You may recall that "Baghdad Bob" was Saddam Husssein's mouthpiece, the spin-meister who, when the regime was going down the tubes in 2003, kept assuring Iraqis that everything was hunky-dory.
Of course, it wasn't, and BB's insistence that all was well despite every indication to the contrary made his doublespeak and bafflegab sound all the more hilarious to Western ears.
Fast forward to today, when Vladimir Putin continues to run rings around the gormless Obami (and it is clear that their guilelessness is no match for Putin's ruthlessness), and you have White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest insisting, Baghdad Bob-style, that Putin flexing his considerable muscle in Syria is a sign of -- wait for it -- the Russian's "weakness."
Furthermore, claims Earnest, the Russian strategy is bound to "backfire"--because that's how things played out for the U.S. in Iraq. Therefore, all the U.S. has to do is sit on its hands and wait for the inevitable to occur.
Reacting to Russia's airstrike on Syria, FOX News military analyst Lt. Col. Ralph Peters said Obama is out of touch "with the reality of history," and he didn't leave the press secretary unscathed:
"In almost seven years this president has not learned that words don't stop bullets. He is fundamentally out of touch with human reality, with the reality of history, with the reality of warfare and Vladimir Putin, ruthless and vicious and ugly though he is, has his pulse on the -- he is the one that is on side of history now, not us. We're clinging to 20th century platitudes and Putin is changing the world, changing the world as we do nothing. (...)
"[W]e have a pixie dust president who still thinks he can say something three times and make it come true...
"Putin is working all this stuff. And it is important, despite all the nonsense from the White House and the 'Baghdad Bob' behavior on the part of Josh Earnest."
How is it possible for this administration, replete as it is with so many (alleged) brainiacs, to so completely misread the situation?
Easy. If you are accustomed to dwelling in the land of delusion, nothing short of, say, an Iranian A-bomb falling on the White House is likely to burst your bubble.
By coincidence, I happen to be reading (devouring, really) Niall Ferguson's new biography of Henry Kissinger. In the book's intro, Ferguson confesses that, despite having spent "a substantial proportion of the last twenty year trying to understand better the nature of power and the causes of war and peace," the ten years he spent researching Kissinger's life and times have led him to conclude that his previous approach to unpacking things:
was unsubtle. In particular, I has missed the crucial importance in American foreign policy of the history deficit: the fact that key decision makers know almost nothing not just of other countries' pasts but also of their own. Worse, they often do not see what is wrong with their ignorance. Worst of all, they know just enough history to have confidence but not enough to have understanding. Like the officials who assured me in early 2003 that the future of a post-Saddam Iraq would closely resemble that of post-Communist Poland, too many highly accomplished Americans simply do not appreciate the value, but also the danger, of historical analogy.
Ignorance of history. Confidence but no understanding. Faulty analogizing:
He's describing the Obama White House (and its spokes-muppet Josh Earnest) to a "t", don't you think?
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