It is more than rare that evil presents itself nakedly to the eyes of men. No, evil will always seek to hide itself, be it under the cover of darkness, in a lie or behind a wall of silence. Always evil hides. It does so because it knows itself to be what it is: evil. It knows that if its nature were revealed all would recoil from it and it would have no power.
The value of the American Presidency in international affairs derives in no small measure from its power to adumbrate evil deeds in shadow, and so rob them of the tacit legitimacy that silence confers. Mr. Obama’s initial silence followed by a muted “Tut, tut, my good man!” speaks to, at best his own moral ambiguity, or more frankly, to his own predisposition to befriend the darkness.