There's no good reason why you should give one solitary hoot as to what the New York Daily News thinks about the recent Bush-Obama "affair," but since its editorial mirrored what a much larger community of neoconservative voices is saying and will persist in saying, it's worth taking a look at. It's a sad and early sign of what's to come, lots of it.
The paper said Barack Obama "is stuck with" a problem: "that during this campaign he did in fact say, and moreover did in fact say several times, that as President he would be entirely willing to sit down with Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and other rogues with no preconditions whatsoever." Just in case the flat "no" preconditions wasn't clear enough for you, "whatsoever" was added.
"That is why," the editorial continued, "for a second day Friday, the customarily unflappable Obama rather flappably chose to go on a tear over President Bush's remarks to the Israeli Knesset. He called those remarks 'appalling' and 'divisive' and much else, presenting himself as the victim of an untoward attack. He is no such thing."
In a way, the Daily News was correct on that last point. Because, as things soon became clear, Obama was far less a victim than a deliriously happy recipient of Bush's attack, since said attack was so mammothly stupid. Only afterward did the White House realize just how stupid, so only afterward did defensive rhetorical inventions such as the Daily News' neoconservative editorial become necessary.
Its principal invention in defense of Mr. Bush was the ho-hum approach. The president said, said the Daily News -- and this is stated emphatically three different times in three different ways -- nothing untoward. (The editors did not add "whatsoever," however, throwing their full-throated adherence to this claim into question.)
Raising the spectre of Hitler before the Israeli Parliament, denouncing domestic opposition abroad and characterizing that opposition's position as scurrilous "appeasement" -- none of this was deemed "untoward." It was, rather, or as the Daily News and similar outlets would have you believe, just another crack foreign-relations day at the office.
I'm still waiting for Bush's defenders to cite one specific example, or even one roughly similar occasion, in which a president of the United States stood on foreign soil and excoriated his own, or his would-be successor's, domestic political opposition as Chamberlainesque in cause and Hitlerian in effect.
None was offered by the Daily News, although one would think such offerings would abound -- it was, said the paper, "nothing that has not been said many times, by Bush and by others" -- in any legitimate defense.
Also stated as fact was that Ahmadinejad -- who, by the way, is not the ultimate power in Iran, which was left conveniently unstated -- "intends to attain nuclear weapons to get the job [of vaporizing Israel] done."
I wonder if he would settle for vaporizing the neoCons, if we can round them up for him. I will gladly volunteer!
It's just as simple and straightforward as that, no questions asked or skepticism raised. This Superman of an enemy will single-handedly build or "attain" a bomb and single-handedly drop it on Israel, with no other Persians intervening at any time to avert his nationally suicidal behavior.
Have you ever noticed? All of our enemies are supermen. Just take the latest, greatest Americans enemy, Osama bin Forgotten....er...bin Laden. Here is a superman of untold, even magical strength. Here is a man who did what the huge and horrible Soviet Union couldn't do in 40 years and he did it from a cave in Afghanistan, while on dialysis. If we had an army of people like him we would never lose a war. Until we do, we seem destined to lose all of them and that would include the one being planned even as I type. When will they ever learn.....
Ah, to live in the clean, simplistic, black-and-white world of the right, where never a complication arises in argument.
But I have saved the best of the Daily News for nearly last: "Obama has said he would treat unconditionally with Ahmadinejad. While far short of appeasement, that's a problem."
Sorry ... excuse me ... coming through ...
We were first told by the paper that what Bush charged -- "appeasement" -- was not only a rather commonplace attack for a president to launch, but, in this instance, an entirely appropriate one -- one that in no way was unfair or "untoward." Remember? Well, now, several paragraphs later, we're told that the policy which Bush attacked was, after all, something "far short of appeasement."
So it was appropriate for Bush to attack Obama for holding a position he doesn't hold and never has. And, it would seem, it's appropriate for Obama's opponents to belittle him as a "flappable" whiner when he quite appropriately strikes back. Furthermore, it's appropriate for the Daily News to write a blistering editorial based on an argument never made.
BushCo has so damaged this nation in the eyes of the rest of the world, has so weakened our military and our economy, that no one considers a visit from the president of the U.S.
Obama never said there would not be much back and forth between the State Department and their counterparts in Iran. What he said was that pre-conditions, which consist of everything the U.S. wants, before a meeting, are foolish. Iran would never agree to such a thing, not anymore than we would or anymore than the Soviet Union did, during over 55 years of cold war. What Obama sees, that the rest of the fools running for president apparently don't see, is that a visit from the U.S. president isn't worth much anymore Bush Co has so damaged this nation is the eyes of the world. The rest of America needs to get over that notion as well. After Bush's and Cheney's torture policy and other war crimes, like the mother of all war crimes, a war of aggression, we don't have a moral leg to stand on. As a matter of fact, our leadership (and that includes congress after congress, who allowed Bush and Cheney to run wild without any oversight of which to speak) can and should be considered amoral, because they believe that torure is a good and right thing to do. The only thing they worry about is getting caught in a foreign country and tried, like the Nazis at Nurenberg, because "old Europe" just isn't with it, as Rummy would say, and not because they have done anything wrong. (I once believed that "Rummy" was a nickname, but now I'm beginning to think he was called Rummy because he was at least three sheets to the wind the entire time he served as Sec Def. I mean, if you go back and look at some of his statements from the podium at the Pentagon, how could one think differently?)
Given all that, here's the even better of the best from The Daily News: its final, three-word editorial judgment on this matter -- that Obama possesses "insufficiently formulated thinking."
Oh, the irony of it all. Do you see the irony? I see the irony. Or should we just call it sufficiently formulated claptrap.
Insufficiently formulated thinking? Oh God, if that isn't rich, I don't know what is. The freakin' neocons have been planning the invasion of Iraq since 1995. Later they tried to sell the idea to Clinton, who was so bogged down in the Lewinski mess by that time, he could barely fire a missile at bin Laden without the Republican Congress screaming "wag the dog" on every news channel. Clinton declined, for reasons unknown, at least to me. This, again, points out the fact that Neocons have no party loyalty, much to Karl Roves chagrin, I'm sure. They don't give a damn about any political party, only their wicked, sick imperialistic ideology. They really don't care whether the next president is Hillary or McCain. They are pretty sure they can do business with either or both, but not Obama. He is the one they fear and if so much as a hair on his head is harmed, should he be elected, it is the NeoCons we will hold responsible.
Unfortunately, we're in for five, uninterrupted months of it.
Kinda makes ya want to drag out the bazookas and head for the Weekly Standard, does it not?
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THE FIFTH COLUMNIST by P.M. Carpenter
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