Radical Terrorism is not a Fairy Tale
Words Matter. They help make thought incisive and enable us to conceive of reality. Use the wrong ones and you’ll wander into never-never land, oblivious to the threat from radical Islamic terrorism. Our State Department is entrapped in this imaginary utopia. John Kerry is one its biggest fairies; Hillary Clinton is one of the malevolent mermaids.
The Plain Writing Act of 2010 is designed to promote “clear government communication that the public can understand and use.” The federal agency that ranks lowest on the 2015 report card for both compliance and information design is the State Department.
That wasn’t an aberration: State got an F in 2014, and was off the scale in 2013, not even making the rankings. You’re probably not surprised -- the two most recent leaders of the Department of State are Clinton and Kerry, who both have a penchant for obfuscation. When the delusional duo are not blocking communication, they are probably distorting it.
Their proclamations of transparency are fairytales. Under Clinton, the State Department had a dismal record of responding to FOIA requests. Even though her political staff blocked many FOIA requests, Kerry bizarrely appointed a Hillary Clinton donor as State’s “Transparency Coordinator.”
Hillary was tagged as a congenital liar back in 1996. Her pathology has become so debilitating since that she’s almost a caricature: you know when she’s lying when her lips are moving. The MSM is complicit in her deceit, claiming she rolled the House Select Committee on Benghazi. Even as she spewed a bunch of Jackanory, they avoided the elephant in the chamber: her lie about the cause of the attacks on the consulate.
Kerry is also full of poppycock. I’d imagine his favorite breakfast is the waffle, smothered with mounds of opaque toppings. His flip-flops are legendary, his capacity for opacity unbounded. Consider his tortuous explanation of the legitimacy rationale that he bizarrely conjured up when attempting to contrast the Charlie Hebdo attacks with the recent Paris attacks.
Luckily for Obama, he was not included in the plain language report card, for his dubious communications reflect psychopathy in the White House. But another “F” ranking looms for State in 2016. Consider their absurd attempts to shroud the obvious examples of radical Islamic terrorism with feeble substitutes like “workplace violence” or “violent extremism”. At least the Department of Defense, under Ashton Carter, just admitted that ISIS is not contained (DOD got an “A” for compliance on the Plain Language report card).
There may be times in foreign affairs when ambiguity is a useful tactic, perhaps during peace negotiations or laying the basis for a trade treaty. For example, Eisenhower demonstrated his brilliant prudence by confounding potential adversaries about his options and plans during the Formosan Straight Crisis of 1958. But clarity must usurp ambiguity after war has been declared, for clearly communicating the nature of our enemy is crucial in order to muster the resources to combat it.
This is not pedantry. Do you think Churchill would have been able to rally the Commonwealth and coax Roosevelt to provide support had he described Hitler as a misunderstood nationalist with limited territorial ambitions beyond conquering Poland? The threat posed today from radical Islam is just as daunting: Hitler wanted Lebensraum (territorial expansion into Eastern Europe); ISIS wants a caliphate to rival Islamic dominion of centuries ago.
Outside of never-never land, radical Islam has declared world war, from the halls of Versailles to the shores of Tripoli; from the English countryside to the sun-chapped hills of San Bernardino. Yet Kerry is more like Neville Chamberlain than the straight-talking Churchill. We didn’t choose war, it chose us; but our Secretary of State is blinkered, preferring to traipse around his imaginary utopia immersed in fairy dust.
When it wears off and he returns to the real world, Kerry succumbs to mental contortions. He’s so adroit at embracing cognitive dissonance, rendering him incapable of sound judgement or resolute action.
As for Clinton, she’s flirting with sociopathy, but lacks the accompanying charm of many sociopaths. Though she does share their trait of remorselessness, as when she lied to the families of the Benghazi victims -- and the nation -- by attributing blame for the attack on the consulate on an Internet video, even while privately acknowledging that it was terrorism.
Leaders at the State Department have spun fables that give employees a nice, fuzzy feeling. That’s why they like to work there. But it’s sinister, and it may not have a happy ending, which is why the State Department spends large sums of money coaching its staff on how to testify before Congress.
Normally it’s lying that requires coaching in order to navigate the fabled web of deceit. But they are so accomplished in spinning fairytales that they need coaching to do something that’s generally easier: telling the truth.