Saturday, 13 October 2012

Entering parallel universe—prepare to beam up

What on earth is with the Libyan consulate episode suddenly? How is it possible that the Romney campaign can turn the assassination of a diplomat into a talking point given their record? In a sane world, they wouldn’t dare.

Ambassador Chris Stevens[below] and the other consulate staff in Benghazi were taken by surprise by the attack and had insufficient protection, arguably due to the Republicans’ own success in slashing embassy security budgets. Instead of hearing this from what should be outraged Democrats, we are treated to a bunch of racist ignorance pumped up by Fox News at the supposedly hostile, Islamist crowds now thronging the streets of Libyan cities—all of which is Obama’s fault.

If Obama really is a secret Muslim, you’d think the Salafists and other religious fanatics around the Middle East would be turning pro-American by now—but I digress if only to amuse myself while contemplating this vast Everest of stupidity and vile demagoguery. A combative White House and/or its allies would be shredding them with counterattacks rather than falling back on defensive re-explanations of the confused and sketchy reports emerged in the aftermath of the killings.

In fact, Libya is now one of the most pro-American countries in the Middle East, and if we were not in the grips of a wave of anti-Semitic Arab-bashing here, that fact might be filtering through. (Yes, Arabs are Semites, duh.) The Benghazi Libyans were outraged at the attacks, demonstrated massively against them, and ran the fundamentalist militias out of town. They then promptly voted overwhelmingly for two secular candidates in their recent elections, leaving the Islamist candidate a distant third.

But it is yet another depressing sign of our bizarro-world times that the GOP dares to raise the issue of security at all. Last time they were in charge, we suffered an ATTACK ON NEW YORK CITY WITH 3,000 DEATHS [reminder below]. Or is that an inconvenient recollection? Why is it that Democrats never wave that bloody shirt against the obviously negligent Bush Administration, yet crude electioneering on the tomb of a dead Foreign Service officer merits only whiny excuses as if the Dems are junior servants to the real bosses, a crew of chastened Beavers trying to convince Ward & June that they didn’t misbehave.

But perhaps this chronic lack of stones is not a bug of the current Democratic Party but a feature. Maybe we should give them credit for being as astute and politically sophisticated as they claim to be and accept that they are not naïve about their adversaries’ intentions or clueless about how to mount a offense. Maybe they just don’t want to, that they are willing to lose before challenging the security-military-finance state and its true allies on the other side of the aisle. Neil Barofsky’s book on the bank bailout says as much, and he was an insider.

That would explain a lot, including Obama’s Invisible Man act at the first debate. His party’s role as a lightning rod to neutralize dissent doesn’t require that we understand what is happening in our world or who is responible for its accelerating deterioration. It’s not conspiracy-theorizing to suppose that the guys at the top know what they’re doing even, or especially, when it doesn’t seem to make sense.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Couldn't agree more.