Monthly Archives: April 2009

The Torture Debate Luxury

Once in a while Tom Friedman makes a reasonable argument:

…the post-9/11 environment remains perilous. One more 9/11 would close our open society another notch. One more 9/11 and you’ll be taking off more than your shoes at the airport. We have the luxury of having this torture debate now because there was no second 9/11, and it was not for want of trying. Had there been, a vast majority of Americans would have told the government (and still will): “Do whatever it takes.”

So President Obama’s compromise is the best we can forge right now: We have to enjoin those who confront Al Qaeda types every day on the frontlines to act in ways that respect who we are, but also to never forget who they are. They are not white-collar criminals. They do not care whether we torture or not — bin Laden declared war on us when Bill Clinton was president.

I believe that the most important reason there has not been another 9/11, besides the improved security and intelligence, is that Al Qaeda is primarily focused on defeating America in the heart of the Arab-Muslim world — particularly in Iraq. Al Qaeda knows that if it can destroy the U.S. effort (still a long shot) to build a decent, modernizing society in Iraq, it will undermine every U.S. ally in the region.

Conversely, if we, with Iraqis, defeat them by building any kind of decent, pluralistic society in the heart of their world, it will be a devastating blow. Odd as it may seem, the most dangerous moment for us is if Al Qaeda is beaten in Iraq. Because that is when Al Qaeda’s remnants will try to throw a Hail Mary pass — that is, try to set off a bomb in a U.S. city — to obscure its defeat by moderate Arabs and Muslims in the heart of its world…

Amazingly, Friedman not only considers the left’s position on aggressive interrogation of terrorists to be irrational, he also makes a strong neo-con argument for overthrowing Saddam Hussein, that the Islamists (and that includes Iran) feel most threatened by a “decent, pluralistic society in the heart of their world.” This, it should be noted, is contrary to the usual liberal argument that our overthrow of Saddam was a gift to Iran.

Obama's Brave New Post-American World

Mark Steyn understands the implications of Barryism better than most (although Krauthammer and the Jerusalem Post’s Caroline Glick are pretty good):

According to an Earth Day survey, one-third of schoolchildren between the ages of 6 and 11 think the Earth will have been destroyed by the time they grow up. That’s great news, isn’t it? Not for the Earth, I mean, but for “environmental awareness.” Congratulations to Al Gore, the Sierra Club and the eco-propagandists of the public education system in doing such a terrific job of traumatizing America’s moppets. Traditionally, most of the folks you see wandering the streets proclaiming the end of the world is nigh tend to be getting up there in years. It’s quite something to have persuaded millions of first-graders that their best days are behind them.

Call me crazy, but I’ll bet that in 15-20 years the planet will still be here, along with most of the “environment” – your flora and fauna, your polar bears and three-toed tree sloths and whatnot. But geopolitically we’re in for a hell of a ride, and the world we end up with is unlikely to be as congenial as most Americans have gotten used to.

For example, Hillary Clinton said the other day that Pakistan posed a “mortal threat” to … Afghanistan? India? No, to the entire world! To listen to her, you’d think Pakistan was as scary as l’il Jimmy in the second grade’s mom’s SUV. She has a point: Asif Ali Zardari, the guy who’s nominally running the country, isn’t running anything. He’s ceding more and more turf to the local branch office of the Taliban. When the topic turns up in the news, we usually get vague references to the pro-Osama crowd controlling much of the “north-west,” which makes it sound as if these guys are the wilds of rural Idaho to Zardari’s Beltway. In fact, they’re now within some 60 miles of the capital, Islamabad – or, in American terms, a couple of I-95 exits north of Baltimore: In other words, they’re within striking distance of the administrative center of a nation of over 165 million people – and its nuclear weapons. That’s the “mortal threat.”

What’s going to stop them? Well, not Zardari. Nor his “summit” in Washington with President Barack Obama and Hamid Karzai of Afghanistan. The creation of Pakistan was the worst mistake of postwar British imperial policy, and all that’s happened in the six decades since is that its pathologies have burst free of its borders and gone regional, global and, soon, perhaps nuclear. Does the Obama administration have even a limited contingency plan for the nukes if – when – the Pakistani state collapses?

It would be reassuring to think so. But I wonder.

What’s the greater likelihood? That in 10 years’ time things in Pakistan will be better? Or much worse? That nuclearization by basket-case dictatorships from Pyongyang to Tehran will have advanced, or been contained? That the bleak demographic arithmetic at the heart of Europe and Japan’s economic woes will have accelerated, or been reversed? That a resurgent Islam’s assaults on free speech and other rights (symbolized by the recent U.N. support for a global Islamic blasphemy law) will have taken hold in the Western world, or been forced to retreat?

A betting man would check the “worse” box. Because resisting the present careless drift would require global leadership. And 100 days into a new presidency Barack Obama is giving strong signals to the world that we have entered what Caroline Glick of The Jerusalem Post calls “the post-American era.” At the time of Gordon Brown’s visit to Washington, London took umbrage at an Obama official’s off-the-record sneer to a Fleet Street reporter that “there’s nothing special about Britain. You’re just the same as the other 190 countries in the world. You shouldn’t expect special treatment.” Andy McCarthy of National Review made the sharp observation that, never mind the British, this was how the administration felt about its own country, too: America is just the same as the other 190 countries in the world. In Europe, the president was asked if he believed in “American exceptionalism,” and he replied: “I believe in American exceptionalism, just as I suspect that the Brits believe in British exceptionalism and the Greeks believe in Greek exceptionalism.”

Gee, thanks. A simple “no” would have sufficed. The president of the United States is telling us that American exceptionalism is no more than national chauvinism, a bit of flag-waving, of no more import than the Slovenes supporting the Slovene soccer team and the Papuans the Papuan soccer team. This means something. The world has had two millennia to learn to live without “Greek exceptionalism.” It’s having to get used to post-exceptional America rather more hurriedly.

It makes sense from Obama’s point of view: On the domestic scene, he’s determined on a transformational presidency, one that will remake the American people’s relationship to their national government (“federal” doesn’t seem the quite the word anymore) in terms of health care, education, eco-totalitarianism, state control of the economy and much else. With a domestic agenda as bulked up as that, the rest of the world just gets in the way.

You’ll recall that, in a gimmick entirely emblematic of post-exceptional America, Hillary Clinton gave the Russians a (mistranslated) “Reset” button. The button has certainly been “reset” – to Sept. 10, to a legalistic rear-view-mirror approach to the “war on terror,” in which investigating Bush officials will consume far more time and effort than de-nuking Iran. The secretary of Homeland Security’s ludicrous reclassification of terrorism as “man-caused disaster,” and her boneheaded statement that the Sept. 11 bombers had entered America from Canada (which would presumably make 9/11 a “Canadian man-caused disaster”) exemplifies the administration’s cheery indifference to all that Bush-era downer stuff.

But it’s not Sept. 10. In Pakistan, a great jewel is within the barbarians’ reach, the first of many. At the United Nations, the Islamic bloc’s proscriptions on free speech will make it harder even to talk about these issues. In much of the West, demographic decay means the good times are never coming back: recession is permanent.

Hey, what’s the big deal? Britain and France have been on the geopolitical downward slope for most of the past century, and life still seems pretty agreeable. Well, yes. But that’s in part because, when a fading Britannia handed the baton to the new U.S. superpower, it was one of the least disruptive transfers of global dominance in human history. In the “post-American era,” to whom does the baton get passed now?

Since January, President Obama and his team have schmoozed, ineffectively, American enemies over allies in almost every corner of the globe. If you’re, say, India, following Obama’s apology tour even as you watch the Taliban advancing on those Pakistani nukes, would you want to bet the future on American resolve? In Delhi, in Tokyo, in Prague, in Tel Aviv, in Bogota, they’ve looked at these first 100 days and drawn their own conclusions.

Commonsense

It’s nice to know that our leftist education system and media haven’t completely obliterated the commonsense of most Americans.

According to a new Rasmussen poll:

Fifty-eight percent (58%) believe the Obama administration’s recent release of CIA memos about the harsh interrogation methods used on terrorism suspects endangers the national security of the United States. The latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey found that 28% believe the release of the memos helps America’s image abroad.

Thirty-seven percent (37%) of voters now believe the U.S. legal system worries too much about protecting individual rights when national security is at stake. But 21% say the legal system is too concerned about protecting national security. Thirty-three percent (33%) say the balance between the two is about right…

Only 28% of U.S. voters think the Obama administration should do any further investigating of how the Bush administration treated terrorism suspects.

Fifty-eight percent (58%) are opposed…

Close the New York Times and Save Newspapers

Mark Steyn on why the collapse of the New York Times might just save newspapers:

I was reading about the latest woes at Pinch Sulzberger’s New York Times. He’s been hurling sections overboard, and threatening to close The Boston Globe, but the bumpy descent keeps accelerating:

“New York Times Co. fell the most in almost 22 years in U.S. trading after reporting a 27 percent drop in first-quarter advertising revenue and saying that the rate of decline won’t slow until at least the second half.

“The net loss expanded to $74.5 million, or 52 cents a share, from $335,000 a year earlier, the newspaper publisher said today in a statement. Sales fell 19 percent to $609 million…”

It occurs to me that the best chance of saving the U.S. newspaper industry would be if the New York Times collapsed. America’s stultifying monodailies are far more homogeneous than almost any other English-speaking media culture. A big part of this is the Times, and the horrible conformity it begets. The Times is the template for the entire industry: Its ethos dominates the journalism schools; it’s the model for a zillion other mini-me wannabe-Timeses across the continent, even though smug East Coast upper-middle-class metropolitan condescension would hardly seem an obvious winner for second-tier cities and rural districts. Its columns and features are reprinted coast to coast. Its priorities determine the agenda of the three nightly network newscasts, also (not coincidentally) flailing badly. The net result of the industry’s craven abasement before the Times is that American newspapering is dead as dead can be — and certainly far deader than its cousins in Britain, Australia, India, or even Canada.

If the Times closed, what would the mainstream media left behind do? Why, they would have to think for themselves. And some of them would still die. But some of them might get . . . lively, and iconoclastic, and one day even . . . readable…

The Barry Doctrine

Dorothy Rabinowitz on Obama’s “blame America, I’m not Bush” campaign:

…[Obama went] to Europe not as the voice of his nation, but as a missionary with a message of atonement for its errors. Which were, as he perceived them — arrogance, dismissiveness, Guantanamo, deficiencies in its attitudes toward the Muslim world, and the presidency of Harry Truman and his decision to drop the atomic bomb, which ended World War II.

No sitting American president had ever delivered indictments of this kind while abroad, or for that matter at home, or been so ostentatiously modest about the character and accomplishment of the nation he led. He was mediator, an agent of change, a judge, apportioning blame — and he was above the battle.

None of this display during Mr. Obama’s recent travels could have come as a surprise to legions of his supporters, nor would many of them be daunted by their new president’s preoccupation with our moral failures. Five decades of teaching in colleges and universities across the land, portraying the U.S. as a power mainly responsible for injustice and evil, whose military might was ever a danger to the world — a nation built on the fruits of greed, rapacity and racism — have had their effect. The products of this education find nothing strange in a president quick to focus on the theme of American moral failure. He may not share many of their views, but there is, nonetheless, much that they find familiar about him.

The same can’t be said for the large numbers of Americans who caught up with the details of the president’s apology tour. Presidents have been transformed by office, and Mr. Obama may yet be one of them. But on the evidence so far, he has, as few presidents before him, much to transform. Or, at least, to understand.

Since that bridge too far to Europe, ordinary Americans, including some who voted for Mr. Obama, have shown evidence of a quiet but durable resentment over the list of grievances against the United States that the president brought to the world’s attention while overseas. There are certain things that can’t be taken back. There are images that are hard to forget. Anger of this kind has an enduring power that could, in the end, haunt this presidency.

And a Wall Street Journal editorial calls for the release of the information on al Qaeda terrorists and their plots, curiously missing from the release of Bush Justice Department memos, gleaned from the CIA’s “enhanced interrogation” of al Qaeda captives:

…the release of the memos has unleashed the liberal mob, with renewed calls in Congress for a “truth commission” and even, perhaps… prosecutions of the other authors. Mr. Obama has hinted that while his Administration won’t prosecute CIA officials, it may try to sate the mob by going after Bush officials who wrote the memos.

One major concern here is what Mr. Obama’s decision to release these memos says about his own political leadership. He claims that one of his goals as President is to restore more comity to our politics, especially concerning national security. He also knows he needs a CIA willing to take risks to keep the country safe. Yet Mr. Obama seems more than willing to indulge the revenge fantasies of the left, as long as its potential victims served a different President. And while he is willing to release classified documents about interrogation techniques, Mr. Obama refuses to release documents that more fully discuss their results.

All of this might appease the President’s MoveOn.org base, but he can’t expect to satisfy them without also weakening American intelligence capabilities. The risk-averse CIA that so grievously failed in the run-up to 9/11 was a product of a spy culture that still remembered the Church Committee of the 1970s and the Iran-Contra recriminations of the 1980s. Mr. Obama needs to stop this score-settling now, and he can start by promptly releasing the documents that reveal what the CIA learned from its interrogations.

Ben Shapiro on Barry’s “overweening sense of self-importance”:

… In Obama’s own mind, the globe began spinning only with his glorious exit from Ann Dunham’s uterus. He can’t be blamed for things that happened when he was a child; after all, how was he supposed to stop Bill Ayers from blowing things up, or JFK from botching the Bay of Pigs? He can’t even be blamed for subsidizing Ayers’ terrorist sympathizing or [Nicaragua’s Daniel] Ortega’s dictatorial ranting — after all, he can’t rewrite history, can he? Hence the Obama Doctrine: it wasn’t me. I’m busy junking America’s philosophical past, says Obama. Give me a few years to remake America. Then we’ll talk.

Obama seems to believe that if he just discards American history — if he apologizes for our actions in Europe, in Latin America, in the Muslim world — the rest of the world will offer America a clean slate. That demonstrates, first and foremost, a tremendous lack of pride in America’s legacy of freedom and liberty around the globe. America generally needs a clean slate far less than any other country on the face of the earth.

Secondly, the Obama Doctrine demonstrates Obama’s massively overweening sense of self-importance. Foreign leaders are not idiots — if they sense they can elicit concessions from America simply by inflating Obama’s confidence, they’ll do it. Even assuming Obama’s supposed international popularity, that popularity does not translate into a better international deal for America. Foreign leaders can stroke Obama’s ego while undermining America’s strength in the world. The world’s fawning patronage of Barack Obama does not mean the world will treat America as an ally.

That is because nations view each other historically, not based on what they’ve done the past few months. Viewing Germany as a peaceful socialistic country, ignoring its fascist past, would fail to explain their panoply of foreign and domestic policies. Viewing Russia as a corrupt mobocracy ignores its undercurrents of communistic thuggery, relics of the Soviet era.

Similarly, other nations identify America with the Constitution, the Declaration of Independence, the toleration for and bloody elimination of slavery, the liberation of Europe, and the fight against communism (all of which our enemies label racist imperialism). They identify America with a philosophy of private property and capitalistic entrepreneurship (all of which our enemies label greedy exploitation). They do not identify America with Barack Obama — hence their shock at America’s election of this “international man.”

The Obama Doctrine is Obama’s suggestion to the world that he is more representative of the New America than American history itself. The Obama Doctrine states that Obama’s election has completely redefined America. America’s philosophical roots have been hewn away, replaced with the more humble conciliation of Obamaism.

The international community couldn’t be happier. If Obama is right, they have decades of American surrender in store. And if Obama is wrong — if America comes to its senses and decides to stand up once again for its traditional philosophies — the international community will, at the very least, make hay while the sun shines.

The Obama Doctrine is a mea culpa for America from a self-obsessed president who puts himself before country. And it’s a godsend for America’s enemies.

What Hath Liberals Wrought?

What hath liberals wrought? Here are two scary examples.

Former CIA director Michael Hayden and former Attorney General Michael Mukasey examine how Barry is returning us to the timid intelligence gathering that produced 9/11:

The Obama administration has declassified and released opinions of the Justice Department’s Office of Legal Counsel (OLC) given in 2005 and earlier that analyze the legality of interrogation techniques authorized for use by the CIA. Those techniques were applied only when expressly permitted by the director, and are described in these opinions in detail, along with their limits and the safeguards applied to them.

The release of these opinions was unnecessary as a legal matter, and is unsound as a matter of policy. Its effect will be to invite the kind of institutional timidity and fear of recrimination that weakened intelligence gathering in the past, and that we came sorely to regret on Sept. 11, 2001…

The effect of this disclosure on the morale and effectiveness of many in the intelligence community is not hard to predict. Those charged with the responsibility of gathering potentially lifesaving information from unwilling captives are now told essentially that any legal opinion they get as to the lawfulness of their activity is only as durable as political fashion permits. Even with a seemingly binding opinion in hand, which future CIA operations personnel would take the risk? There would be no wink, no nod, no handshake that would convince them that legal guidance is durable. Any president who wants to apply such techniques without such a binding and durable legal opinion had better be prepared to apply them himself.

Beyond that, anyone in government who seeks an opinion from the [Office of Legal Counsel] as to the propriety of any action, or who authors an opinion for the OLC, is on notice henceforth that such a request for advice, and the advice itself, is now more likely than before to be subject after the fact to public and partisan criticism. It is hard to see how that will promote candor either from those who should be encouraged to ask for advice before they act, or from those who must give it.

In his book “The Terror Presidency,” Jack Goldsmith describes the phenomenon we are now experiencing, and its inevitable effect, referring to what he calls “cycles of timidity and aggression” that have weakened intelligence gathering in the past. Politicians pressure the intelligence community to push to the legal limit, and then cast accusations when aggressiveness goes out of style, thereby encouraging risk aversion, and then, as occurred in the wake of 9/11, criticizing the intelligence community for feckless timidity. He calls these cycles “a terrible problem for our national security.” Indeed they are, and the precipitous release of these OLC opinions simply makes the problem worse.

And Caitlin Flanagan on the lessons of Columbine:

William Dean Howells observed that at the theater Americans want a tragedy with a happy ending. But in life we are made of sterner stuff and demand from tragedy only this: a lesson.

That the mass killing at Columbine High School a decade ago — it was on April 20, 1999, that Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold murdered 13 and wounded 23 — could offer us more than sorrow and outrage has been an article of faith since the nation first learned of the crime. The exact lesson, however, has proved elusive, and the search has seemed obdurately focused on the obscure or the strange: the trenchcoats; the question of social isolation; the possibility that jocks and cheerleaders might be so nasty to an outsider that they could render him into a sociopath.

Apparently, the thing to do was to look not at the largest questions posed by the incident but rather at its particulars and to adopt a “zero tolerance” policy toward any behavior that seemed to mimic them. The result was a longish, culturally embarrassing interlude when kindergartners could get tossed out of school for bringing a nail clipper in a backpack. We began to look like a nation of adults who were terrified of our smallest children.

The one aspect of Columbine that seemed unworthy of examination — when it came to pondering the policy changes that might actually make American schools safer places — was the fact that the two killers had a long track record of doing exactly what deeply disturbed teenage boys have been doing since time out of mind: getting in trouble — lots of it — with authority…

At the turn of the last century, the U.S. — a nation of laws, of course, and a nation with an ever-evolving sense of sympathy for children and teenagers — decided that sending youthful offenders to adult prison was a grotesque form of punishment, and so were born the juvenile code and the juvenile court system. With these innovations came something that was still talked about in tones of dread and excitement when I was a girl in the 1960s and ’70s. “He’s going to end up in reform school,” we would say of a bully or a fighter, some luckless child of a rotten drunk or a mean single mother. One way or another, it came to pass: Boys disappeared and were not missed.

Due process? Who knew, who cared? All we knew was that the funny-looking, heavy-set boy who used to smash kids’ heads into the porcelain backsplash at the drinking fountain of Cragmont School was no more a menace in our lives.

Harsh fate that would send a boy away for no greater crime than the accident of his birth! Homeward the course of juvenile justice went, reinventing the system in yet another iteration, the one in which Harris and Klebold were allowed to stay put in their own houses and at Columbine, during the very time that they were not only committing petty thefts and cursing out their teachers but also communicating openly about their plans for mayhem.

Today only the most incorrigible young offenders are removed from their guardians’ care and forced to live and study in correctional facilities. Furthermore, to expel a student in most public school districts is an arduous business. An expulsion hearing is required, and parents may choose to appeal the decision, a process that rains down a world of legal woe on whatever teachers and administrators have been involved in the action. Many expulsions, moreover, constitute a strange reinterpretation of the very word: They are time-limited and include within them plans for re-enrollment.

It is, of course, the responsibility of the state to provide some sort of education to all its children under the age of 18, and so for a host of legal, moral and economic reasons we end up with an ugly truth about our nation’s schools: By design, they contain within them — right alongside the good kids who are getting an education and running the yearbook and student government — kids whose criminal rehabilitation is supposedly being conducted simultaneously with their academic instruction.

As someone who taught school for a decade and who has now been a mother for about as long, I can tell you that — when it comes to children — the rigid exercise of “due process” in matters of correction and discipline makes for high comedy at best and shared tragedy at worst. Someone needs to stand apart from children and decide what is best for them and for those around them. When it comes to matters of state-ordered punishment, someone needs to stand apart from their parents, too, and make the necessary decisions. It’s a complete bummer; I will grant you that.

Who would possibly be willing to side not with the students of an institution — those fun-loving creatures of the now — but with the institution itself, a place ostensibly devoted, above all else, to the well-being of its population? I’ll tell you who: adults. Remember them?

In my teaching days, no single document shaped my thinking as much as Flannery O’Connor’s 1963 essay called “Total Effect and the Eighth Grade.” It concerned neither guns nor violence, neither cliques nor experimental approaches to the treatment of adolescent depression. It was about . . . books. In defending the teaching of the great works of the Western canon rather than those of the modern day (which kids far preferred), she said something wise, the sort of thing an adult might say. She said that the whims and preferences of children should always, always be sublimated to the sense and judgment of their elders.

“And what if the student finds this is not to his taste?” O’Connor asked. “Well that is regrettable. Most regrettable. His taste should not be consulted; it is being formed.”

And Christine Flowers, writing in the Philadelphia Daily News, on the idiotic reasoning of Supreme Court Justice Ginsburg:

Last Friday, the Supreme Court’s sole female justice told a group of budding lawyers in Ohio that U.S. courts, including her own, should refer to foreign law when deciding cases and that any squeamishness about that was just a “passing phase.”

The internationalists cheered.

They’ve been lobbying for one big international tribunal of love and mutual respect for years.

And they’ve criticized those who think U.S. courts should stick to U.S. laws and our U.S. Constitution (which Madame Justice Ginsburg swore to uphold and defend as part of her oath of office) as jingoistic and narrow-minded. Listen, they say, it’s a big world out there, and I guess we can learn a lot from our brothers and sisters in, say, Canada, where they sneer at the First Amendment, or in Saudi Arabia, which sanctions marriage between 8-year-old girls and middle-aged men.

Ginsburg apparently doesn’t believe in the supremacy of the Constitution because to do so would apparently be arrogant. She implied that the failure to consider the reasoning of foreign judges diminished the importance of the Supreme Court, although she didn’t give details other than to say that the Canadian high court is “cited more widely abroad than the U.S. Supreme Court,” and she made the telling observation that “you will not be listened to if you don’t listen to others.”

Ah, so that’s it. We have to play nice in the international legal sandbox so that other people will pay us some respect. Ginsburg and her legal eagles apparently believe that the law is like a popularity contest and the system with the most friends wins.

It’s frightening that a sitting justice would actually say that we should be worried about how other countries feel about our administration of justice.

They had no hand in crafting our Constitution. They are neither bound by our laws, nor have they sent men and women to die in defense of our laws.

And they’re not alone. President Obama’s nominee for top legal dog at the State Department, Harold Koh, believes that Islamic sharia law could be applied in American jurisdictions in “appropriate cases.” Koh, ex-dean at Yale law, is presumably a very smart man. But there is something frighteningly wrong about someone who thinks that there are “appropriate cases” in which a system of laws that regularly dehumanizes women and relegates them to a lower caste could have any relevance whatsoever in this country. (It’s one thing for the archbishop of Canterbury to have those crazy thoughts. It’s quite another for a Yalie to agree.)

I’ve handled asylum cases for women who have been persecuted under sharia, and I’d love to see how Ginsburg or Koh would look them in the face and say, “We think it’s important to understand the legal justification for the mutilation of your vagina or why you risked stoning because of that unfortunate disagreement with your husband.”

You might say that Ginsburg and her like-minded legal circle would never sanction violence against women. True. But trying to incorporate foreign legal principles into our system at the whim of the legal elites in some misguided attempt to be liked in foreign legal circles sends the message that we don’t believe that our system merits any special regard. And that’s a very dangerous sort of modesty because if the democratic processes of this country don’t shape our legal system, it basically answers to no one but some internationalist Ivy Leaguers in Washington…