Sunday, January 27, 2013

Obama Constantine XI's New Constantinople

Re(1): 'The Siege of Merimna', The Belmont Club, Richard Fernandez
Re(2): '1453', Richard Crowley

I hope Wretchard and I never write as bitter, as futile, as final a post as that of Sphrantzes after the fall of Constantinople:
I am George Sphrantzes the pitiful First Lord of the Imperial Wardrobe, presently known by the monastic name Gregory. I wrote the following account of the events that occurred during my wretched life. It would have been fine for me not to have been born or to have perished in childhood. Since this did not happen, let it be known that I was born on Tuesday, August 30, 1401."
But, Wretchard seems to think the time is near. The Barbarians are at the gate. Regretfully, it is a convincing argument. I can only envy his abode in Australia - so very far from the epic fiasco of a turning point that we Americans seem so destined to live through.
And now in the first months of 2013 the probes are coming the other way.  Too many provocations which once would have drawn a vigorous response from Washington are now completely unanswered. The mighty US government, which once ruled by the power of its reputation alone  seems inert and strangely immobile. Almost as if it were sleeping — or worse.
It is a vacuum everywhere. The US government is being treated like a toothless, contemptible thing. It is easy to see why.
But there can be no joy in this collapse even among the President’s worst political opponents. The weakness has exposed everyone who relies on the US for leadership and stability to great and proximate danger.  For the challenges are certain to pick in pace as the hyenas converge from every point of the compass. All across the world people are wondering: what is holding the tent roof up? 

However, Mr. Fernandez, the echo of power and greatness may yet give us the space and time to recover from our weakness.  I know we have no money, a declining military, and an embarrassment of a State Department  but we need only look a half decade past to realize a potential future of a half decade hence.

If we survived Carter I we can survive Carter II.