Skip to main content

This and That tout le monde

I found a This or That quiz from a decade ago and here are my results. Towards the bottom of the quiz the choice of John Kerry or W is presented - easy for me even after 10+ years to pull the GOP lever on that one. During the 2004 Presidential election I was living on Manhattans Upper West Side and I remember, with great clarity and relish, the morbid atmosphere that enveloped Columbus Ave on that first Tuesday in November and tarnished the civic spirit for days once the election results were tallied. For my part, I wore a cleaver little sherifs pin with the engraved words Bush 2004 on my lapel and rubbed it in the face of my neighbors for a good long time. The looks of disgust, horror and (sometimes) hatred I would receive from pedestrians walking to the subway, shoppers at Zabar's, music lovers at Lincoln Center and other self righteous lefties who make the UWS their home was... gratifying. I frigg'n loved every minute of it and while my apartment building was figuratively dropped black in mourning over the loss, I was jauntily skipping around the Museum of Natural History with my leashed 4-legged companion and happily picking up her excrement with the editorial page of the New York Times. Those were happy days, happy days my friends.

To the casual observer it might seem a mystery as to why politicians stay in the game for as long as they do. I mean, life is short and there are 300+ Million people in America so why do these guys run for office over and over and over again? Why not just do a term or two and then get back to the real world, make a contribution to society, pay taxes rather than take them and have a little fun? But if you live long enough the mystery will answer itself and the answer is that by staying in politics - by sheer persistence and audacity - eventually (inexplicably) the politician will have his day in the sun. If you had said to me in November 2004 that less than ten years from that time, Joe Biden will be Vice President and John Kerry will be Sec. of State I would have eaten my GWB Sheriffs pin on the spot - IMPOSSIBLE!!!

But in Washington DC all things are possible and that includes Sec. Kerry who spends a lot of his time "walking back" comments that he makes while doing his secretary duties. In this case he's clarifying his remarks about the terrorist attacks in Paris, France last week (remember them?) and how there's no justification for terror regardless of motivation be it religious (which these terror attacks were NOT motivated by) or political or sexual - he basically shitcans all conceivable motivation for doing anything (including terror attacks) and drones on in that Senatorial voice of his about the need for "the international community" to "work together" and honor our "shared values" of...zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

Oops, sorry about that, I must have dosed off. I don't want to pick on John Kerry. In fact, I sort of want to defend him though he might not want my defense. Let's look at what the man actually said:

SECRETARY KERRY: Thank you very, very much, Jane. Merci beaucoup. Bonjour tout le monde. I’m happy to be here, though sad to be here. {First off he thanks Jane - that would be Jane Hartley Obama campaign cash bundler and the US ambassador to France. Then the obligatory french thank you and "good day to all the world" (sound of needle scratching across the LP) - WTF! "Bonjour tout le mode" - are you kidding me? Look, as readers of this blog know, I'm something of a francophile and it was the people of France who suffered a terrorist attack - not the people of Japan or Sri Lanka or Peru - so what's this bonjour to the world crap? Forget the world, what's with the bonjour? There's nothing bonjour about it. Then he says he's both happy and sad - He's spoken 22 words in two languages and I'm completely disoriented and confused.}

Let me first quickly welcome Ambassador Nix-Hines from UNESCO; Ambassador Yohannes from OECD. We’re delighted that they are here also. And this is a busy time for them, obviously, and complicated for everybody. But I’m really honored to be here with all of you. I want to say thank you to every single one of you. Let me just ask quickly, how many of you are local employees who are working for the Embassy? Well, we particularly – so many of you – we really thank you from the bottom of our hearts. We could not do our work here without you, and I know it’s particularly difficult right now, but it’s always difficult because you are working, carrying with you whatever baggage comes with the country you work for, and in our case, there’s very little because of our friendship with France. But nevertheless, we are deeply appreciative for your commitment to helping us to help people to share the values and the interests that we are all working to protect. {Crystal Nix-Hines is the "ambassador" to UNESCO which, believe it or not, is not a country but some alphabet soup UN sponsored NGO - What is she even doing in Paris? Why is she there? Dito for "Ambassador" Daniel Yohannes who represents US interests at the OECD which is another one-worlder NGO. Then he addresses the locals who work at the US embassy and empathizes with them - he understands that they "carry baggage" when they work in a foreign country (the Embassy is technically US soil) though on second thought stop your complaining because the US-French baggage isn't that heavy and we're friends - we "help people", "share values and interests that we are all working to protect." Hmmm, is that so? Then why the hell are you going through the welcome boilerplate acknowledgments - Jesus Christ man, these people have just been zapped by mad terrorists and you're asking the French people to identify themselves by show of hands.}

In the last days, obviously, that has been particularly put to the test. There’s something different about what happened from Charlie Hebdo, and I think everybody would feel that. There was a sort of particularized focus and perhaps even a legitimacy in terms of – not a legitimacy, but a rationale that you could attach yourself to somehow and say, okay, they’re really angry because of this and that. This Friday was absolutely indiscriminate. It wasn’t to aggrieve one particular sense of wrong. It was to terrorize people. It was to attack everything that we do stand for. That’s not an exaggeration. It was to assault all sense of nationhood and nation-state and rule of law and decency, dignity, and just put fear into the community and say, “Here we are.” And for what? What’s the platform? What’s the grievance? That we’re not who they are? They kill people because of who they are and they kill people because of what they believe. And it’s indiscriminate. They kill Shia. They kill Yezidis. They kill Christians. They kill Druze. They kill Ismaili. They kill anybody who isn’t them and doesn’t pledge to be that. And they carry with them the greatest public display of misogyny that I’ve ever seen, not to mention a false claim regarding Islam. It has nothing to do with Islam; it has everything to do with criminality, with terror, with abuse, with psychopathism – I mean, you name it. {This is the money shot that has everyone yakking. The bit about Jihadi terrorists having a "justification", scratch that, a "rational" for murdering the Charlie Hebdo cartoonists. But in all honesty, Kerry is right at least as far as the current US administration is concerned and as far as the mass media goes they buy this line of argument hook, line and sinker. Did any of the big foot media outlets publish or broadcast the Charlie Hebdo cartoons? Hell no, they just told the world that a bunch of atheist satirical cartoonists were killed for drawing pictures of Mohamed (not Allah mind you, just Allah's messenger) and if you want to know what, exactly, they were so upset about, well, tough shit because we're not as stupid and provocative as the those French sad sacks who basically brought on their own destruction. So what is the "rational" for terrorist murder? Kerry points out that it's anger "because of this and that" and though he doesn't define "this" (yet) he does define "that" and that "that" is failure to pledge allegiance to them. By "them" he means criminals, terrorists, abusers and practitioners of something called psychopathism (this is a new and exciting ism on the world stage) and then, after calling it everything except what it really is (Islam) Kerry closes with this zinger - "I mean, you name it." No dude, YOU NAME IT you pusillanimous, mixed-up toff.}

And that’s why when some people – I even had a member of my own family email me and say, “More bombs aren’t the solution,” they said. Well, in principle, no. In principle, if you can educate and change people and provide jobs and make a difference if that’s what they want, sure. But in this case, that’s not what’s happening. This is just raw terror to set up a caliphate to expand and expand and spread one notion of how you live and who you have to be. That is the antithesis of everything that brought our countries together – why Lafayette came to America to help us find liberty, and all of the evolutions of the struggles of France, the governments, to find the liberte, egalite, fraternite, and make it real in life every day. And all of that peacefulness was shattered in the span of an hour-plus on Friday night when people were going about their normal business. And they purposefully chose a concert, chose restaurants, chose places where people engage in social dialogue and exchange, and they object to that too. (Now Secretary Kerry defines "this" for his audience and like many this or that scenarios "this" is not much better than "that" - unless you like the idea of a constantly expanding caliphate which I don't. But what is there to do? The Secretaries family is emailing him and telling him NOT to bomb ISIS but to offer them education and jobs and "in principle" that's a fine idea, but these psychopathists don't want it - They even object to "social dialogue" so what's a diplomat to do? As for the claim that religious intolerance being the antithesis of what brought the USA and France together, I beg to differ. Lafayette came to America and fought - real fighting with guns and swords - to establish a republic that honored and protected religious liberty because, in part, he'd seen the strife religious intolerance caused in his native France. Lafayette later tried to establish a republic in France and for several years was successful. The "evolutions of the struggles of France", as the Sec of State put it, have NOT been peaceful - on the contrary, The Terror, The Republic of Virtue, the Age of Napoleonic Empire, French colonial retreat, the devastation of World War One and the bitter humiliation of World War Two were quite violent.}

So this is not a situation where we have a choice. We have been at war with these guys since last year. President Obama said that very clearly. And every single country – not just in the region, but around the world – is opposed to what they are doing to the norms of human behavior and the standards by which we try to live. {Wait a second, I thought this whole terror thing is about "this or that" situation, but it turns out to be a "this AND that" deal - we don't even have a choice and that goes for everyone in the world - President Obama said so last year.}

So we are engaged in a struggle here – struggle of a generation. Every generation is given a test, I think. Through the 20th century we saw global wars and nation-states fighting each other. Today the challenge, even though we have differences with nation-states – Ukraine, Iran, different things that are happening – we’re not choosing to randomly go to war. We’re trying to avoid it. We’re trying to find a better path. But it’s non-state actors – individuals, lone wolves and groups, small groups – and if somebody is willing to die – if you want to go die on any given day, unfortunately, you can take some people with you. {Good God, is this guy really our Secretary of State? What the hell is he talking about? Yes, we're "not choosing to randomly go to war" (the way Bush/Cheney did)- we're trying to avoid war (we don't have a choice, remember), but some people are at war with us and "on any given day" they're winning. Every generation is given a test or a "struggle" and right now were up against Psychopathism (for lack of a better word) instigated by non-state actors and since these individuals and small groups are "non-state" there is nothing, ABSOLUTELY NOTHING, the Secretary of State can do about them.}

So our challenge is to stop the immediate threat, obviously, and destroy it, while we eliminate the people going into the pool by providing those other options – by reaching them before they’re radicalized; by getting people to see there is better governance, there are better opportunities. And globally, we have a lot of work to do that. That’s what’s brought all of you into this place, into this business of diplomacy, of caring and trying to take America’s values and help to spread them around the world. But we don’t force them on people. We give people a choice. Everybody has their choice. We offer them because we believe it’s the best way to provide security, the best way to provide opportunity, and the best way to respect individual rights and the ability of any individual to be able to choose for themselves who they want to be and what they want to be, without disturbing other people, and certainly without killing. {I thought you just got finished telling us that "this is NOT a situation where we have a choice." If we give the Psychopatists a choice what are they odds that they'll choose the Western European way? These believers in psychopathism don't want the "freedom" to "choose for themselves who they want to be and what they want to be" - that's a "this or that" world when they want a "this AND that" world.}

So I want to thank you for the work you’re doing – most important work in the world right now. And I thank all of this Embassy in every regard: RSOs, consular division, individuals who reached out and went to work immediately. I know that some of you were at the – were near the Bataclan and the restaurant and when the shooting took place, you had nowhere to go, and finally a Thai restaurant, Ya Lamai, opened its doors and some of you were housed there till three in the morning. And there are all kinds of stories of individual courage and assistance. People have been working now four nights in a row, through the night. Countless emails, countless phone calls, countless worried parents, family, people calling – “Is my loved one all right? Do you know what’s happened to them? Can you find them?” And you all have been superb in reaching out and some of you going to hospitals to visit with the wounded, to help their families through a difficult, difficult time.

So as far as I’m concerned, you have all behaved in the highest traditions, the highest standards of American willingness to put ourselves at the readiness to help people in distress and to do our duty selflessly to other people, and that’s a great value of our country and France.

So we are locked together in this effort. I will visit with President Hollande shortly, and then with Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius we’ll talk about the strategy ahead and the things we need to do together. And I am absolutely confident, my friends, we are going to come out of this where we want. We will end the scourge of Daesh. President Obama has always said it’s going to take a while, because it’s a reflection not just of the things that I described about how they choose to behave, but it’s also a reflection of turmoil in the region, of the clash with modernity, culture versus modern times, distortions. And they’re hard to fight that, particularly when there’s a huge historical, cultural and language and religious divide. So we have our work cut out for us, but we will get there. Because all of the leaders of the Muslim world, the real leaders, all of the leaders of every country in the region that are affected – Jordan and Lebanon and Iran and Turkey and Saudi Arabia and the Emirates and Kuwait and Egypt – they’re all opposed to Daesh and all distressed by the way in which a great religion is being inappropriately presented. {Come again, did you just say "inappropriately presented"? Yeah, you can say that again buster. I'm sure it's very distressing to the "real leaders" in the Middle East. But when you consider the "huge historical, cultural and language and religious divide" you're bound to have "distortions" resulting from a "clash with modernity". It's going to take a while to come out of this where we want.}

So hang in there. Keep doing what you’re doing. We’ve made gains even in the last weeks. There’s 22 percent less territory that Daesh now has available to it than it had at the beginning. And remember, a year ago right now, we didn’t have a 65-country coalition. We only started putting that together one year ago, and we’re pushing now on the finance lines; we’re pushing against foreign fighters crossing borders; we’re pushing against the distortion of Islam, our public affairs people are working at that. We have a new center in Dubai, in Abu Dhabi, that’s been opened to help in Arabic, instantaneously, gain traction on social media and push back against the lies. We’re presenting stories of disaffected former Daesh people who have come out and said life with them is nowhere near what they pretend it is, and who are telling the real stories of what happens. {Daesh (whatever that is) is loosing and we're telling stories, cutting off their bank accounts, tweeting from Dubai and have 65 countries in a coalition. So just keep doing what you're doing and we'll keep doing what we're doing and they'll keep doing what their doing.}

So as we come and push back here, I believe that justice will prevail and the vision that the vast, vast majority of the world shares will absolutely prevail. So we will steadily march ahead. Jihadi John is gone, and other top aides are gone. The number two guy in Libya, the top guy is – the top guy in Libya is gone. We’re slowly marshaling the forces and capacity to be able to change this current dynamic. (Yes, slowly, very, very slowly we march. Too slow for the people of Paris who suffer due to the "current dynamic" which needs to change over time.}

So hang in there. Stay steady. Stay strong. As the French would say, bon courage. And as President Obama and I would say to you, just a profound thank you. God bless you all. God bless France and the United States of America. Thank you. (Applause.) {"Hang in there" is not a strategy. Hanging in there is what you do when you're getting you butt kicked by a psychopathist and you're just waiting for him to get tired of kicking you in the ribs so you can crawl away to safety.}

So ends the John Kerry address to the US and French employees at the embassy in Paris. To recap, the entire world is trapped in a distorted THIS AND THAT paradigm that presents the civilized world with NO CHOICE but asks the psychopaths who attack the West to CHOOSE our values. The psychopaths are "this and that" people, not "this or that" folks so making a choice is hard for them.
THIS = Kill anyone who isn't Muslim and won't pledge to be Muslim
THAT = Set up a Caliphate to tell people how to live and what to believe
The world will have to "hang in there" until the psychopaths make the right choice and that could take a while.

And today, John Kerry's State Dept. issued a World Wide Travel Alert for US Citizens. So "hang in there" America, the world is with us even if we're not allowed to travel anywhere.


Popular posts from this blog

The Real Story with Gretchen Carlson

She was "sexy", but "too much hard work." I'm a regular Fox & Friends viewer (mostly in protest of the other insipid morning programs like Today and Good Morning America) so over the years I've gotten to know Gretchen Carlson pretty well. Stuck between Steve and Brian she always seemed a prudish scold with an irritating, self-righteous demeanor that I simply put up with because I figured some people in the Fox audience actually liked her persona. It was obvious that Steve and Brian did not, but they were stuck with her like so many talking heads and had to make the best of it - which they did. Besides, she was no worse than any of the other women on morning show TV - I mean, you're only going to find a certain kind of person to do this kind of work and that kind of person is the Gretchen Carlson kind. Then, one day, she was gone and replaced by Elisabeth Hasselbeck and the F&F ratings began to climb, and climb and climb - in two months view

The 4th Estate "does not know"

Last night Jim Acosta sat down for an interview with Larry Sabato at a national symposium series presented by the University of Virginia’s Center for Politics titled “Democracy in Perilous Times.” The evening’s topic was “ The Fourth Estate: Enemy of the People? ” and the crowd was warmly receptive of Acosta’s message which, boiled down to its essence, is that Donald Trump is a liar and he’s making life dangerous for reporters. Sabato introduced Acosta to the audience as Enemy #1 which drew mirthful laughter from the auditorium and then presented a short video montage of President Trump and his deplorable rubes insulting the reporter on many occasions over the past two years. This was all a set up for his first question which was, “how do you do your Job?” Acosta said the he accomplishes his duties by maintaining focus, reporting the story and telling the truth but acknowledged that it is difficult when the White House erodes the peoples faith in the press by bullying reporters. Whe

A Apolitical Blues

Well my telephone was ringing, and they told me it was chairman Mao. You got to tell him anything 'cause I just don't want to talk to him now. According to the brilliant troubadour Lowell George the Apolitical Blues are " the meanest blues of all" and who am I to disagree with this soul man now after all these years of living by his maxim.  I first heard the song bursting from the 1972 vinyl of Little Feat's Alt-Rock-Country masterpiece "Sailin' Shoes" in the second story bedroom of my friend John's older brother Edie who, being about 3 years our senior, was instructing us on the importance of good music. This was circa 1975 and a formative time for my musical taste and overall aesthetic which, for better or worse, infuses every aspect of my existence including the KOTCB blog so a debt is owed this unforgettable "older brother" now that  he has shuffled off this mortal coil  and left us with smoky memories. A born rebel with the heart o