Barack Obama’s team recently took credit for improving the "tranquility of the global community," and the president made it clear just what a calm place the world has become during his tenure.
But this summer Obama’s tranquil world has descended into medieval barbarism in a way scarcely seen in decades. In Gaza, Hamas is banking its missile arsenal in mosques, schools and private homes; even Hitler did not do that with his V2s. Hamas terrorists resort to trying to wire up animals to serve as suicide bombers. Aztec-style, they seek to capture Israeli soldiers to torture or trade -- a sort of updated version of parading captive soldiers up the Templo Mayor in Tenochtitlan.
Hamas cannot build a hotel, but instead applies its premodern cunning to tunneling and killing in ever more insidious ways. Yet it proves incompetent in doing what it wishes to do best -- kill Jewish civilians. Its efforts to kill Jews while getting killed in the process earn it sympathy from the morally obtuse of the contemporary world who would have applauded Hitler in 1945 as an underdog who suffered greatly as he was overwhelmed by the Allies that he once tried to destroy.
In Paris, just seventy years after the Holocaust, sympathetic rioters hit the streets to cheer on Hamas’s efforts to kill more Jews with their crude versions of Vergeltungswaffen. The passive French solution apparently is once again to encourage Jews to leave the country, given the growing number of new Nazis in their midst. Whether Hamas or Putin, the European response is always the same: why cannot they just go away to bother to some Jews or Americans, and leave us alone?
Russian operatives, role-playing as Ukrainian separatists, shot down a civilian airliner, then tried to doctor the debris field, then let the bodies decay, and now are looting the wallets of the dead. You cannot get much less tranquil than that.
In Iraq, ISIS, not content with the usual Middle East savagery, resorts to warring on religious icons, as if torture and murder of the living do not offer enough outlet for their barbarity. They blow up mosques, shatter tombs, and deface graveyards, in their eagerness to restore the 7th century. All that seems more Dark Age than merely medieval.
Iran just missed our “deadline” that was supposed to result in fewer centrifuges in exchange for suspending the sanctions. No sane person now believes that the Iranians will stop nuclear enrichment, or will not get a bomb, or will not threaten to use it when they get one. What will Secretary Kerry do, now that the currency of “red lines,” “deadlines” and “step-over lines” has been all used up?
On the southern border, parents in Central America send unescorted preteens northward among thugs, rapists, and murderers, in hopes that their offspring will survive and thus either anchor their own immigration or at least send back money from the north. Somehow that reality is lost in all the talk about the "children" -- the abject callousness of the parents, the greedy cynicism of Central American governments, the shameless duplicity of Mexico that facilitates the transit of children, and the wink-and-nod demographic angling of the Obama left. Add it all up and we see tens of thousands of children manipulated as mere pawns, as racialists, the callous, and the conniving all call others the very names that properly fit only themselves.
Why go into the torturing, dismemberment and gassing in Syria, or the random savagery of Libya, or what the cartels do each day in Mexico?
In short, outside the rather limited Western world of democracy and free market capitalism, the world -- Africa, Latin America, Asia, the Middle East -- is a very untranquil place, where the strong dictate to the weak and the weak suffer as they must.
The West is not perfect. It is aging and tired. But right now Obama’s mythical vision of global tranquility exists only in the Westernized world, the result of an aberrant 2,500-year tradition that most of the world despises even as it incompetently seeks to emulate it or travel to it -- or just destroy what it cannot have.