Houston, we have a problem this Memorial Day weekend!
ISIS has taken Palmyra and Ramadi and is threatening Baghdad and Damascus, making inroads into Afghanistan, Libya and, yes, Malaysia while planting who knows how many sleepers from here to Heidelberg. Iran continues to run roughshod over the Middle East (and South America), planting a flag in Yemen while pretending to negotiate with the West as they move inexorably closer to the bombs and the ICBMs to deliver them in everyone’s back yard. The revived Russian Bear is moving in on Eastern Europe again while backing up the Iranians in negotiation. China is surpassing the United States in practically everything, including space, and North Korea is off doing what North Korea does only more so (starving its people while building nukes). Meanwhile, his unexcellency the current president of these Younited States is off lecturing the Coast Guard about climate change!
In other words, the world is going to Hell in the proverbial hand basket and it looks to be about ninety percent of the way there with, in this case, no coming back.
So what’s going on in the Republican presidential campaign that’s supposed to solve this mess and rescue us from more of the same (therefore worse) from the serially mendacious Dame Hillary?
Well, they’re all off debating with each other about the Patriot Act. Please, Louise! Here’s the solution to the Patriot Act. If it’s got a problem, fix it, but keep it. Now move on to the real problems.
Think I’m being too abrupt? How about this? When asked by Andrea Tantaros on Fox News if he could name a single innocent party harmed by the Patriot Act, that Demi-God of the Libertarians, He-Who-Fillibusters himself Rand Paul couldn’t think of a one. He quickly changed the subject to assurances that he wasn’t accusing the folks at the NSA of being bad people.
By the way, this tracks with my own tiny experiment on Twitter. I asked my minute corner of the Twitterverse if any of them had heard of someone personally damaged by NSA spying and got back… crickets. Well, not entirely. After several hours someone came up with a September 2013 WaPo article “5 Americans who used NSA facilities to spy on lovers.” Okay, it’s a bit predictable, but it’s not good and you will be relieved to hear the jealous miscreants are no longer with the NSA. (No word if they are presently employed by seedy detective agencies in North Hollywood.)
So what we have here is basically a game of I’m-more-libertarian-than-you or I’m-more-conservative-than-you, depending on your preference, while the world burns.
Now I realize the same could be asked of the NSA. Prove your massive data collection saved even one life from terrorism. And you wold have a valid point… except intelligence agencies, as any reader of Le Carré knows, don’t reveal their activities and sources for obvious reasons. So we’re stuck. (I never show anyone my Mossad ID.)
Anyway, back to the real Memorial Day story. Apparently, our good friends in ISIS, not to be outdone by those nasty Shiites in Tehran, are claiming they are about to buy a bomb of their own. It was only January 2014 when Obama was calling them the jayvee team in an interview with The New Yorker’s David Remnick. Time flies when you’re having fun.
And speaking of time flying, what I would love to see from the Republican candidates is some specific, real detail on how they intend to deal with this global conflagration that seems to be spreading faster than pancreatic cancer. I know Rubio and Graham have said some things, maybe a few others, but we are in an immensely difficult situation. It deserves serious discussion this Memorial Day weekend and in the days following like nothing I can think of.
By the way, I am completely uninterested in what the Democrats have to say about this. Listening to Bernie Sanders discussing national security is like listening to Kim Kardashian discuss Einstein’s Unified Field Theory. As for Hillary Clinton, I don’t want to hear anything about anything ever again from that congenital liar except three simple English words, “Guilty, your Honor.”