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  • Lloyd Richardson

The Man, the Politics, the Disaster

Updated: Nov 17




People ask me why I wrote the current Adam Chin thriller, The Golden Arrow. Pretty easy. After watching the Obama Administration make hash of US foreign policy for six years—and then desperately seek a “deal” with Iran to make itself look good—I think it is obvious that this president and his cronies have absolutely no clue that we live in a dangerous world. When the most dangerous thing you have ever done in your life is to hang around the faculty lounge, you think that talk solves everything. I will add to this that it has been my experience that lawyers make terrible diplomats, for reasons I will suggest in a moment.


But to be just a bit sympathetic, imagine if your intellectual roots included a dirigiste from sub-Saharan Africa, an anthropologist (?!), Indonesian Muslims, assorted American Communists, Socialists and Lefties, and a bunch of academics (perhaps I repeat myself?)—well, no wonder Obama thinks you didn’t do that! If you had grown up like Obama, would you have any clue about real life as experienced by most Americans? How about real life experienced by most American blacks? Oh, did I mention that this individual—half white and half black, to be known forevermore as the “first black American president” (sorry, Bill)-- was recruited by Ivy League universities under their affirmative action and “diversity” policies (you have to love the way affirmative action has helped those who need the help least), so they could rewrite all the ground rules to help launch this man’s political career? Certainly that’s what Harvard Law did. Notice that Obama’s academic records from Columbia and Harvard never have been made public, even after all of these years, when that information could never harm the man himself, after his re-election. But the legend? Oh, yes. Might harm that. Sort of reminds me of the myth-making that went on with Chairman Mao, or perhaps Dear Leader. My, oh my, and how is that “post-racial America” working out for you? Relations between the races are as bad as I have ever seen them in my lifetime. Wonder why?


Back to lawyers for a moment. The essence of lawyering is compromise. The essence of diplomacy is principles--understanding where crucial national interests are at stake and that those interests can never be compromised, without destroying the nation itself. A nation will fight to the death rather than betray these principles. See the difference? This is why lawyers make such awful diplomats. The few exceptions we can find in history—US or otherwise—are usually individuals who went through the pro forma legal training, but then did not practice. (Teddy Roosevelt) Exceptions to the exception? Perhaps Elihu Root, Secretary of State under TR, who looked angelic compared to Teddy, and in any event, was accustomed to getting his own way.


Last thought on this frolic and detour. Granted, we know Democrats always cheat at the polls. Also granted, the Republicans have not exactly served up real firebrands in the last two presidential elections. Hey, Mitt! Hi there, Arizona! But even so, does it not scare you just a bit that “We the People” managed to elect this man to the presidency in two successive elections? It sure scares the hell out of me. Look in the mirror, folks. We have met the enemy, and it is us! And I plead particularly with you young folks in the military, minority and otherwise. Ask yourself if this man respects you and what you have done for this country. This man who is busy selling Iraq and Afghanistan back to the radical Muslims, after you won them over to the democratic column with your blood, and our collective treasure as Americans. (We can discuss another time whether it is unnecessary to say a Muslim is “radical.”)


So back to Iran. It seems to me that it is very easy to understand the linkage among the US, Israel, and Iran. Folks, this is about principles—the survival of democracy, to be exact. It has nothing to do with the “Jewish Question,” whatever that is, except in terms of understanding the endemic hatred in the Middle East. (Do we all understand that Muslim nationalists in the Middle East idolized Adolf Hitler? You see, history will kill you, my friends, if you do not understand her lessons.) I don’t minimize this hatred of the Jews as an important aspect of the problem we confront in the Middle East, particularly as Americans. I prefer to refer to it as the “Muslim Question” however. Yes, this enduring hatred means that a policy question that should be relatively easy to fix, is not fixable in the short run, and will not be fixable any time soon, perhaps for generations to come. So this is clearly the moral aspect of the problem.


I would add that one cannot understand Islam without looking closely at how Muslims treat all of God’s “lesser creatures”—not historically, but right now. Is it really not barbaric to cut off the hand of a thief? And if you are a woman living under Islam, hello, what is your problem? Oh, and then you immigrate to the US with your loving family and walk around with a hijab—a symbol of slavery—wrapped around your head. It’s not a bad look, you can even shop it online, but seriously. What part of western history and values do you not understand? Do you get any of it! Wake up, woman! Oh, and don’t even think about being gay, right?


If we do not understand Iran as an enemy of the state of Israel, and we do not understand Israel as the only bright light in the Middle East, in a vast sea of darkness, then we in America will not survive as a nation. We will certainly no longer be a shining city on a hill.


More next time. Til then, may God bless us all. We certainly need it!

A diplomat during the Reagan years, Lloyd Richardson brings three decades of experience in international matters to his work.

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