There he vowed energetic measures against global warming (“the global threat of our time”). The16-year pause of this warmingÂ was not predicted by, and is not explained by, the climate models for which, in his strange understanding of respect for science, he has forsworn skepticism.
Regarding another threat, he spoke an almost meaningless sentence that is an exquisite example of why his rhetoric cannot withstand close reading: “We may strike blows against terrorist networks, but if we ignore the instability and intolerance that fuels extremism, our own freedom will eventually be endangered.” So, “instability and intolerance” are to blame for terrorism? Instability where? Intolerance of what by whom “fuels” terrorists? Terrorism is a tactic of destabilization. Intolerance is, for terrorists, a virtue.
It is axiomatic: Arms control is impossible until it is unimportant. This is because arms control is an arena of competition in which nations negotiate only those limits that advance their interests. Nevertheless, Obama trotted out another golden oldie in Berlin when he vowed to resuscitate thecadaver of nuclear arms control with Russia. As though Russia’s arsenal is a pressing problem. And as though there is reason to think President Vladimir Putin, who calls the Soviet Union’s collapse “the greatest geopolitical catastrophe of the century,” is interested inÂ reducing the arsenalÂ that is the basis of his otherwise Third World country’s claim to great-power status.
Shifting his strange focus from Russia’s nuclear weapons, Obama said “we can?.?.?. reject the nuclear weaponization thatÂ North Korea and Iran may be seeking.” Were Obama given to saying such stuff off the cuff, this would be a good reason for handcuffing him to a teleprompter. But, amazingly, such stuff is put on his teleprompter and, even more amazing, he reads it aloud.
Neither the people who wrote those words nor he who spoke them can be taken seriously. North Korea and IranÂ mayÂ be seeking nuclear weapons? North Korea mayÂ haveÂ such weapons. Evidently Obama still entertains doubts that Iran is seeking them.
In Northern IrelandÂ before going to Berlin, Obama sat next to Putin, whoseÂ demeanor and body languageÂ when he is in Obama’s presence radiate disdain. There Obama said: “With respect to Syria, we do haveÂ differing perspectivesÂ on the problem, but we share an interest inÂ reducing the violence.” DifferingÂ perspectives?
Obama wants to reduce the violence by coaxing Syria’s Bashar al-Assad, who is winning the war, to attend a conference at which heÂ negotiates the surrenderÂ of his power. Putin wants to reduce the violence by helping – with lavish materiel assistance and by preventing diplomacy that interferes – Assad complete the destruction of his enemies.
Napoleon said: “If you start to take Vienna –Â take Vienna.” Douglas MacArthur said that all military disasters can be explained by two words: “Too late.” Regarding Syria, Obama is tentative and, if he insists on the folly of intervening, tardy. He is …read more