Sunday, September 7, 2014

When Pundits Don't Know What the Hell They're Talking About, Foreign Policy Edition

We don't need your snark, Mo.
We've got John McCain for that.
This time it's Mo. She's soon to depart the NYTimes op-ed pages for hopefully more obscure digs at NYTimes Magazine, and for me, Miz Irrelevant can't depart too soon. I used to like her snark, to be honest, but after one hundred too many diatribes against Hillary because fucking nothing except who knows, I couldn't click on her pieces anymore. I did today, and what do I get?

I get Maureen Dowd using scenes from the TV show Homeland to make the point that the Bomb Now!!!! crowd is preferable to the let's-make-a-plan-get-some-allies-and-then-act malarkey.

I don't want to spend time figuring out the way to select a graph or two to quote, so just go and read her work, being careful to scan through the comments on the piece. Here's one that gets to the nub:
list of people i don't want to see panic: my surgeon, pilot, lawyer, and president.
Dowd doesn't demand panic but prefers it to thoughtfulness. Another on-point comment:
Yes, he’s putting entirely too much time into formulating a strategy and a plan. We know he’s building an international coalition (actually two, if you count the reawakening of NATO). We’ve heard that he’s also pursuing war crimes justification against ISIS. And we all know that, in lieu of baring his teeth, he has launched numerous air strikes with several solid, satisfying successes.

Has he demagogued the situation? No, not enough, apparently. There’s a certain satisfaction to watching your national leaders attempting to whip your fellow countrymen into blind, homicidal frenzy -- but that’s what Fox News is for, isn’t it? And perhaps, after 2002-2003, we feel entitled to the solemnity of heavy-handed wartime speeches with “facts” plucked from the air along with entire justificatory architectures. Alas, he’s given us none of that, either. Not even a single jumpsuit victory aboard an aircraft carrier docked within shouting distance of downtown San Diego.

He simply doesn’t entertain. He’s so … serious … about these things. Such a disappointing leader.
Frum's got my back? Wise man, that Frum.
Find your favorites. And read a leading conservative voice, David Frum, to realize that we don't need the rabid dogs -- or rabid ferrets, as Gail Collins called them -- like John McCain and Lindsey Graham demanding blood now now now. There are reasonable voices on both sides of the issue. Thank god one of them is Barack Obama's.

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