Monday, February 19, 2018
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Half-century Later: From Russia with Love, Redux

vladimir-putinI caught a glimpse of Sean Connery on TV late Monday afternoon at Ashe Stadium as the unequalled “James Bond” watched the unequalled two giants of today’s men tennis, Rafa and Novak, battle for supremacy at the US Open Tennis championship in New York. I couldn’t help but recall how 50 years before (1963) Connery was filming his 2nd JB movie which I saw at its release a year later.

A great win for Rafa Nadal at Flushing Meadows yesterday; a great Cold War movie with Connery a half-century before; and great news circulating on the possibility of defusing the crisis in Syria with an anti-embarrassment gift to Obama: “From Russia with Love.”

Incredibly, the question being asked this past weekend throughout the US media had been: will Americans’ representatives in Congress vote to support the president’s wish to punish Bashar al-Assad (Syria, really!), or will their votes follow their constituents’ wishes at home against armed intervention? 

Asking this question seems embarrassingly obscene, to both morality and democracy, and most of us cringe at the thought of these pusillanimous representatives and senators we have in Congress making such a decision. A collection of wealth-power seekers who have made, or are making, a personal career out of a sacred position of trust bestowed by the people in their districts or states on them… making a decision based on a canon of morality they lack! Granted that there is a minority of honorable people among those 535 folks… fewer than a hundred, for sure; but the rest, resoundingly most people agree the nation would be better off if all burn at the stake – party affiliation inconsequential in our two-party illusory democracy.

True progressives in the United States have been cutting way, way too much slack for President Barack Obama from his first day in the White House in just about every area… giving way to pseudo-moderation and compromise, perhaps in hopes of strengthening his hand for the performance of future good deeds. 

Instead, progressives have continued to perpetuate the cover-up for politicians who use articulation of progressive causes for their own personal gain. It became obvious in military matters in Obama’s early decision on Afghanistan (2009) to demonstrate solidarity with the brass at the Pentagon; and we saw how a man presumably representing peace and diplomacy had cowed to the hawks in both Congress and the Pentagon.

Now, this president of ours, a stellar figure in jurisprudence and constitutional law, has decided to both, rewrite the law and promote leadership via “authoritative diplomacy.” Shouldn’t a trial and guilty-verdict precede the sentencing phase? Do we really wish to appear before the world not as a global leader, but as a global bully?  Is Barack Obama intent in making Syria the US’ next lesson in a nonsensical course of Amoral Morality? Has panic strike the cool and collected man at the White House for him to resort to a partner in crime: Congress?

For eons Americans have had an overwhelming majority of self-serving and arrogant legislators represent them in Congress; that’s fact and punishment of undemocratic US politics resulting from the elective-power – campaign funds, doled out by special interests to keep once-elected legislators in perpetual power.

Now, Americans are finally discovering that they have a pusillanimous president inhabiting the White House as well; a president who’s trying to whitewash his personal embarrassment, a consequence of a stupid, needless act of cockiness… when he drew an unnecessary line in the sand.

Obama’s metamorphosis never ceases to amaze me: from Senator Obama, Peacemaker; to President-elect Obama, Pacifying-Warrior; to this latest phase: Pusillanimous-Warrior trying to find refuge in illegitimate consent from Congress, when its constituency, even after an interminable barrage of propaganda from the government, is polled to be 60 percent against the US taking war action against Syria.

Now a diplomatic solution is floating in the air which may be Russia’s greatest gift to both Obama – one of saving face – and the United States – an unquestionable saving of blood and treasure. 

Yes, let’s get Syria’s chemical weapons under international control… to hell with McCain and the demonic hawkish streak of politicians we harbor in the United States of America.

Thank you, Russia… we love you back!

© 2013 Ben Tanosborn

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