In case you haven’t noticed, everything’s going to hell.
I can’t say that I’m surprised: in a comment a while back, for example, I wrote that the administration of “this awful man — this grotesque incompetent, this subversive fraud, this preening and malevolent narcissist, this despiser of American tradition and implacable enemy of everything the U.S.A. was built upon and once stood for … will be looked back upon as the final turning point, as the time in history when the arc of American greatness turned at last from ascent to irrevocable decline, and ultimately to decay and disintegration. It will be seen as the moment when, under the leadership of a vainglorious man of low character, full of seething resentment and base ambition, the fatal and inevitable weaknesses of democracy finally overcame a once-great nation and people.” I do have to say, though, that the accelerating rate at which we are now tipping into the abyss is pretty impressive.
The latest unraveling (leaving aside, for now, the Bergdahl debacle and the government-assisted invasion of our southern border) is the conquest of much of Iraq by jihadist blitzkrieg (led, as it happens, by a chap we let go in 2009). Along the way, Allah’s advancing army have helped themselves to captured American weapons — including tanks, missile launchers and Blackhawk helicopters — and to almost half a billion dollars snatched from a bank in Mosul.
The Obama administration appears to have been caught utterly flat-footed by this, but as to whether that is simply due to astonishing incompetence, or to something darker, I frame no hypotheses. At any rate, when it comes to foreign affairs, every single place this administration has touched has ended up in flames. (And waiting in the wings is the insatiable succubus Hillary Clinton, whom I suspect couldn’t even run a quilting bee without ruining countless lives. We are well and truly doomed.)
Our reader Bill K. sent us a note earlier today, linking to a dark post about all of this by Richard Fernandez. It begins:
Ernest Hemingway observed that people went broke gradually at first then all of a sudden. Barack Obama’s career, for so long without visible means of support, has now moved onto the “all of sudden stage” of bankruptcy.
You can read the whole thing here. Do.
I will say this: having awakened some years ago from a brief ensorcellment by the universalist delusion known as ‘neoconservatism’, I understand that there are really only three useful options in a place like Iraq:
a) Rule it ourselves, as a sovereign colonial power;
b) Rule it by proxy, by buying ourselves a dictator and making sure that he stays bought; or
c) Complete encapsulation, combined with occasional pulverization when the inmates get too bumptious, and an end of all Muslim immigration to Western nations.
We’ll do none of these things, of course. We’ll launch a few airstrikes, maybe, just to bounce the rubble a bit (and of course we’ll mount a major Twitter offensive), but we haven’t the will for a), the cunning for b), or the wisdom (not to mention the balls) for c). So things will just get worse. As the fight moves toward Baghdad and the east — in other words, into the heart of Shi’ite Iraq — expect ISIL to face heavier slogging as the Sadrists push back, and Iran joins the fray. (I say ISIL, but you’ll also see them called ISIS. And just when we were finally done with all that Gaddafi/Qadafy, etc., business…)
One bright spot: the Kurds, whose pesh merga fighters are some of the toughest S.O.B.s on the face of the Earth, have taken advantage of the power vacuum to move on their ancient capital of Kirkuk. More power to ‘em; the world is a quieter place when populations disaggregate into their traditional homelands, though getting there is never pretty.