Not so much a palate cleanser as a marinade of radioactive irony:
Just as fears of nuclear terrorism are rising, Barack Obama's drive to lock down vulnerable atomic materials worldwide seems to have lost momentum and could slow further.
For a rafter of reasons - his general forfeiture of U.S. power and influence around the world, his own global image (from which his ego shields him) as a weak-ass dumbbleep, and, of course, his roaring hypocrisy as the mullahs' nuclear enabler.
With fewer than ten months left in office [perhaps] to follow through on one of his signature foreign policy initiatives, Obama will convene leaders from more than fifty countries in Washington this week for his fourth and final Nuclear Security Summit, a high-level diplomatic process that started and will end on his watch.
Which has accomplished precisely nothing, not surprisingly, and whose summary end is equally as non-flabbergasting.
A boycott by Russian President Vladimir Putin, "apparently" unwilling to join in a U.S.-dominated gathering at a time of increased tensions between Washington and Moscow, adds to doubts that the meeting will yield major results.
No "doubts" about it - it will fail in its avowed purpose, because the Russians are the largest nuclear power on the planet, and Vladimir Putin is the most credible and serious superpower leader on Earth, whose word carries orders of magnitude more clout in absentia than O's will in a thousand forgettable "historic" speeches.
It may be "nineteenth century" to say this, but actions still speak louder than words, and the deterrent threat of credible military force and the proven willingness to use it counts vastly more than "tough diplomacy" or "smart power". And that's because, in so many words, it's STILL the "nineteenth century" and always will be.
Deadly [jihadist] attacks in Brussels have fueled concern that [the] Islamic State could eventually target nuclear plants and develop radioactive "dirty bombs," a topic that may well be uppermost in leaders' minds as they meet.
"Could"? "Eventually"? Try already do. And why is ISIS in position to carry out radiological "dustings"? Because Barack Obama quit Iraq, threw away George W Bush's hard-won victory there, and resurrected its al Qaeda-in-Iraq precursor, set free to overrun most of several Middle East and African countries and now, of course, Europe, with the United States itself as the ultimate target.
Despite significant progress by Obama in persuading dozens of countries to rid themselves of bomb-making materials or reduce and safeguard stockpiles, much of the world's plutonium and enriched uranium remains vulnerable to theft.
In other words, there has been no progress at all, because Barack Obama touting nuclear non-proliferation (aside from ordering U.S. nuclear disarmament) is like Charlie Sheen presiding over an Alcoholics Anonymous meeting.
Which reminds me, I need a drink. Might as well try to forget what I can no longer eat and why I can no longer be merry, all the better to contemplate the dearly departed bliss my one-time ignorance provided so comfortable a home.