Thursday, September 12, 2013

When You've Lost Plantu and Le Monde… (1)

So, France; so, Europe, you got the US commander-in-chief you asked for!

As for Plantu, his cartoon depicts Barack Obama as a black butler to a white master (Vladimir Putin), which liberals might be (sorely) tempted to instantly decry as racism, except that it evokes a film currently playing in cinemas, Lee Daniels' The Butler — although of course the cartoonist seems to be unable to refrain from taking a potshot at the Republicans in Congress as well.
• Barack Obama: We put a lid on it and say no more about the subject!
(See also one weekly's cartoon of BHO's Egyptian policy…)

Even Le Monde's editorial page is filled with skepticism…
Diplomacy, unfortunately, does not only take place between honest people of good will. The Russian proposal on the Syrian chemical weapons, brought forward Monday September 9 with extreme skill by foreign minister Sergei Lavrov, has all the ambiguities and pitfalls that one can fear when dealing with a regime such as that of Bashar al-Assad or cunning strategists such as MM. Putin and Lavrov.
 … Western leaders [have] every reason to be skeptical about the motivations of Moscow and the provisions of Damascus to comply with a bona fide control of its chemical arsenal. Besides the obvious physical challenges presented to an assignment of inspectors in monitoring military sites in a country at war, the terrain of the negotiations itself is replete with mines.
... Meanwhile, Bashar al-Assad continues to destroy his country and kill its people. The Russians are great chess players. That is something it would be a mistake to forget.
One wishes that Le Monde might have tried to use the same tone and terms during the Iraq conflict.
La diplomatie, malheureusement, ne se conduit pas qu'entre gens honnêtes et de bonne volonté. La proposition russe sur les armes chimiques syriennes, très habilement avancée, lundi 9 septembre, par le ministre des affaires étrangères, Sergueï Lavrov, comporte toutes les ambiguïtés et les pièges que l'on peut redouter lorsque l'on a affaire à un régime comme celui de Bachar Al-Assad ou à des stratèges aussi rusés que MM. Poutine et Lavrov.

 … Les dirigeants occidentaux [ont] toutes les raisons d'être sceptiques sur les motivations de Moscou et sur les dispositions de Damas à se plier à un véritable contrôle de son arsenal chimique. Outre les évidentes difficultés physiques que présenterait une mission d'inspecteurs chargés de contrôler des sites militaires dans un pays en pleine guerre, le terrain de la négociation est lui-même miné.

 … En attendant, Bachar Al-Assad continue à détruire son pays et à massacrer sa population. Les Russes excellent aux échecs. On aurait tort de l'oublier.
Russian mastery at chess certainly is something that few people in the Apologizer-in-Chief's administration ever remembered, busy as they were in demonizing, in breaking, and in trying to reeducate the true enemy of America, and indeed the true enemy of the world — all things American, all things Western, all things conservative, and all things Republican.