Former New York City Mayor Ed Koch famously said, “If you agree with me on nine out of 12 issues, vote for me. If you agree with me on 12 out of 12 issues, see a psychiatrist.”
In that vein, as much as I supported former President Donald Trump, one bone of contention I had with his leadership was his attitude toward NATO, a military alliance I believe is key to maintaining American and Western military supremacy — particularly as Beijing and Moscow solidify their own martial alliances.
On Monday, however, I came a little bit closer to agreeing with Trump on the matter. That’s because the fine folks at the North Atlantic Treaty Organization gave their inaugural Women For Peace and Security Award to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.
At first glance, I assumed the prerequisites for the award were a) being powerful, b) not having a Y chromosome and c) surviving long enough that people know who you were.
According to NATO, though, there are other criteria:
“The purpose of this prize is to honor a woman who has demonstrated, in the context of political, diplomatic, military, associative and/or academic functions, a particular and recognized commitment to: equal participation of women and men in the field of peace and security, the prevention of conflict-related sexual and gender-based violence and the protection of women in conflict situations, and/or the mainstreaming of women’s needs and perspectives into relief and recovery initiatives in post-conflict countries.”
I can only surmise everyone voting on this award missed Pelosi’s unqualified support for President Joe Biden’s foreign policy, including the disastrous Afghanistan withdrawal, a capitulation to the Taliban Islamists that sentenced countless women in that benighted country to the specter of “conflict-related sexual and gender-based violence” for years to come.
If NATO’s functionaries missed that, however, perhaps they caught on to the how misguided their honoree is when Pelosi went to Lisbon, Portugal, to accept the award — and admitted she thinks about what she’d do if she were a one-world sovereign:
Pelosi thinks she rules the world. pic.twitter.com/WkOv1EDwuG
— Ian Miles Cheong @ stillgray.substack.com (@stillgray) October 12, 2021
“In fact, when people ask me, ‘if you ruled the world, what one thing would you do?’” Pelosi said during her speech before the NATO Parliamentary Assembly — before slyly adding, “I think about that a lot.”
I bet. There’s nothing that says peace and security like jokes about autocracy. I don’t like to use the role-reversal argument any more than I have to, but it’s unavoidable here: Imagine those words escaping Donald Trump’s mouth. The furor wouldn’t let up for weeks — assuming that it ever would.
And yes, I know what you’re thinking. Let me nip that in the bud: This isn’t ameliorated by additional context.
“I think about that a lot — should any of us rule the world?” Pelosi said. “What one thing would we do? And that would be easy — would be to prioritize the education of women and girls.
“It would make the biggest difference not only in their lives, their families, their communities, but to the world.”
Educating women and girls is a noble goal, yes. Someone should have told Pelosi this on Aug. 14, when she issued a statement just prior to the fall of Kabul to the Taliban saying Biden “is to be commended for the clarity of purpose of his statement on Afghanistan and the actions he has taken.”
Biden’s actions, uh, didn’t exactly move the needle in the direction of increased educational opportunities for women and girls. Pelosi did include pro forma language in that statement paying lip service to the feminist ideals she claims to hold, such as this: “Any political settlement that the Afghans pursue to avert bloodshed must include having women at the table. The fate of women and girls in Afghanistan is critical to the future of Afghanistan.”
However, both Pelosi and any educated reader would be aware they have a better chance of seeing Janice Joplin or Amy Winehouse perform live at next year’s Lollapalooza than seeing women at the table negotiating a political settlement with the Taliban.
Beyond that, though, let’s look at the choice of language and priorities. Pelosi is not known for wielding power in a way where she even pretends to be held accountable (remember, “We have to pass the bill so that you can find out what is in it,” about Obamacare?).
Now, she admits to fantasizing about what she’d do if she ruled the world — and thinking about it “a lot.”
Talk about saying the quiet part out loud.
Her solution to setting things straight? Not ending bloody ethnic conflicts or extirpating ghoulish dictators like Kim Jong Un, Nicolás Maduro or Bashar al-Assad. She wouldn’t free Uighurs from Chinese re-education camps or stop the persecution and ethnic cleansing of the Rohingya people in Myanmar.
Nope. Her first priority would be to send girls to school. Everything would sort itself out from there.
I’m not sure whether to be offended that Pelosi says she’s spent considerable time wondering what she would do as a global autocrat or to be dumbfounded that this is the best solution to the world’s ills that she could come up with. Remember, her position puts her second in line for the presidency, behind only Vice President Kamala Harris in the presidential order of succession.
And NATO gave this woman an award. I’m not quite ready to dismiss the military alliance as impotent, rotted, one-sided and superannuated now that the Cold War has been over these many decades. However, after watching Pelosi’s speech before the NATO Parliamentary Assembly, let’s just say I now agree with Trump on nine-and-a-half issues.