SEND IN THE CLOWNS!
Clowns befuddle a crowd. They appear a pretense of the normal but caricatured to evoke laughter, surprise, at times derision, but always in context where they absorb self-deprecation, become the butt of jokes, become the audiences’ self, a make believe self, receiving the jibes, jests and buffoonery never allowed when alone. Thus do they become vessels of deep seated self- ridicule, inhibited expression, personal inadequacy, a self-conscious parody of the normal. They are used images, commodities to be bought and sold for the purchaser’s benefit, set amidst their fellows as manikins to be pinched and probed, facsimiles of all, but receivers of ridicule to protect their brethren.
Such is the figure of Patrick Clawson, Director of Research at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, as he appeared before his fellows, his scholarly brethren seated silently in respectful adulation at WINEP’s self-proclaimed international conference on near East policy. He appeared as all clowns appear from the side curtains, an Ichabod figure from Irving’s legend’s, lanky, thin, staccato stepping toward the podium, a believer in mystical gods, historical covenants, justifications of actions found encrypted in the yellow stained pages of ancient scrolls, called upon to deliver his sacred yet startling message to his colleagues.
They after all exist as aborted children of the State of Israel, a direct issue of AIPAC, a think-tank of intellectuals created for the sole purpose of extolling the State of Israel while condemning all who would question Israel’s policies or people. They are guardians of G-d’s chosen, paid exorbitant salaries to praise and justify Israel’s actions, a bastion of constant comment to blunt the cries of the world’s communities to bring Israel to justice. They labor hard and long to cloak their owners’ illicit behaviors, their illegal wars, their deception and deceit that it may continue with impunity. They like the clowns garb themselves in costumes to hide their true purpose; they create icons that mask their true intent, lease a suite of offices in prestige towers in the heart of Washington, ride in chauffeur driven limousines, dress in Italian styled pin striped suits, sit at mahogany desks behind sophisticated computers, and rest comfortably in cushioned chairs as the atmosphere is regulated to apt comfort levels. All this splendor belies their reality as the raucous romp of the clowns beneath the big top, surrounded by balloons and cotton candy and parade music, belies their function to become the receptacle of their audiences’ anxiety and frustrations.
Watch Clown Clawson amble to the podium, nonchalantly glancing to his presumed peers who sit at either side of the podium awaiting his intervention and words of wisdom as they face a crisis of apparent calamity, how to force the United States to attack Iran. Obama’s intransigence against an attack, while Netanyahu’s absolute determination to attack necessitates a swift mental solution, a strategy heretofore not considered, one for the unencumbered mental concentration of their Clown. “Send in the Clown” that he may perform before all the fools that incestuously congregate at the Washington Institute for Near Eastern Policy.
As he gathers his wits mumbling at the podium, he notes the dilemma that confronts these masterminds of strategic planning, a stalled action plan against the Iranian people. How to solve it? Clawson acts like the trickster of Native myths, the buffoon brought forth to unveil the truth behind the intellectual drivel that poured from the scholars as they pontificated on the existential threat to Israel of the impending existence of an Iranian atomic bomb, of the unfortunate limits to an Israeli unilateral response and the consequent need for the United States to step into the breach, an act, indeed, of moral significance.
Send in the clown to unmask the hidden agenda that lurked beneath the recorded time of this conference, the unstated purpose of holding forth in discourse for the public’s benefit that the occupant of the White House might hear what his next step on behalf of the American people must be. After all, these intellectual presentations become tomorrow’s news and their presenter tomorrow’s expert guest on countless talk shows that all Americans might understand that they too are under existential threat, that their fear level should be rising to red, that there is no solution but the one afforded by these brilliant minds.