yeah, it's been a few days. shoot me.
would you believe you haven't missed a thing all summer long?
right. what am I trying to do, pull the wool over your own eyes?
Of Ferguson and Fallujah, Gaza, Martha's Vineyard -- along with anywhere along the U.S. and Mexico border -- stories of the unconscionable challenging order were everywhere...all summer long.
Of course, my heart and soul was busy tending to the unleashing of an era -- securing my girl in a place that requires a day's travel, over the purple mountains majesty and across the fruited plains, just to see her pretty face.
But it's safe place, more or less. It's a place that exudes a fundamental and exemplary direct opposition of a place in chaos...
Broken windows? None.
So -- in other words -- this little mama can breathe, anyway.
But let's get on with the day, shall we?
Now, starting with going backwards just a wee bit...
Beginning with responsive questions after the president's statement on August 28th, going something like this:
"Thank you, Mr. President. Do you regret not moving on ISIS earlier?"...and ending with this one, "What makes you think that forming a new government will change the situation? "
...Keep in mind we had been in communications with the Iraqi government for more than a year indicating that we saw significant problems in the Sunni areas. Prime Minister Maliki was not as responsive perhaps as we would have liked to some of the underlying political grievances that existed at the time...
The problem we have had consistently is a Sunni population that feels alienated from Baghdad and does not feel invested in what’s happening, and does not feel as if anybody is looking out for them...
As I’ve said before -- I think I said in the previous press conference -- our military is the best in the world. We can route ISIS on the ground and keep a lid on things temporarily. But then as soon as we leave...
And part of our message to the entire region is this should be a wake-up call to Sunni,to Shia -- to everybody -- that a group like ISIS is beyond the pale; that they have no vision or ideology beyond violence and chaos and the slaughter of innocent people. And as a consequence, we’ve got to all join together -- even if we have differences on a range of political issues -- to make sure that they’re rooted out.
Being clear as a bell -- describing ISIS -- "-- that a group like ISIS is beyond the pale; that they have no vision or ideology beyond violence and chaos and the slaughter of innocent people."
I don't remember much between the headlines over the last couple of months, but I do remember this.
This made my skin crawl from my head to my toes.
If we really wanted to mince words, we could immediately accuse the president of using a phrase that dates back to 1791, and one that for some people, may find offensive. At a place called phrases.org, "beyond the pale" is further scrutinized for the modern world, and gives us historic background:
"Catherine the Great created the Pale of Settlement in Russia in 1791. This was the name given to the western border region of the country, in which Jews were allowed to live. The motivation behind this was to restrict trade between Jews and native Russians. Some Jews were allowed to live, as a concession, 'beyond the pale'."
That is fascinating, huh? I never knew that.
But let's not dwell.
Where I got stuck was the president's claim, "that they have no vision or ideology beyond violence and chaos and the slaughter of innocent people."
And I thought to myself, with pins and needles ripping out my eyeballs.... wow, Mr.President, way to sympathize with the Islamic Extremists. No vision? No ideology? Seriously?
Who's fooling who?
Ah but the differences in the "range of political issues" at home would not allow you to sit with that claim for long, could it Mr. President?
But it must have hurt -- for you came out looking more worse for wear than when you started, didn't you? [I know, who could have known?]
Just for you today, my fellow American inquiring minds...There's more! as the plot and the stories and the politics thickens. And if you will, allow me to make it as painless as possible; let me give you the crib notes first:
"From “degrade and destroy” to “a manageable problem.” In the same press conference. Has Obama’s mission truly changed – or was this yet another example of mixed messages from the President of the United States?"
[If you have the time to read more about the contradictions of a presidency, go here for the full detail.]
The thing is, what I really set out for you to read today was printed in the Wall Street Journal (August 19th) -- coming midstream of my summer retreat.
On the Opinion page, providing a Global View by Bret Stephens-- it's titled, Of Ferguson and Fallujah.
It's really good.
But if for some reason that asks of you too much -- let me cut to the chase and go to his conclusion:
This is a case study of allowing neighborhoods to decay and disorder to fester; of doing things reactively, not preventively. Where would we be in Iraq today if Mr. Obama hadn't simply walked and looked away for the past three years?
The answer to disorder is to provide order. To engage community leaders. To enforce norms. To reassure good citizens that their security is being looked after and it's not every man for himself. To maintain a visible presence that deters would-be lawbreakers from committing criminal acts. To prevent bad people from acting badly, and to punish them swiftly when they do.
This is how a successful police force like the NYPD works. And it's how a competent foreign policy should operate. Bill Bratton knows his job—which is more than can be said of the Keystone cops in Ferguson, or at the White House
It's the difference between a Ronald Reagan foreign policy and a Barack Obama's.
It's the difference between the direct and indirect, seen and unseen, contrasts of ideology and vision (be it in policy, in reality, in strength -- be it at home or abroad) -- going beyond the pale of an American president.
It's unforgivable, deplorable. And totally unacceptable. And it just might all add up to an impeachable offence -- treason.
ISIS, ISIL, tomayto, tomahto. They know something that the majority of American people fail to see and intend to use that to their every advantage.
And about our border issues? Again, our stance is not one that clings to order, but disorder.
The consequences -- whether intended or not -- will be telling.
Damn the broken windows...
[shaking your head? then you need reread Of Ferguson and Fallujah if that seems totally disconnected].
And then someday,
out of the pages of history, ethics, politics, and providing for a common defense, our children's children will be reading all about it in school [probably in Spanglish].
Make it a Good Day, G
Turning over my last thought to Bret Stephens:
"Broken windows stresses
that endemic criminality
is not primarily a function
of the usual 'root causes'
and so on.
The real problem is disorder itself."