleaded:How much longer will the world permit the brutality of ISIS? Why can’t we go after them harder?” Why? Because we have a president who thinks the West is morally flawed and not entitled to distinguish between civilized countries with imperfect histories and jihadist terrorists and their patrons. Because we have a president who refuses to use sufficient hard power to defend the West, for it is his role to “end wars” and reach accord with our enemies (i.e. appease them). Because we have Democrats in Congress and the party’s likely presidential nominee who refuse to recognize the urgency of the situation, speak out directly against him and demand a dramatic shift in foreign policy — now, not some time to be determined. Because, quite simply, the president does not want to.

This is not trivial matter. It is the central dilemma of time: How do we defend Western civilization when the leader of the free world won’t, and doesn’t even like it all that much?