Ricochet is the best place on the internet to discuss the issues of the day, either through commenting on posts or writing your own for our active and dynamic community in a fully moderated environment. In addition, the Ricochet Audio Network offers over 50 original podcasts with new episodes released every day.
In his masterpiece, Crisis of the House Divided, the late, great Harry Jaffa undertook the task of defining statesmanship:
“The task of statesmanship, in part, is to clarify the alternatives that are before the country and to compel the people to a genuine and not a spurious or illusory choice.”
This implies that the first step in the process is to be honest in describing reality. I submit that Barack Obama, on virtually every foreign policy issue facing America, has been fundamentally dishonest in describing the issues facing America and the world.
For example, we can debate the nature and legacy of the Crusades, but they are irrelevant to the problem of Islamist terrorism in the 21st century.
You can all America’s foreign policy “strategic patience,” but it really is simply a form of slow-rolling appeasement.
Vladimir Putin quite obviously intends to re-create, to the extent possible, something akin to the old Soviet Empire (which, to quote a presidential truth-teller, was an “evil empire”). Hitting a reset button has not and will not change that fundamental fact.
And on and on and on.
By refusing to speak truth to the American people, Obama presents us, time after time, with spurious and illusory choices. Conclusion: Under Harry Jaffa’s definition, Obama ain’t no statesman.
By contrast, Bibi Netanyahu has no reservations about telling the truth to his people and to the world. As a consequence, he describes the real choices we face. The wrong choice may be made, but the competing approaches are at least based on the real world.
Today, he’ll speak truth to the American Congress. Liberals may close their ears to those truths, but they will remain truths nonetheless.
Sadly, the mendacity of our president will, I fear, have real consequences; they won’t be good for America, Israel, our other allies, or for the world.
It makes me want to sit down and have a good cry.