The further to the left or the right you move, the more your lens on life distorts.

Friday, January 15, 2016

Strong Horses

In the salons of New York or Paris or London, it is the elite liberal who is revered—the doctrinaire artist, the knowing journalist, the crusading politician. Every word spoken by these "thought leaders" rallies the faithful to a “cause.” It matters little whether the cause is economic (income inequality), environmental (climate change) or cultural (war on women), the residents of the salons embrace the ideology of the elites so that they too can ascend to a high moral perch.

The ethic is always the same. First, an admission that those in the west have been and are sinners—we must apologize and atone for our successes as a culture. Second, all cultures are to be respected equally, and it is “racist” to expect newcomers to adapt to a country’s existing rules, mores, and laws if those are antithetic to the newcomer’s culture. Third, all conflict can be resolved through mutual understanding, and force (military or cultural) should never be used and is never justified. It matters little whether the thought leaders ideas are nonsensical, naïve, or unrealistic. They are to be followed blindly, even if the consequences are the equivalent of national suicide.

But on the mean streets of Arab countries across North Africa and the Middle East, a different kind of thought leader is revered—some call him the “strong horse.” Away from the salons of the intelligencia, it’s all about the strong horse—the leader who projects raw power, who threatens (either subtly of more directly) with words backed by deeds. The strong horse draws adherents not by his gentle moral preening, but though actions that exemplify power. If you want to be powerful, align yourself with me, says the strong horse. Others are weak, I am not. Others are soft, I am hard. Others have abandoned you, I never will.

We’ve gotten a lesson in this over the past week. Iran wants to be the strong horse in the Middle East, and uses all psychological weapons at its disposal to achieve that goal. Recognizing that current American leader is not only weak, but willing to fawn to preserve a laughably bad (for us) deal with them, it captures two small U.S. Navy vessels, humiliates the crew, extracts an indirect apology from our national leadership, publishes the video of all this throughout the region, and goes about its business with impunity.

Mark Steyn comments:
There's no point pretending the illegal seizure and release of America's sailors is anything other a huge propaganda victory for Iran - and a humiliation for the United States. Insofar as there was a strategic calculation behind Obama's outreach to the mullahs, it was that the nuclear deal and the lifting of sanctions would incentivize the Islamic Republic to start behaving like any other house-trained member of the community of nations. In other words, they'd stop pulling this stuff.

As it was, Joe Biden and John Kerry could not resist bragging that the swift resolution of this situation was testament to the new hunky-dory Washington-Teheran relationship. Vice-President Biden:
They released them, like ordinary nations would do. That's the way nations should deal with one another. That's why it's important to have channels open.
Secretary Kerry:
I'm appreciative for the quick and appropriate response of the Iranian authorities... and I think we can all imagine how a similar situation might have played out three or four years ago.
We don't have to imagine how a similar situation might have played out, you botoxicated buffoon, because it's played out before, with mind-numbing regularity. This time round they seized ten US sailors. Nine years ago they seized 15 Royal Navy sailors and Royal Marines. One of the Brits was of the female persuasion. Here's what I wrote in 2007:

The token gal was dressed up as an Islamic woman...

Does that sound familiar? Why, golly, here we are in 2016, and this time round the token US gal was also made to wear a hijab.
The response of Biden and Kerry is no doubt being celebrated in the salons of Washington progressives. After all, that’s the world view that informs both Joe Biden and John Kerry. Calling them both “buffoons” is a gross understatement. Through their fawning acceptance of Iran's aggressive action, they, along with Barack Obama, are complicit in it. But this comes as no surprise.

When the Iran deal was signed, I noted in this blog that Obama’s Team of 2s would work hard to minimize any subsequent Iranian act or violation that illustrated the idiocy of their “deal.” And if the act or violation couldn’t be minimized, it would be spun into a victory for the administration. Hmmmm. Biden and Kerry make my word prophetic.

Steyn recalls his comments when the British vessels was captured:
But don't worry about any of that Geneva Conventions stuff:
If pictures had been unearthed of some over-zealous Guantanamo guards doing to our plucky young West Midlands jihadi what the Iranian government did on TV to those Royal Marines, two thirds of Fleet Street (including many of my Spectator and Telegraph colleagues) would be frothing non-stop.

Instead, they seem to have accepted the British spin that there's been no breach of the Geneva Convention because the Marines and sailors weren't official prisoners of war, just freelance kidnap victims you can have what sport you wish with.
Which is marginally less insane than the Biden-Kerry line that illegally seizing foreign sailors, forcing them to their knees and to submit to the dress codes of someone else's religion, using them for propaganda videos and making them issue public apologies testifies to how the new Iranian-American friendship is just peachy and going gangbusters.

In fact, the Iranians are doing exactly what they've always done. They got their nuclear deal, and it's business as usual. The only difference is that, a decade ago, they did it to America's allies but they never quite dared to do it to America itself.

Now they do.
In a world where the strong horse is revered, where hard men rule, and power determines the winner, it’s almost as if Barack Obama and his Team of 2s are trying to lose.

But Obama is now old news. For all of the massive damage he has done (and may yet do), the country must look forward. The decision for us is clear. Remain in the salon and commit slow motion suicide or recognize that only hard men (or women) can deal with the strong horses that have ascending on Obama’s watch.