Posts Tagged Politics

The speech that might have been

Good Afternoon, Members of the Nobel Committee:

I stand before you today profoundly honored and deeply humbled by the distinction you wish to bestow upon me. I recognize this gesture as your endorsement of my goals to create a more cooperative and respectful society of nations, to address the scourges of poverty and ecological irresponsibility, and to work toward the establishment of a global community devoted to freedom, equality, and peace. I truly appreciate your intention of using the long-standing reputation of the Nobel Peace Prize to bolster my own prestige in achieving the realization of these goals.

However, in good conscience I must confess that my stated aims and objectives cannot compare to the concrete and inspiring accomplishments of those other nominees whom you have overlooked by selecting me. While my intentions may be lofty, and may indeed have already contributed to an increased atmosphere of collaboration among the nations of the world, they fail to qualify as true achievements.

It is unfortunate and embarrassing that I am not the first to be awarded this honor without having met the criteria that objective reason demands. Tragically, in recent years the selection of Peace Prize laureates has often failed to reflect the ideals of Alfred Nobel, who created this body so that he might be remembered for his contribution to world harmony rather than as the creator of dynamite – mankind’s first weapon of mass destruction.

Look back at some of the most incongruous winners of the past two decades. Yassar Arafat, arguably the 20th century’s foremost disseminator of terror. Jimmy Carter, whose purported efforts to broker peace with North Korea were revealed as an utter failure only weeks after receiving his award, and who has conflated the unconscionable travesty of apartheid with an Israeli system in which Arabs enjoy full rights as citizens and even hold elected positions in the national parliament. And Al Gore, whose propaganda campaign has turned questionable science and scare tactics into a cottage industry that misleads the public while increasing his own personal profit. Are these truly the heroes of our age?

Perhaps it is not coincidental that this ceremony has fallen out on the eve of the Jewish holiday of Chanukah, the commemoration of the battle for substance over appearance and for spiritual illumination against the advance of cultural darkness, a festival originating from a people who, having taught the rest of the world the most fundamental values of human morality, remain the most maligned of all nations. If Alfred Nobel’s once-revered institution continues to allow itself to be usurped by proponents for the superficial and disingenuous principles of political correctness, moral equivalence, and social engineering, a great beacon of inspiration will be forever lost to our children.

I hope that by the end of my administration I will truly have earned the award you seek to bestow upon me. However, given that I was nominated within ten days of taking office, and that I have yet to prove myself as a successful leader, I have no choice but to decline this honor in favor of whichever candidate you choose from among the many people who genuinely deserve it.

Thank you.

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The Peace Process Fantasy

Jeff Jacoby nails the fallacy of the United States’ approach to Mideast peace, backed up by four administrations-worth of failure.

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Are Times A-Changing?

Tony Blankley thinks they are.  Or maybe he’s indulging the same kind of starry-eyed optimism that swept into office the current purveyors of irrational exuberance that threaten to bankrupt the country and enable terrorists through Chamberlainesque appeasement policies.

If you’re not bored with the futility of it all, you can decide for yourself here.  Otherwise, be content with the musings of Bob Dylan, who probably has political credentials no worse than most of our so-called pundits.  One way or another his words are likely to prove prophetic:

Come senators, congressmen
Please heed the call
Don’t stand in the doorway
Don’t block up the hall
For he that gets hurt
Will be he who has stalled
There’s a battle outside
And it is ragin’.
It’ll soon shake your windows
And rattle your walls
For the times they are a-changin’.

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What if it were you?

We all have enough on our minds without another cause, but Jeff Jacoby reminds us with eloquent passion that every single one of us deserves the protection of our government, and that when the government fails one of us it fails all of us.

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Krauthammer on America

Charles Krauthammer has been on a roll. Definately worth reading:

The Moon 40 years after Apollo 11 and America’s loss of vision

The new Russo-American arms treaty and Obama’s loss of vision

The death throws of racism and our liberal justices’ loss of vision

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Obama on Israel — Worse than Carter

Did you miss the new coverage about Obama’s latest meeting with representatives of the Jewish community?

So did a lot of people.

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1984 and the Language of Confusion

Sixty years after Orwell’s masterpiece, his message is more prophetic than ever.

And my apologies for the typo in the fifth from the last paragraph.  Essays on language should be pristine.

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Krauthammer on Obama’s Messianic Myopia

On the appeasement of international terrorists.

On the Israeli settlements.

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Obama and the End of Evil

In his anticipated speech of 4 June at Cairo University, President Barack Obama affirmed the fact and the horror of the Holocaust before an audience whose nation and whose people have created a cottage industry around Holocaust denial.

“Six million Jews were killed – more than the entire Jewish population of Israel today. Denying that fact is baseless, it is ignorant, and it is hateful. Threatening Israel with destruction – or repeating vile stereotypes about Jews – is deeply wrong, and only serves to evoke in the minds of Israelis this most painful of memories while preventing the peace that the people of this region deserve.”

Well done.

The president then went on – predictably, and of political necessity – to acknowledge the plight of the Palestinian people.

“On the other hand, it is also undeniable that the Palestinian people – Muslims and Christians – have suffered in pursuit of a homeland. For more than 60 years they’ve endured the pain of dislocation. Many wait in refugee camps in the West Bank, Gaza, and neighboring lands for a life of peace and security that they have never been able to lead. They endure the daily humiliations – large and small – that come with occupation.”

This was to be expected.  However, this observer is not the first to note a subtle yet glaring inaccuracy in the president’s remarks:  The seemingly innocuous phrase on the other hand implies equivalence, the same kind of moral equivalence that has been eroding our political and social values for decades.  And, ironically, the source of which can be traced to the Holocaust itself.

But first the facts.               

In 1937, the British Peel Commission devised the first plan for the partition of Palestine. Although its terms would have granted Israel much less than its 1948 borders, the Jews accepted its terms. Arabs leaders rejected it out of hand.

In 1939, the British White Paper limited Jewish immigration to Palestine to 15,000 per year and that, after 5 years, granted absolute autonomy over the region to Arab authority. The Jews, albeit under protest, accepted its terms. Arab leaders rejected it out of hand.

In 1947, when the United Nations recognized the formation of the modern State of Israel, the Jews begged their Arab neighbors to remain in the country and live along side them as friends. The Mufti of Jerusalem, who had allied himself closely with Hitler during the Second World War, urged all Israeli Arabs to flee the country so that the Arab countries would be unhindered in their campaign to drive the Jews into the sea. More than two-thirds of Arab “refugees” fled Israel without ever seeing an Israeli soldier.

Those same displaced Arabs, and their children and grandchildren, have continued to live as refugees scattered among the Arab nations, the only displaced people ever to be denied repatriation by countries of their own ethnicity.  In 1960, King Hussein of Jordan remarked that “Arab leaders have approached the Palestine problem in an irresponsible manner…. they have used the Palestine people for selfish political purposes. This is ridiculous and, I could say, even criminal.”

Equally ridiculous, and equally criminal, to equate the displacement of a people – originally by its own choice and perpetuated for political gain by its own leaders – with the massacre of millions of innocents as part of the attempted genocide of an entire nation.

The tragic irony here is how the Holocaust has made every crime, every distortion, and every deviation of the last half-century diminish to insignificance by way of comparison.  Such bedrock values as “right to life” and the established definition of marriage inevitably lost their sanctity in a world that could stand by and allow such an atrocity.  The work ethic and individual responsibility lost their value in a world in which the living could be dispatched with such mechanical efficiency.  Personal dignity and modesty lost their meaning in a world where human beings could be so piteously degraded.

And in the most perverse twist of all, as if trying to restore some semblence of moral direction to a morally challenged world, the Holocaust has become synonmous with every perceived evil, whereby practioners of every political and ideological platform will be condemned as Nazis by their opposite numbers, further diminishing the horrors of Aushwitz and Birkenau in a generation that already teeters on the brink of forgetfulness.

When every crime becomes an atrocity, when any policial position is made equal to Naziism, then the Holocaust loses all its meaning and its deniers have truly won.  There is much evil in the world, and President Obama will not bring about its end either by allowing some evils to pale in comparison to others or by inflating every evil to the level of genocide.

If the leader of the free world demonstrates an inability or unwillingness to evaluate every incidence of evil according to its true value, how can we expect the rest of the world to do any better?

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Greenberg on Terrorism

What’s the answer to terrorism? What’s the question?

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