Everybody needs a little comic relief, and some of mine comes from an outfit called the Foreign Policy Initiative, a groupuscule of Zionist frothers headed by William Kristol. I am on their email list, and every few days, Chicken Little comes howling onto my screen, a very Angry Bird indeed, proclaiming that the towelheads are on the march.
Today’s Jeremiad was about Syria — as many are. Here’s the lead:
The White House’s April 25th letter to congressional leaders states “Our intelligence community does assess with varying degrees of confidence that the Syrian regime has used chemical weapons on a small scale in Syria, specifically the chemical agent sarin.”
Not exactly a stop-the-presses item, right? FPI supplements this meagre fare, noting that Saddam Hussein used sarin — boy, does that take me back — and so did those Japanese guys, back in the 90s. Apparently Britain and France and Qatar also think, or say they think, that Baby Assad has used sarin, although their reasons for thinking so, if they really do, are nowhere stated.
What this is all supposed to add up to is anybody’s guess.
Obama is quoted trying to sound tough:
“We have been very clear to the Assad regime, but also to other players on the ground, that a red line for us is we start seeing a whole bunch of chemical weapons moving around or being utilized. That would change my calculus. That would change my equation.”
It’s funny, isn’t it? Even though the awful man really is a dangerous homicidal nutcase and it’s obvious he’d just as soon drone you as look at you, he always sounds unconvincing, and a bit of a sissy, really, when he tries to strike this understated hard-guy note. (Unlike Maggie Thatcher, who always sounded just as dangerous as she was; in fact, you had the feeling that she keeping the lid on it a bit, not quite saying all the wild stuff she was thinking.)
Somehow the Psalmic parallelism of ‘calculus’ and ‘equation’ manages to undercut both — as if he were second-guessing himself as he speaks. Maybe it’s because he repeats the same verb. If there were a Psalm 151 — Dronendi sunt — this verse would have read ‘It reviseth my calculus; it augmenteth my equation, yea, even unto the exponents thereof.’
‘Change my equation.’ Imagine a guy saying this to you in person. You would of course mock him, wouldn’t you? Oh yeah? How’s the old equation hangin’ these days? I bet it could use a change. What with Michelle and all.
The bug that has invaded Billy Kristol’s ass about Syria has a number of brothers and cousins, many of whom have been reduced to lodging in the nether orifices of even lesser beings than the vilipendious Kristol. Some of these parasites, in fact, have been desperate enough to seek shelter in the penetralia of some contributors to my Lefty mailing lists, who have become at least as keen as Billykins is to see the Syrian ‘regime'(*) deposed by incubaries of popular revolution like Britain and France and Qatar and the US.
Oh and Israel, did I mention Israel?
Their thinking, insofar as I understand it, is admirably simple. Assad is a bad guy. His ‘regime’ isn’t revolutionary. It isn’t even ‘progressive’. It’s ‘bourgeois’. And besides, he fights dirty.
Being on the same side of the argument with Raver-In-Chief William Kristol — and, of course, with Israel, that plague unto the nations — doesn’t disturb these folks. If you ask them about it, they will smugly tell you that the enemy of your enemy is not necessarily your friend. So the hell with Assad.
This observation is, of course, trivially and obviously true; but then, who ever proposed Assad — or the current Kim, for that matter — as a ‘friend’? And the enemy of your enemy is still, well, the enemy of your enemy. Don’t you want your enemies to have other enemies besides yourself?
Indeed, all this talk about ‘friends’ and ‘enemies’ seems a bit childish anyway, doesn’t it? And it doesn’t really get at the underlying problem that I sense among my Assad-buggered comrades.
They seem to live in a kind of one-dimensional space, where you can plot everybody’s position out on a left-right axis, from bourgeois to revolutionary, from Gregory XVI to Lenin. All that matters is where they fall on the line; politics is a simple matter of scorecarding. Sarin? Check. Elections? Check. The interactions among all ‘regimes’ that don’t at least make the ‘progressive’ cut are simply a matter of no interest; zero-sum Brownian motion, without any implications for anybody but themselves. Assad’s loss is Israel’s gain, but so what? It’s just a matter of shifting assets among ‘bourgeois’ pockets, and it doesn’t change anything. The idea that Israel’s gain, even balanced by Assad’s loss, might somehow be a net gain for the bad guys, seems quite foreign to these folks.
(*) What, you mean you can’t tell the difference between a regime and a government? Don’t tell anybody, but neither can I.