WASHINGTON -- Official Washington -- meaning the Obama administration, fellow travelers in Congress and their allies in the so-called mainstream media -- here's a quick peek at some recent events, the lead stories they generated and the response by the O-Team. Let me know if you think I'm wrong, but it looks to me as if they have the collective attention span of a fruit fly.
For three weeks, several hundred mostly young, media-savvy protesters billing themselves as "occupiers" have been encamped at a small Manhattan park not far from Wall Street. In a pale shadow of what has taken place in Greece, England and Portugal, the New York protesters have tried to "invade" banks, investment houses and the residences of "wealthy Americans" to stage '60s-style sit-ins. Their stated goals are to "stop the machine," "save Social Security," "stop the war" and "bring down the system."
The "movement" -- that's what they call it -- has spread to more than two dozen other U.S. cities. Here in Washington, the U.S. National Park Service granted a multi-month permit for organizers to "occupy" Freedom Plaza and McPherson Square with "sanitary" tent cities within sight of the White House.
Though this is nothing on the scale of the anti-war movement of the 1960s and '70s, there are parallels to that era. The "occupied territory" ends up trashed. Participants are generally affluent but anti-free enterprise, though today's protesters all seem to have smartphones. Like their predecessors more than four decades ago, many of the participants apparently suffer from maladies that can be relieved only by inhaling THC. Apparently, the aroma from these encampments originates from those who have prescriptions for medical marijuana. And like the Johnson and Nixon presidencies, the O-Team appears oblivious to the fact that the "occupy movement" is the consequence of the administration's own failed policies.
While the potentates of the press were paying homage to pot-smoking protesters demanding "economic justice," supporters of religious freedom were being massacred in Egypt. On Sunday, Oct. 9, more than 1,000 Coptic Christians held a vigil at the state television building in Cairo to pray for protection against radical Islamists burning their churches, homes, schools and businesses. According to Amnesty International, violent Islamist attacks against Egypt's Christian community -- which predates Islam by more than six centuries -- have increased exponentially since Hosni Mubarak was ousted in February.
The peaceful gathering was attacked by armed Muslim militants and Egyptian army units. In the ensuing melee, at least 20 Copts were killed, and more than 75 were wounded. Eyewitnesses recorded victims being beaten, stabbed, shot, crushed by military vehicles and dragged through the streets of Cairo. Dr. Walid Phares of Fox News, one of the first to report the incident, rightly says, "International news agencies, including AP, were late in reporting the real casualties." So, too, was the White House in noting that the atrocity even happened. Apparently, Christians being brutalized in Egypt doesn't fit the O-Team's "Arab spring" campaign theme song.
But this week, the re-elect Obama machine finally found an event worthy of attention. On Monday, Oct. 10, the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee announced plans to subpoena Attorney General Eric Holder and documents pertaining to the abortive "Fast and Furious" gun-running operation. The next day, the administration issued an indictment against four Iranian operatives for plotting with a Mexican drug cartel to assassinate Saudi Arabia's ambassador to the United States. Much to the chagrin of the soaking wet "occupiers" in Manhattan, Washington and elsewhere, their protests quickly were forgotten as reporters turned to the Iranian feeding frenzy and the pledge to "bring the conspirators to justice."
Immediately after Holder's news conference announcing the charges, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, apparently caught flat-footed by accusations that Iran's Quds force was behind the plot, said the U.S. would respond with a "strong message to Tehran" and promised to take the case to the United Nations. Replying to a restaurant bomb's killing more than a hundred Americans with a "message" struck some as slightly inadequate.
A Fox News producer dug for more, going straight to the source: Alireza Miryousefi, the spokesman for the Iranian mission at the United Nations. On Tuesday, Miryousefi answered the inquiry with a lengthy missive dispatched to U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon by Iran's U.N. ambassador. In it, Tehran's theocracy "strongly and categorically rejects these fabricated and baseless allegations, based on the suspicious claims by an individual." The letter also contains the risible claim, "Iran has always condemned terrorism in all its forms and manifestations." Sure. That's why Ronald Reagan designated the regime as a state sponsor of terrorism back in 1984.
Instead of taking the letter apart line by line for its lies, many of our media elites sought to poke holes in the allegations -- noting that it would be "implausible" for Quds force operatives to collude with Mexican drug runners. Apparently, few in the Obama administration or the media see the irony of Iranians collaborating with vicious narco-terror organizations that acquired weapons from "Fast and Furious." It's all part of having the attention span of a fruit fly.
Oliver North is a nationally syndicated columnist, the host of War Stories on the Fox News Channel, the author of the new novel Heroes Proved and the co-founder of Freedom Alliance, an organization that provides college scholarships to the children of U.S. military personnel killed or permanently disabled in the line of duty. Join Oliver North in Israel by going to www.olivernorthisrael.com.