"...Prowling my hotel room the other night, I discovered a copy of the latest Vogue, kindly provided by the management. So, after bringing myself up to speed on Jennifer Lawrence — a "girl on fire," apparently — I turned to a profile of Susan Rice. She was the girl sent to put out the fire, dispatched by the Obama administration to slog through all the Sunday talk shows the weekend after Benghazi and blame it on some video. In Sir Henry Wotton's famous formulation, an ambassador is a man sent to lie abroad for the good of his country. In the case of Susan Rice, a U.N. ambassador is a broad sent to lie to her country for the good of her man — viz., Barack Obama. Happily, it worked. A year on, the director of the video is still in custody, and Miss Rice is now national-security adviser. So she and Vogue were in party mood:
Nakoula Basseley Nakoula, the maker of the 'anti-muslim film'. Supposedely thrown in jail almost one year ago for using false names in violation of a probation order in a bank fraud case. The real reason is of course because the Creep-in-Chief 'the future must not belong to those who slander the prophet of islam' needed a scapegoat for the Benghazi murders. It has long since been known that the film had nothing to do with it and that it was an AQ attack. But Mr Nakoula is still in jail nevertheless (though I hear he will soon be released).
"It's a warm evening in June, and guests are assembling for a party she's throwing in honor of LGBT Pride Month at the penthouse of the Waldorf Towers, the official residence of the U.N. Ambassador. Actress turned humanitarian activist Mia Farrow, wearing blue tinted glasses, is one of the first to arrive. Within minutes she's joined by The New York Times's executive editor, Jill Abramson . . ." And soon things are swinging: "They mingle and sip sparkling wine in the elegant living room next to a framed portrait of Oprah Winfrey and First Lady Michelle Obama resting their heads on Rice's shoulders . . ."
"...If you're not looking at the world through Mia Farrow's blue-tinted glasses, if you're in Beijing or Moscow, Ankara or Canberra, it's the shadow that everyone sees, very clearly — the sepulchral Habsburgian twilight of a dimming power enjoying its last waltz. Like Vienna exactly a century ago, America retains a certain creative energy, if you're willing to put Jay-Z up there with Franz Lehár. It is at the forefront of therapeutic culture: If Freud had thought to stick his couch on a TV set, he might have made as much dough as Oprah, or at least Dr. Phil. As Vienna sat on an underground "river of sex" (as William Boyd calls it in his recent novel Waiting for Sunrise), so in America the river is overground and its Niagara-like roar the unceasing background din of daily life: A New York mayoral candidate twitpics his penis. A putative successor to San Diego's grope-fiend mayor is caught masturbating in a city-hall men's room. Miley Cyrus in her scanties "twerks" — or is twerked upon (I'm not sure I can reliably say which) — live on TV. Yawn. Next . . .
No one could be further from the octogenarian Franz Josef than our young emperor, but even hip courtiers draw the line at lèse majesté, and so rodeo clowns who disrespect the sovereign are banned for life. On the distant horizon, the contours of the post-American world begin to rise, but the preoccupations of our ruling class grow ever more myopic. One of the world's richest women flies all the way to Switzerland in order to confuse a Zurich boutique selling $38,000 handbags with an Alabama lunch counter 60 years ago, to the consternation of the poor shopgirl who knows nothing of America's peculiar parochial obsessions, has never heard of Trayvon Martin, and lives in a city where pretty much the only black women around are the more fashion-conscious African dictators' consorts in town to visit their safe-deposit boxes. But, as at the Hofbau, the ancient social rituals of our own court permit no diversion from the program: If it's Tuesday, it must be racism.
Alas, in the world beyond the penthouse of the Waldorf Towers, it's harder to tell whom the A-list invites should go to: From Afghanistan to Egypt, a debt-ridden America bankrolls its own eclipse, betraying friends, promoting enemies, despised by both. In the dog days of summer, the new national-security adviser tweets it in from her pad in the Hamptons or wherever, even as the hyperpower readies for its next unwon war: After America's slo-mo defeat in the Hindu Kush, and its ineffectual leading-from-behind in Libya, and its thwarted Muslim Brotherhood outreach in Cairo, Obama is confidently dispatching the gunboats to Syria. If you're Bashar Assad, you must be as befuddled as that Zurich handbag clerk: Hillary hailed you as a "reformer"; no senatorial frequent flyer courted you more assiduously than John Kerry; the guys trying to depose you hate the Great Satan far more than you do, and are the local branch office of the fellows who turned lower Manhattan into a big smoking hole. Yet Washington is readying to take you out — or at any rate, in George W. Bush's unimprovable summation of desultory Clinton-style warmongering, readying to fire a $2 million cruise missile through a tent and hit a camel in the butt. The only novelty with this latest of ineptly rattled sabers is whether Tsar Putin will stand by and let Obama knock off a Russian client...."
You know - or should know - you're in trouble when the National Security Advisor of the soi-disant 'Policeman of the World' is attending - as a contestant? - a 'Glamour Women of the World' soirée. Throw in morsels like that she's the kind of woman to use her official residence as UN Ambassador as a venue for an LGBT Pride Event and you know - or should know - that your 'National Security' is FUCKED big time.
Five hundred years ago that great Renaissance Man Desiderius Erasmus wrote Laus Stultitiae, In Praise of Folly, which basically mocks the self-deception and madness of the ruling elites of his time. When I first learned of this famous book, in high school, I was so naive to think that Erasmus must have been some kind of an old boring grumpy coot, to write a book on what I assumed at the time was a rather limited subject.
When I look at the March of Madness happily undertaken by the entire Obama administration, I now tend to think more that, apart from being the foremost Humanist of his time, Erasmus may also have been the era's Numero Uno clairvoyant.