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On Karzai's new baby and the teleprompter

C’mon, Farber. Are you actually about to bash Obama for congratulating Afghan President Hamid Karzai and his wife on the birth of their baby daughter?

Not necessarily, but possibly. It depends on how Obama did it.

On Election Night, 2004, I agreed to be part of a panel a columnist friend of mine was producing at a New York artists’-and-writers’ club. I was for G. W. Bush. He was for Sen. John Kerry, and he assured us before the first poll in the country had closed that Kerry’s victory was slam-dunk definite. How was he so sure? He got enough of his key contacts on the phone throughout the day who all told him it was “going great.” He was ready to bet the farm and the rolling hills beyond. I feared he was right, but I wasn’t going to spend the evening in hiding.

My columnist friend arranged to have a gigantic TV screen running just the video as the returns and results unfolded. He then introduced the program by assuring one and all that it was in the bag for Kerry, but, if we’d just relax and have another drink, we’d have a lot of fun watching them open the bag.

At one point a member of the audience arose and interrupted, saying, “Excuse me, but John Kerry is losing this election!” And indeed he was, and indeed he did!

Hyper-brilliant columnist and commentator Charles Krauthammer “interrupted” the American conversation on Afghanistan last week on Fox News when he said, “Demanding that U. S. Marines leave their weapons outside when listening to a speech by their own secretary of defense is the military equivalent of fleeing Vietnam by helicopter from the roof of the American Embassy in Saigon.”

Re-gather the sequence. The Americans suffer the bum rap of “burning Qurans.” The fact that those Qurans were already desecrated by Muslim prisoners themselves had about as much effect on the murderous mobs as Hymie Liebowitz would have had if he’d demanded the Nazis release him from Auschwitz because his father wasn’t a very good Jew. After six American “liberators” were murdered by the offended Muslims, an American master sergeant goes out and kills 16 Afghan civilians, mostly children. The leader of the country America is supposed to be safeguarding demands all American troops get out of all population centers and confine themselves to American military bases.

At this point the Karzais have a baby girl, and congratulations are in order. I’d have to see the transcript of the phone conversation to know whether or not President Obama deserves commendation or excoriation. If, in the wake of this hideous atrocity, Obama sought to “brighten things” with a chirpy “Congratulations!” in hopes that a good hearty congratulation might change anything, then Obama deserves denunciation, and science should intensify efforts to develop a pill that will abort all such fawning liberal expectancy before it migrates from the brain to the tongue.

We can only hope Obama came on more like, “President Karzai, our hearts are especially heavy right now as we realize how joyous it would have been welcoming your baby daughter into the world if only the terrible tragedies of these recent days had not been the backdrop of her welcome. We hope and pray she will grow up in a free and prosperous Afghanistan and will have reason to think of Americans as nothing but liberators, partners and friends.”

Teleprompters are permissible even when you’re not on television.

I just overheard a hilarious argument between two anti-Obama Americans. What were they arguing about? One rejoiced at reports Obama’s re-election is threatened by rising gasoline prices. The other said, “Dammit. I don’t want to throw him out because of gas prices! I want to throw him out because the American people know the difference between capitalism and communism!”

“If we get him out, why do you care what it was that helped us get him out?” “Because,” thundered the other, “if this whole thing boils down to gas prices, it means we haven’t learned a thing and we’ll be suckers for another Obama down the road. Enough, already with the gas prices, birth certificates, constitutional eligibility! I want evidence the American people realize what a dangerous and incompetent administration this is. And I want my friends who admitted they voted for a black man just to show the world how ‘post-racist’ we are to come out of the white wine bar with their hands up and admit how wrong they were!”

“I used to feel that way at the beginning,” said the first. “Now I’ll settle for any means of removal that’s fair, square and non-violent.”

Something about that argument brings to mind the message Gen. Eisenhower flashed to Gen. George Patton after the bust-out from the Belgian bulge in early 1945: “Do not try to take Trier,” wrote Ike, referring to a German city on Patton’s path. “Cannot take Trier with fewer than four divisions.”

Patton’s return message to Eisenhower was, “Have already taken Trier with two divisions. Do you want me to give it back?”