Up to a Point

P.J. O’Rourke: Orwell Was Right

Your telescreen doesn’t deceive you. I love Big Community Organizer.

Alexander Khudoteply/AFP/Getty

Russian Troop Buildup on the Border of Ukraine…

And the “New World Order” Is Finally Taking Shape…

Taking shape as the perpetual war between Eurasia, Eastasia, and (“O” for “Obama”!) Oceania in George Orwell’s 1984.

It didn’t happen as soon as Orwell predicted. Probably because it took another 10 years before everyone was online with the “telescreen,” which watches you as you watch it.

I Will Forego the Temptation to Write the Rest of the Column in Newspeak…

Anyway, almost a quarter of a century has passed since George H.W. Bush gave his 1990 “Toward a New World Order” speech to a joint session of Congress.

(No tweets, please, from truthers pointing out speech was made on 9/11 of that year.)

Of Course 1984 Was Science Fiction…

Greatly exaggerated for dramatic effect. There’s nothing like a “Two Minutes Hate” on your telescreen laptop, (unless you’re streaming MSNBC).

President Obama, “Big Community Organizer,” favors a “Two Minutes Deeply Concerned,” typified by this…

Further Dazzling Insight From the White House National Security Council…

“It’s deeply concerning to see the Russian troop buildup on the border,” said aptly named Deputy National Security Adviser Tony Blinken, key player in the Obama administration’s Wynken and Nod foreign policy. “It’s likely,” Blinken continued, “that what they’re trying to do is intimidate the Ukrainians.”

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Wynken, Blynken, and Nod one night

Sailed off in a wooden shoe--

If Russia Marches in…

We know what our NATO allies would do. Dutch Foreign Minister Frans Timmermans said, “I would do anything possible to avoid sanctions, because I believe everyone will suffer if we get into sanctions.”

So the Netherlands will gladly provide klompen of a size to accommodate President Obama, Secretary of State John Kerry, and National Security Adviser Susan Rice.

With Apologies to “Wynken, Blynken, and Nod” Author Eugene Field…

Sailed on a river of dimbulb light,

Into a sea of shit.

Side Note…

EU GDP: $16.5 trillion.

U.S. GDP: $16.2 trillion.

Percent of EU GDP spent on defense: 1.7.

Percent of U.S. GDP spent on defense of, mostly, shithead EU: 4.4.

Meanwhile in Eastasia…

China is increasing its defense budget to $132 billion. But participants in “Two Minutes Deeply Concerned” needn’t worry. Total defense spending in the region will remain about the same because U.S. is cutting its defense budget by $133 billion.

Somebody must have gotten a little dizzy during his 2012 “Pivot to East Asia.”

And What an Entertaining Whirl It’s Been…

China in the swashbuckling Johnny Depp role hoisting the Jolly Roger and crossing swords with Japan, Vietnam, the Philippines and everybody else on the high seas in the hit feature “Pirates of the Senkaku, Spratly Islands, and Scarborough Shoal.”

China in the limelight with its magic act making Uighurs, dissidents, Falun Gong and weibo blogs disappear without a trace.

Our Role in This Oriental Turn Upon the Stage?…

In the words of then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, “deepening our working relationships with emerging powers.” (Of which there is one. And our working relationship isn’t working.) And, “engaging with regional multilateral institutions.” (Of which there are none.)

But Michelle Obama Is in China…

Speaking truth to power at Peking University. Diplomatically, of course—the first lady feels the Chinese government’s pain. She said, “My husband and I are on the receiving end of plenty of questioning and criticism from our media and our fellow citizens. And it’s not always easy, but we wouldn’t trade it for anything in the world.”

[Except keeping the Senate, winning back the House, and a big, honking IRS tax audit of Fox News.]

To be fair, however, Mrs. Obama did not mince words. “Time and again,” she said, “we have seen that countries are stronger and more prosperous when the voices and opinions of all their citizens can be heard.”


A.) Are we sure we want China to be stronger?

B.) One can’t help recalling how Harry Truman had Bess go to Pyongyang and talk Kim Il-sung out of a surprise attack on South Korea, how Ike put Mamie in charge of preventing the Soviets from crushing the Hungarian Revolution, how Jack assigned Jackie to provide air support at the Bay of Pigs, how LBJ commissioned Lady Bird to neutralize the Viet Cong and how George H.W. Bush sent Barbara to convince an intransigent Saddam Hussein to withdraw from Kuwait. (Actually, that might have worked. Barbara’s tough.)

Fortunately There Are Elder Statesmen Who, Even in the Face of Difficulties, Continue Working Behind the Scenes…

Jimmy Carter, on Meet the Press, said, ”I have felt my own communications are probably monitored.”

No they’re not, Jimmy. Nobody, nobody, listens to you.

Carter, though, is taking no chances, and went on to say, “When I want to communicate with a foreign leader privately, I type or write the letter myself, put it in the Post Office and mail it.”

NSA technology, so far as Carter knows, does not rise to the level of tea kettles for steaming open envelopes.

Carter is probably writing letters to Leonid Brezhnev, Deng Xiaoping, and Harold Wilson and wondering why the mail’s so slow.

How Did We Manage It That When the Berlin Wall Fell It Fell on Us?…

Didn’t help that Bill Clinton was very, very busy with private domestic matters, dodging thrown crockery.

Really didn’t help that George W. Bush was too vain to wear his glasses.

“I Looked the Man in the Eye… I Was Able to Get a Sense of His Soul…”

According to the June 16, 2001, BBC News report on Bush and Putin’s first meeting, “They exchanged warm words.”

Warm indeed if the words had anything to do with where Putin’s soul is going. (And not for the reason that the dead—praise the Lord!—Fred Phelps, vile, screeching, funeral befouling founder of anti-gay Westboro Church, might have thought. I hope Fred and Vladimir hook up in hell.)

Then Came Hillary Clinton Who, as Secretary of State, Traveled to 112 Countries…

Which makes for an interesting point of comparison with some of America’s other famous diplomats.

William Seward…

The Secretary of State under Presidents Abraham Lincoln and Andrew Johnson skinned the guy who used to have Putin’s job (Czar Alexander II—he was assassinated). Seward bought Alaska for 2 cents an acre. Plus, he crafted the Lyons-Seward Treaty, joining the U.S and Great Britain in suppressing the international slave trade. Seward never, to my knowledge, went anywhere. He stayed home and got some work done.

The Same for John Hay…

Secretary of State under Presidents William McKinley and Theodore Roosevelt. Without leaving town, he negotiated the end of the Spanish-American War and the treaties making the Panama Canal possible, and he authored the “Open Door Policy” that prevented China from being divvied up by Japan and the European colonial powers. (P.S. His boss Teddy won the Nobel Peace Prize for doing something—making peace between Japan and Russia.)

Charles Frances Adams…

Lincoln’s ambassador to the Court of St. James almost single-handedly kept Great Britain from allying with the Confederacy during the Civil War. He went to just one country, Great Britain, to do it.

And Robert R. Livingston…

President Thomas Jefferson’s ambassador to France traveled only to France. He came back with the Louisiana Purchase.

No, No, No, Let’s Go to the Ministry of Truth and Drop All That Down the Memory Hole…

O cruel, needless misunderstanding! O stubborn self-willed exile from the loving breast! Two gin-scented tears trickle down the sides of my nose. But it is all right, everything is all right, the struggle is finished. I have won the victory over myself. I love Big Community Organizer.



IGNORANCE (In Oceania, if not in Eurasia and Eastasia) IS ELECTED