Quite surprisingly, what may turn out to be the world's most fitting epigram in our time was uttered by none other than the official spokesman of the Hamas-controlled Palestinian Authority, Ghazi Hamad.
According to the Jerusalem Post yesterday, Mr. Hamad told his fellow Palestinians to dismiss Israel's responsibility for the growing state of anarchy and lawlessness in the Gaza Strip. He said it was time for the Palestinians to embark on a soul-searching process to see where they erred. "We're always afraid to talk about our mistakes. We're used to blaming our mistakes on others. What is the relationship between the chaos, anarchy, lawlessness, indiscriminate murders, theft of land, family rivalries, transgression on public lands and unorganized traffic and the occupation? We are still trapped by the mentality of conspiracy theories -- one that has limited our capability to think."
I pray for this man's safety after he said such a sensible thing in such a lunatic place. But what takes his comments beyond a brave, local wisdom to a shrewd global insight was his epigrammatic conclusion: "We have all been attacked by the bacteria of stupidity." "We have lost our sense of direction and we don't know where we're headed."
That seems to sum the world up pretty well. From Iran, Lebanon, Gaza and Israel to the leadership of the Republican and Democratic Parties in Washington, to the governments of most of Europe and South America, to the local, state and federal officials responsible for Katrina recovery, to the U.S. State Department, it is hard to spot any leadership that is both sane and competent.
The leadership of Iran, Hezbollah, Al Qaeda and Venezuela seem politically competent, but they're nuts. Most Western leaders seem at least clinically not insane, but are wandering around bumping into large objects.
The West is being run, more or less, by the most incompetent generation of middle-aged white men since the 6th century -- when they let the Roman Empire collapse without providing for an alternative (other than the Dark Ages.)
When did Americans forget how to fix things? From the Big Dig in Boston, to the Katrina aftermath (where the Corps. of Engineers announced this week that a year later the "repaired" levees couldn't hold back a Category Three hurricane), to our Southern border -- things are broken and can't seem to be repaired.
Blankley, who had been suffering from stomach cancer, died Saturday night at Sibley Memorial Hospital in Washington, his wife, Lynda Davis, said Sunday.
In his long career as a political operative and pundit, his most visible role was as a spokesman for and adviser to Gingrich from 1990 to 1997. Gingrich became House Speaker when Republicans took control of the U.S. House of Representatives following the 1994 midterm elections.