In the crush of the 2008 presidential election campaign, the MSM made a lot over Obama’s “cool” and “nuance.” As opposed to McCain’s high stung temperament and “gut” reactions.
Now, with Iran, we can truly see what “cool” and “nuance” are really worth. Because in the world of power politics where there is evil and real enemies. Where there are people who will just as soon as kill you as look at you. Where there are evil people who have the means to kill you; and a thousand times over. You need the guts of a fighter pilot closing in at 400 knots. The guts of a fighter who know you have one chance to get it right. Someone who’s already thought through the complex permutations and can render judgement without hesitation. Because at 400+ knots, if you hesitate, you’re dead. You are now in the world of brutal black and white, where you need to make definitive yes and no decisions. This is real executive decision making. And, this is no longer the midnight dorm room bull session where you mixed pot, alcohol and trendy discussion on some vogue Marxist theory.
This is the world of Churchill, May 1940. Dunkirk, France. 330,00 of your forces trapped on the beaches. What do you do? Sue for peace? Become Vichy England? There are historians that theorize that Hitler pulled his punches at Dunkirk to work out a peace deal. Or, with little to hope for, evacuate, re-group and hope for better fortunes in battle; hope for eventual victory. D-day, the 8th Air Force, V-E day with Britain as one of Berlin’s occupiers were, in 1940, dreams that would buy a ticket to a padded cell.
Yet, this is real history. As Mark Steyn once pointed out, crucial decisions at crucial junctures of history are never clear distinctions between unalloyed good and unalloyed bad. In many cases, in the maw of the circumstances of that decision, you have no idea that your decision will be the crucial tipping point.
So, what’s it going to be? Yes or no? Surrender to the Nazis or fight on? Pick sides with the “street” that is literally dying in its challenge of the mad mullahs that run Iran or throw you lot with the power establishment–the ruling Mullahs? The fact is that neither presidential candidate–Ahmadinejad or Mir Hussein Mousavi–is some paragon of Jeffersonian democracy. Both have had active roles in setting policies that makes Iran the pariah it now is.
Both candidates are just two flavors of dung, take your pick. Both required approval by the ruling mullahs to even run in the first place. But, the significance is that the “street” is taking this debate beyond the a presidential election. Now, the people are asking for accountability from the ruling mullahs. And, in this respect, Obama’s been handed a gift. Because there is a clear choice; to come down on the side of an electorate that wants accountability. To come down on the side of true democracy.
Yet, all we get, after a week of waffling, is Obama steps up to the plate. And, we get a kumbaya response. Let’s just all get along. The folks on the street are dying so they don’t have to get along. Instead of a response of solid and unequivocal support for the demands of accountability, Obama publicly urinates on the sacrifice of those protesters demanding that accountability; demanding the right to a vote equal to anyone else’s.
This is the 3 a.m. phone call; launch missiles or not? As far as 3 a.m. phone calls go, this is a relatively simple choice. You blow this choice and the next 3 a.m. phone call won’t be as easy. Maybe an Israeli nuclear retaliation against an Iranian nuclear attack. Standing on the side of democracy is generally the best default position you can take because democracies generally don’t make war on democracies.
But, Obama and many of his supporters have had little to do in the world of hard decision making. In the brutal world of decision making were, you as president, have your options winnowed down to two, yea or nay. Nuance has other words and synonyms. Trying to have your cake and eat it. Dithering. Waffling. Bullshitting. Intellectual Masturbation. Obama’s out of the bubble of unreality of Chicago machine politics where decisions are made by the bosses and “ratified” by bought elections to maintain the thin veneer of democracy–like Ahmadinejad’s election. But, whereas Chicago machine politics has just run a city into the ground, here we have a high stakes nuclear game afoot, a game being run by a two-bit machine politician who’s idea of high negotiation is greasing the right palms.