Seth Eisenberg
Life, Liberty & Pursuit of Happiness for All

Kerry’s Waterloo Sunset

It took a moment to realize John Kerry’s statement blaming increased Palestinian terrorism on Jewish neighborhoods in the West Bank wasn’t a featured Onion parody, but confirmation of a doctrine that has come to define the Administration’s Middle East policy.

While the strategy may seem incomprehensible, it actually appears to be a carefully conceived roll out of the theme brought to life by the Kinks in Ray Davies’ ‘Waterloo Sunset’ in 1968, an important year in the life of America’s top diplomat.

“I remember Christmas of 1968 sitting on a gunboat in Cambodia,” Kerry told the American Senate in 1986. “I remember what it was like to be shot at by Vietnamese and Khmer Rouge and Cambodians, and have the president of the United States telling the American people that I was not there; the troops were not in Cambodia. I have that memory which is seared — seared — in me.”

Moving words by our future Secretary of State. But words then Senator Kerry eventually walked back as more fiction than fact. Much more.

When it comes to the Administration’s Middle East policy, the truth seems so overrated. What’s wrong with that as long as there’s a Waterloo Sunset to admire where everyone can live in paradise?

Dirty old river, must you keep rolling, flowing into the night

People so busy, make me feel dizzy, taxi light shines so bright

But I don’t, need no friends

As long as I gaze on Waterloo Sunset, I am in paradise

Every day I look at the world from my window

But chilly, chilly is the evening time, Waterloo sunset’s fine.”

No matter the inhumane slaughter of hundreds of thousands in Syria and Iraq and millions of suffering refugees. No matter more than 1,000 religious pilgrims trampled to death in Saudi Arabia. No matter the tragedy of the Yazidis, destruction of Libya, Yemen, barbaric flames of violent fanaticism that have destroyed generations of children and families within a distance of Jerusalem that is far shorter than the flight from Washington to New York. Of course, pay no attention to Iran’s ballistic missiles, training and arming of terrorists with aims on America, Europe and Israel alike, legions chanting death to our nation, and an agreement that gives international legitimacy to Tehran’s nuclear ambitions.

Why care about any of that when there’s a Waterloo Sunset to admire?

While Davies’ Waterloo Sunset is said to have been inspired by the fantasies of two lovers crossing a London bridge, as doctrine, it’s more likely about the ultimate defeat of Napoleon that led to a united Europe and decades of peace, progress and prosperity.

Fact or fiction, it’s difficult to find a more plausible explanation for policies that have emboldened America’s most determined foes and continued to betray our strongest and only natural ally in the troubled Middle East.

When it comes to this Administration’s policy towards Israel, Waterloo sunset’s fine.

About the Author
Seth Eisenberg is President/CEO of Purpose Built Families Foundation. Purpose Built Families is a nationally accredited, American nonprofit that advances its mission through evidence-based services to strengthen families as a foundation of resilient homes, neighborhoods and communities. Eisenberg is a former member of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations.
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