Gene Lyons comments this week on world affairs. Good stuff.

The opening:


So here’s my question: Whatever happened to the land of the free and the home of the brave? A gang of French citizens resident in Belgium commits a terrorist atrocity in Paris, and it’s somehow President Obama’s fault.

Americans didn’t used to freak out this way. The Paris attacks appear to have thrown much of the nation into the kind of panic we haven’t seen since… Well, since the great Ebola crisis of 2014, when many of the same people were bleating like goats and predicting a deadly epidemic that would kill us all in our beds.

That was Obama’s fault too, remember? By failing to block non-existent direct airline flights to Liberia, he’d left the U.S. vulnerable to contagion. Or something.

Because the whole world is a TV show, and the President of the United States is in charge of the script. Unless the president is named Bush, of course, in which case it’s somebody else’s fault.

Probably the French, actually. Remember “Freedom Fries?”

French Foreign Minister Dominique de Villepin delivered a memorable address to the UN Security Council in February 2003 warning that destabilizing Iraq could lead to bloody chaos. He was greeted with scorn, derision and accusations of cowardice.

Truck stop vending machines even sold “Freedom Ticklers.”

He was absolutely correct.

Read it all here, including some criticism of President Obama for tone and a word about Hillary Clinton’s typically well-informed idea about dealing with problems in the Middle East. (Hint:  It’s not a Trumpian appeal to religious prejudice, which only complicates a strategy).