The Corner

National Security & Defense

They’ll Always Have the Climate

I just had a sneak preview of an NR editorial about the upcoming climate jamboree in Paris, and wanted to heave — not at the editorial but at the jamboree and its pretensions.

And I thought back to February 2009, when Hillary Clinton was a new secretary of state. On a trip to the Far East, she spoke of the U.S. relationship with China. Human rights, she said, would not be allowed to “interfere” with such pressing issues as … “the global climate-change crisis.”

I thought this was a scandalous and absolutely bonkers thing to say. But the world yawned, basically — people didn’t even notice. I think they thought it was normal. “Sure, yeah, global warming.”

Just the other day, Ambassador David Thorne, a senior adviser to Hillary Clinton’s successor, John Kerry, commented on the U.S. relationship with Cuba: “As in other parts of the world, we are really trying to also say, Let’s find out how we can work together and not always say that human rights are the first things that we have to fix before anything else.”

Uh-huh. Cubans have been waiting for human rights for decades. When will the Obama administration get around to human rights, anywhere? There is a little more than a year left to go in this administration. Maybe Obama could mention his fellow Nobel peace laureate, Liu Xiaobo, a political prisoner of the Chinese Communist Party, before he leaves office? Maybe he could say something about the American prisoners, forgetting the Iranian ones, in Iran?

I get the feeling that Obama people go to bed at night thinking about the climate, and wake up in the morning thinking about the climate. It is certainly easier, pleasanter, than thinking about wolves already at the door, or inside houses, devouring innocent people.

One more thing, before I end this bitter post (and move on to the next bitter one): About business relations between the U.S. and Cuba, Ambassador Thorne said, “The pace is really going to be set by the Cubans, and we are satisfied with how they want to do this.”

By “Cubans,” the ambassador meant the Cuban Communist Party. His statement was so, so Obama. Perfect.

Most Popular

White House

The Trivialization of Impeachment

We have a serious governance problem. Our system is based on separation of powers, because liberty depends on preventing any component of the state from accumulating too much authority -- that’s how tyrants are born. For the system to work, the components have to be able to check each other: The federal and ... Read More
U.S.

‘Texodus’ Bodes Badly for Republicans

‘I am a classically trained engineer," says Representative Will Hurd, a Texas Republican, "and I firmly believe in regression to the mean." Applying a concept from statistics to the randomness of today's politics is problematic. In any case, Hurd, 42, is not waiting for the regression of our politics from the ... Read More
Elections

In Defense of Tulsi

Some years ago, a liberal-minded friend of mine complained during lunch that Fox News was “stealing” his elderly parents. “They should be enjoying retirement,” he said, noting that they live in a modest but comfortable style with attentive children and grandchildren to enjoy. “But instead,” he sighed, ... Read More
Culture

Not Less Religion, Just Different Religion

The Pew Poll tells us that society is secularizing -- particularly among the young -- and who can deny it? That is one reason that the free expression of religion is under such intense pressure in the West. But it seems to me that we aren't really becoming less religious. Rather, many are merely changing that ... Read More