Friday, March 18, 2011

UNCLE SAP: Until We Shed This “Moral Authority Over the World” Stuff that Dr. Krauthammer Pushes, We’ll Continue to Be the World’s Fireman.

        I call it the Charles Krauthammer we’ll fight `em on the beaches, we’ll fight `em on land, on the sea, in the air to demonstrate America’s greatness Disease—named after the undeniably brilliant..nay genius…Pulitzer prize-winner, the wheel-chair bound-(since a diving accident at age 22)  commentator, former chief physician of Massachusetts General  and psychiatrist.  Krauthammer has just fired the first shot…memorably phrased…on Fox’s award-winning “Special Report”…sitting there listening to colleague Billy Kristol rephrase his views—Kristol with a hemorrhoidal smile pasted across his wide lips…purring so softly like the conductor of a Kennedy School seminar… you have to turn up the TV gain… (at least this octogenarian has to).
           Kristol apes His Master’s Voice.    Everyone defers to Krauthammer on the panel and now Herr Doktorcocks his head affirmatively to approve Billy’s words.   The words and thoughts are Krauthammer’s; the megaphone goes via Kristol and his excellently packaged Weekly Standard to the incurably interventionistWall Street Journal editorial page equipped with its own special column’ing pleader, Bret Stephens, deputy editorial page editor, editor of The Jerusalem Post at 22.   The other Fox panelists are human echo chambers…except occasionally Juan Williams who’s no contest and who is usually battered down in self-contradiction.
       Don’t get me wrong: I love this show, gasp at Krauthammer’s droll, succinct handlng of the language….buy the Doktor’s formulae for international and domestic politics far more than I did others of two generations ago—Lippmann, the Alsops, Grafton.
       I subscribe to Billy Kristol’s magazine; I am an admirer of its staff—Fred Barnes, Stephen Hayes, John McCormack especially.   But it’s terribly predictable: There’s utterly nowhere in the world where we should NOT fight…and I mean FIGHT…with dollars, globe-striding belligerence,  troops, broad-scale interventions…to assert American dominance of the world.   I have been with them on most things in the past.  After all, as an aide to Walter Judd in the House, ranking on Foreign Affairs, (1958-61) I absorbed his fervent anti-Communism….as a foreign service officer at the Peace Corps (1970) I shuddered at JFK-instilled v   naivete…as a Reagan follower I savored his picking up the marbles when Gorby demanded we stop SDI, Reagan saying curtly “com’on George [Shultz]!” and breaking off negotiations to the wailing of The New York Times.  I am second to none that Obama is a non-patriot, a denier of national exceptionalism, a rootless nihilistic dumbbell educated beyond his intelligence.
      And yet…and yet…when I see Krauthammer preaching that we should get involved in Libya with those sad puppy-dog eyes of his, a glint in them reminds me of Peter Sellers playing Dr. Strangelove. I think: Is he mad or not? Here we are engaged in not just one war but two….we’re head over heels in over-commitment in domestic spending!   We’re on the verge of going nose-to-nose on a government shutdown!   And you mean to tell us that we…ONLY WE…can spare genocide in Libya?
       The 22-nation  Arab League, France and Britain called for a no-fly zone over Libya weeks ago.    They say if it isn’t done there will be a moral collapse in the Middle East.  Well, in the name of God why didn’t they do it, then?   They have hundreds of fighting jets and mainline bases.  Why didn’t they do so weeks ago? Simply because they knew the UN Security Council would veto it and save their bacon.  Back home here “conservatives” were calling Obama Hamlet; Hillary Clinton looking like she just had a good cry—who obviously wanted us to plump in early—said she wouldn’t serve a second term as secretary of state or defense secretary either.
        For the first time ever I kind of agree with Obama.  I come back to the original contention of Robert Taft. He was not an isolationist. His presidential father was a pioneer internationalist.  Bob Taft went to Versailles with Woodrow Wilson.  But where in hell was it ordained that we…only we…are mandated to save civilization when the others have the power but wink-wink-wink and wait for us?   Why are Hillary and John Kerry who voted for us to invade Iraq and then weakened are now pushing for us to invade or ban fly-overs of Libya?  Why didn’t the administration tell the Arab League, France and Britain: You got the planes—do you it?   Boy does the rest of the world have our number: 1-800-Uncle SAP.
       You can bet that when the first airman dies everyone…Clinton…Kerry…McCain…will be rushing to news conferences to wipe their eyes free of false tears.
      And back at the Fox Special Report desk Dr. Krauthammer will have that sad beagle-hound expression and say….as Little Sir Echo Billy Kristol murmurs assent…because we did not act fast enough Iran will conquer the Middle East…the Egyptian insurgents will collapse and tyranny will rule there…the people of Bahrain will raise the white flag and dash hopes for democracy.
        But if we get involved once again there will be happiness at the anchor desk among those who want us to act like an empire.
        Oh not like the denouement scene in “Strangelove” where Peter Sellers playing the lead arises and screams “Mein Fuhrer, I can walk!” But almost like that.

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