Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Lifeguard not on duty

     Possibly we've all seen the Russian
     people endure privation under author-
     itarians enough, not to join our pa-
     per of record in applauding another
     financial attack from the West, on
     another Russian government. But the
     exercise lays bare the futilities in
     retribution's gestures of this kind,
     in which satisfaction is based on
     harming the weakest, to destabilize
     the strongest. 

     This fantasy will not mature in fact,
     and we know it. With this in mind, it
     strikes one as especially disreput-
     able, of the Times to link - can you
     stand it - "the honor of France" to
     its breach of our favorite kind of
     contract, arms sales (and sales of
     naval hardware, at that). If anything
     is as predictable in Western diplom-
     acy as an ostentatious tease with the
     markets, it is this vulgar sort of
     reference to France, which has absorb-
     ed more blood of Western blunders in
     its soil than any land on earth, save
     Russia. That landscape can never re-
     claim its endowments of Nature.

     Another generation of spineless West-
     ern politicians, intimidated into fol-
     ly by the impulsive passions of a pub-
     lic 'roused by unctuous media, bears
     such little resemblance to our addic-
     tion to novelty that, I suppose, all
     that explains it is our forgetfulness.

Julien Benda
1867 - 1956
La Trahison des Clercs

The Editorial Board
Stronger Sanctions
  on Russia, at Last
July 29, 2014
The New York Times©

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