Alex Massie

The Ridiculous Glibness of National Review

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Could American conservatives be any more glib? Here's Rich Lowry, editor of National Review, in a post titled Obama Throughout History:

On the Sack of Rome: "Any time a major urban area is plundered so quickly, it is concerning to us. We are sure the Gauls and Chieftain Brennus understand Roman worries about the utter devastation of their city."

On the Blitz: "Any time a city is bombed for 57 straight nights, we take notice. That is something that interests us. We hope all national air forces involved in this dismaying conflict behave responsibly."

On the creation of the Berlin Wall: "Any time a barrier divides people we get worried, and perhaps even chagrined. We hope all Germans can work this out amicably, and agree on construction standards and building materials going forward. We, as Americans, stand ready to observe closely."

On the boat-people exodus from Vietnam: "Any time people resort to watercraft in such numbers that is certainly notable. I'm sure the Provisional Revolutionary Government of the Republic of South Vietnam will work with its duly constituted maritime authorities to resolve this matter in a manner satisfactory to all parties.” This would be much better if it were either arch or, you know, funny.

As Mr Larison wisely writes:

It goes without saying that if Obama had taken a more ardently pro-Mousavi line, he would be catching flak from many of the same people who would attack his response as naive “Yes We Can” idealism detached from harsh realities. What is striking is how many of Obama’s more hawkish critics are prepared to argue that U.S. policy should be defined by syrupy sentimentality, hope and a lot of empty talk (all of the things they have accused Obama of offering in the past), while Obama has so far opted for caution, humility and restraint.

Quite.

Written byAlex Massie

Alex Massie is Scotland Editor of The Spectator. He also writes a column for The Times and is a regular contributor to the Scottish Daily Mail, The Scotsman and other publications.

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