Sunday, February 6, 2011

Article of Faith

A couple of disclosures about who I am will probably be a good start for this post. First, when it comes to religion, I am about as serenely faithless as you can be this side of the foxhole.  I have my own ideas about what is or isn't plausible in the universe, but I certainly don't imagine I have any special insight into spiritual matters.  Second, I have absolutely no expertise in the history or politics of Egypt--and unless you are a highly-paid reporter for a major media outlet, you probably don't either.

Last week our hero made an appearance at the annual National Prayer Breakfast, where he made a point of restating the Christian faith that he and the first lady share.  He did sound a bit aggrieved that some have questioned his sincerity about this, but who knows if that's what he really meant.  My reaction to all this:  whatever.  If he's actually sincere in his statements about his beliefs, wonderful.  If instead this is part of a strategy to position himself in a better light with religious voters, I'd say, good luck with that.  I think that with a lot religious people, actions speak louder than words.

Meanwhile the turmoil in Egypt has continued, though Mubarak at this writing has survived longer than many thought he would after the first week of the crisis.  Apparently the Muslim Brotherhood, the grandaddy of radical Islamist organisations, has become a major player in this, and they may become a big part of the government once things have been worked out, if they don't completely take over.  Of course, as has been plain to see in the cases of Afghanistan and Iran, if you put Islamic radicals in charge of your country, you'll be on the fast track to increased poverty, oppression and misery, with no easy way out--especially not through the ballot box.

His pathetically weak reaction to the 2009 unrest in Iran was an early sign that Barack Obama is not to be counted on when it comes to standing up for anyone's freedom, and I can't recall anything about his presidency since to contradict that perception.  Somehow we ended up on the same side as Hugo Chavez and Fidel Castro during the Honduras situation, and just lately we've found out that Obama has yet again stuck our old friends the Brits with another shiv, this time being the newly discovered requirement (in the newly enacted START treaty) that the United States report to Russia the number and identity of nuclear missiles that we sell to Britain.  His performance during the current Egyptian crisis has been true to form.  At first he was seemingly oblivious, then he called for all sides to calm down, and finally we have been left scratching our heads as to what the hell it is he actually wants to happen.

Well, as I said at the beginning of this post, I don't have many articles of faith that I subscribe to, but after two years of watching this administration, I think I have found one I can rely on:  No matter what Obama becomes involved in, he will make it worse.

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