Ed Driscoll

All Quiet on the Midwestern Front

“The Future of an Illusion,” is a topic that Scott Johnson explored on Friday at Power Line:

As ABC and other news outlets had it, the White House billed President Obama’s speech at the National Defense University on the status of our efforts to thwart agitated acolytes of a certain belief system as “The Future of Our Fight Against Terrorism” (for that lapse into Bushspeak regarding “Terrorism,” read “Violent Extremists”). The White House text of the speech is posted here without a title.

I thought the speech might more aptly have borrowed its title from Freud’s take on religion: “The Future of an Illusion” would be more like it. Paul ably dissected the speech and collected astute commentary on it in “Obama signals retreat in the war against terrorism.”

The quality of the thought on display was (John) Lennonist. The small print on the sign below doesn’t quite come into focus. The sign reads “WAR IS OVER! IF YOU WANT IT.”


Obama declared: “This war, like all wars, must end. That’s what history advises. That’s what our democracy demands.” In our efforts against agitated acolytes of a certain belief system, Obama intimated that we have won, but he didn’t exactly say so, and the evidence to the contrary is not insubstantial.

Sixties images of John and Yoko in full limousine leftist mode — a phase of Lennon’s life he would explicitly denounce shortly before his senseless murder — probably cause all sorts of flashbacks these days. It reminded me of my own minor “War Is Over If You Want It” effort from 2009, when President Obama first declared war on the American economy and its journalists:

Here’s the original version of the above image, a large-scale Times Square billboard of the placard John and Yoko were holding in Scott’s post, part of their self-described advertising campaign for “peace” that Lennon and Yoko waged in the late 1960s. Lennon would eventually get his “peace”; it’s worth remembering though that “That more people were killed in Southeast Asia in the first 3 years of the Communist peace than in all 13 years of the anti-Communist war,” as Peter Collier does in his article on Bill Ayers and Robert Redford in the new Weekly Standard.

Obama’s War on the American economy and its media could have been over by Christmastime of last year, but the American people — or at least the left and a subset of low information voters — chose to continue to allow the president and his minions to keep up his domestic Wilson-esque struggles. Though as James Taranto noted a week ago, perhaps this last election deserves an asterisk next to it in the record books:

No one can deny that Lance Armstrong and Mark McGwire were highly skilled athletes. But their accomplishments are forever tainted by their use of banned performance-enhancing drugs. The use of the Internal Revenue Service’s coercive power to suppress dissent against Obama is the political equivalent of steroids. The history books should record Obama’s re-election with an asterisk to indicate that it was achieved with the help of illicit means.

Or as Bryan Preston asked at the PJ Tatler, “Was the IRS Obama’s Electoral Performance-Enhancing Agency?”

Oh, and regarding the quote from Mr. Obama in the Power Line item above, P.J. O’Rourke responds with one word in the Weekly Standard: “Stupid:”

“You’re stupid,” is not something even his most severe critics usually say to President Barack Obama. But on Friday morning I picked up the Wall Street Journal and learned that the president had given a speech about the war on terror saying, “This war, like all wars, must end.”

That story was at the top of the front page. Immediately below was a photograph of flowers being laid at a makeshift memorial near the Woolwich Royal Arsenal where machine gunner Lee Rigby was hacked to death by terrorists.

This war, like all wars, must end when someone wins it. The president—speaking at the National Defense University, of all places—said, “the core of al Qaeda . . . is on the path to defeat.” And so it may be. But meanwhile, the core of al Qaeda, its aims and its beliefs, is also on the path to Boston and London and any number of other places.

OK, that’s a lot more than one word. But read the whole thing, anyway.

Related: Time-Warner-CNN-HBO spokeswoman Lena Dunham wishes America Happy Memorial Day in her own special, special way:
And Frank Martin responds to our post by Tweeting, “no mistake that it came at 1933, which we would all look back on as the beginning of the horror to come.”

Yes, the actions of Britain’s interwar left continue to have ripples to this very day.

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