"A 'kick me' on his backside"

Barack Obama's distain for history helps explain his inability to deal with the world whose story it tells.

It's a savage place, inhabited by human critters who have some real dark stuff in their makeup. "Original sin," Christian theology calls it; some might prefer simply thinking of it as the dark side of human nature. But if there's anything history teaches us, it's that it's a significant factor in human affairs, and that civilized people and nations spend a lot of time fighting it.

A bright new world in which enlightened people universally make nice-nice with each other is unlikely, to say the least, this side of the Eschaton.