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Belmont Club

Debasing Diplomacy

April 26th, 2014 - 3:26 pm

The Washington Post reports that “international negotiators rushed to eastern Ukraine on Saturday to seek the release of European military monitors who were captured Friday and promptly branded “spies” by the pro-Russia militia that seized them.” One set of representatives being rescued by another. We can only hope the negotiators don’t join the monitors in the calaboose.

The dominating sound of the last few days has been one of phone jacks being unplugged. The Daily Beast says “Putin Halts All Talks With White House”, a move to which Obama responded by vowing to talk even more loudly. The LA Times headline screams it out: “Obama counsels diplomacy in dealing with Russia, China, North Korea”. The article said, “his explicit message throughout has been about using diplomatic tools to respond to threats from Russia, China and North Korea.”

Don’t you want to listen to me Vladimir? There was a time everyone wanted to listen to me.

What Obama doesn’t realize is that his inept statecraft has undermined diplomacy itself. It’s been debased by drawing meaningless Red Lines, raising trivial politically correct gay rights issues and offering solutions that nobody on either side wants — but which are popular with the domestic Democratic constituency.

Asked about the Middle East Peace process Obama said that ‘he isn’t yet ready to throw in the towel’. That would make him the only man left on the field.

Even the New York Times has to catch itself and turn up the writing to transform patent failure into a sermon about the burdens of the world’s sole superpower. It writes:

The president’s long-delayed trip to Asia failed to yield a trade deal with Japan and ran up against a new threat from North Korea, while both the Middle East peace process and a tentative agreement on Ukraine foundered in acrimony.

It was tempting to seek a unifying theory for the limitations on President Obama’s ability to impose a Pax Americana on an unruly world, but the less satisfying reality was that disparate geopolitical shifts around the world were similar only in their stubborn resistance to the threats and blandishments of the solo superpower.

That’s a nice way to put: “Enemy 4, Obama 0″.

Intellectually, however, they must know the game is over. Can they doubt in their inner thoughts that ‘smart diplomacy’ is dead, the Cold War is back; that the dreamed of world without nuclear weapons is now a cruel joke, Iran will get the bomb, Syria’s Assad will beat down the rebels — why even Tony Blair admits the ophthalmologist of Damascus will remain president.

NBC News banners “North Korea Preps for Nuclear Weapons Test While Obama on Asian Tour”.  The NYT could not help but notice the deliberately insulting manner with which Obama was greeted.

To ensure that Mr. Obama knew his journey was being closely monitored from Beijing, the official Chinese news agency Xinhua fired a scathing shot across his bow on Wednesday, the day he arrived in Japan.

The agency upbraided the United States for seeking to “cage the rapidly developing Asian giant” and continued, “While the outer layer of Washington’s logic indicates an adaptable and farsighted global colossus, the inner layer betrays a sclerotic and myopic superpower trapped by recent history in a confrontational mind-set and blinded by outmoded realism to China’s peaceful orientation.”

It seemed a curious way to demonstrate “peaceful orientation,” and was probably intended more for domestic audiences in anticipation of Mr. Obama’s taking the side of Japan and the Philippines in disputes over islands and waters in the East China Sea and the South China Sea. That Mr. Obama did, but cautiously. While declaring that the United States was obligated by treaty to protect Japan, he also stressed that it did not “take a position on final sovereignty.”

It’s hard to keep characterizing these insults as the stings of gnats. Not when the gnat is China.  The phrase ”it seemed a curious way to demonstrate ‘peaceful orientation’” might have been satire. The manifest contempt with which Obama and his representatives are treated: monitors kidnapped, phones slammed in his ear, nuclear tests scheduled to punctuate his arrival; chemical weapons being used on civilians by an Assad who promised him not to use them are all nails in the coffin of diplomacy.

They’ve tuned out. Nobody’s listening except perhaps guys like Bill Maher, who still attempts to maintain a pretense of intellectual superiority by arguing the president’s critics “never say quite what Obama should do. If you’re not suggesting we should go to war or send troops, what are you saying?”

Nobody’s saying that. Even a doofus can come up with alternatives to “all talk all the time”. How about 1) approving the Keyston XL pipeline; 2) drilling for American natural gas; 3) getting American troops out from under the dependency of Russian supply lines; 4) and terminating the meaningless negotiations with Iran and Syria? None of these are Maher’s strawman of war. The ‘ignorant conservative’ is a figment of their imagination. Marco Rubio actually proposed drilling and Anne Marie Slaughter, who was in Obama’s state department, actually argues Obama should bomb Syria to get Putin’s attention.

Who’s the warmonger now?

The squirming evasions of the NYT and Bill Maher, though sad by themselves, indicate something more important. They are the last attempts to deny the obvious. The political elites of the West have fundamentally miscalculated the way the world works.  They’ve bet the farm on the Lightworker and lost.

And like a person who’s lost his shirt, a creeping discomfort is replacing the previous exultation, born of his supporters’ ‘certainty’ in victory. First comes the denial, replaced by rage until finally all you have left is the problem walking 15 miles back to the hotel now there’s no shuttle bus fare left.

For all their bluster his supporters know Obama won’t lower the oceans, though he may bury America in a sea of debt.  They know Brussels isn’t the superpower it pretends to be, just a collection of self-important and overpaid bureaucrats.  They can see the world is not bound for an era of peace but lucky to escape a major international war.

All we need is a spark in the east and it’s 1941 all over again. How far to that hotel did they say?

The question that asks itself is how did this happen? How did we blow the stash, why did things go so spectacularly wrong, from the Fall of the Berlin Wall to the crisis in Ukraine?

To find the explanation we should look to Barack Obama, not the man, but to the things Barack Obama represented. He embodied belief in the omnipotence of government; the notion that you could print and regulate your way to an earthly paradise even if you had to invent an invasion of outer space aliens to explain it.

He represented the triumph of a moral nihilism, a world in which the transgender family that made yearly pilgrimages to the abortion clinic was official piety. Obama symbolized the triumph of style over reality, where nothing mattered except whether you could sell a lie to gain a permanent majority.  And for that the West threw aside its founding principles, discarded its ancient moral codes and embraced the Moment. Now the Moment is biting back.

It was all going to work out and now …  15 miles back to the hotel in tight shoes.

Perhaps the West may realize the ancient warning was true. The devil’s real. And when he comes for men drunk with vanity and Sure Things, the Great Malice will not arrive with horns and a tail but decked out as everything they’ve ever dreamed of.  Why not, when tragedy can be played by Dom Deluise.


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Top Rated Comments   
Back in the 1980s it was fashionable in Europe to revile Ronald Reagan as a cowboy. A dunce. A chimp. A moron. Even after he effectively gave Germany it's other half back he was still seen as doofus.

Then Barack Obama swept on to the media stage. The creases. The sprightly way he bounced down the steps. The he was the one we've been waiting for. The most transparent administration in history was coming. The era of smart diplomacy was at hand.

Fast forward to 2014. European monitors are in the hoosegow. Russian armies are boiling on the border of Ukraine. Obama readies his hashtag. All around the world is arming up while the Belgian army takes its arthritis medication. Well, who's laughing now?

It turns out that the EU was nothing but a fake soft power. It dashed into Eastern Europe armed with baguettes and now, nothing but an abashed silence is heard from its champions like Herman Van Rompuy. It's a disgusting farce. But here's the thing.

They had it coming. The American elite had it coming. Had it coming because they were drunk with vanity, high on illusion, transported with self-importance. Only humility can save them now, because only humility can make them change course.

But they won't, you see. Because their vanity forbids it. They are those who can never be wrong. Not about Global Warming, not about Reagan, not about Obama, not about so-so-socialism. Hell has no gates. The only people in it are those who are too proud to come out.
22 weeks ago
22 weeks ago Link To Comment
We, the people, have allowed this situation to develop. The most powerful military organization in the world has been subjected to the control of a CIC who wallows in a specious ideologically driven world view. Quite certain of his self-righteous superiority, he is inadequate to comprehend the tragedy of the human condition.

We have allowed a significant fraction of the electorate to empower such a man who has no comprehension of his own incompetence. Such people as these will be our ruin unless the situation deteriorates sufficiently to prove to all the fallacy of this decadent path.

Tis a pity that, given the blessings of liberty resulting from the genious of the founders, we are embarked upon our own destruction, having determined that we now know better than the principles that guide us to such a level of prosperity and peace.
22 weeks ago
22 weeks ago Link To Comment
>>>Intellectually, however, they must know the game is over. Can they doubt in their inner thoughts that ‘smart diplomacy’ is dead, the Cold War is back; that the dreamed of world without nuclear weapons is now a cruel joke, Iran will get the bomb, Syria’s Assad will beat down the rebels — why even Tony Blair admits the ophthalmologist of Damascus will remain president.<<<

The collapse of the West, the return of a Cold War, with America's enemies reinforced in numbers and capabilities, and the neutering of American power in all areas IS the result of the actions of Buraq Hussein Obama and his followers. However, to assume that this is NOT what they intended is to be far too generous to them and their inmost motivations as reflected by their entire lives.

Subotai Bahadur
22 weeks ago
22 weeks ago Link To Comment
All Comments   (54)
All Comments   (54)
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The best idea the Leftist Hive Mind could come up with to deal with Russia was to send Johnny Weir[d] to cover the Russian Olympic Games.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a-VaiVmARx0

Boy, that really showed them who they were dealing with!
22 weeks ago
22 weeks ago Link To Comment
Putin plays chess and O cannot even fiddle. Not only is O drunk with power, but he is a Marxist ideologue and incompetent. He also hates the United States and all it stands for. He also hates Great Britain. Everything he does is to bring the United States down----economic, social, foreign relations, American exceptionalism.

Everyone all over the world can see what a fool O is. Putin is rubbing his nose in "it." Putin, despite his ambitions for achieving Russia's greatness, could do the US a great favor by letting the world know through the media that O is incompetent, along with his little cad Kerry and that he would gladly discuss matters of important nature concerning our two countries through some competent representative of the US Government.

Hey, I can dream, can't I?
22 weeks ago
22 weeks ago Link To Comment
Putin treats the West just like Comrade Zero treats America.

Zero's latest brainwave: he and Holder have decided to release all the convicted crack dealers (note: dealers, not users) because of the "racially disparate impact" of the drug laws!

Wonderful.
22 weeks ago
22 weeks ago Link To Comment
The upside is that it is primarily a Democrat constituency--inner city black Americans--who will pay the highest price.
22 weeks ago
22 weeks ago Link To Comment
I really like the thought of Putin calling up and asking to speak to an adult.

What a thought. I too can dream.
22 weeks ago
22 weeks ago Link To Comment
The Illinois Democrat Kleptocrats are in a sudden retreat regarding spending $100 million taxpayer dollars on an Obama presidential library.


http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2014/04/26/illinois-dems-back-off-100-million-obama-library-following-outrage/

"Illinois Democrats are backing off a plan to give $100 million toward landing President Obama’s presidential library and museum -- following accusations of voting “shenanigans” and nasty Chicago-style politics, not to mention the state’s dire financial situation.
A Democrat-led House committee approved the money last week at an out-of-town hearing in Chicago with no Republicans in attendance. They instead relied on a procedural move that allowed them to use votes from a previous meeting.
“What they did last week was under-handed and sneaky and offers further proof that they no longer can be trusted with taxpayer money,” said House Republican Leader Jim Durkin."

Even the MSM are against it

"The deal has even taken a drubbing in the local editorial pages.
A state that is nearly broke has no business spending $100 million on a potential Barack Obama presidential library,” says an editorial in the HeraldReview.com. “Throw in some parliamentary procedure shenanigans and the Obama presidential library is quickly becoming the typical Illinois government story -- spend money that isn't there and do it in a sneaky way.”
The editorial also points out the recent presidential libraries for Bill Clinton and the Bushes were built entirely with privately-raised funds."
22 weeks ago
22 weeks ago Link To Comment
To find the explanation we should look to Barack Obama, not the man, but to the things Barack Obama represented. He embodied belief in the omnipotence of government; the notion that you could print and regulate your way to an earthly paradise even if you had to invent an invasion of outer space aliens to explain it. – Richard Fernandez

I disagree. It is not Barack Obama we should look to for explanation, but to ourselves. Barack Obama promised to fundamentally remake the United States, and he has done only what he has said he would do. He has remade the United States in the image of failed European socialism, a broken, defanged and humiliated ex-superpower, all to the approval of the majority of those who now have the right to vote in a country they had no hand in building. This country was built on sweat and blood, and the past two generations have decided they prefer to live subservient lives as dutiful serfs, beholden to the government for their very existence. Barack Obama has done nothing he has not promised to do. Barack Obama is not to blame for any of this; we are to blame, for we have betrayed our fathers.

He has made the promise, he has made it plain
That he would remake us, that there would be pain
We gave him our freedom, and he took it all
In return he grants us, the right to recall
What it was we squandered, what we threw away
What our fathers fought for, in that bygone day
Twice now we have planted, power in his hand
Knowing what he stood for, knowing what he planned
Who of us can blame him, who can then deny
That we had grown tired of, mom and apple pie
Looked we did for someone, looked for good things free
Someone who would trade us, phones for liberty
Ancient Constitution, lawful written laws
Are to him as nothing, so much lacy gauze
Meant to do his bidding, bending to his will
Use them as his playthings, used to keep us still
Now a new beginning, now a new born State
Cry now if we want to, but it is too late
We who’ve had such freedom, bow now to a King
We’ve betrayed our fathers, and now lost everything

22 weeks ago
22 weeks ago Link To Comment
For a while, I had thought the title of this thread was “Freebasing Diplomacy”.

“I used to think that the day would never come
I'd see delight in the shade of the morning sun
My morning sun is the drug that brings me near
To the childhood I lost, replaced by fear
I used to think that the day would never come
That my life would depend on the morning sun...”

– True Faith, New Order

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zzeNAUOp17c
22 weeks ago
22 weeks ago Link To Comment
His supporters know Obama won’t lower the oceans, though he may bury America in a sea of debt.

Not to mention the latest example of the Chicago Way to fund a presidential library in a state drowning in debt: "Illinois Democrats are backing off a plan to give $100 million toward landing President Obama’s presidential library and museum -- following accusations of voting 'shenanigans' and nasty Chicago-style politics, not to mention the state’s dire financial situation. A Democrat-led House committee approved the money last week at an out-of-town hearing in Chicago with no Republicans in attendance. They instead relied on a procedural move that allowed them to use votes from a previous meeting. . .

'A state that is nearly broke has no business spending $100 million on a potential Barack Obama presidential library,' says an editorial in the HeraldReview.com. 'Throw in some parliamentary procedure shenanigans and the Obama presidential library is quickly becoming the typical Illinois government story -- spend money that isn't there and do it in a sneaky way.' The editorial also points out the recent presidential libraries for Bill Clinton and the Bushes were built entirely with privately-raised funds."

The justification for borrowing money to build the library in Illinois is that "the money would be well spent, considering the potential economic impact -- particularly the boost in tourism and the new hotels and restaurants that would open to serve visitors."

http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2014/04/26/illinois-dems-back-off-100-million-obama-library-following-outrage/

I can just imagine Putin showing up for the ribbon-cutting ceremony.
22 weeks ago
22 weeks ago Link To Comment
>>They can see the world is not bound for an era of peace but lucky to escape a major international war.
All we need is a spark in the east and it’s 1941 all over again.<<

Are you speaking of the spark that ignited Europe into the First World War in 1914? Which was another case of diplomacy failing completely...as it eventually failed for Woodrow Wilson, that progressive son of a b!tch. He was another member of the intelligentsia, who failed to understand how reality worked
22 weeks ago
22 weeks ago Link To Comment
--and he got elected the exact same way the equally disastrous Bubba Clinton did, 3rd party Teddy Roosevelt's Bullmoose split the GOP, as Ross Perot's Giant Sucking Sound Party did in '92.
22 weeks ago
22 weeks ago Link To Comment
The political class is trying to do it again by driving the Tea party in that direction.
22 weeks ago
22 weeks ago Link To Comment
Debase? For the propeller beanie crowd here, wasn't DBase a way to bring order to chaos? If only Diplomacy could be DBased. It can't be because it is by nature a support function in a chaotic system. Diplomacy is like the Constitutional lawyers or the symphony orchestra in a city. The make life more civilized but they only exist because of the police grappling with real criminals in dark places. In their vanity the striped shirts thought they were the main event.

Why should anyone treat Obama like the leader of a Superpower? He choose unilateral disarmament. He cannot have his cake and eat it too.
22 weeks ago
22 weeks ago Link To Comment
Why do I continuously have an image of a not long out of collage, pampered progeny taking over the successful family business? And only being interested in looting the pension plan and selling off the assets. All to finance his hobbies...and current fads.
22 weeks ago
22 weeks ago Link To Comment
So it's come to this: it's not that our leaders are lying, and it's not that we know they're lying. It's that they know we know, and they DON'T CARE. This is worse than incompetence. It is a supreme combination of fecklessness and arrogance, and it will NOT result in a happy outcome for the United States of America.
22 weeks ago
22 weeks ago Link To Comment
Some of this is obnoxiously sycophantic press coverage too, "The president today tightened sanctions on Russia,..." rather than, "The president today did some more theater about Ukraine and put on some more symbolic sanctions", which pretty clearly is what Obambus his own self really wants to do and is doing.

And why he's doing even that much remains a bit of a mystery, to me at least. Does he really have an urge to muck things up in as many places as possible, does that fit his history or interests? Or is he a tool of someone else in this? Or is it just a distraction from his many other failures?
22 weeks ago
22 weeks ago Link To Comment
Think "Saruman and the Scouring of the Shire..."

I know that in the minds of the Left, such a comparison to a popular fantasy necessarily trivializes things. But the Story was written by a man willing to spend Three Decades building a world, peopled with distinct races, each with its own language, culture, and history, rather than cranking out some flaccid pot-boiler which a publisher paid for by the page.

The Scouring of the Shire is an apt metaphor for the vengeful and deliberate steering of this country into ruin.
22 weeks ago
22 weeks ago Link To Comment
Likely his minders have weighed the political damage that would occur as a result of Russia's ingestion of the entire Ukraine. After all, we are poised on the precipice of potential loss of the Senate to those dastardly Republicans who continually capitalize on the deficiency of the Democrats in defense.
22 weeks ago
22 weeks ago Link To Comment
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