Friday, July 24, 2015

The Ceremony Of Innocence

     The slowly emerging details about the supposed “deal” with Iran over its nuclear program are becoming ever more incredible. Consider the following exchange between Senator Marco Rubio and Secretary of State John Kerry:

     The language Senator Rubio quoted does indeed seem to obligate the U.S. to assist in the defense of Iran’s nuclear facilities. Kerry, ever the prevaricator, tried to slide around the issue with a typically weasel-worded response about “coordinating with Israel.” Yet his mealy-mouthed assurances about Israel’s security being a paramount consideration cannot obscure the plain meaning of the words in the agreement presented to the Senate.

     Is it even thinkable that the Senate should ratify such an agreement?

     It’s been said by many commentators, and once by me, that were Barack Hussein Obama an agent of an enemy power, his actions in office would not differ from what he’s done to date. The Iran “deal” nails it to the wall – and unless it’s somehow blocked, it will elevate Iran to the status of a nuclear power with the ability to threaten its neighbors with annihilation.

     Strictly speaking, the well-being of Israel is not a vital interest of the United States. Our longstanding alliance with Israel is highly useful to both countries, but were the Muslim states around it to succeed in destroying it, the impact on America would not be catastrophic, at least in the near term. However, the betrayal of our security guarantees to Israel would complete the loss of credibility of the United States in world affairs. Nation-states have long memories about such things.

     Americans tend to look first to domestic matters when choosing political sides. This is normal and natural; what’s near will always have more potential effect upon us than what’s far away. But when a president chooses to side with a declared enemy of this country in its pursuit of weapons of mass destruction, fully aware that at least one ally would thereby be placed under the threat of imminent destruction, it tends to get people’s attention. That includes the attention of the more farsighted strategists of the president’s party, who must surely be thinking about what the consequences will be for its electoral fortunes.

     Any smart Democrat should be thinking along those lines, even if he doesn’t give a hoot about the extinction of Israel.

     There’s been some speculation that there just might be enough Senate Democrats with residual traces of conscience to block the agreement with Iran. Obama’s end run around the Senate, deliberately going first to the United Nations Security Council for its endorsement, has angered rather than mollified his co-partisans. The prospect of the U.S. actually training Iranian security forces, despite the ongoing chants of “Death to America!” and “Death to the Zionists!” heard in the streets of Tehran, might be the falling stone that looses the avalanche.

     The deal also frees Iran to pursue the acquisition of ICBMs. That factors in as well.

     Yes, the Corker bill has made it more difficult. Yes, the pusillanimity of the GOP caucus on Capitol Hill will be difficult to overcome. Yes, Congressional Democrats have displayed near-perfect party unity up to this point. Yes, yes, yes.

     There remains hope: the hope that Obama has at last gone too far, that he’s finally awakened the consciences of enough Americans – Democrat partisans included – to evoke firm, bipartisan opposition to his agenda. Whether that hope is substantial or slender, I cannot say. But absent a real, flying-lead revolution that concludes with The Won’s corpse hanging from a D.C. lamppost, it’s all we have.

     It’s become very difficult to be sanguine about the future. Evil is surging around the world, while the forces of freedom and justice have been kept chained and enervated near to impotence. Millions of Americans have turned away from prospects of advancement and toward preparations for calamity. The youngest of us struggle to support themselves; the oldest huddle fearfully, wondering whether it will be an act of Islamic terrorism, the demise of Social Security, or an ObamaCare death panel that will finally get them.

     The “bullets, beans, and Band-Aids” futures are strong and rising.

     Yet which are the loudest voices in the national cacophony? The pettiest of the interest groups! The advocates for same-sex marriage, for government-funded abortions, for the elimination of every vestige of God or the Commandments from public spaces! The campaigners for the “rights” of the “undocumented!” The endless yammering of self-nominated “victims” of all varieties!

     When William Butler Yeats wrote, just after the conclusion of World War I, that:

     The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
     The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
     The best lack all conviction, while the worst
     Are full of passionate intensity.

     ...he might as well have been thinking of our milieu.

     There is no Last Graf. I’m not arrogant enough to imagine that I could compose a course of action likely to reverse the blood-dimmed tide and allow our ceremony of innocence to continue. I can barely imagine a course that might preserve what remains to us.

     What comes to mind as I write these words is a scene from Frank Miller’s script for the movie 300, as Leonidas prepares to meet Xerxes:

     King Leonidas: [on being told the Persians are coming to parley] Captain, I leave you in charge.
     Captain: But, sire...
     King Leonidas: Relax, old friend. If they assassinate me, all of Sparta goes to war. Pray they're that stupid. Pray we're that lucky.

     We need an act of the most vicious evil, the most arrant stupidity, by one or more of our enemies to awaken enough of us to matter. In which regard I can only echo Leonidas:

     Pray, my friends.

No comments: