One of the many reasons we commemorate the catastrophic death of Abraham Lincoln 150 years ago is to celebrate his incredible style, his ability in a few words to sum up the essence of our hopes and fears at a moment of crisis.
What makes it all the more poignant just now is that we are living through a period when the norm of public discourse is pure and unadulterated – dare I use the most descriptive if vulgar word? We are led in all this by the Blah-er-in-chief who substitutes obfuscation with a so-called golden delivery to confuse almost all the issues facing us.
As a news junkie, glued now alas! to the internet, I wade through a continual swamp of blah-blah-blah every day. One of the most dramatic examples at the moment are the thousands of words that have now flowed concerning the problem of the Iranian mullahs’ pursuit of weapons of mass destruction. But the blah-blah-blah has confused a relatively simple issue:
Iran, with incredible reserves of fossil fuels, has gone for nuclear energy, ostensibly to produce electrical power. But its pursuit of enriched uranium indicates it is really chasing weapons material. Either the world puts a stop to it, or Iranian state terrorism – already plaguing the Middle East and reaching into Latin America – will destroy what little is left of our peace and stability. The muddled negotiations of Pres Barak Hussein Obama with Tehran’s rulers have conceded issue after issue, not the least any real supervision of any agreement with a regime that has a long history of violating all its international commitments That poses a dilemma not only for Washington policymakers, but for its allies. [Note that the French of all people are calling this spade a spade.] Either the Western alliance must use its every weapon to force the issue with Tehran, or lose the game. But that requires determined American leadership in the face of commercial interests at home and among Washington’s allies which see Iran as a rapidly developing market that only with major concessions could now be readily exploited.
The attempt by Obama to withdraw American leadership in this as from other international relations and substitute blanh-blah-blah is creating chaos throughout the world, permitting already exceedingly difficult regional conflicts to become exacerbated as lesser powers attempt to exploit the vacuum.
Little of this is illuminated, however, by the avalanche of blah-blah-blah, often by well meaning observers and self-appointed analysts. The advent of the internet with its access to anyone with a computer has meant the flow of blah-blah-blah — more often than not simple plagiarism from one copying source to another — completes the picture of total confusion.