Belmont Club

What Shall You Regret?

CBS reports that “Democrats urge Boehner to “repudiate” comments by Limbaugh on contraception testimony”. Limbaugh said:

“That’s a thousand dollars a year of sex — and, she wants us to pay for it,” Limbaugh said on his radio show Wednesday.

Limbaugh also said about Fluke: “What does it say about the college co-ed Sandra Fluke, who goes before a congressional committee and essentially says that she must be paid to have sex? What does that make her?”

Meanwhile, in other news, the Orlando Sentinel reports that the bomb squad has been called to Limbaugh’s house.

A suspicious package was found outside the Palm Beach home of conservative radio talk show host Rush Limbaugh on Thursday, according to Palm Beach Fire Rescue. The Palm Beach County Sheriff’s bomb squad also was called out to the compound on the 1400 block of North Ocean Blvd., a dispatcher confirmed.

Maybe the political rhetoric is heating up. Demands for apologies are flying thick and fast, similar to the one President Obama issued to President Karzai for burning a Koran in Afghanistan, in order to “calm things down”.

It’s more likely to embolden the enemy, as Michael Yon observes, who says that if anyone should apologize it should be President Karzai, for being a low-down double-dealing backstabbing bushwacker. To apologize to him would only be to invite more of the same.

The recent Koran-burning in Afghanistan has again inspired lunacy and murder. And while the US civilian and military leadership burdened by their oleaginous apologies tumbles down a moral stairwell, Afghan security forces continue to murder American and Coalition troops. Insider violence persists at an increasing rate. Approximately 200 Coalition members have been killed or wounded in nearly fifty documented “green on blue” attacks.

Noticeably absent from the airwaves is a definitive apology from Afghan President Hamid Karzai, and a vow to fight this treachery committed by his troops. Instead, we are likely to hear Karzai whining about night raids that his own troops help conduct every night.

We should immediately cut off all aid to Afghanistan until we hear a public apology from Karzai, and a denouncement from Karzai of Coalition murders by Afghan troops. We should end all unnecessarily joint operations, training, and support of Afghan forces until we have public assurances from Karzai that the Afghan government strongly condemns the increasing murders of Coalition members. Armed Afghans should not be allowed onto US aircraft. Our people do missions every night with armed Afghans on our helicopters. It would be nothing to take down a CH-47 from the inside.

It is time that we redeploy our main battle force home and disentangle ourselves from AfPak.

Oh could he have possibly implied that? Well maybe Michael Yon ought to apologize to President Karzai.  The Washington Post’s ThinkTanked blog notices no reluctance to make nice with North Korea, which has done a lot worse than talk about contraception and coeds on talk radio. Washington recently provided a quarter of a million tons of food aid to Pyongyang in exchange for a promise not threaten America or its regional allies with nuclear destruction.

The announcement from the State Department Wednesday that North Korea has agreed to suspend its uranium-enrichment program and its long-range missile and nuclear tests in exchange for 240,000 metric tons of food aid may seem like a major concession, but it isn’t impressing many in the Washington foreign policy community.

“Haven’t we seen this movie before?” asked Nicholas Eberstadt of the American Enterprise Institute, who writes on North Korea. “It ran under both the Clinton and the George W. Bush Administrations.”

The ending, according to Eberstadt, should be a familiar one to anyone who has paid attention: “Pyongyang ends up shaking down the international community for lots of food and cash, keeping its nukes and missiles, and getting ready to start up the game again for a whole new bunch of suckers.”

That’ll calm things down, though according to Allen McDuffee, the Korea policy was being compared to buying the same horse for the third time.

In such circumstances apologies take on the character of surrender and demands for them the nature of ultimatums. Rather than proving civil discourse is alive and well it may indicate it is rapidly coming to an end.  The Great War began with a demand for an apology by Austria and Hungary to Serbia, one that it could not possibly make.  It was calculated to humiliate the Serbs, a fact which the diplomats calculated would have limited effect. They were wrong.

One key indicator of how quickly things are moving is what no longer gets noticed. Almost buried in the news leads are reports that Syrian forces have overrun the chief rebel stronghold in Homs.

The speed with which Syrian forces seized control of the neighborhood — less than 36 hours — after a 27-day siege during which the area was subjected to almost-uninterrupted artillery bombardment, focused attention on the increasingly controversial question of whether outside powers should arm the Syrian opposition.

Who cares? Syria now has to share space with the whole series of simultaneous events. Iran. Afghanistan. The unrest in Iraq. The debt crisis in Europe. High gas prices in America. Unemployment.  Local government bankruptcies. The administration’s engagement queue is saturated. Every  CIWS it owns is engaged and there are still bandits inbound. Not that its firing anything but apologies and bribes from a dwindling store of the same.

But who’s counting? There’s Obamacare and the contraception mandate. There’s Green Energy. There’s the budget that never gets passed and deficit reduction measures that never get decided. And oh yes, there’s the election in 2012.

Things get overheated. Limbaugh gets worked up. The Democrats get worked up. Karzai gets exercised. North Korea gets free food. Weren’t apologies meant to calm things down? Yes, but that’s only if you mean them.

The question is whether there are any more Red Lines left that will hold things back. The traditional boundaries which limited discourse and action are rapidly being eroded.  The development of a crisis is never linear. It starts slow and imperceptibly gathers speed until all of a sudden, quite without anyone noticing it, it has spun out of control.

It hasn’t gotten there yet. But that moment is closer than one might think.


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