We’ve all known kids who only try to straighten out their behavior when they begin to sense that Christmas is right around the corner. It often strikes me that politicians are the same way, only in their case it’s elections that start them thinking in terms of being naughty or nice. But some of us, like Santa’s little helpers, are always keeping a list and checking it twice.
For instance, when Wisconsin’s Gov. Walker and 18 out of 19 Republican state senators finally did the right thing, in spite of the presence of thousands of union goons and the absence of 14 Democrats, most sane Americans celebrated the occasion. But for Hawaii’s U.S. Sen. Akaka, it was a cause for concern. He actually complained that Walker’s unyielding posture was dictated by campaign promises. And I’m sure Akaka wasn’t the only politician who was shocked and genuinely upset that Walker, who had run and won an election by vowing to stand up to the public sector unions and restoring fiscal responsibility to the state, meant to keep his word.
One can easily understand Akaka’s outrage. After all, our president, theoretically, at least, the symbolic head of our nation, has kept precious few of his campaign promises. So where does the governor of a mid-sized state get off trying to make him look like a run-of-the-mill political hack?
But lest anyone get the idea that I disapprove of everything Barack Obama says and does, it only took about 27 months, but he and I finally saw eye to eye on an issue.
Like Obama, I would not have involved our military in Libya. For one thing, I see no reason why the Arab League, which gave the no-fly zone notion a big thumbs-up, doesn’t take on that job. They have pilots and jets. Why is it that America and the European nations always have to do their dirty work? All it ever gets us is the ongoing hatred and resentment of Arabs and Muslims.
Besides, unlike most people, I have not been sitting on the sidelines rooting for the rebellion forces in the Middle East. I do not confuse enemies of my enemies with friends. I have no reason to think that when the smoke clears, we are going to see a lot of George Washingtons and Thomas Jeffersons running any of those moral swamplands. It is far likelier that al-Qaida, Hamas, the Muslim Brotherhood and Hezbollah will fill any and all power vacuums in that part of the world, with the mullahs in Tehran pulling their collective strings.
I thought the most telling event during the recent uprisings took place in Cairo’s Tahrir Square, when the mob raped CBS news reporter Lara Logan, having decided, incorrectly as it happens, that she was Jewish. Predictably, hundreds of Egypt’s peaceful demonstrators cheered on the rapists. That told me all I really needed to know about the “freedom fighters” who were revolting against Hosni Mubarak. “Revolting” was certainly the operative word.
Keep in mind it was because of TV coverage that Clinton decided it was our duty to invade Somalia. But it took only a couple of weeks before he understood the political ramifications of having TV showing American soldiers killing black men, even if the miserable thugs were the African version of the Crips and Bloods. And, so, the greatest military power on earth retreated in the face of a bunch of punks and gangsters.
I am not suggesting that the U.S. military should never venture out beyond our borders, but we should have a better reason for doing so than because CNN is showing us one bunch of anti-American creeps killing another bunch of anti-American creeps.
In short, we should not be letting the 6 o’clock news determine our foreign policy. For those not old enough to remember, we already let Walter Cronkite do it once, and it not only cost us a victory in Vietnam, it cost millions of Vietnamese and Cambodians their lives.
And if that’s not bad enough, it also propelled John Kerry into the U.S. Senate and helped convince Hollywood pinheads that Jane Fonda deserved to win a couple of Oscars.