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Friday, April 25, 2014


Obama and the Deus ex Machina

Richard Fernandez discusses the Obama plan for the world; but "plan" is too strong a word.  It's more of a faith that - left to itself - the world will turn out the way Obama imagines it. 

The administration appears to believe there is some kind of natural international legal order which will enforce itself. Hillary Clinton, asked to comment on Russia’s dismemberment of the Ukraine ventured that Moscow would be punished by a kind of Karma. “I think the outcome for him and Russia will not be good, which is deeply unfortunate,” she said. “Russia should be a much more dynamic and much more successful country and could be if Putin weren't trying to turn the clock back to the Soviet Union days.”

Senior administration officials make all these curious reference to the “clock” or the “21st century behavior”. Obama once reviled Romney by saying the “80′s wanted their foreign policy back” as if the decades could be reified. When he wants to be more precise Obama invokes the hand of “international community” to explain whose chastisement will descend on the international malefactor.

But it is always some unspecified mystical force — never Washington itself — who will square the account. For example, you have the administration’s assurances that Putin will be punished for invading the Ukraine by some ineffable force, just as long as you remember that force won’t be the administration.

For a town that doesn't believe much in God, Washington is more full of ghostly invocations than a whiskey preacher; as if the god of history were a palpable presence, standing at their right hand, waiting to clean up after them. They say this even though in Ukraine, for instance, Moscow said “that it would immediately start military maneuvers along the border with Ukraine”. That sounds like a threat to which Kerry could only retort by saying “the window to change course is closing.”

So now it’s the window what’s going to punish Putin.

For spokesmen for this administration, that airy, hard to pin down. mystical force, a Deus ex Machina who put things right.  Team Obama's role will be to cheer that force on, to hold its coat while the inevitable "march of history" does the job.

You wonder where they get these ideas. The faith of religious snake handlers can’t compare to the firm belief of the Obama cultists that the world will magically come to the same conclusions they have.

I doubt if Obama believes in the God of the Bible, but he appears to believe that there is some kind of historical force - perhaps gained from reading the Marxist theory of historical evolution - that will result in the end that he imagines.  It could explain his administration's use of these strange clock or date references.

And if it doesn't, that's his successor's problem.  He'll be a wealthy divorcee after he leaves office.

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