Sunday, January 10, 2010
"When I use a word,' Humpty Dumpty said in rather a scornful tone, 'it means just what I choose it to mean — neither more nor less."
"The question is," said Alice, "whether you can make words mean so many different things."
"The question is," said Humpty Dumpty, "which is to be master— that's all."
Lewis Carroll, Through the Looking Glass, Chapter 6
The problem of what words mean plagues us yet today – especially since some, like the Arab the Community Organizer appointed as US Middle East envoy, George Mitchell -- insist on redefining words.
The burning topic of the moment hit the news outlets when a quartet of visiting senators from the US -- John McCain, Joe Lieberman, John Barrasso (Wyoming) and John Thune, (South Dakota) -- reacted to what they called a “threat” made by the Arab Mitchell.
Mitchell hotly denies he made any threat at all – and is incensed that anyone would suggest that he did.
What’s at issue? Loan guarantees. In the past the US has guaranteed international loans for Israel to give Israel access to credit for the purposes of buying military hardware. Without the US guarantees, foreign lenders might be reluctant to advance credit to Israel.
(An antiquated concept, no question about that. At the moment, any lender with any sense would be more likely to trust Israel’s thriving economy and ability to repay loans far more than they would trust the bankrupt US. As you might assume, however, facts and rationality have nothing to do with it.)
Why would the US decide to refuse guaranteeing any more loans to Israel? To force the Jewish State to capitulate to “Palestinian” demands, of course. What the Community Organizer can’t achieve by his golden words alone, he will take by force. Ask General Motors about that.
Yesterday the Big Four Senators – strong supporters of Israel, all – held a press conference, noting that whatever the Community Organizer and his Merry Men might want to do to force Israeli concessions to the Arabs, the Congress of the United States, the “We the People” legislative body, would never permit such a thing. The Congress will stand firmly behind Israel. Any punitive actions the Community Organizer might try to implement will be nipped in the bud by vigilant US Congressmen and Senators.
So now you decide. Did the Arab Mitchell make a threat – or didn’t he?
Here’s what Mitchell said during an interview with TV journalist Charlie Rose:
“Under American law, the United States can withhold support on loan guarantees to Israel. President George W. Bush did so...on one occasion... That’s one mechanism that’s been publicly discussed.”
So when is a threat not a threat?
When you’re Humpty Dumpty, and can make words mean anything you want them to mean.
The question is, which is to be master – that’s all.