One of the more amusing bits of Americana over the past few decades is the ongoing controversy over whether professional wrestling is "a fake". Is all that huffing and puffing, all that rivalry, all those feuds and vendettas... is any of it for real, or is it just showmanship and entertainment? And then there are a few cool, Zen-like heads who say, why ask? Just accept it at face value -- if you like it, fine; if you don't, fine. But enough with this silly debate as to whether it's "real".
Then turn with me now to the recent press coverage of Obama's visit to the Near East, and how he's supposedly "getting tough" with Israel, and being "frank" and "candid", and "reaching out" to the Moslem world. A couple of days ago, the news channels were full of talking heads debating about what Obama meant when he cited the Holocaust but then said "On the other hand..." -- referring to the Palestinian situation. He had committed the cardinal sin of what I call "historicizing" the Holocaust, i.e. placing it on a historical continuum and _daring_ -- mind you -- to juxtapose it with other historical (and current) events. Oh, the horror! But what these people missed is that, if you "parse" what he said in Cairo, he didn't really say anything -- except to make it clear that our "special relationship" with Israel was as strong, and fixed, and immutable, as ever -- which is another way of saying that we will ever view the situation, and the interests, of any Moslems through Israeli eyes. Any Moslem who felt reassured or "recognized" by this speech needs to take a refresher course in logic; Obama offered them nothing, and certaintly promised them nothing. Ultimately, everything he said was fluff and smoke when it comes to the Moslem world, and blood and iron when it comes to Israel -- and yet Israel feigns shock and dismay! Obama is wandering off the reservation! He's not confronting Islam on all fronts the way Bush and Cheney did -- he's actually pretending to respect them as human beings with legitimate grievances! But! -- please note -- Obama did get the Jewish ticket punched with a visit to Buchenwald. That is almost as good as stopping by Israel for a pep rally, isn't it? So really, all is well, and we see that the feigned hysteria on the part of the Israeli press is nothing more than that -- just rooting for the hulking primate of your choice in the wrestling ring, knowing all the time that the fix is in.