February 28, 2011

Mush From the Wimpess

Hatched by Dafydd

Over at Power Line, the lads have a long-running (since at least 2004!) series of posts all titled with variations on "Mush From the Wimp" -- a 1980 joke headline that accidentally ran as-is in the Boston Globe, atop an editorial about new austerity measures demanded by then-President Jimmy "Boss Peanut" Carter.

Each post in the Power Line series highlights mushy, wimpy, incoherent, mealy mouthed, evasive, high-falutin', blame-shifting, disingenuous, deceitful, shifty-eyed, and bromidean bureaucratese, coming not just from Carter himself but from his semantically impared successors, including the current occupier of 1600 Pennsylvania Ave.

Well, neither Scott nor John, nor the dearly departed (and eventual prodigal returner) Paul, nor even the succession of guest bloggers at that site has any trademark on the phrase; Beldar has used it, and what's good enough for that rascally and irascible insurgent is good enough for me!

But first a counterexample of some plain speech from the man with convictions:

[British Prime Minister David Cameron] repeated his earlier call for Col Gaddafi to step down and said that all measures would be considered to increase pressure on him to go.

"We do not in any way rule out the use of military assets," Mr Cameron said.

"We must not tolerate this regime using military force against its own people. In that context I have asked the Ministry of Defence and the Chief of the Defence Staff to work with our allies on plans for a military no-fly zone."

Simple; straightforward; direct; and anybody can understand it, especially Muammar "Muumuu" Gaddafi.

And now, the official American policy from our own Secretary of State, Hillary "Hell to Pay" Clinton, straight from her horsey mouth:

Hillary Clinton, the US secretary of state, met with her counterparts from Europe and Russia on the sidelines of the UN meeting to discuss fresh measures to weaken Col Gaddafi's regime.

She said she had been seeking a consensus so that "we can better coordinate and organise in meeting the expectations laid down by the Security Council."

Of course, the former Fist Lady is only playing follow-the-misleader here; as reported in (ahem) Power Line as "More Slush From the Limp," here is the same policy, short-form, from her capo. If you truly want to torture yourself with Barack H. Obama's entire statement in long-form, click the "slither on;" but if you trust me to give you the Beau Gist, just keep reading:

THE PRESIDENT: Good afternoon, everybody. Secretary Clinton and I just concluded a meeting that focused on the ongoing situation in Libya... working around the clock to monitor the situation... coordinate with our international partners about a way forward... my highest priority... urged our people to leave the country... all Americans should give thanks to the heroic work that's being done by our foreign service officers and the men and women serving in our embassies and consulates around the world... the very best of our country and its values... period of unrest and upheaval... maintained a set of core principles which guide our approach....

[W]e strongly condemn the use of violence... the suffering and bloodshed is outrageous and it is unacceptable... violate international norms and every standard of common decency... violence must stop... universal rights of the Libyan people... these are human rights... not negotiable... cannot be denied through violence or suppression... volatile situation... imperative that the nations and peoples of the world speak with one voice... unanimous U.N. Security Council sent a clear message that it condemns the violence... accountability for the perpetrators... this same message, by the way, has been delivered by the European Union, the Arab League, the African Union, the Organization of the Islamic Conference, and many individual nations... north and south, east and west, voices are being raised together to oppose suppression and support the rights of the Libyan people....

[P]repare the full range of options... actions we may take and those we will coordinate with our allies and partners... responsibility to refrain from violence... humanitarian assistance... held accountable... continued violations of human rights... entire world is watching... coordinate our assistance and accountability measures with the international community... intensify our consultations with allies and partners... consultations with her counterparts on events throughout the region and continue to ensure that we join with the international community to speak with one voice... urgent situation... how the international community can most effectively support the peaceful transition to democracy in both Tunisia and in Egypt.

So let me be clear... change that is taking place across the region is being driven by the people of the region... the aspirations of people who are seeking a better life... the most basic of aspirations... time of transition... stand up for freedom, stand up for justice, and stand up for the dignity of all people.

Thank you very much.

Slushy mush from the limp wimp, to be sure. Or to quote from an altogether unmushian antiwimp pen-named Lewis Carroll...

This was charming, no doubt; but they shortly found out
That the Captain they trusted so well
Had only one notion for crossing the ocean,
And that was to tingle his bell.

Or in this case, perhaps the better term would be -- toot his own horn. Brave words from America's first International-Community Organizer in Chief!

Really? You don't believe me, and you're really going to read the whole thing? Well you're a better man than I am, Doubting Din:

THE PRESIDENT: Good afternoon, everybody. Secretary Clinton and I just concluded a meeting that focused on the ongoing situation in Libya. Over the last few days, my national security team has been working around the clock to monitor the situation there and to coordinate with our international partners about a way forward.

First, we are doing everything we can to protect American citizens. That is my highest priority. In Libya, we've urged our people to leave the country and the State Department is assisting those in need of support. Meanwhile, I think all Americans should give thanks to the heroic work that's being done by our foreign service officers and the men and women serving in our embassies and consulates around the world. They represent the very best of our country and its values.

Now, throughout this period of unrest and upheaval across the region the United States has maintained a set of core principles which guide our approach. These principles apply to the situation in Libya. As I said last week, we strongly condemn the use of violence in Libya.

The American people extend our deepest condolences to the families and loved ones of all who’ve been killed and injured. The suffering and bloodshed is outrageous and it is unacceptable. So are threats and orders to shoot peaceful protesters and further punish the people of Libya. These actions violate international norms and every standard of common decency. This violence must stop.

The United States also strongly supports the universal rights of the Libyan people. That includes the rights of peaceful assembly, free speech, and the ability of the Libyan people to determine their own destiny. These are human rights. They are not negotiable. They must be respected in every country. And they cannot be denied through violence or suppression.

In a volatile situation like this one, it is imperative that the nations and peoples of the world speak with one voice, and that has been our focus. Yesterday a unanimous U.N. Security Council sent a clear message that it condemns the violence in Libya, supports accountability for the perpetrators, and stands with the Libyan people.

This same message, by the way, has been delivered by the European Union, the Arab League, the African Union, the Organization of the Islamic Conference, and many individual nations. North and south, east and west, voices are being raised together to oppose suppression and support the rights of the Libyan people.

I’ve also asked my administration to prepare the full range of options that we have to respond to this crisis. This includes those actions we may take and those we will coordinate with our allies and partners, or those that we’ll carry out through multilateral institutions.

Like all governments, the Libyan government has a responsibility to refrain from violence, to allow humanitarian assistance to reach those in need, and to respect the rights of its people. It must be held accountable for its failure to meet those responsibilities, and face the cost of continued violations of human rights.

This is not simply a concern of the United States. The entire world is watching, and we will coordinate our assistance and accountability measures with the international community. To that end, Secretary Clinton and I have asked Bill Burns, our Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs, to make several stops in Europe and the region to intensify our consultations with allies and partners about the situation in Libya.

I’ve also asked Secretary Clinton to travel to Geneva on Monday, where a number of foreign ministers will convene for a session of the Human Rights Council. There she’ll hold consultations with her counterparts on events throughout the region and continue to ensure that we join with the international community to speak with one voice to the government and the people of Libya.

And even as we are focused on the urgent situation in Libya, let me just say that our efforts continue to address the events taking place elsewhere, including how the international community can most effectively support the peaceful transition to democracy in both Tunisia and in Egypt.

So let me be clear. The change that is taking place across the region is being driven by the people of the region. This change doesn’t represent the work of the United States or any foreign power. It represents the aspirations of people who are seeking a better life.

As one Libyan said, "We just want to be able to live like human beings." We just want to be able to live like human beings. It is the most basic of aspirations that is driving this change. And throughout this time of transition, the United States will continue to stand up for freedom, stand up for justice, and stand up for the dignity of all people.

Thank you very much.

Happy now?

Hatched by Dafydd on this day, February 28, 2011, at the time of 2:28 PM

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