We are operating in the reality of the strange world of sub-particle nuclear theory when by a quark of politics, a good guy is being accelerated by political forces to become a smack-down outlaw with bona fides. But even here, policy doesn’t comport with photo-ops.
For months, my screen saver was the Presidential family deplaning in Ghana, to cheering and the rhythms of wildly beating drums. But the Administration has turned a strange silence to the plight of women in the Congo. In the new heart of darkness, the rapes of women and female children exceed 15,000 a year. Many of these attacks are carried out by gangs of soldiers who leave the women brutalized, injured, or dead.
Secretary Clinton, a world leader in articulating the struggles and injustices of women, has condemned the continuing attacks in annual statements, but seems to have no policy of carrots or sticks to stop the degrading brutality and killing. More than the START agreement, the US failure to protect helpless women who are victims of guerrilla warfare in a failed state is an example of American impotence.
At some point, we must show the world that not only our vengance but our values matter. If we can conduct a war in Afganistan financed by our own monies paid to warlords for protection, and do so with Republican or Democratic protests being mute and null, surely the President can display the Joint Chiefs in a photo-op endorsing START, signal other world leaders to express and rally support (a global campaign modeled after his Chicago-style campaign), and summon Sen. Kyl and others to the White House and let them stand on the lawn to tell the American people why they oppose the treaty, a Republican legacy in place since the Reagan presidency.
Barack needs a copy of Sun Tzu’s “The Art of War” so he can learn the importance of terrain and the means of defending and attacking from the high ground and defeating those who advance on his positions. Since he refuses to enter the trenches, Sun Tzu makes clear how to use the advantages of the lofty perch. So far, Barack’s actions are a companion guide of common mistakes.
And after Sen. Kyl stands in the “rockets red glare” of the nuclear threat and the White House keig lights flanked by the Joint Chiefs and decides to stand down, then Barack needs to go after the men who think rape is a blood sport. Making the world safe for women, beginning in the Congo, is more cost effective than funding war lords, has a lasting effect on world peace and stability, and will certainly energize the disaffected base. The sovereignhood of women is more important than the respect for borders, and for a change, Barack would have done something we can believe in.