It always helps to flee the country when Barack Obama starts droning about turning the page on the shadow of crisis while doing that left-right prompter head-swivel that makes him look like a primitive animatronic version of a president rather than the real thing. So this morning I found myself discussing the State of the Union with Toronto's ace morning man John Oakley on AM640.
In last year's speech, Obama touted Yemen as an example of successful counter-terrorism: just fire up the old drone, and take out some guy as he's enjoying lunch in his favorite upcountry bistro. This year, he didn't mention Yemen, because it's about to join the ever swelling ranks of Failed States of the Obama Era: as he was speaking, some Iranian-backed chappies were overrunning the presidential palace and taking Washington's "key ally" hostage. He's the latest American friend to learn that, when the chips are down, John Kerry knows what song to sing:
If they ever put a bullet in your brain
Obama's strategy for the rest of the world is to "turn the page" on it. Libya, where he chose to go to war, is now a failed state. Syria, where he drew a red line, has some 200,000 dead. ISIS, which he dismissed as the junior varsity of jihad, controls half of Iraq and Syria and is executing US citizens live on camera and auctioning Japanese hostages for a fifth of a billion dollars. In West Africa, to whom his wife held up a pouty-faced cardboard hastag #BringBackOurGirls, the girls haven't been brought back and Boko Haram are setting up a local variant of an ISIS state. In Iran, where he claimed he'd halted their nuclear program, their stockpile of enriched uranium has increased since his so-called deal. Al-Qaeda, which he said for years was" on the run", has just pulled off a high-profile mass murder in Paris that struck at the heart of a core western value – freedom of speech.
But so what? Obama's turned his page: This was the first State of the Union in 13 years not to mention al-Qaeda.
John and I also discussed alleged Canadian "mission creep" in Iraq, and Al Gore's Live Earth extravaganza. Click below to listen:
~We also found room to plug my return to Toronto next week. I'll be live at Indigo's flagship bookstore at Bay and Bloor in conversation with Indigo suprema Heather Reisman. I'll be talking about The [Un]documented Mark Steyn, and much else - as well as taking your questions, and autographing your books, too. Well, not your books, but your copies of my books, if you see what I mean - I always hate it when Naomi Klein shows up and demands I autograph No Logo for her. Do swing by if you can. It's much more fun than standing in line for Hillary - you'll be allowed to make non-pre-screened remarks to me, snap a selfie, slip me your hotel key, etc, etc. It all starts at 7pm on Wednesday, January 28th. Admission is free, but first come, first served. For more details, see here.