The Editors of National Review Online weigh in on the dismantling of the missile defense shield in Europe…
President Obama knows how to put a smile on faces in Tehran and Moscow: This morning, he announced the abandonment of plans to develop a small missile-defense system in Eastern Europe.
This overturns one of the major diplomatic and national-security achievements of the Bush years. When George W. Bush came into office in 2001, the United States lacked long-range missile defenses. Today, Americans enjoy a rudimentary shield against North Korea as it strives to produce intercontinental ballistic missiles. There is no such protection for the United States or Europe against a similar threat from Iran, but agreements to build a powerful radar in the Czech Republic and to base interceptors in Poland had put NATO on a course for preparedness.
And here‘s Mister Wonderful promising just five months ago not to do this very thing. Perhaps that’s why the Prime Minister of Poland won’t take Hillary’s phone calls. Chalk up another foreign policy defeat for President Sottero.
It’s a funny thing about liberals. One of the many things that makes their decisions wrong much more often than right, is that they’re constantly in search of the “prime time television” moment in which a decision that looks good, instantly, to those who wouldn’t know a good decision if it smacked ’em in the face, has good results immediately as well as in the longer term. This often doesn’t work.
But here’s the twist: This “hawk versus dove” thing comes up, and then they manage to land on the wrong side of both of those goals — which, in other walks of life, are so often mutually exclusive from each other. They manage to make an enormous tactical mistake while looking like dorks. And the “smartest” among them seem clueless about it. It’s as if they really do expect you can disarm yourself, place the blade of the enemy’s knife against your own throat, and everyone all over the place will think that’s a really cool move. Well, here’s some truth for you. It’s not a cool move; nobody thinks it is; you look like a nimrod when you do it; and as far as wise decisions go, it’s boneheaded. To say nothing of dishonorable, when it sends our allies up the creek without a paddle.
I don’t need to elaborate on any of that. Announcing His own decision yesterday, The Holy One used one of my most-deplored phrases…I have no idea where I read it…but I could just go on that. “After an extensive review” or “After an extensive process” or some such.
I recall my mother, who is long dead by now, had another favorite: “At this time” or “At this point in time.” She was a very wise, perceptive woman, and made a point of noticing someone was always up to skulduggery and shenanigans anytime she heard some variant of that phrase. And if you were stupid enough to use “At this particular point in time” around Mary Ann Freeberg, something would be slammed in your face, probably. The door, if it was there, or the phone call would be dropped after a terse but courteous forever-farewell.
I didn’t think much of this at the time. But in the years that have passed, I see she was on to something. There are some sequences of words that honest people have no business using. There are some sequences of words that, if you hear them, you know someone’s snookering you. You’d be ahead of the game just terminating the conversation on the spot. President Obama’s decision, and His way of talking about it, reminds me that my favorite most-loathed phrase does indeed belong in the top slot — I think it does. When’s the last time you heard someone in a position of authority say “After an extensive review”…and then whatever comes afterward is a good idea? No, that hasn’t happened to you. Hasn’t happened to anyone. You know why? Because if it’s a good idea there’s no reason for him to say how extensive the review was — is there? If it leads to good results, the guy in a position of authority can wait, and then point. If it makes a lot of sense when people first hear it, he can stand on that. “After an extensive review” is a phrase used by those who know, down to the marrow of their bones, they’ll be deprived of both of those advantages. And they know you know. And they’re trying to make you forget.
Sorry Mom, I like my phrase better than yours. Living in different times, I guess. I’ll still give you credit for a good idea though.
In fact, I’ve decided to add on to the list…
1. After an extensive process
2. Let me be clear
3. At this ((particular) point in) time
4. In service of a more well-rounded education
5. To serve our increasingly diverse community
6. Smacks of racism
7. Let me (just) say this about that
11. Blue-ribbon panel (commission)
14. Thought/hate crime
15. Separation of church and state
16. His oil buddies
17. (Wall Street) greed
18. Common good
19. Will of The People
20. Disappearing middle class
21. The rich get richer, the poor get poorer
22. Mental/verbal abuse
When there’s time, I’ll go over the What Gave You Away? list of things stupid people say, to put others on the alert to the fact that they’re stupid. Then I’ll go over the list of Words I Totally Hate. There may be redundancy, or there may be far less overlap than I’m hoping…since the Gave-You-Away list is for stupid folks, and this one is for dishonest ones.
Wonder if I missed anything?
Anyway, there’s little point to debating this decision. It’s a disaster. President Obama Himself knows it to be a disaster. You can tell by the way He talks about it.
23. Let’s move on/Time to move on
From my favorite gal…
24. Trust me
25. (Why) would I lie (to you)?
From Blogger Friend Phil…
28. Sit down and talk out our differences with our enemies
29. Save money and save the planet (Hey…if the planet’s a goner, what do you care how much $$$ you have??)
31. Sky fairy/Spaghetti monster
From me, inspired by what Dad said…
33. Private life separate from his public service
From me, after browsing Feministing looking for some more ideas…
34. Hostile work environment
35. (Basic) human right(s)
36. Loving couple
37. Glass ceiling
38. Making inroads
39. Representative of the community
40. Social justice