Deconstructing Benny; or, Why Foreign Policy Is Foreign to Benny

Recently, Chris Wallace, of that most liberal of the lame stream media, Fox News, interviewed Benny about foreign policy. His question: "You have said that you would as president try and create an international coalition, militarily to go after ISIS. How would you put that together? Who would you call first?"

A reasonable question from a reasonable journalist with more than reasonable bonafides. Unlike that "nasty" Megyn Kelly, Wallace asked a legitimate, non-gotcha question that any reasonable person running for, say, the highest position on the planet should be able to answer. So, Benny did:

"Well, what I was just explaining, how we would use the resources that we have that includes some of our special ops people working in conjunction with an effective fighting force there...Those are the kinds of things that will create enthusiasm as we begin to take back the land, take back the areas, and, and damage their image throughout the world."

Now one really needs to deconstruct that answer. First, if in doubt, always begin by saying, "Well." This is the famous Ronald Reagan approach. When in doubt, always begin with the word "well" which, for whatever reason, leads one to believe that one actually has an answer to the question even though, as in Benny's case (and in Reagan's without a script), one may not. Benny uses the word "resources" that "includes" (rather than "include") some "special ops" (always good to use military jargon to let a listener know that you know military jargon even if you don't know what military jargon is) who are working in conjunction with "an effective fighting force there." Of course, that "begs the questions": "What "effective fighting force there"? (as opposed to an "ineffective" fighting force) and, more important, "Where is there?" since "there" isn't really a specific country. "Those are the kinds of things" presumably relates to what he just said, namely, those "special ops" etc. which will "create enthusiasm as we begin to take back the land, etc." One has to question where "enthusiasm" fits in. As Benny must know, the word "enthusiasm" comes from Late Latin enthūsiasmus, Greek ἐνθουσιασμός, < ἐνθουσιάζειν, < ἐνθουσία, the fact of being ἔνθεος or possessed by a god. Not sure where being possessed by a god might fit in with special ops taking back the land, etc. especially since one isn't quite sure what land Benny's talking about.

Wallace, who recognizes ignorance when he sees it, gave Benny the benefit of the doubt by wanting Benny to clarify his remarks which prompted Benny to say: "My point being that if we get out there and really lead and it appears that we're making progress, then all of the Arab states and even the non-Arab states, who I think are beginning to recognize that the, the, the jihad movement is global." This sort of reply seems to be a result of standing too close to Donald Trump on stage. I'm not sure if the CDC has looked into this, but there appears to be an insidious infection that has occurred by virtue of standing too close to Trump during the debates in that certain replies to certain questions elicit certain innocuous answers. In Benny's case, the answer is predicated on "really lead[ing]" as opposed to "not really leading" then all "the Arab states and even the non-Arab states" (which one would assume to be the rest of the planet) are "beginning to recognize" (heretofore they haven't) that the "jihad movement is global" (as opposed to what?). The fact he didn't really answer the question, but tailed off with: "But if we fight it there, they will have to pool their resources in that area and then we won't have to necessarily won't fight them here. That's all I'm saying." Right. So, we won't have to won't fight them here if we won't have to won't fight them there. Brilliant. But Wallace still wanted to know who Carson would call first to initiate this "brilliant plan."

"I would call for all of the Arab states to be involved in this. I would call for all of our traditional allies to be involved in this. You know, I don't want to leave anybody out." Clearly, a cutting edge idea. Who would ever think of creating a coalition of Arab states and US traditional allies (as opposed to non-traditional allies) to be involved in such a plan? The discourse alone is enough to make one think that Benny has his head wrapped around all angles, possibilities, and potential disasters surrounding such a plan. This approach to the problem could very well be called: The Bay of Pigs on Steroids.

In response to a question about displaced Syrian refugees coming to the United States, Benny responded: "To bring them over here, under these circumstances, is a suspension of intellect. The reason the human brain has these big frontal lobes as opposed to other animals is because we can engage in rational thought-processing. Animals, on the other hand, have big brain stems and rudimentary thinking because they react. We don't have to just react, we can think." Which begs yet another question: "Why, then, does Benny not think?" If intellect is the action of recognizing or discerning, action of understanding or comprehending, the faculty of comprehension then what is that Benny cannot comprehend? In relation to thinking as opposed to animalist reacting, Benny suggests that if Russia would violate a "no fly zone" then "We will, in fact, enforce it. We'll see what happens. For us to always be backing down because we're afraid of a conflict, that's not how we became a great nation, Chris."

The comment is very Carsonian for a number of reasons. First, I'm not sure shooting down a Russian jet would result in a mere "conflict." Apparently, Benny isn't quite sure what constitutes a conflict and what doesn't. As I recall, for a long time it was referred to as the Vietnam Conflict and not the Vietnam War. Clearly, one would prefer using the word "conflict" to "war" in order to mitigate the potential problems inherent in that. But it is Benny's conclusion that's of real interest when he implicitly states that by engaging in war rather than avoiding war is "How we became a great nation." Of course, the line runs counter to Trump's slogan of wanting to make America great again so there's a conflict, if you will, of Benny implicitly stating we are a great nation and Donny implicitly stating that we're not. Which reminds me of the opening lines to Burgess's Clockwork Orange: "What's it going to be then, eh?"