Wisconsin’s gritty win over Kentucky Saturday night and tonight’s match-up between the Badgers and the Duke Blue Devils are wonderful diversions for Americans from a world that horrifies far more often than it entertains.
The murder of 148 and the wounding of scores more in the massacre at Kenya’s Garissa University College campus is just the worst of the stories that we would rather not focus on too much.
We have Opening Day, after all, and the Masters cometh. This is also the season of college admissions, proms and graduations. Spring is the season of hope and Easter’s celebrations Sunday underscored that theme again.
It is great to be an American, even if the world is teetering on the edge in many places and has already slipped over into chaos in a few like Syria and Iraq.
Al Shabab, the Islamic State and Boko Haram were not watching hoops this past weekend — or if they were, it was while the polished up their weapons and their plans. The killers of Syria and Yemen and their masters in Tehran could not care less that the Cleveland Indians signed a Cy Young winner to a seven year contract guaranteeing the Tribe an ace for the remainder of the Obama years and the first term of President Bush, Clinton, Cruz, Rubio or Walker or whomever is “45.”
I’m as guilty as the rest, gleefully tweeting through the basketball games and studying up on the mock drafts. Going back and forth between the horrors of the world and the comforts of being an American has become routine.
I can enjoy “Game of Thrones” and cheer for John Snow and Tyrion Lannister after binge watching “House of Cards” and still be ready to duel this weekend on “Meet the Press” with whomever wants to try and defend President Obama’s “deal” with Iran.
America’s chattering class and the political elites about which it gabs and scribbles endlessly slip effortlessly between sports, popular culture, American political competition and controversy and the world crisis.
Only the world crisis and its end game will matter though — or more precisely, the pastimes and culture of America in the early third millennium will be of interest to historians a hundred years out only if the barbarians do not swarm over the gates or, worse yet, incinerate them.
Which brings me to the Iran catastrophe. A regime run by messianic fanatics that thinks nothing of arming Assad, assassinating enemies abroad with an occasional bombing of places where Jews of any nationality gather, has been handed a roadmap to nuclear weapons. “All paths to a nuclear weapon are blocked,” the unusually coiffed Secretary of Energy tells Jake Tapper. (How Secretary of Energy Ernest Moniz must have amused the Quds Force veterans of the Iran-Iraq war, who watched human wave attacks by young Basij volunteers as young as 9 years old, by some accounts.)
Osama bin Laden always believed America to be exhausted and ready to collapse; his opposite number among the Shia think so as well. Iranian Gen. Qasim Suleimani is in the field. Meanwhile, American generals James Mattis, Stanley McChrystal and David Petraeus have been pushed aside by Team Obama’s 30-something graduate school wizards, who populate the National Security Council and State Department and think themselves Kissinger 2.0.
The year 2016 will tell us whether the eight years preceding were the Obama interregnum, or the Obama transformation of America into the world’s retirement community, full of diversions and the best medical care for those who can afford concierge doctors?
The debate over the Iranian deal will be an excellent forecast of that result. Which is why, even as Season 5 of Game of Thrones beckons on April 12, serious people at least have to do all they can to kill the deal.
This column was originally posted on WashingtonExaminer.com