Shavua tov, wishing you a good week (but not expecting one)...
When asked if he considered the United States an ally,
Mr. Morsi answered in English,
“That depends on your definition of ally,”
smiling at his deliberate echo of Mr. Obama.
(as quoted in today's Fishwrap, East Coast edition)
I hate to sound like the old-timer that I am, but in the old days I had to search high and low for something interesting to post on these pages. Much has changed. In fact, everything has changed... in these last three or four years.
Had any other president ever treated the Senate Armed Services Committee with such utter disdain as this Won does, the press would have been all over him. But the mainstream media we have today is in business purely to "preserve, protect and defend" the presidency of Barack Obama. See for example, The Hill:
“.... The bottom line is, we asked questions like, ‘How many people were at the Benghazi consulate?’ You pick up The New York Times and you get a blow-by-blow description of what supposedly went on,” said Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee.
The Times published a timeline of the attacks chronicling militants gaining access to the U.S. compound after 9:35 pm on Sept. 11, American security forces attempting to retake it at 10:45 pm and American and Libyan forces regaining control of the main compound around 11:20 pm, before evacuating. According to the timeline, Libyans found Stevens in the compound after midnight and took him to a hospital, and 20 embassy staff members were hit by mortar rounds around 2 am, an attack that killed two former Navy SEALs.
The official Senate briefing was less informative.
“It was like pulling teeth to get information yesterday,” Graham said of the meeting with Clinton and other administration officials. “A lot of senators were frustrated. And you pick up major newspapers in the country and you find details not shared with you.”
The Wall Street Journal published a similarly detailed account of the attack.
“We were told nothing. We were told absolutely nothing,” said Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), ranking Republican on the Armed Services Panel.
Back to the week ahead... Not only is Bill Clinton hosting the Muslim Brotherhood's Mohammed Morsi at the annual meeting of his "Global Initiative," but Mahmoud Ahmadinejad will be addressing the General Assembly of the United Nations... on Yom Kippur.
Ordinarily all this would be shocking, but since nearly everything is shocking these days, nothing is. The Left called President Bush "Hitler" so often that the name came to mean nothing. Four years ago, when the Huffington Post ran a picture of George Bush and Karl Rove under the headline, "Never Again," I was incensed. If that were to happen today, I don't know that I would even notice.
The fable of the "boiled frog" may not be based in biological reality but there's no doubt that its lesson holds true. Even before the greenie meanies employed the boiling frog story, it was long known in Arab culture as the "camel's nose under the tent."
My friend Elan often reminds me that although these are difficult times, we have seen difficult times before. It is 2008 that immediately comes to mind:
.... Less than fifty years ago, African-Americans were barred from public universities, restaurants, and even drinking fountains in many parts of the country. On Tuesday we came together and transcended that shameful legacy, electing an African-American to the country's top job -- which, in fact, appears to be his first actual job. Certainly, it doesn't mean that racism has disappeared in America, but it is an undeniable mark of progress that a majority of voters no longer consider skin color nor a dangerously gullible naivete as a barrier to the presidency.
... as we look out over the wreckage of bankrupt coal companies, nationalized banks, and hyperinflation, we can always look back with sustained pride on the great National Reconciliation of 2008. Call me an optimist, but I like to think when America's breadlines erupt into riots it will be because of our shared starvation, not the differences in our color.
It's obvious that this newfound pride is not confined to Americans alone. All across the world, Mr. Obama's election has helped mend America's tattered image as a racist, violent cowboy, willing to retaliate with bombs at the slightest provocation. The huge outpouring of international support following the election shows that America can still win new friendships while rebuilding its old ones, and provides Mr. Obama with unprecedented diplomatic leverage over our remaining enemies.
When Russian tanks start pouring into eastern Europe and Iranian missiles begin raining down on Jerusalem, their leaders will know they will be facing a man who not only conquered America's racial divide but the hearts of the entire Cannes film community. And those Al Qaeda terrorists plotting a dirty nuke or chemical attack on San Francisco face a stark new reality: while they may no longer need to worry about US Marines, they are looking down the barrel of a strongly worded diplomatic condemnation by a Europe fully united in their deep sympathy for surviving Americans.
So for now, let's put politics aside and celebrate this historic milestone. In his famous speech at the Lincoln Memorial 45 years ago, Dr. King said "I have a dream that one day my children will live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character." Let us now take pride that Tuesday we Americans proved that neither thing matters anymore.