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.

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