Obama and Kerry where are you?

When I was a boy my family and I were avid viewers of an American police comedy called ” Car 54 where are you?” For fear of giving away my age I will not say how long ago this was.Only that we watched it on a black and white TV screen, one of the first in the neighbourhood.

It was the never ending story of a hapless New York cop and his partner  who could never do anything right.  Somewhere in the introductory song there was a line which I think said ” Khrushchev is bombing down town. Car 54 where are you?”

The song was tongue in cheek but real enough in those far off days to be believable. The Cold War was then pretty hot. There was a sort of gallows humour in the air as Russia not only kept an iron grip on Eastern Europe but seemed to be giving America a beating in the Space race. With the crashing down of the Berlin Wall it appeared this hostile world had gone for ever. But not so.

To my great disappointment I was wrong. The more the world has changed the less different it has become. I think we now need a remake of car 54. This time the streets of New York would not be the back drop. Cue Obama’s White House . The refrain of the introductory song would now be “Obama and Kerry where are you.”

It pains me to write this because I was a big fan of Obama in both elections though as an Englishman not able to vote. It’s not so much his  policies I disagree with but his apparent lack of them. I remember Eisenhower being portrayed during his second term in cartoons in English news papers as an elderly man leaning , eyes closed and dreaming, on a golf club  as the Russian bear gobbled up the world. While there are never any excuses for lethargy Eisenhower was then an old man in his second term. A war hero who at least had a pretty experienced and non partisan team around him to pick up the slack. Obama is young and fit with his only impediment being his indecision which at all times is final.

So as one crisis after another erupts in a hostile world Obama mouths platitudes into the microphone while his Secretary of State, John Kerry, criss crosses the world like a man with limited time available to collect air miles for the family holiday.

There are so many countries involved in this world explosion that deep inside , though it seems impossible, I think Obama has forgotten just who his friends are but more importantly who are his foes. As for Kerry if it’s Thursday it must be Kiev or is it Tel Aviv?  Do we need to get the Russians out of Gaza and why are the Israelis shooting down planes in the Ukraine. it’s all so difficult to fathom out.

Whatever happened to Syria. This “pariah State” which used chemical weapons on its own people .  Thus far 150,000 people have lost their lives in this bloody civil war  which makes Gaza look like a foot note in history. Well 150,000 is an awful lot of dead but we are leaving that alone. First of all it’s a Russian sphere of influence and the Government did not cross the Red Line. They did! Now you tell me.

Then we have Iraq. Secretary Kerry certainly is not there every day on the hour.Here they are in competition to catch up with Syria’s death toll to make it nice and symmetrical. That’s what the world likes nowadays, proportionate wars. In Syria Shia Muslims  are massacring Sunni Muslims while in Iraq it’s Sunni Muslims massacring Shias. Wonderfully symmetrical,  No point in intervening there.

How about the Ukraine then. Well its really a European problem but we will make all our pretty pictures of the area available to their Government. Some come from satellites most of the others from Mrs Obama’s I phone. Israel though, that is a different kettle of fish.

A nice little democracy and our major friend in the area. Good hotels , nice food , intelligent people. Lets give them a tongue lashing and see if they will do as they are told . No one else takes us seriously. I hear Kerry musing. They have killed more than 800 people in an attempt to stop their own civilian population from being massacred. What a barbaric disgrace. Anyone would think America had made a multi billion arms deal with The Hamas main sponsors , Qatar. The way they are carrying on. Apparently they have… wow!

Meanwhile are those Russian troops I see marching down Pennsylvania Ave? Come back John McCain I should never have doubted you. Or have you already been sent to the Gulag?



About the Author
Adrian Needlestone quit sixth form at 17 to follow his dream to become a journalist. So desperate was he that he accepted a wage of £6 a week for six days work as an office boy at what was then London largest independent news agency, The Fleet Street News Agency. After making tea and buying sandwiches for six months he was given the opportunity to cut his working week down by one day and cover the East London Crown courts in those days known as Quarter sessions Courts. The bread and butter work was the local paper contracts the agency held with the occasional national story being cream on the top. During 18 months covering the courts stories in the nationals became the norm rather than the exception and he was quickly switched back to the main office in Clerkenwell to work with the news team. At the age of 21 came his first big break when Murdoch took over the Sun newspaper and promptly hired the agency’s news editor and most of the senior staff. In a leap of faith the agency head promoted him to news editor but confided many years later that it was the “cheap” option which if he sank that was life and if he swam so much the better. Seven years later after working regular evenings on the Mirror and the Mail he joined the Evening standard on the news picture desk. From there he moved on to the National Enquirer in America, the News of the World, BBC national radio and ran the news section of the Derek Jameson TV magazine programme on Sky. After 25 years in the business he decided to slow down and turn his hand to business but he never enjoyed the success in that world to match his career in Fleet street. Semi retired he has now taken to the internet and is writing a blog as well as simultaneously trying to write three books, one about his time on the News of the World which he hopes to launch through Kindle in about six weeks.
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