The Corner

EFTA Strikes Again

Radio Derb’s take on the Bam-Bibi spat, from the current broadcast.

Let me just put this in a larger context. Barack Obama and his cabinet are fully signed-up members of EFTA. That’s the Easier-For-Them Association.

One of the ground rules of government work is, always go for the soft target. Try walking into your local bank with a hood and a sawn-off shotgun and demand they open the tills. When the cops finally arrive they will treat you with scrupulous respect, reading you your rights, being careful not to manhandle you, picking up your attorney on the way back to the station house. If they’re ungracious enough to bring you to trial, you’ll get six month’s probation from a sympathetic judge who’ll make a moving speech about root causes and the curse of poverty.

Now try driving at night with a broken tail light. You’ll be tased and clubbed to the ground, then hauled off to the station house in a gunny sack. At trial you’ll be given five years without the option. Soft target, see?

This is why the middle-class homeowner who under-reports his income by $200 gets the IRS chopper shining searchlights through his bedroom window at 3 a.m., while Charlie Rangel gets a free pass on the half million dollars back tax he owes.

Government people always go for the soft target. It’s Easier For Them: less work, less chance of embarrassing resistance.

Well, in the Middle East, Israel’s the soft target. It’s a civilized country, with an electorate that wants its leaders to be capable and honest. The Arabs are scary — blowing themselves up, running gangster-governments, shooting missiles at random into towns, gibbering about 72 virgins and the world caliphate. They’re the bank robbers in this scenario. Israel’s the middle-class shmuck with a broken tail-light. Don’t tase me, bro!

[Fans of the late Sam Francis will recognize his concept of “anarcho-tyranny”: scary or difficult people left alone to do as they please, the meek inheriting the attentions of law-enforcement authorities.]

John Derbyshire — Mr. Derbyshire is a former contributing editor of National Review.

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