President Obama gives an exclusive interview to Thomas ("Meet the Flintstones") Friedman, in-house thinker of The New York Times. It's dispiriting stuff:
"What we will be doing even as we enter into this deal is sending a very clear message to the Iranians and to the entire region that if anybody messes with Israel, America will be there."
Ask the Libyan and Yemeni governments how that worked out. Scott Johnson looks on the bright side:
At least he didn't say that the destruction of Israel is a red line for him.
The most forlorn part of the Friedman/Obama encounter is this:
"Who knows?" he added. "Iran may change." But if not, he said, the United States retains "the most firepower" to address any contingencies.
"It's not as if in all these conversations, I'm leaving all my, you know, rifles at the door," he said.
For this deal to be enforceable, the Iranians have to believe Obama will use his "rifles". But it's because they know he'll never use his rifles that they were able to extract this deal from him. The nature of the deal tells the Iranians that its provisions are unenforceable - and that America is no longer in the deterrence business.
~Just as preambles are often the most revealing part of international treaties - and sometimes of legislation, too (the Statute of Westminster, for example) - so with the Columbia Journalism School report into the Rolling Stone fake rape story: the most significant bit is all the throat-clearing ahead of the findings. As we know, the University of Virginia "horrific" "gang rape" was not in the least bit "horrific" because no "gang rape" ever occurred. So the only real "victims" were the fraternity and the wider campus community falsely accused and traduced by Rolling Stone and their reporter Sabrina Rudin Erdely. Nevertheless, in Columbia's report, Rolling Stone's reaction and Ms Rubin Erdely's "apology" a common theme emerges - conveniently rounded up by Powerline. As Will Dana, Rolling Stone's managing editor, puts it:
Sexual assault is a serious problem on college campuses, and it is important that rape victims feel comfortable stepping forward. It saddens us to think that their willingness to do so might be diminished by our failings.
The fake story got into Dana's magazine because he and his colleagues subordinated reality to "the narrative", or actual truth to the so-called "greater truth". And what does Dana's preamble to the Columbia report do? It engages in the exact same thing.
Which is why it will happen again, and again, and again - the next time some bullsh*t artist from a favored identity group has a fantasy to peddle.
Just as the nature of the Iranian deal tells you its provisions will never be enforced, so the preamble to the climbdown tells you that Ms Rubin Erdely and Rolling Stone have learned nothing, and any "recommendations" or "safeguards" will never be enforced.
See also: "Yes, Sabrina, there is a Haven Monahan."
~At PJ Media, Roger Kimball writes about the new book of which I'm honored to be a small part, Climate Change: The Facts:
This scintillating collection of essays (or do I mean "this collection of scintillating essays"?) offers a tonic and refreshing breeze after all the lucrative posturing by scientific illiterates (but commercially savvy mountebanks) like Al Gore and litigious frauds like Michael "tell-the-truth-about-me-and-I'll-sue-you" Mann...
This volume is a necessary antidote to the hysterical yet cynical bluster that surrounds the topic.. The first essay, "The science and politics of climate change" by Ian Plimer, a retired professor of Earth Sciences, is worth the price of the volume. Plimer goes through the various charges leveled by eco-nuts one by one and shows just how preposterous they are. His conclusion:
'Climate change catastrophism is the biggest scientific fraud that has ever occurred... Three short decades of irresponsible climate policy will take at least a generation to reverse because there are now armies of bureaucrats, politicians, scientists, and businesses living off the climate catastrophe scare...'
Good stuff! And when I tell you that this is only one of more than 20 essays, and that the others are written by such stars as Mark Steyn, Andrew Bolt, and James Delingpole, you will want to get not one but several copies of the book in order to arm yourself and your friends against the nonsense of environmental catastrophism.
You can read the rest of Roger's comments here. And, if you order Climate Change: The Facts in paperback from the SteynOnline bookstore, I'll be happy to autograph it for you personally. But, if you can't wait that long and you need it within the next five minutes it's available in eBook via Kindle, Nook or Kobo.