|Morning in the Mountains - Caspar David Friedrich|
In politics, it is customary to be prolix. The wordier a politician is the better because he will be revealing his ability to commit to nothing, to promise little, to mislead a lot and avoid being concrete.
This week, we are going to look at some of the most frivolous things politicians say and briefly comment on them:
"The US has underwritten the regional security order for the past 70 years and it sees now a time to disengage. We will have to do it all ourselves" --- A Saudi Official
(Context: POTUS' visit to Saudi Arabia, on the 28th of March, to convince the Saudis that talks with Iran woudn't compromise US commitments to Saudi security)
Comment: Saudi Arabia buys arms and bellic products from Germany, France, Britain, America and from Pakistan (nuclear weapons); thus one would think that it does so in order to be able to defend its borders (other than passing those arms on to jihadist proxy groups). So, the statement "We will have to do it all ourselves" a priori sounds a bit absurd; but then we think of Iran...was Saudi Arabia saying it is now ready to use its arsenal to attack Iran by itself if needed be?
"Against the backdrop of an intensifying swing to the right for the Japanese politics, the intention behind an effect of massively loosening restrictions on the export of weapons really worries people" --- Hua Chunying, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman
(Context: Japan is relaxing self-imposed ban on the export of weapons for the first time in 50 years)
Comment: Surely the People's Republic of China wasn't expecting its neighbours to witness the Chinese military build-up without any sort of response. Somebody had to serve as a deterrent to the Red Dragon (and since India, unfortunately, insists on behaving like we can't count on her to play that role, Nippon accepted to relax its pacifist stance and fill the political void).
"President Obama is the most anti-Israel president in the history of the state, without any question" --- John Bolton (and voiced by many others, including Ted Cruz)
Comment: the best comment to this is actually another quote «'The policy of publicly humiliating our traditional ally has made us no new friends in the Arab world and removed the trust needed to encourage Israel to take risks for peace,' argues a prominent conservative columnist. In his piece, he castigates the American administration for its policy toward Israel: 'You'd think the heaviest cross [the President] had to bear was the Star of David'. [These] are the words of William Safire criticizing Ronald Reagan in 1981.» (click here for more)
"I took a helicopter ride from the occupied territories across and just felt personally how extraordinary that was to understand, the military risk that Israel faces every day." --- Chris Christie, New Jersey Governor
(Context: a speech delivered before the Republican Jewish Coalition, on the 29th of March)
Comment: Ladies & gents, a republican (whose party claims to be the #1 Israel supporter) delegitimised the Jewish State before a US Jewish donor audience - now imagine what they say when they are among themselves (ex-Iudaeis).
A Pro-Israel individual (even when it has to juggle political alliances) knows the difference between "occupied territory" and "disputed territory".
"NATO has agreed that member countries should spend 2 percent of gross domestic product on defense and should cooperate more to reduce expensive overlaps. But the economic crisis has hit Europe hard, making budget cuts necessary and military budgets among the easiest areas to cut politically." --- Steven Erlanger
(Context: due to the Crimea crisis, Europe is starting to re-think cuts to Military Spending)
Comment: In the past, even before the 2008-2010 economic crisis, Europe has always found it politically easier to cut military budgets (due to its leftist obsession for the welfare state). However, times have changed and today's threats call for a solid investment in Defence - if politicians stop buying votes with sympathetic measures and, actually, explain the European electorate the threat that hovers above their head and the need to invest in its military, the people will understand (after all, what's the use of having cheap education and health care if, at any moment, a regional power can invade their nation or they can be attacked by Jihadists?). Russia, despite all its economic troubles, has been building up its military might while watching Europe's armed forces gradually being reduced to its insignificance; because of this fact, the Russians believe they will find no opposition if they decide to reassemble their old Empire.
Politicians do need to change the way they speak, the way they do politics, because the old ways are not working any longer - so why keep insisting upon failure?
"Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results" -- Albert Einstein