Among the many lies we were told about Dear Leader back in 2008 was that he was this incredibly eloquent speaker, who just had the knack of using the language to heal a broken society. And so forth.
As things have turned out, this is a clown who quite literally is not comfortable appearing in front of a sixth-grade class without his Telepromptr. He’s so clumsy away from his script that he makes Joe Biden look polished and erudite in comparison.
He shoots his mouth off when he ought to seize the chance to be quiet, and he buries his thoughts in argle-bargle when plain Saxon is called for. When jihadisti slaughtered four Americans, including our ambassador to that specific country, he . . . stood in front of the cameras in the Rose Garden, mumbled something about “condemning terrorism,” and then hopped a flight out to Las Vegas for a fundraiser. That would be comparable to Chicago’s mayor standing at the garage on February 14, 1929, and condemning bootlegging. When a famous race-monger lost his key in Cambridge, Massachusetts and got into a confrontation with the local police when someone saw him breaking into his own house, Dear Leader got on national television to go blabbering on about race and hatred. Whatever happened to staying the hell out of a local law-enforcement snafu?
In the past few days, the Russians shot down another civilian jetliner, this time over the Ukraine (remember KAL 700?). The plane was carrying 295 or so passengers and crew. Reports are that just over 20 of them were Americans. The airplane was at cruising altitude, in a commercial air corridor, and obviously posing no threat to anyone. And the Russians shot it down. Don’t hand me this business about the “rebels” having done it. For starts, surface-to-air missiles capable of intercepting a target at 38,000 feet or so and travelling at over 500 knots are not the sort of thing that a bunch of half-trained, semi-drunken rebels will be able to operate. Secondly, the “rebels” are generally being lead by Russian regular troops in fake uniforms. The “rebel” unit which shot down this airliner, for example, is headed by a man who is on video identifying himself as a Russian lieutenant colonel. This was Putin, pure and simple, laying down another marker for an emasculated Europe to swallow.
So what does our Great Orator have to say?
From the Daily Mail (a newspaper in Britain, to the reporting from which you need to go if you want any shot at coming across news that’s other-than-fawning over Dear Leader), we have —
“Before I begin, obviously the world is watching reports of a downed passenger jet near the Russia-Ukraine border. And it looks like it may be a terrible tragedy. Right now we’re working to determine whether there were American citizens on board. That is our first priority.”
“And I’ve directed my national security team to stay in close contact with the Ukrainian government. The United States will offer any assistance we can to help determine what happened and why. And as a country, our thoughts and prayers are with all the families and passengers, wherever they call home.”
Obama then jarringly quickly returned to his prepared remarks.
Oh dear. Let’s un-pack that a bit. “It looks like it may be a terrible tragedy.” May be. Subjunctive. Which is to say that there are apparently circumstances under which a jetliner with over 290 people on board crashing — whether shot down or otherwise — might not be a tragedy. Not only may it be — have to get back with you on that one, folks — a tragedy, but it might be a “terrible” tragedy, as opposed to a fairly run-of-the-mill or even a desirable tragedy.
What is America’s first priority? Was it determining whether this was an unprovoked attack — as was already being reported at the time — on civilians by forces known to be an operating front for the U.S.’s most aggressive major power enemy? Was it to figure out what actions our allies — or at least those allies we’ve not completely alienated — in Europe were going to take, what they knew about what happened? No matter who pickled off that missile, shooting down other nations’ civilian aircraft represents a major heightening of the stakes in an alarmingly disturbed part of the world. No. We’re first concerned with whether there were Americans on that plane. Notice that I’m not busting on Dear Leader for expending effort to find out whether that was the case (although a telephone call to the Netherlands, where the flight originated, would have sufficed in a matter of minutes to produce a flight manifest, complete with country shown on the passports). My objection is that, in a situation so fraught with implications for the geopolitical stability in one of the most strategically important areas of the world just now, he identifies his No. 1 Job as doing the Red Cross’ work.
It is as if, when the first reports of the bombardment of Ft. Sumter arrived in Washington, Lincoln had allowed that the “first priority” was to make sure that all federal installations in the area had properly accounted for their heavy artillery pieces. What would have been objectionable with a statement along the lines of, “While our information at the moment is not complete — and we’re still receiving updates and analyzing them thoroughly as they come in — there is every reason to believe that this airliner, this civilian airliner, flying in peace and presently a threat to no one, was cravenly shot from the sky by intentional act. It is too soon to say we known who it was, but the list of possible perpetrators is very short. To those guilty of this crime, I say this: We will discover you. By your crime you have shown yourselves to be the enemies of common humanity, no more and no less than the pirates of old. Do not imagine that there will be no consequences for your actions, or that you will not suffer those consequences on the skin of your own backs. This appears to have been an act of war. As such it falls squarely within the provisions of the North Atlantic Treaty, and in consequence I have given appropriate orders to the commanders of our armed forces. We are in communication with our NATO allies. You will understand that at the moment I am unable to answer questions any further than I have already stated. Thank you.”
My final point of irritation is all that crap about “my national security team.” I have news for you, hoss: The armed forces do not wear your monogram. Our national security apparatus does not march under the flag of the president, but rather that of the country.
All 57 states of it.