Thursday, April 10, 2014

Smart (as a cow) diplomacy

Secretary of State John Kerry – to whose name the word “hapless” seems destined to be appended in the history books of future generations – received a considerable amount of flak from Senator John McCain the other day on the subject of his…well, hapless foreign policy.

Now, God knows, John McCain is one of the shabbiest and most useless ornaments of the Republican Party – the political equivalent of one of those coconuts decorated to resemble a human head that one might win at the ring-toss booth at a carnival – but he is on the mark when he suggests that Kerry is about to hit the “trifecta” of failure, citing the Secretary’s incompetence on Syria, Israel and Iran.

The truth, however, is that this unbroken string of failures belongs not so much to John Kerry as to Barack Obama, whose knowledge of, and interest in, foreign affairs seems to be on a par with his expertise in, say, pre-Columbian artifacts or the migratory patterns of the Hudsonian Godwit (Limosa haemastica). I cannot recollect a U.S. president so thoroughly incurious as to the doings of foreigners, nor as ignorant of their designs and stratagems. In a time of renewed Russian imperialism, mad mullahs in pursuit of nuclear weapons, and metastasizing terrorism throughout the Middle East and Africa, this level of obtuseness is not only embarrassing but positively dangerous – and not simply for America, but for the world.

Just as Catholic priests in the 16th century included in their liturgical prayers an appeal to God to deliver the faithful from the Turk, I try to remember to submit a daily petition to the Almighty to deliver us from the Jerk, and from the appalling consequences of his execrable reign.