Wall Street Journal columnist James Taranto notes an Associated Press photo accompanying a New York Times story about Pakistan. It depicts a crowd of South Asian men burning an effigy of President Obama at a rally on Sunday in Lahore, Pakistan.

“The burning of Obama's effigy symbolizes to all Americans who may doubt it, that Obama is a war president,” writes Taranto.

To review how we got to this point:

In the beginning was Gulf War I, which scared the country half to death. When it turned out to be a cakewalk, aggression rose like a swell. The Clinton/Gore administration initiated moves to push NATO into Russia’s backyard while it was still weak, and 90 senators agreed.

The lesson here was that aggression was OK so long as you had a few Czech poets who liked Frank Zappa in your support group. It was left to conservative Sen. Jesse Helms of North Carolina, who had recently befriended His Holiness the Dalai Lama to lead opposition.

The Clinton/Gore initiative was culled from Newt Gingrich’s Contract with America and folded into Robert Kagan and William Kristol’s new Project for a New American Century. Kagan and Kristol are what we found to replace the old-fashioned State Department. All presidents starting with Clinton do exactly what they say. The Kagan/Kristol plan was Phase 1 of an idea conceived to confirm our country and culture to be primarily Western, European and Christian and to establish this in a new global matrix, so we would not have to worry about those inscrutable Chinese gaining on us.

This was the matrix that Clintonism, which used to be called the Democratic Party, thought would be a good thing because Bill would be god king with Al Gore a kind of wuss (William Shatner’s description) sideman talking about global warming as they advanced the sales of millions of Buicks into China.

Then the plan entered Phase 2 with the Bush/Cheney/Wolfowitz invasion of Iraq in the wake of Sept. 11, 2001. President Obama, gilded by an astonishing horde of hagiographers and proselytizers, brought Phase 3 when he advanced the same systematic aggression into Afghanistan and the Upper Dir in Pakistan.

Obama was early on touted as the new Jack Kennedy. Obama is as he says he wants to be; a cool president, although that is something that might work better with a Miles Davis. But he is Kagan’s wildest dream come true: a youthful, appealing, hipster version of Dick Cheney.

It was the innocence and naïveté of the new Irish president that advanced us into an intractable situation in Vietnam in the early 1960s. The same tragic innocence drives us again into the Punjab.

Visit Mr. Quigley's website at http://quigleyblog.blogspot.com.