We need Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s leadership ability and political skills more than ever to guide us through the Islamic State crisis. When FDR became president, the fascism and communism in Europe and militarism in Japan were on the rise. They were dangerous and aggressive.

In FDR’s second term, Nazi Germany began to make aggressive moves against her neighbors. In 1938, they took Austria in March and Czechoslovakia in October. Japan had invaded China in 1937. On June 30, 1941, Hitler invaded Russia.

Deep in FDR’s heart, he knew he must find ways to aid China, Russia and England or the war destruction would reach the U.S.

Unfortunately, America was in the Great Depression, and the American people were suffering beyond belief. In addition, there was strong isolationism mood in the country to forbid U.S. involvement in international conflicts.

Facing insurmountable odds, FDR was able to aid England and Russia through the Lend and Lease Act. China suffered the most by Japanese air attacks and bombings and only U.S. airpower could neutralize this. So he secretly agreed with Capt. Claire Lee Chennault, (a retired flying officer and a volunteer to join China’s fight), giving him 100 P-40s to organize a volunteer fighter team, called the “Flying Tigers,” to help China. These 100 P-40s, destined to England on paper, diverted to Rangoon, and from there to China as a secret mission.

Because of his leadership role, the world was united to defeat the common enemies, Nazi Germany in Europe and Japan in Asia.

For our homeland security and for world peace, FDR’s leadership example is what we need today to deal with Islamic State, which uses the Middle East’s resources and a large part of Syria and Iraq as its staging ground to bring the war to European nations and the U.S. Its objective is to destroy Western civilization and our way of life and to rule the world by Sharia law under the Islamic State.

President Barack Obama still has time to do the right thing — to join France to rally the world after the Paris tragedy and lead the world to defeat Islamic State. That would be his legacy if he could show true leadership with a good working strategy.

However, in his post-Paris-attack speech, his usually friendly media took him to task for his failing Islamic State strategy (containment), which he was still trying to defend. I don’t know what it takes to wake him up. The world is suffering because he is playing a silly semantic game with Islamic State; no boots on the ground in Syria.

Chris Hsu

retired state employee

Baton Rouge