Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Frustrated again

Hungarian version of Jennifer Rubin. The one who doesn't write for Wapo.
Jennifer Rubin indignant over the president's word choices:
Well, now the president is frustrated! After three years, 136,000 or so dead, use of chemical weapons, creation of a jihadi haven, millions of refugees flooding through the area and a strategic boost for Iran and Russia, President Obama has decided he is miffed.
Well, I always thought that to frustrate someone was to hinder her, to prevent her from achieving her goals (from the Latin adverb frustra "fruitlessly, in vain" and [jump]
ultimately fraus "cheat, fraud"). So that for a careful writer like Barack Obama to feel frustrated is not to feel "miffed" ("mildly offended") but thwarted; like if you were supposedly the most powerful person in the world and spent three years watching a country spiral into self-destruction and were prevented by the ill will, cowardice, and dishonesty of other parties from doing almost anything to mitigate the horror, let alone put a stop to it.

To be fair, Rubin insists there is something he can do beyond
the phony choice between direct military action and essentially doing nothing
but she doesn't reveal what the magic secret is. It's evidently not arming an anti-Assad force that also fights Sunni fundamentalists, or doggedly pursuing negotiations no matter how hopeless they seem. It can't be creating small local cease-fires from which some of the most victimized sufferers can be extracted. Maybe she thinks Obama should bring Iran into the process. Hahaha, just kidding. That would never work because SQUIRREL!

Speaking of presidential word choice, you know what I really hated? The way George W. Bush always said he "appreciated" things:
I appreciate very much the fact that your country is a vibrant democracy.
President Barzani has been a very strong advocate of the Iraqi government passing the SOFA, and I appreciate that.
Slovakia is an ally and friend of the United States. And in my time as President, I have come to admire this President. He's an easy man to talk to. He's got good, strong opinions, and I appreciate his values.
I appreciate the fact that during the second quarter of every home game, the Celtics honor some caring citizen; someone who I said is a soldier in the army of compassion.
I'm really glad you're here and I appreciate your inspiration to our fellow citizens.
Angela Merkel is a constructive force for good. And I appreciate your time.
Any time anybody did something good he seemed to feel they were doing it just for him. He felt about virtue the way I feel about opera singers, something totally outside my ability and yet performed to please me. And on the rare occasion he used "frustrated" (about somebody else, of course, too sunny to ever feel frustrated himself) he used it just the way Rubin does, interestingly enough, the self-centered passive way, and used it, too, to tell a lie:
The American people are rightly frustrated by the failure of Democratic leaders in Congress to enact common-sense solutions -- like the development of the oil resources on the Outer Continental Shelf.
Amazing stuff, huh?

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