Thursday, November 15, 2012

"Come After Me"

One understands Obama’s swagger. In his first post-election press conference he showed off some serious macho posturing.

Taking offense at the implication that UN Ambassador Susan Rice had not told the truth on the Sunday talk shows, Obama advised her Congressional critics to: “come after me.”

It brings to mind the old Chinese proverb: Be careful what you wish for....

When asked what he had done to protect the lives of the four Americans who were killed in Benghazi, Obama also took offense.

He replied:

But as I said repeatedly, if people don't think that we did everything we can to make sure that we saved the lives of folks who I sent there, and who were carrying out missions on behalf of the United States, then you don't know how our Defense Department thinks or our State Department thinks or our CIA thinks. Their number one priority is obviously to protect American lives. That's what our job is.

Of course, that says nothing about whether he and his team were doing their jobs last September 11.

Obama continued:

… my orders to my National Security team were do whatever we need to do to make sure they're safe.

But then, his National Security team and the American government did nothing to ensure the safety of Ambassador Stevens and the three others.

What does it mean when the commander-in-chief gives an order and nothing happens?

Surely, we will be regaled with all manner of rationalizations explaining why it was not possible to do anything. Many former military officers have rejected that assertion out of hand.

Doing anything that was needed is not the same as doing anything that was possible.

Does this mean that Obama’s order was contravened? Does it suggest that his direct order was ignored? Or does it imply that he was not telling the truth at his press conference?

The incident reminds me of a scene from the theatre of the absurd.

In particular, it recalls the last line of Samuel Beckett’s Waiting for Godot:

Yes, let's go.
They do not move.

They have come to a decision; they are going to leave; they are going to stop waiting for Godot.

But then, when Estragon says: “let’s go” they do not move.

Ask yourself this: when does “let’s go” not mean: let’s go.

The answer must be: when it’s poetry.

So, Vladimir and Estragon will continue to wait. But now they are paying a price: their language has become detached from their reality. They now inhabit a fictional world where there words to not mean what they say or say what they mean.

It sounds to me a little like the Obama presidency.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

"their language has become detached from their reality. They now inhabit a fictional world where their words to not mean what they say or say what they mean."

As one blogger commented elsewhere:
"And the gaslighting of America enters year five."

Gaslighting - wiki