Emerson, Syria, and the Principal Enemy
But at this particular moment the Muslim Brotherhood is on the run after a massive defeat in Egypt and al-Qaeda is al-Qaeda -- depraved refugees from the year 800. We are going to be dealing with them for a long time, alas, at least until they stop trying to pull us all back into the Middle Ages.
Meanwhile, a decision looms about Syria. Which of the two sides is worse? Is there a principal enemy?
In the case of Syria, it's clear. The principal enemy is and was that Arab nation's masters in Iran.
Iran is there watching our every move to see how we will respond to what has now definitively been shown to be a grave chemical weapons attack.
If we don't deal with this, why should we be expected to lift a finger to prevent a nuclear Iran?
Now I know some think that a nuclear Iran is not such a bad thing, that nuclear armed mullahs (pace their religious fanaticism) would suddenly be realists and behave in a responsible manner with their weapons like good members of the Politburo. Those people may be right, but gambling on such a transformation, given the history of the Islamic Republic, is not a bet I would like to take. The results from losing the bet are way too catastrophic.
These optimistic folks have allies in our credulous friends at the New York Times who have been busy studying the tweets from the new Iranian president Rouhani ("Reading Tweets from Iran") as if they were holy writ, when they should be paying more attention to Ion Pacepa's new book on how totalitarianism works -- Disinformation.
But never mind. The real issue before us is in the coming days is Syria. Bret Stephens and Ralph Waldo Emerson are right: "If you strike at the king, you must kill him."
Sadly, however, our president is unlikely to follow their prescription -- unless Assad and his brother happen to be playing golf and are struck by an errant ball.
(Artwork based on a modified Shutterstock.com image.)