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Thursday, March 31, 2011

Barack Obama's Burden

(With apologies to Rudyard Kipling...)

Take up Obama's burden
Send forth the best ye breed
Go bind your A10 pilots
To serve Sarkozy's need;
To wait in heavy harness,
On fluttered folk and wild--
Your new-found freedom fighters,
Half terrorist, half child.

Take up the U.N.'s burden--
In patience to abide,
To manage the no-fly zone
And show off NATO’s pride;
By open speech and simple,
An hundred times made plain,
To seek for BP’s profit,
And work for France’s gain.

Take up Obama's burden--
The savage wars of peace--
Fill full the UN mandate
And bid Gaddafi cease;
And when your goal is nearest
The end for others sought,
Watch Europe’s venal folly
Bring all your hope to naught.

Take up Obama’s burden--
No tawdry rule of kings,
But toil of nation building--
The tale of common things.
The oil ye shall not purchase,
Goodwill ye shall not keep,
Ye broke it so ye bought it,
And now it mars your sleep.

Take up the White Man's burden--
And reap his old reward;
The blame of those ye better,
The hate of those ye guard--
The cry of hosts ye humour
(Ah, slowly!) toward the light:--
"Why brought ye us elections?
Sharia is our right!"

Take up Obama’s burden--
Ye dare not stoop to less--
Nor call too loud on Freedom--
To cloak your weariness;
By all ye cry or whisper,
By all ye leave or do,
The silent, sullen peoples
Shall weigh your Gods and you.

Take up the White Man's burden--
Barack's done with childish days--
The lightly proffered laurel
The easy, ungrudged praise.
Comes now, to search his manhood
Through all the thankless years,
Cold, edged with dear-bought wisdom,
The judgment of his peers!

Hitchens on Gaddafi

"It is morally unthinkable that he should emerge from this episode with even a rag of authority to call his own, and it is morally feeble not to say so out loud."

I'm afraid our president hasn't the character to address the latter issue, nor even enough to ensure the former.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

India and Iran, oh my!

The Deccan Chronicle reports on a meeting between India's "national security advisor" and Iran's president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

India is a nuclear power, and Iran is trying to develop nuclear weapons. India's economic development requires oil, the continued availability of which is open to speculation based on what is going on in the Middle East these days. One might think majority Hindu and officially secular India would be reluctant to support a religiously bigoted (to say the least) Muslim Iran but the Indians need the oil and it's not as if the U.S. has given India much love since the Bush administration.

It might seem unrelated but with a billion people, India needs a lot of food, too. Iran hasn't got any food to sell India, but it does have oil. And both oil and food are getting expensive these days. So how would India be able to pay a nuclearly needy Iran for oil, if it needs to use its cash for food?