Monday, January 24, 2011

Weak and Nettlesome

Foreign-policy hard-liners have been exhorted by some conservatives—ye shall know them by their liberal-snogging at tomorrow night’s State of the Union address—to shun triumphalism and celebrate with calm dignity (make mine a dirty gimlet, Jeeves, extra dry—and CHOP-CHOP, MAN!) the Bushian miasma that apparently has settled like an oil mist over Orange Beach upon the flowy gentle change-waters of Obamunism: Our armed forces are still in Afghanistan and Iraq; the smartest president in the room and his punctilious little secretary of state have backed off the Israelis; Guantanamo remains open; military tribunals for the hardest-core prisoners in our War on Terror will proceed.

All true—for now—and though it’s somewhat difficult to practice quiet self-command while rankers-and-filers of the whinging and embittered left blow their noses so appealingly honkingly and piercingly on their own tatty sleeves, restraint there must be, for there’s still a long slog ahead until, to paraphrase Peter O’Toole, an election rids us of this nettlesome president.

While we wait, Mr. Obama’s efforts to force engagement down the throats of our enemies continue apace. If the livers of these various imprisoners and slaughterers of freedom-seeking human beings are producing bile rather than foie gras as a result, well, we have “different political systems” at “different stages of development”. Decades of U.S. policy are nibbled away or jettisoned altogether to reestablish relations with the penal colony that goes by the name of the Republic of Cuba, and yet Fidel doesn’t phone or even write—he arrests a State Department contractor who’s down there doing humanitarian work and throws him into one of Cuba’s notorious prisons, where he languishes still, more than a month later. The president of Communist China munches on lobster and ribeye in the real  peoples’ house, and smiles benignly as his pianist countryman Lang Lang subjects the U.S. president—and through him the American people—to a sneering act of anti-Americanism.

And then there’s the Iranian answer to our velvet-glove throwdown:  On the eve of the latest round of nuclear negotiations, the State Department mouthpiece announces that “we are committed to holding Iran accountable to its international obligations, and will continue to do so until Iran takes tangible steps to resolve international concerns with its nuclear program.” Scary—if you’re Finland, maybe, but probably not even the Finns take us very seriously any more.

But the mullahs laugh outright at our empty threats. One lovely meal “of chicken saltimbocca with smoked tomato squash, steamed seabass, ravioli, baldo pilaf, grilled vegetables and deserts” down—after all, even tieless Persian thugs like a nice piece of fish before they eat us for lunch—and it’s back to Natanz with them. Was it Benjamin Franklin, or Albert Einstein, or Mae West, or who knows, Aeschylus, possibly, who said, “the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results”?

Not actually feeling all that much triumphalism here in Hawkville at the moment. It’s more like keenness: How long, oh Lord, how long, before we are restored to sanity, and can join talons with the other Accipitriformes and say “Free at last, free at last, thank God almighty, we’re free at last” of these anti-American Obamic fetters?

Monday, January 17, 2011

That Is No Country For Old Dudes

Or old broads, come to that. Yet few and far between have been the past and present American high-hats resistant to the siren song of songs (Pythagorean mean, and mean indeed), “Middle East Peace.” Its music and lyrics enter the bloodstream, play on loop continuous through the heart, then pump, pump, pump, down, down, down, and up again, collecting artery-squeezing lipid potentates along the way to Byzantium (Two! Two! Two states in one!), to settle bits of loamy plaque in the government brain, then back by loop through heart again, and so on and so forth. And now the song, not to say the brain itself, has morphed: A pathetic hymn, and Byzantium just as out-of-reach as ever it has been.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

We're All Extremists Now

Hillary “Human Rights” Clinton started off her week—or the first public moments of it—sounding almost Condoleezza Ricean, exhorting the Arab world to stand firm against Iran by embracing the sanctions which, in her apparently dimming view, have been effective in impeding the progress of the Persian bomb; and urging the rag-tag lot of tyrants and dictators that comprises the Arab “leadership” to join the battle for Middle East peace by resuscitating the Arab Peace Initiative.

If one is hard put to believe that it’s our toothless sanctions—which the mullahs to date and with good reason have found risible—rather than sabotage that have interfered with the Iranian nuclear plot; or to make out which Arab Peace Initiative Mrs. Clinton meant to invoke—the one devised in 2002 by the then “crown prince” now “king” of Saudi Arabia to deflect attention from the Saudis’ own bloodied hand in the deaths of 3,000 Americans on 9/11, and their contribution to the intifada that was at that moment raging against the Jewish State? The one as “re-launched” in 2007 in preparation for the massive waste of time and manpower that culminated in the Annapolis Conference on Middle East Peace? The one sweetening the dreams of Haj Amin al-Husseini, Grand Mufti of Jerusalem, as he conspired with Hitler in Berlin in 1941 to annihilate the Jews of Palestine?—that is not the worst of it.  

Worse was the appalling declaration that came at the end of her peroration: 

Clinton called for greater openness, tolerance and development in the region to blunt extremism, especially among Arab youth, that can breed terrorism. . . . She stressed that such problems are universal and, noting the recent shooting of Arizona Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, said extremism exists in the United States and must be combatted. . . . “Look, we have extremists in my country,” Clinton said. “A wonderful, incredibly brave, young woman congressmember, Congresswoman Giffords, was just shot by an extremist in our country. We have the same kinds of problems. So rather than standing off from each other, we should work to try to prevent the extremists anywhere from being able to commit violence.”

And worst of all is that it wasn’t just a wild flinging slip of the Clintonian tongue—Mrs. Cautious Goody-Two-Shoes doesn’t have all that many of those, although “congressmember” is pretty good—this was an intentional assertion about the incontrovertibly insane Jared Loughner, which she repeated yesterday afternoon:  

“Based on what I know, this is a criminal defendant who was in some ways motivated by his own political views, who had a particular animus toward the congresswoman,” Clinton said in an interview with CNN. “And I think when you cross the line from expressing opinions that are of conflicting differences in our political environment into taking action that’s violent action, that’s a hallmark of extremism, whether it comes from the right, the left, from Al Qaeda, from anarchists, whoever it is. That is a form of extremism.” . . . Clinton added, “So, yes, I think that when you’re a criminal who is in some way pursuing criminal activity connected to—however bizarre and poorly thought through—your political views, that’s a form of extremism.”

This isn’t the first time the nostalgie de la Wellesley-radical boue that lingers like a hangover over the otherwise utterly conventional liberal thinking of our current secretary of state has brought ignominy upon U.S. foreign policy—even her boss, whose own past love affair with leftist anti-Americanism and moral equivalency still periodically flares up from the embers, performed admirably enough on the mass murder—and I dare say it won’t be the last.

But oh how the longing for some relief from them all intensifies daily. The moment theyre off to roam the halls and grace the conference tables of the U.S. Institute of Peace cant come soon enough . . .