...And another thing: the idea of a summit with the Muslim world doesn’t particularly billow my sails, either....That's it -- in a nutshell, wrapped in a glorious rant. One of these days someone's really gonna p*** off James.
[D]o you think a summit in which the various satrapies of the Middle East and elsewhere convene for a marathon bitchfest about Gaza is going to make America beloved in Sadr City? They want us to extend a hand, yes, so they can lop it off. Ah, but what of the moderates. Those who have been turned against us because we threw out the Taliban and deposed Saddam – the relentlessly secular Saddam, as we’re often reminded. If it hasn’t occurred to these folks before, let me spell it out plainly: if you think there’s a war against Muslims now, you lack a certain sense of perspective. If tiptoeing around sacred sites and taking special care to pick off the snipers hiding in mosques so as not to disturb the plaster is a war against Islam, you will be looking for new terms when Putin drops a big bag of hammers somewhere someday....
So no, I’m not enthused about a summit, unless we get to set the agenda....Item three: we’re going to play a video of the events of 9/11. And then we’ll have a discussion. We’re willing to entertain all sorts of commentary, with one proviso: the moment you use the word “but,” you’re escorted from the building and put back on a plane home. You can never come to the US again. Your nice condo in the new Trump building will be sold for five dollars to a nice Jewish lesbian couple we met the other day at parent’s night at our school in Park Slope. One’s an artist, the other’s a lawyer....
Ask yourself this: you’re a dictator who has violated the terms of a peace treaty over and over again, and frequently shoots at the planes enforcing the treaties. Who do you fear the most? A) The magnificent concert of allies in the UN, some of whom you’ve bought off, who are desperate to prove their legitimacy by prolonging the process into the 22nd century
B) The United States, Britain and Australia, who have several hundred thousand troops on your border and frankly are in no mood to put up your crap any longer
What would you want in this situation? The answer starts with “S” and ends, five letters later, in “T.”
So, I get it. We are wrong and bad and stupid and stupidly wrong-bad. We failed to make France act as though it wasn’t, you know, France, a militarily insignificant nation that is understandably motivated by self-interest, and we haven’t convened a summit so we could be castigated for ignoring the extralegal use of Israeli helicopters to turn Hamas kingpins into indistinct red smears. You’d think we nuked Paris and converted everyone to Lutheranism.
Here’s the thing. I’d really like to live in John Kerry’s world. It seems like such a rational, sensible place, where handshakes and signatures have the power to change the face of the planet. If only the terrorists lived there as well....
Friday, October 01, 2004
I didn't watch the debate, for reasons explained here. But I did sample some of the live-blogging and post-debate posts. The best of the bunch -- by 20 lengths -- is James Lileks's super-rant about Kerry's summit idea. I have no idea exactly what Kerry said, nor do I think it matters exactly what he said, because Lileks has undoubtedly captured what I would have said had I heard exactly what Kerry said (got that?). Anyway, here's a bit of Lileks: