Simple, but Not Easy
Campaigning against Richard Nixon in 1960, John F. Kennedy puckishly spoke of an editorial in the Wall Street Journal that took the Republican nominee to task: "That's like L'Osservatore Romano criticizing the Pope." He was pointing to the fact that the Journal in those days was viewed as the Big Business voice of the Republican Party. And he was acknowledging for nervous Protestants that he knew that L'Osservatore Romano was the house organ of the Vatican.
That JFK could so tweak the Vatican in a political speech was no small part of the charm of this first Catholic president. No doubt, the warm, engaging Pope John XXIII, Kennedy's Holy Father, helped immeasurably to change the world's view of Catholicism.
We have to go back in history to find some perspective on today's headlines. The New York Times is to liberalism what L'Osservatore Romano is to the papacy. But whereas the popes issue infallible statements on matters of faith and morals only with the greatest infrequency (only one in the past two centuries), and offer them to the world for free, the "Gray Lady" in New York issues her inerrant statements every morning, and for a hefty $2.00.
Thus, it must be seen as historic when the New York Times prints these headlines:
PURSUE UN SEAT
NO NEW MIDEAST TALKS
Role of U.S. in Guiding
Is Seen at Risk
In those headlines and subheads, we see the ashes of a Mideast policy. Since the Times is called "the newspaper of record," this can be seen only as liberalism's house organ judging an administration's abject failure.
The president's failure is a failure of biblical proportions. Once Obama hovered over the nations like a God (according to Newsweek's Evan Thomas). Today, the prophet Daniel might have written the Times' headlines.
Thou art weighed in the balances, and art found wanting.
How deep is this failure? Every line shows collapse. Obama "rebuffed"? By whom? By Mahmoud Abbas, the henchman of Yasser Arafat. Arafat wrote his autobiography in innocent blood for four decades. This unrepentant terrorist was supported every sanguinary step by Abbas.
Yet, we are rebuffed by a man to whom we will give $450 million in "humanitarian aid" this year? That should make the budget negotiations on Capitol Hill simpler. Strike all aid to Mahmoud Abbas and the murderous PLO.
By the way, when was the last time Abbas was "elected"? He has postponed scheduled elections. Hasn't he been overstaying his mandate, whatever that was?
The U.N. is going ahead with a vote on seating the PLO? This is the same U.N. for which we provide 25% of the revenue. That should be simple, too. We should send a message to the U.N. delegates. You spend your evenings in posh Manhattan hotels. You enjoy shelling out for each night's stay five times as much as the average oppressed citizen of your countries makes in a year. Next year, you can vote from the gray and grim confines of Geneva. The American taxpayer will no longer pick up your hotel bills.
Congress should cut our U.N. contribution to just 6 percent. If Mr. Obama thinks the U.S. is not so exceptional, then our U.N. dues shouldn't be exceptional, either. We are only 6% of the world's population. It's only fair. That's simple, too.
America recognized the State of Israel eleven minutes after her independence was declared in 1948. To do so required extraordinary leadership from President Harry Truman. Behind in every poll in that election year, Truman defied his own secretary of state, George C. Marshall. Truman had publicly hailed Marshall as the greatest living American. But on the question of the survival of the Jewish State, Truman would answer only to God, to history, and to the sovereign American people. Then, as now, Americans stood with Israel. To Harry Truman, it was that simple. But not easy.
Ronald Reagan liked to say, "There are simple answers. There are just not easy answers." He was right. Americans know we cannot buy friends. Nor can be buy peace. But we can pave the road to hell with liberals' good intentions.
Today's New York Times shows the utter bankruptcy of the Obama administration. It's not just our Treasury that's empty; Mr. Obama's Mideast policy is bankrupt, too. Perhaps the president can lend the PLO his Nobel Peace Prize. We understand that Mr. Abbas' Hamas partners in Gaza looted Yasser Arafat's Peace Prize.
Let's use this bitter end as a place to take a stand for freedom. That's simple, too.
Robert Morrison is a Washington writer. He served in the Reagan administration.