Angelina Jolie has a solution to the Syrian civil war, the strategy Barack Obama is searching for! She said, solemnly, I’m sure:
“We need to see a new attempt to resolve the conflict and greater efforts to support more than 13 million Syrians who are in desperate need. The reputation and credibility of the international system is at stake with so many thousands of lives threatened in Syria.“
Yes! Why didn’t anyone think of that? We need to resolve the conflict! Of course, Jolie would never approve of armed intervention, because she believes in non-violence. No, what is needed is, well, an attempt. You can read the rest of her noble, fatuous, narcissistic plea here.
I’m certain this will further enhance Ms. Jolie’s status as a humanitarian among the actress’s many sensitive, peace-loving followers. It would not surprise me if she adds to her list of awards because of it. Her words are worthy of the Pope, but to be fair, making empty, inspiring statements full of non-committal goodness is his job.
Whatever Jolie thinks she is accomplishing by making such an obvious, useless, pointless statement and having the news media duly report it as if she knew anything whatsoever about geopolitical tensions or could begin to suggest what “attempts” would consist of, what she is in fact doing is exploiting an international tragedy to gild her own perceived virtue. Her statement advances no objective or contributes any wisdom. Indeed, it interferes with legitimate efforts to deal with this difficult situation, because such statements mislead the public about the painful, indeed ugly trade-offs and choices necessary to deal with despots and evil in the world. I’m sure, if pressed to suggest what attempts she, in all her Hollywood-infused wisdom regarding foreign affairs, would advocate, she would insist that they be humanitarian in nature, and take into consideration the needs of all parties, as well as the root causes that lead to such violence and disruption. In other words, something.
Jolie’s grandstanding emboldens the lazy cowardice and ideological fantasizing that is allowing terrorists, dictators, genocide and chaos to run amuck in the world. She and those who think like her are what pushes a weak and disoriented leader like Barack Obama to have no foreign policy strategy whatever, and no resolve to develop one. You see, “attempts”— if they are going to accomplish anything tangible and lasting—require unpleasant consequences, risks, collateral damage, the abandonment of moral purity, the potential alienation of supporters and the willingness to accept accountability for all of it, if they are going to accomplish anything tangible. Sensitive, self aggrandizing celebrities like Jolie pretend otherwise, and give ignorant members of the public imagined validation for their own avoidance of reality.
She may mean well, but Angelina Jolie is the personification of the maxim that good intentions pave the road to Hell.
Pointer: Amy Alkon
14 thoughts on “Angelina Jolie’s Worse-Than-Useless Syrian Lament”
“The reputation and credibility of the international system is at stake with so many thousands of lives threatened in Syria.”
What ‘international system’?
The United Nations? That lost credibility a looooooooong time ago.
Anarchy? That’s how the world actually operates…and it has led to alliances between good nations which actually has proven effective (when those good alliances have chosen to FORCE evil out).
It’s all John Lennonism…give peace a chance, and the generalizations are all that matter, since they are hard to rebut.
But there’d be no fighting if everybody would just stop fighting!
I could see the Beatles and any other peacenik, in the last ditch defense of western civilization overrun by wretched ISIS type loons. Paul McCartney’s head just rolls by a dying Ringo as George Harrison is shot between the eyes, then Lennon yells to the ISIS-ites “hey, man, why can’t y’all just be cool and take it easy? We’d all be happier that way…”
They are impossible to rebut, and doubly so if you pull out the Gospel, since Christ was clearly a pacifist in word and deed. However, one effective rebuttal is “if peace is so easy to achieve, why hasn’t it been?”
But all they are saying is “Give Peace A Chance!” I mean, just imagine it…
I find it ironic that those that spout platitudes of non-violent means of geopolitical problem solving, and condemn the acts of those that try to defend individual rights always seem to find a way to excuse, or at least rationalize, the behaviors of petty tyrants in our neighborhoods that use violence and terror regularly to achieve their own personal goals. Perhaps Ms. Jolie could go the south side of Chicago, Watts, or any other decaying urban center and offer those people her words of wisdom. I wonder how far she will get.
In all fairness, the article does mention she is “special envoy for the United Nations High Commission on Refugees.” In other words she lends a recognizable face and the bogus credibility of a celebrity to an organization whose primary responsibility sounds like it should be helping victims, not conflict resolution. Of course organizations like that attract the starry-eyed “war is stupid” and “no one is really that different” crowd. It’s not really their job to broker peace among warring factions, nor to intervene in force, and they understand neither. What they understand is the value of nice-sounding rhetoric in attracting attention and contributions, so they get a recognizable, but vacuous celebrity spokesperson to pronounce equally vacuous rhetoric. Nonviolence, “root causes” and all that other high-sounding nonsense has been discredited for decades, and if the current leadership is giving it more than a nod, then it is derelict in its duty.
She’s window dressing for the UN, because of her penchant for such pieties. Such a statement has no impact and no seriousness, unless the news media elevates it to significance by coverage, and then Jolie has “done something.” A farce.
Besides, doesn’t “root causes” usually mean “it was America’s fault, somehow”?
In the words of Kwai Chang Caine: “When one’s words are no better than silence, it is better to keep silent.”
May you walk in Peace, Grasshopper.