U.S. Diplomacy and the Spartan Kick

John Kerryby Glenn Fairman  8/4/14
By the first decade of the fifth century B.C., Darius the Persian had grown exceedingly proud, and the insolence of that power lifted his eyes to the West for the acquisition of greater empire. Thus, he sent heralds throughout Greece asking for “earth and water” – tokens of submission to gratify his hunger for the excesses that come with inordinate desire. It is said that the Spartan King Kleomenes (not Leonidas as per the movie “300”) pushed those ambassadors into a well and told them to “get your earth and water there.” Although lacking in grace, one cannot disagree that the Spartans — known for their laconic manner, possessed a certain style. And if war was eventually to be had, it would be faced on the fields of decision — where the early vestiges of the West accounted freedom from the eastern yoke dear enough to risk all, even in the face of an overwhelming swarm of enemies. Sometimes “killing the messenger” sends the proper signal that the conservation of all that one loves is not an insignificant thing to be trifled with — and that even ambassadors should beware of the tidings they bring.

Much has changed in 2500 years, but the successful diplomatic mediation of wars between belligerents has always been guided by that steady blend of even-handedness and political prudence rooted in an enlightened understanding of human justice. Implicit in this judgment rests the notion that a people have a natural right to retain what is theirs and what they duly deserve. Moreover, they are obligated to fight tooth and claw in order to keep their freedoms and dispense with mortal enemies who would fall upon them while engaged in their pursuit of the good life. Conversely, when a just diplomacy is consistent with an expansive knowledge of truth, enlightened law and practical wisdom, the shrewd judgments of wise men carry great force in pacifying the villains of the earth. Some regimes have telegraphed to the world, by virtue of their actions and arguments, that they are worthy only of annihilation and that entering into protracted negotiations with them is tantamount to plying a shark with Kantian moral imperatives. Indeed, callow and craven appeasement in diplomacy does little more than whet the voracious appetite of tyrants for more – always more. Ultimately, diplomatic probity at the true statesman’s level must mean more than merely finding the mean between two opposing points and reckoning that middle frontier as justice.

In its perception of the current war between Israel and Gaza, much of modern liberal reasoning resides in a state of moral disorientation and can no longer be counted on to correctly define the parameters of good and evil. This being so, such minds are often held hostage to specious rationalizations grounded in moral equivalence, or the effeminate fallacy that the interests of the stronger should be subservient to that of the weaker party. Having jettisoned the prerequisites of this is spartajustice, liberals rely on the entreaties of the media’s selective eye and this spectacle overwhelms their reservoir of emotions that soon co-opts their rationality. In the case of Gaza, it is believed that no nation would suffer in vain and that the adversary who is superior in strength must be acting in bad faith. Therefore, it is weakly reasoned, as disputes are in the schoolyard, that both side’s competing claims to right are co-equal in value, and that since all sane men are motivated by the common ends of peace, no one party’s claims can be held as exclusively good. That this liberal perception of good and evil is often times profoundly mistaken is itself proof that we occupy a convoluted age of moral dwarves: evidenced by women that send marriage proposals to serial killers or bleeding hearts funneling money to terrorist underdogs intent upon exterminating all who do not accord their political will with the very mind of God. The Will to Suicide is the default state for intellects such as these.

When a sworn adversary has the obliteration of your country enshrined into its very charter, how does one prudently meet him halfway? If your answer is: “you do not,” then you are exponentially wiser than the U.S. State Dept. Even so, despite the concerted efforts of American foreign policy, under the lead of John Kerrey, to extract Gaza’s chestnuts out of the fire so that she may live to massacre Jews on another day, Israel has chosen to shatter Hamas using whatever means are available in its formidable tool box. Having never “missed an opportunity to miss an opportunity,” the Palestinians of Gaza have bluffed big on a poker hand holding deuces; and in doing so, have brought the wrath of Gideon down upon them. And no shrill threats from the toothless Barack Obama or Western Europe’s coterie of dhimmi catamites will serve to any longer stay the Jewish hand from preserving its own existence. That Rubicon has been forever crossed.

When an American regime, using its considerable diplomatic arts in the crafting of a cease-fire, attempts to thwart the will of those “moderate” Arab states that would chasten Hamas for its inhuman belligerence, then you know that Washington has abandoned its courage and made its bed with the marauders of Western Civilization. Having read its auspices in a broken teacup — where the empty promises of liberal accolades have leaked out onto effeminate blood drenched fingers, the Obama administration has revealed its moral nakedness for all to witness. Indeed, even while knowing how much destruction Hamas had unleashed, U.S. diplomacy was determined to reward the aggressor with treasure, open borders, and an end to Gaza’s embargo — thereby opening the floodgates for the importation of materials (and weaponry) to rebuild its labyrinth of tunnels that were soundly dispatched over a two week period by the IDF. Never mind that Egypt, Saudi Arabia and Jordan were cheering Hamas’ comeuppance in low key fashion. The Obama Administration will go ahead with its goal of transforming the face of America, the Middle East, and the world – even if the price of such a metamorphosis equates to a wasteland unrecognizable to the average American. Such a reinvention of society and human nature requires not only the simple breaking of eggs, but the breaking of peoples who refuse to submit to the fickle compulsions of historical necessity. Those elites on the “right side” of history need never say that they are sorry.

I cannot point to the time when the awareness of this phenomenon washed over me, but I am ashamed at what my government — with its rich history and promise – has become in the hierarchy of nations. If American Middle Eastern policy is abandoning moral courage for the honor of being raped over a barrel of crude oil, then count me as an insurgent. If we as a people go so far as to betray our Israeli friends who man the West’s barricades on the front lines of World War III, then I choose their interests over ours. And since we cannot gin up the courage to shake this country to its senses and show them what has been lost during the crooked course of a wicked regime, I’ll place my faith in Israel – and longingly wait for King Bibi to Sparta kick that faithless ketchup stained bastard down the steps of the Knesset.


Glenn Fairman writes from Highland, Ca.
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17 Responses to U.S. Diplomacy and the Spartan Kick

  1. Timothy Lane says:

    Athens, like Sparta, provided an appropriate response for the Persian demands (and, of course, it was Athens that stopped Darius at Marathon), though I no longer recall the precise details. (I’m sure they’re in Herodotus.) Of course, executing diplomats can be very risky, as Shah Mohammed of Quarezum discovered to his great cost when he executed the Mongol diplomats sent by some guy named Jenghis.

    It should be noted that the Beltway Bandits don’t like to think of concepts such as “good” and “evil” (except for liberals regarding their internal enemies, guilty of the crime of dissent). This makes it hard for them to grasp the problem of finding the compromise between good and evil (i.e., there can be none). Many are willing to criticize Hamas for its misuse of schools, hospitals, and other areas that should be off-limits to civilized combatants, but also to criticize Israel for targeting those areas. They apparently are incapable of grasping the idea that just saying “Naughty, naughty” won’t stop Hamas from hiding among its human shields. One either accepts that those human shields will die — or one accepts that Hamas should be allowed to get away with using them.

  2. Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

    Here’s some interesting analysis from VDH to go along with Glenn’s thoughts:

    Europe, of course, remains mostly hostile to Israel, a hatred that predates the Gaza war. But the current demonstrations of virulent anti-Semitic hatred do not reflect well on the European Union. At present, it appears that European nations either cannot or will not confront their own fascistic Islamic radicals, which leaves open the question of whether the Islamist message of the streets resonates with Europeans.The European hostility to Israel does not stem just from events on the ground in Gaza, but is more a reflection of Europe’s inability to deal with its 20th-century past. Demonization, the more virulent the better, of Israelis seems to ease guilt over the Holocaust — as if to imply that, while the genocide was regrettable, there was something innately savage in Jewish culture, now manifested in Gaza, that might understandably have incited past generations of more radical Europeans. Otherwise, Europeans simply mask with trendy ideology the more materialistic assessment that demography, oil, and the fear of terrorism weigh in favor of allying with the Palestinians. Either way, European anti-Semitism is a bankrupt ideology, one that manifests itself in sympathy for an undemocratic, misogynistic, homophobic, and religiously intolerant Hamas, along with selective unconcern with the many occupations, refugees, divided cities, and walled borders that exist in the wide world outside the Middle East.

    And Rich Lowry weights in with his article on rising anti-Semitism in Europe:

    The Bergische Synagogue in the German town of Wuppertal has a history with arson. The nearly 120-year-old synagogue was burned down during Kristallnacht in 1938. Rebuilt after World War II, it was targeted again about a week ago by arsonists who threw Molotov cocktails at the house of worship (although, thankfully, they failed to set it aflame).

    Welcome to the New Europe, where the street thugs have learned a lot from the Old Europe. Their protests of the Gaza War during the past few weeks haven’t been anti-Israel so much as anti-Jew. Some of the most cosmopolitan cities in the world — Paris, Berlin, London — have witnessed demonstrations airing hatreds associated with Europe’s darkest crimes.

    Myself, I’ve never understood Jew hatred. But I think the best explanation is by Dennis Prager in his recent article about the poisonous Left in Europe:

    “Those who don’t fight evil hate those who do.”

    One might not think of Jews, in general, as being engaged in a fight with evil. But surely the secular mind of your average European has been morally eaten away, and he instinctively reacts with derision to those who are devoutly religious (and generally good).

    Considering that Europeans have (at least officially) sided with the bad (Islam), there must be some aspect of this dynamic playing out.

    • Timothy Lane says:

      Anti-Semitism is a toxic combination of Islamism and leftist. The former hate Jews because they’re the ultimate infidels, the latter because Israel has become the overdog in their struggle with the Palestinians. I don’t know if they hate those who fight evil as a rule, but they do in this case. We might compare anti-anti-communism to anti-anti-jihadism. I think the root in each case was that the anti-communists and anti-jihadists were their internal political enemies, and thus opposing those was more important than opposing whatever they were willing to see was wrong in their side.

      There’s an excellent example of this from David Horowitz that I was thinking about recently, and this may be as good a place as any to mention it. Noam Chomsky was once asked (during the late 1960s) why he never visited Cuba. He responded that he knew what he would find — a Stalinist dystopia — and he would feel obligated to tell the truth about it given that (unlike North Vietnam) they weren’t currently involved in an overt struggle with the US.

      Notice several interesting aspects. One is the embryonic form of “plausible deniability” — he knew what Castroland was like, but was free to pretend otherwise as long as he didn’t actually observe it firsthand. Another is the basically treasonous attitude that he was free to lie about North Vietnam in order to assist them in their war with the US. We see similar attitudes today regarding jihadism on the Left, and I think it’s for the same reason.

      • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

        It’s hard to understand the insanity of the Left regarding their need to see the murderous and evil Hamas as the victims while the real victims (the Jews) are seen as the victimizers. I think anti-Semitism accounts for some of it.

        But I also think at the heart is a profound hatred for the Judeo-Christian tradition itself, and Jews represent half of that. If you are a Leftist or Progressive (or, really, just anyone who has bathed in our polluted “Progressive” culture), you will have learned that Christians and Jews are the bad guys because, after all, they are against homosexuality. And if there is anything the proper Progressive has had driven into their skulls-full-of-mush, it is that “nobody can tell me what I can do with my body,” thus complete and total sexual license is the defining issue regarding “liberty,” and this includes Libertarians as well. (Somehow Islam is exempt from this condemnation…they have been categorized not only as victims but as a sort of romantic “exotic” in the multicultural pantheon.)

        And most people have been exposed to long indoctrination into the supposed fact that Christians were those awful Crusaders who victimized the otherwise peaceful and culturally enriched Muslims — Muslims, who by the way, are said to have actually saved Western Civilization during the Dark Ages (a complete and total fabrication).

        The mindset of a Progressive is of “a new world order,” as spoken by the progressive president, George H.W. Bush. Although Bush’s Republican progressivism is different from the Left’s progressivism, they both share the same arrogance and disdain for tradition and the entire idea of limits.

        In particular, today’s progressives believe that they are the cat’s meow. They believe that only with their coming has the world been put right, or had a chance to be put right. They are, by self-definition, the enlightened people. Wars and other disagreements were the result of unenlightened conservatives and other reactionaries who had no connection with, and sympathy toward, the common people. This was certainly the mindset of Jane Fonda when she visited the vile and murderous regime of North Korea and played patty-cake with them. She had grown up stewed in anti-American propaganda and one that said that all third-worlders were helpless victims of Imperialism. The undercurrent of this always was a rolling boil of anti-Christian and anti-Jewish sentiments, as well as the usual anti-Americanism and anti-Westernism.

        And when talking about progressives, one is talking about a cult. These people have truly come to believe that they are the most compassionate, intelligent, and enlightened people on the planet. Their entire identities are tied up in this notion. So they are tied to Hamas because the edifice of their entire ideology would collapse if they had to face the fact that their basic tenets are false — and not just false but evil.

        They fool themselves (and others) by professing such dire love for polar bears or some obscure species of snail. But when it comes to saving Jews who are under threat from a vile and violent gangster-like set of criminals, known as Hamas, they are absent. And not only absent, they choose the other side.

  3. Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

    It’s easy to forget how naive many Jews have been. No, that doesn’t make it their fault that Islam wishes to destroy Israel. But they’ve tried the “land for peace” schtick and the goodwill schtick and their overtures have been returned with hatred and violence. There is a liberalism in Israel that tends to be its own worst enemy.

    But here’s an impressive and succinct article from Sarah N. Stern. One wonders which side of the issue the Paulbots and Loosertarians fall. I already know where most of them fall.

    We must ask our liberal friends how much land they would cede to Boko Haram for the sake of peace, if they were firing rockets onto our cities, and burrowing tunnels under our daughters’ bedrooms, so that they could be kidnapped and murdered.

    One look at a map tells you that Israel stands in the front lines between Western civilization and the world of radical Islam. And one look at a newspaper tells you that radical Islam is the scourge that is confronting the entire free world. By taking on Hamas, the brave soldiers of the Israeli Defense Forces are fighting a war for the entire free, Western world.

    The fact that people are not able to acknowledge this, and apply a double standard that they would never apply if they were under similar threats, to their own nations, speaks volumes to the virulence and intractability of the age-old virus of anti-Semitism. And it is time that we called it for what it is.

    • Timothy Lane says:

      Of course, there are those who wonder if the leftists would really object if that actually did happen to the US. They’d say they do, of course, because that would be politically necessary. But would they really mean it?

  4. Glenn Fairman says:

    This piece is to appear in AT on Wednesday. I am interested in the comments and the characterization at the end. Anti-semitic passions are not an uncommon occurrence there.

    As for anti-Semitism, The learned Bernard Lewis in “Semites and Antisemites” advanced the thesis that although Jew hatred has been prevalent in the middle east since the taking of Jerusalem in the 7th century, the truly virulent anti-Semitism has its roots in the European Christian “Christkiller” meme. Since the founding of Islam, the Jew had always been a figure of disgust and loathing due to his inferior (but useful economically) dhimmy status. We are told by the English of instances in the caliphate where little children would raise their hand and a grown male Jew would cringe in fear. The psychological reversal of historical circumstance may be too large a blow to the bloated Muslim/Arab pride, and the current virulent anti-Semitism of Hamas and the Arab world may be an amalgamation of the pogrom/Hitler/ eugenic/jihadi brand incorporated into a more despicable mutated form. I always found this thesis to be suspect, but Lewis is the great expert, although he has been called on the carpet by men such as Efraim Karsh on his framing of history.

    All in all, history, psychology, covetousness, and blood pride might all have their two cents worth of truth in the phenomenon. Being of a less intellectual materialist caste, I am more convinced that the Devil hates the Child chosen to deliver the Promise.

    • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

      For what it’s worth, Glenn, I’m against digging tunnels under Kindergartens so as to engage in the coordinated mass slaughter of innocent children. It’s a quirk I have.

      I honestly don’t know, with the plain facts that we have, how anyone can apologize for these beasts in Gaza. But I think issues such as this help to remove that well-practiced mask of false “compassion” from the Progressives and others of the Left.

    • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

      The “Christkiller” meme might explain past anti-Semitism. But they’ve already killed Christ in Europe. The churches are empty.

      I just assume there is some Dhimmi/Stockholm Syndrome aspect. Multiculturalism has taught Europeans that Muslims are not just good, they’re so good that you ought ought to feel damn lucky to have them living unassimilated in your neighborhood.

      Having swallowed this noxious propaganda down, and having a real (and legitimate) fear of Muslim violence should they shine the light where it needs to be shined, the Jews work as a convenient psychological scapegoat. And if VDH is correct, this also works to assuage past Holocaust guilt.

      Or, the devil made them do it. As I told a friend just yesterday, I have a hard time believing in a tangible God. But such things as the flood of ignorant people who fall all over themselves apologizing for murderous Hamas make me believe in a Devil. How else could one explain this veil of ignorance?

  5. Tom Riehl TRiehl says:

    The last sentence is a work of art.

    Valerie Jarrett’s comment about the civilian casualties in Gaza shredded the last remnant of Obama’s transformation cloak. His disdain for Western culture and his aiding and abetting of all the Muslim Brotherhood’s spawn is now clear to see, even for those who would rather not.

    The woman who cuts my hair just returned from Ukraine after a three week family visit. When I told her today that Obama is to blame for her family’s fear of Russia, she was surprised. It only took me about two minutes to explain, so then we could get on with important comparisons between her mother’s and my grandmother’s perogi.

    • Timothy Lane says:

      What one should ask the likes of Jarrett and Geraldo is whether Hamas should be allowed to continue firing rockets from behind its human shields — and if not, how they would stop it without risking harm to those shields. Geraldo at least might be stumped, but the problem for Jarrett and other Obama Gangsters would be hiding their anti-Semitism from Jewish donors and voters sufficiently to keep their ostrich-like support.

      • Tom Riehl TRiehl says:

        Yeah, their ilk use the typical nebulous attack masquerading as a position.. She says it is awful that the shields are killed, but never offers alternatives.

  6. NAHALKIDES NAHALKIDES says:

    Excellent summary of the current state – especially the moral state – of U.S. diplomacy under the likes of Obama and Kerry. Now if only some Republicans would take up the issue.

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