Today's Matt Lauer scored a Jerome Bettis-sized TD this morning by asking a question regarding the current Muslim rioting that was as unexpected as it was perspicacious. Meanwhile, former Clinton diplomat Bill Richardson offered the instinctive Democratic response to a threat to our security: bring on the UN!
Richardson, currently the New Mexico governor, described the grim state of the Muslim world: "I've never seen the situation so dire with with the threats from Iran, the victory of Hamas, the escape of Badawi in Yemen. This is a very dangerous situation. It seems that the Muslim world is exploding."
Being the good Democrat he is, Richardson laid the blame . . . at the feet of George Bush: "Our obsession with Iraq has caused us to neglect these huge other trouble spots."
That's when Lauer unloaded a question on many minds but one you'd hardly expect to hear on the lips of an MSM host:
"If you listen over the weekend, governor, you hear a lot of people saying 'why aren't these people taking to the streets when hostages are beheaded on videotape in the name of Allah or when planes are flown into buildings in the name of Allah? How would you explain that?"
Richardson fleetingly acknowledged that "it is a bit of a double-standard." A bit? But he quickly moved off any such criticism and onto to his call for the real solution: "I would call a summit," later cautioning the President, "don't talk about the Axis of Evil."
Lauer compared our treatment of Iraq and Iran, while offering a damning indictment of the latter:
"It is striking. Four years ago we were talking about Iraq, saying they may have been trying to seek nuclear weapons, we thought they were sponsoring terrorism, so we went to war. Here's a country that's saying right to our face they are going forward with a nuclear program, we've proven that they've sponsored terrorism, and they have a president who says he wants to wipe one of our key allies off the map. And we're treating them differently, aren't we?"
Richardson gave the quintessential Dem response: "Diplomacy really is our only option." He emphasized that the UN and Russia should play a predominant role.
Right on, Bill! If Kofi Annan and Vladimir Putin can't get it done, I guess we'll just have to let Iran develop nuclear weapons and the means to deliver them.
Finkelstein lives in Ithaca, NY, where he hosts the local TV show "Right Angle." Email him at: firstname.lastname@example.org